How to Use Your Home Safe? 22 tips to make the most of it

Most people fear safes because of all the romantic fuzz surrounding this object, that has been spread out by films and novels over a long period of time. No, home safes are simple devices: not too expensive, not too heavy and quite easy to operate. And they can be really useful on a day to day basis to secure your belongings. These are all the tips I want to share with you that I have gathered after years of experience.

  1. Never buy a cheap safe. You will soon regret you had bought a bigger one where you can store so many more things. A good quality safe is more resistant to burglary. It is stiffer when bolted to the ground and is far more difficult if not impossible to tear it off.
  2. A good safe will be cheaper in the long run because there will be less risk of malfunctioning. You will be far less likely to call a professional to open the safe for you to access its content. The lock, electronic or mechanical, will function properly for longer than that of a cheap safe. Reliability is paid once: less risk, less hassle won’t send you an invoice.
  3. Always anchor your safe properly. It is recommended to bolt a safe with a big bolt to the ground if it is concrete or to a load-bearing wall. It is difficult to open a safe, especially if it is a good quality one and burglars are in a hurry: they need to get away fast. They want to open the safe when they are away. That is why a safe properly anchored will remain at its place.
  4. Choose a safe big enough for your future needs. I know this isn’t easy as it is impossible to foresee what we will need in the future. But keep in mind that you will find your safe so convenient that you will store many more things in it that you had previously thought. A big safe will provide ample storage in a tidy way.
  5. Try not to install your safe in a humid room especially if it is an electronic safe. Humidity and electronics don’t play well together. The content of the safe itself might get mold and be deteriorated by moisture if the room is too humid. There are several ways and devices that help fight moisture but it is far more convenient to avoid the problem in the first place. Keep away electronic safes from a water room.
  6. Always replace your batteries by the best you can find. A safe is not used every day and sometimes stored in a cold room. This is a big burden to the batteries which can deteriorate faster than used in ideal temperature-controlled conditions. The safe will work far more reliably and longer if the batteries are of good quality. This is especially important when the safe doesn’t provide easy access to the batteries from outside. Some safes need special wires to be able to open the safe and change batteries inside! Yes, once again, avoid that in the first place and replace stock batteries with the best quality ones.
  7. Try to install your safe not on the floor. Why? Because it will be far easier to access and you won’t be tempted to leave your valuables unsecured. The easier your safe is to access, the better the use of it. Bolted to the floor and you will find it uncomfortable to access. I recommend to place the safe on a shelf and secure it to the wall. There, it will be easy to hide and easy to access. Nice and secure.
  8. Do not hide your safe too much! For the same reason as above: a safe too difficult to access won’t be used. Then the reason why you wanted the best security by hiding the safe will return to haunt you because you might not use it as much. The human law of least effort will have you leave your valuables, your jewelry, your cash, on the table or in a drawer “for a couple of minutes”. And, as everybody knows, those minutes were the crucial ones.
  9. Keep a tidy safe. If you store too many things inside, you run the risk of blocking the lock or the door. If it is hard to close the door of the safe, then that pressure still exists and is applied to the door once closed and is transferred to the deadbolt that cannot slide anymore. And especially if the lock is moved by a small electric engine: it won’t be strong enough to open the bolts again. A tidy big safe will free you of that risk.
  10. Do not store the invoice of the safe inside the safe: your insurance will ask for it if it is stolen,
  11. Do not store the spare keys of the safe inside the safe. It is commonly so; so resist that urge and find a good hiding place for it, maybe elsewhere and not at home.
  12. Do not store your code inside the safe. For the same reason as above. I recommend writing false contacts in your address book to hide there your code.
  13. Choose a key safe if you are not tech-savvy. Some electronic safes with a menu are much more difficult to use. And because we don’t use a safe every day, it will always be difficult to remember how to use it, how to change the code, and so on.
  14. Choose an electronic safe if you don’t feel like hiding a big key somewhere in your house or apartment. A mechanical code is good also for that purpose but it is more difficult to operate and many people find it hard to use.
  15. Choose preferably a fireproof safe of good quality. Fire is an event that can happen and important papers such as wills, backups can be protected quite reliably by good fire safes.
  16. Choose as well a waterproof safe to be protected against floods and any water damage. Statistics say that floods are more likely to happen than fires. Better be safe than sorry, no pun of course, and especially as Sentry Safes provide good protection against fire and water for a good price.
  17. Study everything you might need to store in your safe. I did a pretty big list and this is a good read if you want to use your safe at its fullest potential.
  18. Protect your safe and its content from mold and moisture if the room is humid. There are plenty of ways to do that: I have thoroughly detailed them in this post. But in a nutshell, what you have to do is combine desiccants with dehumidifiers. Goldenrod has also a device that slightly raises the temperature of the safe to prevent moisture and mold.
  19. If you failed to buy a fireproof and waterproof safe, you can still upgrade it with a fireproof and/or waterproof box from Sentry that you can place inside. It is secured by an additional lock. This extra layer of security can be useful for the most precious of your documents but also if you want someone to have access to your home safe but not all of it.
  20. Save money by installing your safe yourself. It is not difficult to do. Choose the right size and think about the best place to install it. Find a concrete wall or floor to bolt it on. Ask the help of a friend as a safe can be quite heavy. And that’s basically it. Every detail is written in this blog. That is what I did for myself and I am happy with the result.
  21. Save money by terminating your safety deposit box service at your bank. This might not be useful anymore as you will use your new safe at home as much as possible. You will assuredly find your deposit box less convenient and less practical.
  22. Save money by negotiating a cheaper insurance policy with your insurer or broker. You have just added value and security to your house. There is less risk of theft because you are better prepared. You might as well get cheaper deals for your contract if you ask. You might need an invoice where it is stated that the safe has been installed by a professional, though.


I have been passionate about locks and safes for so long; it is a family speciality since 1898. I hope I can share with you all the simple tips that can make the difference for your security. And that you'll buy the right products for your needs.

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