Tips for buying a safe

Here’s how to find the perfect safe!

We want you to be able to go away with the ideal safe to suit your own specific needs and expectations, regardless of whether you are shopping for your home or place of work. With this in mind, we have put together a few tips for buying a safe to help you make your decision. You should take your time to find out everything you need to know before making your purchase. If there’s anything you’d still like to know about buying a safe, then our specialists will be happy to arrange a one-to-one consultation.

The lock
for your safe

  • Double-bit security lock
    Most safes are fitted with a double-bit security lock with two keys as standard. The advantage: There’s no code for you to remember and only the people with a key can open the safe, whereas people with a combination lock can never be sure whether their code has been passed on to third parties.
    The disadvantage: Both keys have to be kept somewhere safe so that unauthorised parties can’t gain access. Measuring up to 12 cm in length, double-bit keys can be tricky to carry around on your keyring.
  • Number combination lock
    Number combination locks are opened with a code of typically 4–8 digits in length.The advantage: There’s no key to worry about keeping safe, plus you can change the code at any time.

    A difference exists between mechanical and electronic number combination locks (ELOs), with the latter being significantly more straightforward to use.

    In the case of mechanical number combination locks, you have to align three numbered discs in the correct sequence and in the precise position. That said, this doesn’t require a battery.

    An electronic number combination lock uses a keypad and is as easy to use as a telephone. What’s more, it is usually possible to program codes for more than two users and even combine this with several keys to create a dual control system. This is particularly worth considering in the case of commercial safe use.
  • Biometric fingerprint locking system
    Our range of products also includes safes und gun safes with the first independent biometric fingerprint locking system with VdS certification. This allows the electronic high-security lock to be opened simply by placing a finger over an integrated finger scanner – an incredibly convenient technology to use. Another advantage: Not only is there no key to worry about keeping safe, but there’s no code to remember either.

The correct
safe size

  • Think about what you’d like to keep in your safe
    As well as important business documents such as balance sheets and contracts, you should also consider personal documents such as family records, passports, certificates, savings books, pension paperwork and car documentation, not to mention valuable jewellery and watches. Burglars also like to go after electronic devices such as laptops, cameras, hard drives and satnavs, as well as valuable collections of stamps and coins, so these, too, should really be stored securely in a safe.
  • Before buying a safe, remember that you’ll most likely end up adding more valuables and documents over time, so you should make sure the model you choose isn’t too small!

Resistance grades
and insurance cover

  • The resistance grade of a safe specifies how resistant the strongbox is against attempted burglaries. This is determined in elaborate and clearly defined tests carried out by neutral testing and certification bodies such as VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH. The resistance grade also plays a key role with regard to insurance cover for the safe contents.
  • Generally speaking, the higher the resistance grade of a safe, the greater insurance cover can be offered for its contents.. Just as you would when thinking about the size of your safe, you should also bear in mind when selecting a resistance grade that you may wish to add even more valuables over time.
  • In some sectors or certain areas of application, insurance companies stipulate specific insurance amounts that require a particular resistance grade. If this is the case, we recommend speaking to your insurers before purchasing your safe.
  • Do you need your safe to come complete with components for connecting it to a burglar alarm system? Using your safe in conjunction with a VdS-tested burglar alarm system increases – and typically doubles – the level of insurance cover.

The type
of safe

  • Do you need your safe to also offer fire protection in addition to anti-burglary protection?
    A burglar-proof and fireproof safe offers twice the protection, even for items of sentimental value such as old family photos and videos of the children, which would be of no interest to burglars yet could still be lost forever as a result of vandalism or fire.
  • Our range also includes a variety of safes for specific requirements and/or areas of application, such as special data media safes for the secure storage of electronic data carriers, gun safes for the legally compliant storage of long and short firearms, and drop-down safes in which your valuables can be easily deposited through a hatch or drawer without having to open the safe.

The safe
location

  • You should be sure to keep your safe away from extremely humid areas and direct sunlight, as both of these extremities can damage the material.
  • Generally speaking, a safe should not be immediately conspicuous. Particularly discreet models include wall safes or furniture safes, which are integrated into either the wall or else an existing cupboard or desk.
  • If, however, you would prefer a safe that’s designed to be seen  – such as a personalised, bespoke high-gloss safe or a bullet-proof glass display case – then we recommend fitting it with an electronic lock. This will let any would-be burglars know in an instant that there’s no point ransacking your drawers and cupboards trying to find the key.
  • In the case of heavy strongboxes, you should ensure that the structural design of the house is capable of accommodating this type of installation. You should also be sure to clarify how it will be transported in, which is why we have developed a transport questionnaire for you to complete.

The colour
of your safe

Our safes come in what we refer to as our standard colour, but if you have something else in mind then just let us know. Please bear in mind that not every safe is available in every colour, although if you’ve found the safe you’re looking for then feel free to ask whether it’s available in the colour you would like. To simplify the colour selection process, a RAL colour palette can be found on the “Safe colours” page.

  • Only buy safes that have been tested against burglary and fire by independent certification bodies such as  VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH or  ESSA e. V. and have the labels inside to prove it! This is because only safes that have been tested and certified in line with European standards can live up to their promises and ensure full insurance cover! The most important European standards for anti-burglary protection are EN 14450 (security cabinets) and EN 1143-1 (strongboxes). Details can be found on the ‘Security levels and resistance grades’ page.

Considerations when
purchasing a safe

  • This applies in particular to those with statutory requirements to consider, such as firearms owners. When it comes to the authorities, people falling into this category are obliged to provide evidence that their weapon storage complies with legal requirements!
  • Only buy your safe from a specialist dealer! It is impossible for someone with an inexperienced eye to assess the quality of a safe from the outside. Its “hidden values” that underline the true quality of safe – such as a multi-walled corpus or fillings made of steel or reinforced concrete – are impossible to see at first glance! If you’re interested in buying a second-hand safe, then don’t forget to check out our hints and tips.

To provide you with a quick overview, we have put together a list of the most essential safe types and their features.