Action Lock-South Georgian Bay
So you are thinking about getting a safe but have no idea what to look for or where to start. Well you came to the right place. At Action Lock we can help you find the right safe to meet your individual needs and keep it within the price range you should be looking at.
Some people are under the misunderstanding that safes are only for the rich who have lots of cash to hoard, as opposed to hiding it under the mattress. This could not be further from the truth. In the first place we do not recommend using a safe to hide tons of cash. A safe is like an insurance policy. It is there to help guard you from the dangers of theft, flood, and fire or in a state of emergency; a place that you have to keep everything that is essential and important to you. If you were to be hit right now by any of those misfortunes what would you want that was easy to access, readily available, safe and protected.
A SAFE IS SOMETHING THAT EVERY HOME SHOULD HAVE
What Does a Safe Provide?
There are several types of safes available for very different items; however, they all provide the same basic functions.
- Security - preventing and protecting items from dangers such as theft or fire. In the case of a gun safe, it secures the item and prevents the gun from being used by the wrong person at the wrong time, therefore preventing the potential injury of another person.
- Safety - keeps items safe and out of harm's way
- Peace of Mind - A Safe allows you to store valuables that are virtually irreplaceable, or in an emergency are essential that you know exactly where those assets are kept; have quick access to them, and never need to worry that they could be destroyed or fall into the wrong hands
Why Should You Own A Safe?
A safe is your best safeguard against theft & fire. Security is all about layers. You can have the best locks on your home that money can buy, have a top of the line alarm system and still end up being broken into. Even with an alarm system, there is a period of delay between the time the alarm sounds and the police arrive. Depending on where you live, what kind of alarm system you have and what company you have it with, the response time can vary considerably. In Toronto the police will not respond to a house alarm unless the alarm is verified with audio, video or multiple zone activations. This means that the amount time it takes the police to arrive on site can be as quick as 5-6 minutes to as long as 20-30min. We have heard of cases that took even longer. This gives your thief a good amount of time to grab goods and be long gone, before any help arrives. Having your belongings in a well-hidden, quality safe that is properly secured in your home can make all the difference in the world when it comes to safeguarding your most valuable belongings.
As a Homeowner the top 10 reasons why you should own a safe are:
- Property insurance policies and agent contact information. You'll need this information right away if your house suffers damage in a fire.
- Passports and original birth certificates & SIN cards. These can be a hassle to replace and will come in handy to establish your identity for other purposes. The banks charge a monthly fee for their storage of your items and may not be available when you need access to those items and documents i.e. weekends and evening
- CDs or an external hard drive containing digital copies of all family photos. It's a good idea to scan all older family photos and keep a digital copy of them as well. Your family memories in photographs are irreplaceable.
- Important papers related to investments, retirement plans, bank accounts etc. Because you may need ready access to funds. Copy of wills and all wills in which you are designated the executor. It's important to have access to these as safe deposit boxes are typically sealed upon notification of the box owner's death.
- You have firearms or other dangerous items that require secure storage by law
- Spare Keys and titles to all vehicles: It helps to know where copies are in the case that you need them.
- Valuables: Jewelry, coins, cash, etc. that you may want access to from time to time. The contents of a safety deposit boxes, at the bank, are not generally insured.
- Information on your outstanding debts, due dates, and contact information. It's important to protect your credit even in the event you're displaced by a fire.
- A list of family doctors and prescription medications. You may need these to get new supplies of medications you use on a regular basis. (Keeping extra medication for an emergency is a good idea as well.)
- Copies of your important legal documents. These include powers of attorney, living wills, and health care proxies-both for you and for anyone else for whom you are designated attorney-in-fact or health care surrogate.
As a Business owner having a safe is important if:
- You operate a business that uses a lot of cash
- You want to prevent prying eyes from accessing media or paperwork
- Want to keep items such as Keys locked up
- You want to monitor who has access to something, and see when they are accessing it. (Audit Trail)
As mentioned above, a Safe is not just for the wealthy; nor is it something that people get for jewelry or items that just have a large dollar amount attached to them. Today one of the biggest concerns is identity theft. In 2018, there were 10.11 incidents of identity theft per 100,000 residents in Canada. We are living in an age where it has become more important than ever to guard our personal information (whether on paper or digital media) then it is to guard a piece of jewelry.
What Size, Style and Brand Should I Get?
