When a SAFE is not safe


I always thought of the cheap "safes" as "Please Steal Me Boxes" (they really shouldn't be called "safes").  What's a "Please Steal Me Box"?  A "Please Steal Me Box" is generally any "safe" that's under $200 and can be easily carried by a single person.  After all, you're putting your valuables in a convenient, easy to carry, easy to open box.  The thief now only needs to grab a single box to get everything rather than rummaging around to find your valuables.

In addition to storing valuables, these are also often used as gun safes.  As the article on Forbes "Unsafe Gun Safes Can Be Opened By A Three-Year Old" points out, any safe that a three-year old can open should NOT be used to store guns.  In fact, there's a great video on that article of a toddler "bumping" open one of these safes.

We've been selling quality home and office safes since 1982.  We have several articles on this site on how to determine the quality of a safe and the different types of safes.

If you're considering buying a safe for your home or business, we invite you to visit our safe show room at 6810 Roosevelt Rd. in Oak Park, IL.  We will be happy to work with you to find a safe that fits your needs.

Remodeling? Consider Adding a Safe.


Remodelling your home is the perfect time to build-in some additional security by adding a concealed safe.

Wall Safes, you've seen these in the movies hidden behind paintings. You can have your valuables close by but hidden anywhere. Behind a picture or mirror is common, but how about a hidden panel in a bookshelf or behind a moveable piece of furniture? During your remodel any of these can be built into the design by your contractor.

Floor Safes, if your remodeling includes tearing up concrete floor, consider an in-the-floor safe. They have a steel plate that fits on top so you can walk on it. Hide it with a rug, a panel or a piece of furniture. They may not be as convenient to access, but they are usually larger and more secure.

Fire protection and/or Burglary protection are available.  (Not sure what this means, check out our article on Fire and Burglar rated safes.)

You can really use your creativity in figuring out how to hide these kind of safes.

Ask your contractor if he or she can build a safe into your home construction project.

We carry Gardall Safe Corp. and AMSEC (American Security Products Company) wall and floor safes.

Buy the right safe.

Do you have valuables or papers that need to be protected?  What kind of safe should you buy?  A safe intended to stop a burglar may not protect your documents in a fire.  Conversely, a safe that would protect your documents in a fire may serve as an easy to open box for a burglar to carry away.  Consider everything you plan to put in your safe and what you want to protect against.  Most safes are tested and labeled to help you choose the right product for your valuables.

Fire Boxes, plastic or metal, are cheap containers with poor quality locks.  Their only purpose is to keep papers from burning up in a fire.  Look for and read the fire rating sticker.  The higher the temperature and the longer the time on the rating the better.

Theft Prevention Boxes are metal boxes designed to discourage valuables from walking.  They do not provide fire protection.  Screwed to a shelf or drawer they are great for senior retirement apartments or student dorms.

Fire Safes are usually sheet metal with fire retardant material in the walls and door.  Some materials form a moisture barrier when heated.  If you have photos or stamp collections, you wouldn't want this.  Look for a dry fire clay filling instead.  Security in these safes improves with thicker sheet metal, better lock and bolt mechanism and temp/time rating.  Again, these are meant to protect from fire - not burglary.

Burglar Safes are rated for penetration only.  These safes are not for papers or items that would be harmed by heat or fire.  The walls and door are made of different thicknesses of steel and bolts.  The security improves with thicker steel, better lock and bolt mechanism. Ratings indicate the amount of time it took for professional safe crackers with the proper tools to penetrate and open the safe.

Burglar/Fire Safes are good all round safes.  RSC Burglary is the UL residential rating.  These safes pass a 1-hour or 2-hour fire test plus a test using professional burglary penetration tools.  The amount of time it takes a professional, with knowledge of the drill points, to penetrate the safe determines the strength and rating of the safe.