Residential Security Safes and Fire Safes Toronto
Residential Safes are the strongest and often the best line of defense for valuables against fire and theft. When burglars gain entry to a business or home they typically want to minimize the time spent on the premises. A quality safe will delay a thief significantly. Every extra minute a burglar is delayed increases the chance of being detected by Police or Emergency Response or the owner. Even experienced thieves can take over an hour to open a safe. In many cases, a safe even prevents an attempted robbery. In the Greater Toronto area, a Residential Safe provides a solid security solution for your possessions and peace of mind for you.
Choosing a Home Safe is not a simple task, we’re here to help. Look for the following ratings to help you discern an acceptable level of security and Safe quality. A consultant from PROTECTION PLUS ® can help you make a choice that fits your needs and budget.
UL is an acronym for Underwriters Laboratories, a UL rating means an independent agency that rates the safety and performance of products in a wide spectrum of industries. UL has been testing and rating products for more than 100 years, it evaluates nearly 20,000 products annually. The UL rating is a reliable indicator of product safety and quality.
A TL rated safe is for combination lock safes. It assesses the protection against an attack by mechanical, electrical, and cutting tools. Safes with a TL rating measure the resistance against abuse for varying amounts of time. Classification tiers range from picking tools to hand tools, mechanical or electrical tools, grinding points, carbide drills, pressure-applying devices, cutting wheels, power saws and impact tools. The higher the number on the TL rating, the longer the safe can withstand the assault from the various devices.
Safes with a B rating indicate the safe has walls less than 1/2 in. thick, and doors are less than 1 inch thick. A B-rated safe is concerned with the presence of a locking device. Usually, lock work and re-locks are examined when choosing a B-rated safe.
Safes with a C Rating have steel walls that are at least 1/2” thick and doors that are at least 1” thick, as well as a lock.
Fire ratings are designed to identify the particular length of time a safe can withstand varying temperatures. For example, a UL Class 350 1-hour fire rating indicates that the internal temperature of a safe will not exceed 350°F for a minimum of 1 hour when exposed to external temperatures over 1700°F. A safe may have a 1-, 2-, or 3-hour time classification. An additional test includes dropping the safe from heights up to 10 meters to test against explosions and damage from a fall.
Tips on how to choose a safe
- Choose the right size. The most common mistake is choosing a safe that is too small. Think carefully about what your current AND future needs might be and then choose a safe slightly larger. Buying a safe is often a 1 time purchase, choose one that you will be certain will suit your needs today and 5 years from now.
- Is a wall safe a good choice? Generally speaking, wall or hidden Safes are not a good place to store valuables. The best feature they have is concealment. Burglars are accustomed to looking for wall safes. By design, due to size and weight restrictions, wall safes are generally small and light weight, and simply screwed to wooden wall studs . Consequently wall safes are easily broken into or removed. If your purpose is to keep items away from children or for brief periods of time perhaps a wall safe will work. Generally you will receive better value and much better protection from a good quality standard Safe.
- What is the best type of Fire rated Safe? Many consumers overlook fire ratings when purchasing a safe to protect valuables and documents. Many Safes supplied by discount retailers do not provide the minimum 60 minute fire rating recommended. Safes with less than 1 hour fire rating will not protect your contents in a typical house or business fire. If you are budget conscious choose the safe with the highest fire rating that you can afford.
- Should the Safe be Anchored? The easiest way for a burglar to break into a safe is to remove it from your premises and take it to his shop where he has unlimited time and tools to open it. Most safes are equipped with anchor bolt holes. By properly anchoring your safe into the floor you can significantly add to the Safes effectiveness. It may even deter a thief altogether. However the Safe will need to be properly anchored. Simply screwing into a wooden sub floor will be ineffective. Anchoring into concrete or across multiple floor joists with a piece of angle iron or a 2 X 4.
- Is a hidden safe a good idea? The Location of a Safe, and what’s inside it, is nobody’s business but yours. Burglaries can be prevented by keeping information about your Safe’s existence and contents quiet. The fewer people that know you have a safe and what might be in it…the better. It might be fun to boast about that new safe you just installed and show off the cool features. But that kind of talk may open you up to a burglary. A conversation or cell phone call is easily over heard and could be communicated to a person that you don’t know and increase your odds of a break in. Let your kids know that the safe’s existence, location, and contents are a confidential family matter.
- Will a fire resistant Safe be adequate for burglary protection? No Safe is fire proof, and all have varying rates of fire resistance. A fire resistant Safe is simply designed to protect contents against fire and temperature for a given length of time. It is not designed to be burglary resistant. The metal sides are usually a light gauge of steel, simply used to hold the fire retardant lining in place. The locks are also simple basic construction. Often a fire safe will break open simply by dropping it on a hard surface. Don’t rely on a fire resistant safe to protect you against burglary. Instead, find a Safe with a good TL rating that is specifically engineered & constructed to suit both purposes.
- Will a standard fire rated Safe protect my valuable photos, CD’s, computer disks, flash drives etc? In a word… NO! Standard fire rated Safes are engineered to protect paper documents from charring and burning. Electronics, plastic, films etc., all have different sensitivities to high temperature, humidity levels and moisture. If you have valuable data or media items you want to protect from fire damage, a specially designed Data/Media Safe is what you will require.
- Buyer’s remorse? The old adage “You get what you pay for” rings true when applied to the purchase of a Safe. This is a long term important purchase. Consider your budget carefully. An inadequate safe because it’s too small, difficult to use, or with inadequate ratings, will be a disappointment and may result in the loss of valuables. By wisely and buy once.
- Are all gun safes the same? The proliferation of guns on the street and accidents in the home by improper & unauthorized use has made Gun Safe purchases very popular. Not all gun safes are created equally. They vary greatly by size and quality. Economy safes may simply be a lockable metal cabinet with no burglary or fire rating or real protection, while high end safes will be highly rated with elaborate door locks and interior lining. Check with local authorities on what, if any, regulations are required to store your weapons legally before deciding on a cabinet.
- Will the purchase of a Safe provide enough protection? Security for your home or business should be multi layered. Prevention and deterring is also a goal. You can’t place all your valuables in a Safe! Secure your premises with decent quality locks, think about adding key control. Window film and or window bars also provide physical protection. Adding an alarm system will keep you informed about your premises. It is possible and recommended to alarm your Safe. You can add door contacts and shock sensors to detect any tampering with the safe. Ask a Security Consultant for assistance to devise a comprehensive security plan for you and your valuables.