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It’s vital that you protect whatever you have in your commercial building - the important documents, the irreplaceable valuables, and, of course, all the crucial data regarding your business. For a growing number of businesses, a premium-quality commercial safe is an ideal way to provide the proper safeguards you require.

When you begin shopping for a safe, you’ll find out that there are a lot of styles and types of safes. How do you possibly decide what’s best for you? Before you buy, do your research. Ask the following questions:

1.      What’s the approximate value of what you’ll be storing in your safe?

The value of your items will influence the security level you need. There are standard categories of safe classes, which play a large role in your insurance coverage, affecting any future insurance claims. The classification of the safe you purchase increases your insurance coverage. The safe’s class - from TL15 (about $150,000 in coverage) to TRTL60X6 (coverage of approximately $2 million or more) - is established by:

  • area testing (how easy it is to break into the sides, or into the front door);
  • torch resistance (the level of resistance to a torch);
  • time testing (how long it will be for a safecracker to break in); and
  • tool resistance (the level of resistance to carbide drills, hand tools, picking tools, and mechanical or electric tools).

A TL15 rating means that the safe’s door can resist entry for a net assault time of a total of 15 minutes, with hand tools, drills, grinders, picking tools, mechanical or electric tools, or pressure devices. Business owners often prefer a class TL30 or higher, which means that the safe is time-tested to resist criminal entry for a minimum of 30 minutes.

2.      What sort of safe are you looking for?

  • A depository safe (also called a drop safe), is popular with restaurant owners and retailers. You can drop receipts, cash, keys, and other smaller items into the safe through a little door on the top, which doesn’t permit access to the main safe compartment. You get the door open by entering your specific code.
  • An office safe is another safe that’s commonly used by restaurants and retail businesses. Freestanding, or bolted to the floor, its fire rating is usually higher. This safe can’t be opened even if it’s dropped repeatedly.
  • A wall safe is extremely well concealed, because you can hide it behind a picture frame. Nevertheless, a wall safe actually isn’t your most secure choice, because it’s attached to the wall studs, which means it can be pried out by an experienced thief. Also, this safe’s only fire protection is limited to the sheetrock in the wall.
  • An in-floor safe is concealed in concrete, providing outstanding security. One drawback is that it gives you minimal fire protection, since it doesn’t have a fire board for dispersing heat. If you have to guard critical documents or cash, choose a burglar-fire safe, a freestanding composite-fire safe, or a prime-security burglar-fire safe, which has a 1- to 2-hour fire rating. Anchor it correctly, using bolts in your concrete floor.
  • A media or data safe is for preserving your business information. It’s essential to shield your electronic devices from theft and fire. Computer disks, drives, and all other digital media are sensitive to variations in temperature, so decide upon a safe whose interior won’t go above 125 degrees Fahrenheit, nor exceed 85% humidity.
  • A high-security safe includes a good number of barriers to thwart drilling. Additional locking mechanisms will deploy if someone attempts to force your safe open. A maximum-security level costs significantly more, but depending on your situation - if you own a jewelry store, for instance - then it’s wise to keep the heart of your business very well secured.

3.      How big does your safe have to be?

Maybe you could pile up all the items you want to put in the safe, and measure it. But the problem with that strategy is, the safe you’ll need is probably much larger than what you first thought. Ask an expert what you ought to keep in your safe. Then, mathematically calculate the amount of space required.

4.      Which type of safe lock fits your requirements?

There are many different kinds of safe locks, including the combination dial, redundant, electronic, and biometric.

5.      Do you want fire protection?

In addition to the standard classifications of commercial safes, you also need to consider the formal fire ratings. No safe is completely fireproof; but safes do have various levels of fire resistance. They’re tested and certified according to how long they’re able to protect valuables inside from destruction by fire. A fire rating of one hour or higher is ideal. During a fire, safes rated to protect any papers stored inside cannot grow any hotter than 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

A safe that provides exceptional fire protection along with major theft protection, will have a door made of steel and steel walls, encased in a layer of composite material that’s as solid as concrete. There must be a fire seal on the door, to block out most moisture from seeping inside the safe, to minimize corrosion and rust. If a fire occurs, the fire seal will expand, sealing out smoke and flames, and also stopping water from coming inside the safe (since water is likely to be sprayed by a firefighter onto the safe).

If you buy a safe with a low-to-moderate fire resistance level, believe it or not, it actually allows for minimal theft protection.If you desire both fire resistance and theft protection, then get a burglar-fire safe, a superior-quality composite-fire safe, or a top-security TL-rated fire safe.

6.      Finally, how do you choose just the right safe for you?

There are a great number of points to look at before you purchase your commercial safe - many more than what’s discussed above. Where you decide to place your safe is of central importance, also. So that you won’t get scammed, do your homework, gathering your information only from trustworthy sources. If you’re in Buckhead, Georgia, hire a staff professional safe technician of a reputable company such as Locksmith Buckhead.