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Home Safes Buying Guide

Home Safes – A Buyer’s Guide

Home safes have seen a considerable increase in popularity over the past couple of years, mainly for the peace of mind and security they offer. So whether you need to store keepsakes, jewellery and over valuables or cash, home safes are the ideal solution.

Purchasing a safe for your home or office is an important decision. It's not something you'll do every day, so you must ensure the safe you choose has all the features you need and want.

Keep reading this guide to learn all the essential aspects of purchasing a home safe, so you can make a correct and informed decision about which option is best for you.

Home Safe

What value are the contents?

The first thing you need to consider when buying a home safe is what it will contain. This is important as you will want your insurance to approve the safe in which you keep your valuables.

If you do not have insurance, choosing the correct security safe for your items is still a sensible idea. This is recommended not only for safety reasons but in case you decide to take out insurance in the future.

  • Standard Security – This security level is the most basic but effective at discouraging theft. Our Mini High-Security Key Locking Security Safe is an ideal option at this security level with a double-walled construction rated for £4,000 in overnight cash or £40,000 in valuables.
  • High Security – This level is the most popular as most are insurance approved by the Association of Insurance Surveyors (AIS). Take a look at our Euro Grade 1 High-Security AIS-Approved Safe that has a £10,000 cash rating (x10 for valuables) and features three-way high-grade steel locking bolts.
  • Maximum Security – Ideal for those with very valuable items or a large amount of cash they need to store securely. For the ultimate security and maximum peace of mind, our Euro Grade 2 High-Security AIS-Approved Safe has a £17,500 cash rating (x10 for valuables). It also has a 106mm double-wall door construction (with anti-drill plates and re-locker protection) and is fitted with a high-security VdS lock.

Please note: each insurer will have a different insurance value. When choosing your safe, ensure it has an insurance value above the value of the items you want to store. Always check with your insurers to approve the safe and the contents you want to keep inside.

Home Safe

Is the safe for security or fire protection?

Although many people buy home safes for security reasons, protecting valuables from fire damage is also important. Many safes are designed with fire protection in mind, but unless they have been tested in a furnace, you cannot rely on them to withstand a fire emergency.

If your main reason for a home safe is fire protection, then you may be better off buying a fire-resistant cabinet instead.

What size safe do I need?

It is important to remember that most safes have a very thick wall and door construction. That is why when deciding the right size for your valuables; you should keep the internal volume of the safe in mind.

Consider the size of the contents you need to store and purchase a safe large enough to fit these contents. If you buy a safe that is too small, you risk your valuables not fitting inside comfortably or out-growing it in the future.

Home Safe

Which type of lock mechanism should I choose?

This decision comes down to personal choice. There are two main types of locking mechanisms, each with its benefits. Most locks are certified VdS-class locks, and all key, electronic and combination versions will offer the same security.

  • Key Locking – This mechanism is more traditional, but it does mean that you will need to carry around or safely store a large key. Although there are no codes to remember or batteries to change, there is the risk of potentially misplacing the key.
  • Electronic Locking – This mechanism is easy to use; just set your code, which can be changed at any time. However, some batteries need to be changed around every year. Fresh batteries extend the life of electronic locking mechanisms.

Older safes may have a dial combination locking mechanism. Although they look good, they are very fiddly to use and have fallen out of fashion, replaced mainly with electronic locking systems.

Where should I locate my safe?

The most important factor when choosing where to position your safe is ease to access. Keeping your safe out of sight and reach, such as in lofts and garages, makes it difficult to get to them to add or remove valuables.

Home Safe

Choose a secure yet easily accessible location to keep your safe, such as on the floor under your desk or mounted to a wall. If you want to conceal your safe, you could store it behind a bookshelf but note that you may need to move a few books each time you need to access it.

Fixing the safe

Most safes are designed to be anchored and have bolt-fixing holes in the bottom and the back. They also come supplied with a fixing kit, and its use is highly recommended. If your safe is not fixed or bolted down correctly, chances are it will not be covered by insurance either.

Final words

We hope you have found this guide to be of use in helping you decide which home safe is best for you. You can browse our range of home safes on our website.

If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and knowledgeable team, who would be more than happy to help.

See our full range of Safety and Security Products or our Security Equipment for more crime-fighting products.


Richard O'Connor's Headshot

Richard O'Connor is a Director at First Mats. He has deep knowledge in areas like Manufacturing, Warehousing, Marine, and Health & Safety. Richard's insights have been featured in well-known publications such as Bloomberg Business, The Sun, and Reader's Digest. His blend of industry expertise and passion for sharing makes him a sought-after voice in his fields.

Contact Richard