1 : Do NOT buy a Cheap Safe
You are better than that. Because you will soon forget its price but remember its quality. And a safe is here to last. It is designed to last, bought to last, anchored to last, and eventually closed. If it breaks, imagine all you will have to do to sort it out! Get someone to open it, which will be expensive; take your valuables and put them at risk; un-anchor the safe; handle it alone or with someone; carry it to dispose of it which might not be free, and eventually … buy another one! A start the process again till your valuables are safe again.
What’s cheap often turns out to be expensive.
Tip #2: Think of servicing costs of a safe
Are there hidden costs, then? Well, we can’t say it is a hidden cost per se. It is just that when it comes to a car, everyone knows that it needs service one day or another, or regularly.
A safe is no different, but few people realize it. A safe is not any consumer object: it is a little piece of art, with many mechanical and/or electrical aspects to it. It has been designed not to be opened, and this is no simple task! It is a feat in itself.
Yes, a safe is made of mechanical parts that should work well together for many years to come, and might even need a service like a regular car.
As they say, your mileage may vary: you can have a safe which is your daily driver, and another safe that remains for special needs or occasions.
In other words, a good quality safe will last long, will prevent from having to buy several cheap ones that will make you feel unsatisfied; but on the other hand, it will need a service (in 20 years, hopefully). But, with a well-established brand, you can get a professional locksmith to come to your home and do proper work. You guess that with a cheap safe, a service is not something to even consider, and a professional will not show up to your house. Do the math. A good $1000 safe with a $150 service in 20 years may be cheaper than a couple of boxes.
Tip # 3: Save on your Bank Deposit Box
Tip #3 is as well something you might stop paying thanks to your safe. If you have a deposit box in your bank (Bank of America for example), you have to pay an amount each month to have this service. This amount adds up to other things you have to pay each month. With a good safe at home, think about how long it will take to pay back its value. Not long, maybe just a couple of years. Not taking into account the simplicity to access your valuables at home: you won’t need to go to the bank anymore. You won’t need to ask for permission to access what belongs to you! On top of that, you might just be safer at home as stories of mistakenly opened bank deposit boxes were heard, or stolen by staff, etc. This is eventually your choice: but think of the money you won’t have to pay.
Tip #4: Negotiate a cheaper Insurance Policy
Tip #4 is as well something you might stop paying: your insurance policy. Or at least you will get the opportunity to bargain a little to get a cheaper price.
With increased security at home, several insurances propose cheaper deals for your contract. Ask for it; they might not like me for providing you with such a piece of information! But if you read the fine print it might as well be specified; if not the case, your negotiating talent will be of great help as well as the invoice of the safe where full specs and class should be written.
Tip #5: Choose the right Safe
If you choose the safe that addresses your needs, then perfect. Not too big, nor too small. If in doubt, choose bigger, though. Because it is when using it that you will understand its practicality. You won’t have to change it within several years and save in the long run. So again, you want to save money: buy a good quality safe, and a bigger one that you thought originally. This seems counter-intuitive, I guess, but you must agree with me on that one. Read this article on how to choose the right safe for you.
Tip #6: Install the Safe Yourself
If you chose the right safe for you, unless it is one of the biggest professional ones, you might want to go on all by yourself. We have already covered how to handle a safe and are working on a complete how to set up guide. Buy choosing a medium-sized fireproof safe, between 100 to 200 pounds, you will handle it, find a good place to put it in your house. Then, it is not that complicated to anchor it. You just need a drill and a couple of fixing bolts and their corresponding peg screws (anchor dowels). Drill the correct diameter. And that is it. In less than 15 minutes, your safe will be anchored and you will be ready to go. By doing so, you will save a good portion of the price of the safe: the price of the installation. Of course, this doesn’t apply if you want to put it inside a wall, which is far more difficult and requires a professional or at least a very good DIYer.
Tip #7: Use your Safe Properly
The seventh tip is to use your safe properly. By avoiding common mistakes, you will avoid headaches and related expenses. Here you go.
- Do not lose the key,
- Do not break the key,
- Do not forget the code,
- Do not lock the spare key … in the safe itself, (it happens a lot, believe it or not)
- Do not block the door by stuffing the safe with objects,
- Do not forget to change batteries when it is still time
Don’t laugh: I have encountered many times those problems that can lead to expenses. If the safe is stuffed, then the lock is hard and the key might break. If the batteries are dead, not every safe provides an easy way to change them from outside. The spare key is almost all the time inside the safe… As for the code, many people think they know it, but they only know its closest cousin. Sometimes, our memory tricks us. Write down somewhere the code without specifying it in all caps: CODE FOR THE SAFE. At last, don’t use the key, this handy little metal part, to do things like open a box or a can. It can bend or break, and you would regret it.
If you then add up the new cheaper insurance, the deposit box at your bank (the lack thereof), a good reliable, and sturdy safe you can rely on, your valuables safe, you do the math again, you can even think of compound interests I let you free with that here, and you will come up with another price. YOUR price, that only you can figure out. But thanks to my experience in safes, I hope to give you value and advice that will prove to be useful. You might even save a bunch of real money thanks to these considerations. Which Money you can of course put in your safe: that is why I always advise buying a bigger safe than you originally thought
Now enjoy my tips on how to choose a home safe. I will also help you decide if you need a key or a code.