So now that you better understand why you should have a safe, the question becomes what kind should I get. Safes come in a variety of different styles, materials and weights. Some safes can be purchased at department stores for low prices but that is not necessarily the smartest way to go. A good rule of thumb when it comes to buying a safe, or lock for that matter, is to look at how valuable the items you are safeguarding or locking up are worth to you, and in knowing what or who you want to guard the items inside from. Is it just a place to keep some items that you don't want your children to get into, or somewhere you are keeping your most sacred information. How much would it cost to replace the items you want kept safe? Can you even put a dollar value on the item? If you are locking something up that has a value of under $80.00 then purchasing a safe for $400.00 may not be necessary. However, if you are locking up something that has a value of $2000.00 or more, ideally you would NOT want it locked up in a safe that cost you $200.00. Quality is usually determined by the weight of a safe. There are some manufactures that save money by constructing a thinner door or body. This makes for a lighter product that is easier to break into. There are several companies that make quality safes. Each company offers its own specialties, unique designs, qualities and pricing. In order to decide which brand to get, ask yourself:
- What are you going to be storing in the safe? This will help you determine the approximate size and type of safe that you should be looking at. Be sure to check both the exterior and the interior dimensions of a safe. Remember to ALWAYS take into account the thickness of the door which is often overlooked but will affect your inside dimensions when the door is closed.
- What is the approximate value of the items you plan on storing in the safe? This will help you determine what price range you should be looking at spending.
- Where are you planning on keeping it? This will help you to determine size again, and what qualities the safe should have. If you plan on storing the safe in the basement near the sump pump, then its water resistant ability might be of importance.
- Who is going to have access to it? Do you want an audit trail? This will help you to determine what kind of lock you will want on the safe.
- What price range will fit into your budget?
- Is a fire rating important to you? What fire rating do you need for the safe?
- Is the lock on the safe UL approved?
- Can the door of the safe be replaced? Should you require the services of a locksmith to access your safe, it is easier to replace the door on a safe than attempt to fill the holes he will drill in order to break into the safe.
- Does the Safe have holes to bolt the safe down or against a wall? A small lightweight safe that is not secured to the wall or a floor can be carried out of your home in a burglary.
- Does the safe have a key override? This is important if you have a digital lock and the batteries were to die. It can also be handy backup for you or a family member if the combination was ever lost or forgotten.
At Action Lock we sell safes from a few different companies. Our Halsco and USCan Safes are both made at the same factory by Eagle. A South Korean company that has been producing safes since 1973, Eagle Safe uses technologies such as a CO2 laser cutting machine and roll forming machines to produce their products. They have several different lines of safes with different choices available in all of them. Their fire safes and cabinets come in all sizes to fit any home or office. Their burglary & fire safes are designed to be resistant against the vigorous attacks with hammers and drills. They carry a wide variety of options to fit any spot you are looking to hide a burglary safe. Eagle also makes gun safes and safe deposit boxes.
We also sell Inkas Safes. Located in Canada, INKAS is trusted by thousands of companies, retailers and individuals across the globe. Their safe manufacturing division has many lines for their clients. The custom luxury safes are something to be seen, and once they have been seen will never be forgotten. They also manufacture explosive-resistant safes, U.L. rated safes, fire & burglary safes, fire safes, B-rated safes, cash depositories and hotel safes. INKAS also produces safe deposit boxes, secure cabinets and dials/locks.
AMSEC Safes are made in Fontana, California, American SecurityProducts (AMSEC) safes set the standard when it comes to building high quality safe made in the USA. The Amsec BF safe line has a very good quality, name brand (Sargent and Greenleaf) lock, heavy-duty hinges, a well-built door mechanism, and comes pre-drilled and with hardware to bolt it to the floor. It is a good choice for a home-use fire safe. AMSEC was also been rated as one of the best in 2020 for Gun safes.
ALS Safes, provided by APA, are made by Liberty. Liberty Safe is based out of Utah and this company manufactures residential and commercial safes. Founded in 1988, their products are tested by Underwriters Laboratories and pass UL requirements. Liberty Safes are rated highly with AMSEC as the top two American Safe companies to buy from. ALS carries several different lines of safes much like Eagle.
Dial vs. Digital
Safes commonly used to be locked with a key or dial or both. Today there are many different options available to choose from. Most of the safes we sell can be purchased with either a mechanical combination lock (dial), electronic safe lock (keypad) or safe deposit lock (key lock with lever). Some lock systems use a combination of them.
Dial locks are not dependent on a power source; therefore have a lower rate of failure due to power outages or low batteries. They also require precision, time and some knowledge in terms of knowing the sequence of turns and direction needed when applying the combination and opening the safe. Digital or electronic locks take less co-ordination and with the combination can be quickly opened. Many now have audit software which is great for companies monitoring who is accessing the safe and when.
At Action Lock, we are able to modify many of the older dial safes and convert them to digital. This is great for companies that currently own a quality safe, but are looking for a way to make access easier for staff and provide upper management more knowledge and control over who is opening the safe and when.
