DO YOU NEED A COMMERCIAL SAFE? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
If you have a commercial building, it’s vitally important that you protect your crucial documents, irreplaceable valuables, and critical data regarding your business. Generally, a prime-quality commercial safe is a very effective strategy for most businesses.
With so many different types of safes and safe locks, how can you possibly know what’s right for you? Before you buy, do your homework, and ask the right questions.
1. What’s the value of the items you’ll be storing in the safe?
Obviously, the value of the items you want to protect will affect the level of security you require.
The basic categories of safe classes will play a major role in your insurance coverage and any future insurance claims. According to the classification of the safe you choose, your insurance coverage increases. The class of a safe ~ from TL15 (approximately $150,000 of coverage) to TRTL60X6 (about $2 million or more of coverage) ~ is determined by:
- area testing (the level of how easy it is to get in the front door, or into all the sides);
- torch resistance (the level of resistance to a thief’s torch)
- tool resistance (the level of resistance to a thief’s carbide drills, hand tools, picking tools, and electric or mechanical tools); and
- time testing (how long it takes a safe cracker to break in).
A TL15 rating means the safe’s door can resist entry successfully for a net assault time of 15 minutes by a burglar with hand tools, picking tools, grinders, drills, mechanical or electric portable tools, or pressure devices. Most business owners prefer to have a safe that’s class TL30 or higher, which means a safe that’s time-tested to resist entry for at least 30 minutes or higher.
2. How big a safe do you want?
You could pile up everything you want to put into your safe, and measure it. The problem with that is, the safe you need is likely much larger than you think. Ask a professional about which items ought to be stored in your safe. Then you can mathematically figure out how much space you’ll need.
3. What kind of safe should you get?
- An office safe is common for restaurants and retail businesses. Either freestanding or bolted to the floor, it typically has a higher fire rating. This is a good safe that won’t be opened by dropping it repeatedly.
- A depository safe (also known as a drop safe), is also popular with restaurants and retailers. You can drop cash money, keys, receipts, and other small items, into this safe through a small door at the top, which doesn’t allow access to the main safe compartment. You can open the door only by putting in the correct code.
- A wall safe is very well concealed. You can easily hide it behind a picture frame. However, a wall safe isn’t your most secure choice, because it’s attached to the studs in the wall, which means it could be pried out by a professional criminal. Keep in mind that this safe’s only fire protection is limited to the sheetrock in the wall.
- An in-floor safe is hidden in concrete, adding an extra level of security. One disadvantage is that it gives you minimal fire protection, since there isn’t a fire board for dissipating the heat. If you have to protect any cash or papers, choose a burglar-fire safe, a free-standing composite-fire safe, or a high-security burglar-fire safe, which has a 1- to 2-hour fire rating. Anchor it with bolts into your concrete floor.
- A high-security safe will include numerous barriers that prevent drilling. There are additional locking mechanisms that will deploy if a crook tries to force open the safe. A maximum level of security costs a lot more, but depending on your circumstances ~ say, if you have a jewelry store, for example ~ then it’s certainly wise to keep the heart of your business well secured.
- A data or media safe is for protecting your business information effectively. It’s imperative to guard your electronic devices from theft and fire. Computer drives, disks, and all other digital media are sensitive to changes in temperature, so get a safe whose interior won't exceed 125 degrees Fahrenheit, or go over 85% humidity.
4. What sort of safe lock is best for you?
Safes have many different types of locks ~ combination dial, redundant, electronic, biometric, and so on.
5. Do you desire fire protection?
In addition to standard classifications for commercial safes, there are also formal fire ratings. No safe is completely fireproof; but there are many levels of fire resistance. Safes are tested and certified according to how much time they will be able to safeguard your valuables inside from fire. A fire rating of 1 hour or above is ideal. During a fire, safes rated to protect paper cannot get any hotter on the inside than 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
A safe that provides optimum fire protection along with significant theft protection will have the door and walls made of steel, housed in a layer of composite material that’s as solid as concrete. There has to be a fire seal on the door, which blocks out most moisture from getting inside the safe, minimizing rust and corrosion. If there’s a fire, the fire seal will expand, sealing out flames and smoke, and also keeping water out of the safe (since water could be sprayed on the safe to extinguish a fire).
Keep in mind that if you have a safe with a low-to-moderate level of fire resistance, it essentially won’t provide much theft protection. If you desire both theft protection and fire resistance, then you’ll need a premium-quality composite-fire safe, a burglar-fire safe, or a high-security TL-rated fire safe.
6. How do you finally choose the right safe?
There are many factors to consider before you purchase your commercial safe ~ more than what we’ve talked about here. Once you decide, where you decide to put your safe is also important. To avoid being scammed, do your research first, checking only with reputable sources. If you’re in Arlington Heights, Illinois, then you may want to hire a dependable mobile professional safe technician on staff at Locksmith Service Arlington Heights.