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Thinking about a safe

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by VoidRaven, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. VoidRaven

    VoidRaven

    586
    Jul 13, 2006
    Lagrange, OH
    So I was going to get one of those little 1 cu ft safes to hide in a closet to hold things like small valuables, important documents, etc.

    But then I drove past TSC (Tractor Supply Company) and saw a big gun safe in the window and said "Hmmmm...that could hold all of our camera gear....and our important documents......hmmmmmm"

    Am I crazy? Does anyone else have some sort of large safe or locking cabinet to keep things safe in the event of a break-in or fire? Do you have any recommendations?
     
  2. Yes. Have 3 widebody safes I bought at Cabelas in the basement. Each can holds 30 rifles (+pistols on the top shelves and door pockets). Weigh 600+ lbs each and are bolted down. THink they are good for 40 min in a fire. Also they are sitting in a room in the basement that I had a hidden door in. Also have a smaller gun safe upstairs also.
     
  3. Wail

    Wail

    784
    Aug 14, 2007
    Saudi Arabia
    I have a number of these, the small one in the closet for overnight things (my wallet, ring, etc.); large gun-vault for papers and deeds etc.; a HUGE vault in the basement where I store my pen collection (it's also where I put my valueble stuff whenever I am out of the country).
     
  4. NPA2008

    NPA2008

    393
    Apr 15, 2008
    USA
    Wal-Mart has a good selection of safes in various sizes and styles, including gun safes. I do not live in a high crime area, but I wanted a 1.2 cubic foot safe that I could fit in the closet to store small valuables such as my checkbook, extra credit cards, cash, lotto tickets, spare keys, etc. I bought one of these when they were only $100:

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=4948008

    0001624720770_215X215.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
  5. lovemy8514

    lovemy8514 Guest

    Wail,

    What was that combination again?? :smile:

    I purchased a small safe for my passport, birth certificate and other small items. It is fire-rated, but gets too hot for DVD's/CD's, so backed up images on disc aren't stored in it.

    I'm now in the market for a larger safe with a fire-rating good enough to keep backed up photos on disc or hard drives from melting, if one exists that isn't too expensive....
     
  6. sypher

    sypher

    May 24, 2006
    Cougar Country
    Best thing to do is go to a gun show in your area...you will be able to see the safes and talk to the various dealers about "why theirs is the best." If you see something you like you can probably talk them into giving you a deal on one of their "floor" models. It also saves you on gas because the dealers are all in one location instead of running all over town.
    Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  7. Ditto on all that was said about storing valuable documents in a safe. I also back all my valuable files on two external drives and keep one in my safe too.

    Les
     
  8. pirahnah3

    pirahnah3

    Feb 22, 2008
    wuss-tah
    just remember a safe is only as safe as you make it, if your looking for fire protection thats one thing if you are looking for security do your homework on where you are going to put it, how you are going to get it there, and how you are going to secure it once there.
     
  9. VoidRaven

    VoidRaven

    586
    Jul 13, 2006
    Lagrange, OH
    Well, if it's a large safe (gun safe style) it will be stored in our lower level (bi-level home so direct access to lower level from garage makes moving it in easy) under the stairs bolted to the concrete floor.

    If it is a small safe (NOT for camera gear) it would be in a closet somewhere upstairs bolted to the floor.

    I would prefer to get something that I could put the camera gear in but I admit that my search so far hasn't yielded much that would work that is less than $700 (more like less than $1,400 or more). I may have to temporarily re-think my plan unless my search yields something in the next week or so.
     
  10. cknight

    cknight

    663
    May 2, 2005
    Madison, AL
  11. Depending on how "pretty" you want it to be, you can probably find a used one. I would suggest phoning a local locksmith. They usually know of someone in the field who handles a lot of the local banks safe business. I have one in my office at work that weighs 3000 lbs. and came out of a bank, and I paid about $1400. The same dealer had a "showroom" of used safes with varying sizes, prices and fire ratings.
     
  12. VoidRaven

    VoidRaven

    586
    Jul 13, 2006
    Lagrange, OH

    I looked at the Stack On 8-gun but it doesn't have shelves. I suppose I could build some to go inside it or maybe find some that fit. That one would be almost perfect for my needs and space concerns. I've got some time to search but I was thinking along those lines (****'s or Cabellas).