La Gard Safeguard Audit Safe Lock
- UL certified Type 1
- Manager code and up to 8 user codes
- 3 try lock out penalty
- Dual custody
- Time delay (override in manager mode)
- Low battery signal
- Available in satin, chrome, and chrome
If your number one concern is theft then your basic B-Rated Burglary Safe will do. If you are concerned about Fire as well then Fire and Burglary Rated Safe is ideal. It would probably be helpful if you understood a little bit about Safes and their Ratings.
How Do I Know What Grade of Safe to Get?
Underwriter's Laboratory: an organization that has dedicated itself to educating businesses and the public about safety and performance of products for over 100 years. They have devised a system where a Code represents a testable safety or performance standard to show a consumer what proficiency their product is capable of doing.
If a safe has a U/L rating, it has been tested and certified by the underwriter's laboratory and assigned a code that appropriately describes what sort of protection you will receive for that specific product.
For Burglary Rating
This list shows what grade of safe you should have for approximately
the dollar amount you are protecting.
Grade Protection Features
|RSC||5000||The door successfully resists entry for 5 minutes when attacked with|
|(TL-5)||common hand & electric tools of rigorous prying, drilling, punching, chiseling and tampering attacks by UL technicians.|
|B Rated||$10,000||Steel doors less than 1" thick and steel body less than ½ "thick.|
|C Rated||$30,000||Steel doors less than 1" thick and steel body at least ½ "thick.|
|TL-15||$200,000||The door successfully resists entry for 15 minutes when attacked with common hand & electric tools & includes anchorage.|
|TL-30||$375,000||The door resists the same attack as TL-15 for 30 minutes|
|TL-30x6||1,000,000||The entire safe resists the attacks described for TL-30|
NOTE: Add TR for torch resistance and TX for explosives resistance to a burglary safe
NOTE: If a safe has a B or C rating it has not been tested or certified by the underwriter's laboratory, (insurance companies will often not usually accept a B or C rating depending on what or where the safe is being used for)
For Fire Rating
Grade Protection Features
A UL 72 Class 350 1 Hour rated safe is the most widely recognized industry standard for commercial quality fire safes. This rating is given when a safe demonstrates an internal temperature that does not exceed 350 degrees F for up to 60 minutes even when exposed to external temperatures of over 1700 degrees. Safes with this "records protection equipment rating" are meant to store only paper documents and files.
250-1 Paper Internal temperature will not exceed 250`F when fired for 1 hour
250-2 Paper Internal temperature will not exceed 250`F when fired for 2 hours
150-1 Media Internal temperature will not exceed 150`F when fired for 1 hour
150-2 Media Internal temperature will not exceed 150`F when fired for 2 hours
125-1 Media Internal temperature will not exceed 125`F when fired for 1 hour
BURGLARY & Fire SAFES
Come in several different models, shapes and sizes. They can have an electronic or dial lock.
- Floor Safes
- Under-the-Counter Safes
- Wall Safes
These safes are designed to conceal and secure a limited amount of valuables and documents, without others' being aware of the safes location. Proper Installation of this safe is below floor level, in concrete. A steel dust cover is provided for installation to provide a completely level surface and concealment. If the safe is properly installed this way, it is next to impossible to remove. These safes are generally best installed during the construction of a home.
Wall Safes are designed to provide hidden protection for documents or valuables in closets, behind wall hangings or tapestries. These safes are generally designed for easy installation. They are generally speaking approximately 4" deep which allows them to fit easily in a standard wall thickness between the wall studs. These safes are much more difficult to be noticed by a burglar and are easily accessible when needed. They do not tend to be very large in size however, and you are limited as to what they will be able to all hold. We do have an option available for those looking for something that can go deeper into a wall, if more room is needed.
Data Media Safes
If your interest in purchasing a safe is for products such as computer media, tapes, discs, microfilm and microfiche then this is the type of safe you should be looking at. While paper can endure temperatures of up to 350 °F (177 °C), data media is easily damaged by temperatures that exceed 125 °F (52 °C) and a humidity of above 80%. This product line also functions well for burglary and vandalism as well as possible damage from dust, dirt and magnetism.
Defense Vault Safe (AMSEC)
The Defense Vault Safe is designed to be used for storage when space is limited in your home. This type of safe generally fits right under your bed. Generally speaking they are used for gun storage.
Depository & Drop Safes
These are ideal for a business that deals with a lot of cash; like a convenience store, eating and drinking establishments or even churches. They are designed so that the money (or keys) can be dropped or deposited into the top (Top Load) or side (Front or Rear Load) of the safe, through an "anti-fish" baffle, which allows the money to go in, but doesn't allow the ability to insert ones hand or other object into the opening to access the money once it has been dropped. They then have another compartment that opens via dial or electronic lock for the owner to be able to withdraw the cash, and potentially store some other small items in.
Steel Money Safes
The Solid Steel Money Safe works well if you are trying to save money and don't feel you require Fire protection. This is a great way to secure cash and valuables so that a thief or employee can't easily access them.