Home Improvements - Safes

Home Safe Home

by Brenda Padilla


As part of the overall security strategy for your Andalusian home, you might consider using a safe deposit box of some kind. Some homes - particularly those in remote urbanisations - come with built-in safes. However, even if you already have a safe at your disposal, it is essential you have some basic knowledge about these products to avoid using them inappropriately. Here are a few key categories of safes to familiarise yourself with in order to better understand the safe you have inherited - or to purchase a new one.

Burglary Safe safes designed only to prevent burglary tend to be made of heavy steel, which means they conduct heat and are not, therefore, fireproof. However, you can also buy a safe that is both fire and burglar "proof", and this usually consists of a thick steel burglary safe with a fire safe (see below) installed inside.

Some consumer advocates explicitly warn against burglar safes for home use. This is because in the case of highly valuable objects, the safest place for storage will be at the bank in a safe deposit box or a private vault. However, many homeowners turn to burglary safes to store items they don't consider valuable enough to store at the bank, but still want to protect.

Burglary safes should be installed in a floor - preferably a cement floor. If you can't permanently install the safe in this way, then experts recommend that it weigh at least around 360 kilos and be bolted to a wall or floor.


Fire Safes

Whereas burglar safes have been tested against opening, fire safes are tested for their ability to maintain, for a specific period of time, a temperature well below that required to burn paper, as these safes are designed primarily to protect things like documents and photographs.


Fire safes are generally made from thin metal and layers of insulation. Alone they are not designed to protect against theft. And, very importantly, these safes are not designed to indefinitely withstand the heat of a fire. Rather, they are supposed to maintain an internal temperature for the amount of time specified on the label.


Media Safes

While a burglary safe doesn't protect items from fire, neither does a fire safe protect computer discs and other such items from heat damage. For this you need a special media safe, which is designed to maintain even lower internal temperatures than those of a standard fire safe.



Day Safes

You might have a day safe installed in your business in order to keep receipts and cash until it is time to go to the bank each day. These safes are not meant for overnight use because they are not usually prepared to protect from fire.



Gun Safes

Specific safes are designed for guns in order to protect them from heat, and from falling into the wrong hands. These safes are not designed to store valuables.


You might find safes on offer at your local "ferretería", and a variety of safes will most certainly be available all major home improvement centres. If you are serious about finding a high quality, specialised safe, however, seek the services of a security company or a shop specialising in safes. This way you will receive proper and personalised advice regarding the wide array of products on the market.

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