    Keith...interesting idea. I may have to check that out. Not like I can't touch-up a little paint to make it "pretty".
     
  13. I've noticed some gun/valuables safes at both Costco and Sam's Club in the $400-600 range. I haven't looked closely to see what fire rating, if any, there is. For the price, I imagine they're not top of the line, but might be serviceable. Brian's (Sypher) idea of looking at a gun show makes sense to see them all in one place. Good luck.
     
  14. A word to the wise about the smaller fire safes. I have one for my hard drives, papers and valuables, but they are only made to keep, honest people and fire out. A small hammer and a wedge, and you can pop the door right off. I know, since the manufacture has replaced my safe; it was under warranty.
     
  15. I have 5x3 feet Lips safe in my livingroom.Build aprox n 1920 .When i had a licence to keep firearms,one of the rules was that i keep them in a safe.Looking for one i came by a safefactory where they had a secondhand department as well.They got this safe from a abandoned German ww2 bunker.Costed my almost nothing,and they give me all the time to clean it on there premmises.(it came in nazi grey).Funny thing was that while cleaning i found out that the rightfull owner was a Gouda cheesefactory.
     
  16. Gray Fox

    Gray Fox

    554
    Jan 12, 2007
    London Ontario
    Not all safes are the same.

    Since this idea does not seem to have been raised, here is something to consider.

    Guns safes are designed to keep amateur thieves out, and to slow down professional thieves enough so they hopefully will not bother. These are not particularly useful fin a fire.

    Fire safes are designed to withstand the intense heat of a fire, and keep the contents safe for a specified period of time. They work by releasing moisture into the air. Firearms, stamps, and camera gear will over time be destroyed by this moisture.
     
  17. I do have a recommendation

    I do have a recommendation, I rent the biggest safety deposit box my bank has, it holds all my papers I can't risk losing as well as my camera equipment I use less.

    When I travel I have peace of mind since the camera equipment as well as all my external hard drives are in there. I sleep soundly at night :smile:

    We are talking about ... $450 a year and a few cubic feet, took me three bags to empty it (Two gym bag full of stuff will fit in that safety deposit box)

    In case of fire I can assure you that electronics in a home safe will cook (in case of no fire the moisture will get to them... They are great for papers but not cameras and/or electronics)

    $450 a year for peace of mind is worth it IMHO
     
  18. Between my post, the Dude and Gray Fox post, the 300/400$ fire safes are about useless.
    I did not know about the moisture issue, but then I am in and out of my safe frequently, so the moisture has not been a problem. I went in the safe last week after being gone for 4 weeks, and I noticed the paper felt very damp, and that concerned me at the time, making a note that I need to put some of the dehydrating material in it. Well I do not know a answer for this problem, with out spending way more money than I have available for this.
    As for fire damage, the safe should be located in an extreme corner of the house, to lessen heat build up and, for me, knowing where to direct water flow, if I am around at the time:smile:
     
  19. Jason

    Jason

    Aug 15, 2008
    St. Louis, MO
    Moisture control in a safe

    The moisture problem your having can be easily fixed and it is not expensive at all. You need a GoldenRod safe dehumidifier. They are small but VERY affective. They rasie the temperature by just a few degrees and in such lower the humidity level greatly. I use one in my Liberty Safe (highly recommended, especially their higher end models). The Presidential Series Liberty safe is the top of the line unit. It has a 2 1/2 Hour fire rating. Now that means it will keep the internal temps below 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours (I could be off a little on the actual degrees as I am going from memory).

    How does this happen one might ask? Most residential fire rated safes are lined with gypsum, which has a high % of water in it. When a fire occures and the safe is exposed to high heat...the gypsum, or fire rated drywall will begain to BAKE...it then releases the water vapor it has in it keeping the heat down.

    I am no expert, but I think the threshold fire degree rating is more than our camera equipment can take, plus it would be exposed to the water vapor from the fire rated drywall, to what extent I do not know. So for fire protection...even the best residential safes are not really meant to house cameras TO protect them from an extended hot fire. Theft protection for sure...fire protection...I doubt it.
     
  20. azarby

    azarby

    409
    Sep 17, 2006
    Phoenix, Az
    If you store any camera gear in the safe, make sure you have an electric safe drier or a large bag of desicant. Safes are notorious fro trapping moisture.

    Bob
     
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