How to choose your safe?

Safes 22/12/2022

Do you have valuables that you want to keep safe? In this case, the best way to protect your belongings is to buy a safe. Only this equipment guarantees a high enough level of protection and security for your belongings. Still how do you select the right model? To help you, here are the criteria to consider in order to find the safe that best meets your needs and your budget.

Determine safe capacity

The first thing to do is to determine the required capacity for the safe you need to store your property. You should therefore estimate the overall volume of all intended items, allowing for a margin of about 20% to accommodate further items at a later date.

Small safes

If you want to protect property with an overall volume of less than 40 litres, small free-standing safes are very adequate. They are easy to conceal and can be transported if necessary. With a storage capacity starting at 10 litres, they offer an ideal solution for protecting jewellery, chequebooks, diplomas or passports.

Medium-size safes

If you are considering a rather larger volume, then a medium-sized safe with a storage capacity of between 40 and 120 litres is the right choice. This type of safe is suitable for storing important documents in standard A4 format, small computer equipment, digital media or any other valuable item of limited size.

Large safes

Large safes offer much more capacity as well as higher levels of security. The largest models have a capacity of up to 1,500 litres. Moreover, as they can be built into a wall, they can easily be concealed behind a picture, piece of furniture or any other decorative object.

Security cabinets

Finally, for storing large volumes (> 120 litres) of objects or documents, such as archives, guns or works of art, security cabinets offer an ideal solution. Mainly intended for professional use, they can nevertheless be installed in private homes. These cabinets have a storage capacity ranging from 50 litres to 1,500 litres for the largest models.

Determine the adequate level of security

Not all safes provide the same level of security. Security criteria to be considered obviously include burglary resistance but also the ability to detect shocks and break-in attempts—as well as resistance to fire.

Safes with a key, code or mechanical combination lock often prove more economical than identical versions with electronic locks—which naturally entail a higher price.

Furthermore, A2P certification of locks guarantees stringent testing and performance in accordance European standards.

Certification as per EN 1047-1 guarantees fire resistance at temperatures of up to 1,000°C.

Certification as per EN 1143-1 guarantees burglary resistance in accordance with a range of seven security grades—each corresponding to specific insurance ratings and thus allowing you to determine what is most suitable for the contents you wish to protect.

Although this information does not guarantee acceptance from your insurers, it offers a reliable scale to assess the most suitable certification grade in accordance with the contents you wish to protect.

Determine the adequate locking system

  • Traditional safes have a key lock without a combination. They can be opened and closed simply with a key. This is a very simple system to use, ideal for daily use and frequent openings. In addition, key locks prove more robust over time and require little
  • Mechanical combination locks are opened by means of a combination and a key. Such locks rely on a single dial (one rotating disc) or a multiple number of dials (several rotating discs). This system is less practical to use on a daily basis since it takes longer to open, but it has long been the most popular choice.
  • More contemporary electronically locks require a secret code with numbers to open the safe. This code system is battery-operated and can be reprogrammed ad infinitum; it can also be used to manage user profiles in order to record who had access to the safe and at what
  • Safes with combined key and electronic locks use both a secret code and a key to unlock the mechanism and open the door. This dual control system combines the best of both

Determine the adequate type of anchoring

In a built-in safe, the door is the only reinforced element, while the safe itself is sealed into a wall. On a free-standing safe, all six sides offer the same level of resistance.

Anchoring for a free-standing safe

Free-standing safes have specific anchoring holes on their bottom and back walls. Robust anchoring bolts ensure that your safe and its support surface – wall or floor – remain tightly connected. Installation is to be carried out by a specialist technician who will adapt the anchoring method to the nature of your wall or floor.

Anchoring for a built-in safe

For a higher level of security, you can opt for a built-in safe, i.e. flush-mounted and fully sealed into a wall. This type of installation can only be carried out by professionals and Fichet-Bauche technicians will protect both your masonry environment and the product itself to prevent any damage during works.

As you can see, there are multiple criteria that need to be taken into account to find the model that suits you best. Budget-wise, it goes without saying that the greater the storage capacity and the higher the level of security, the higher the price. Fichet-Bauche specialists are available to advise you and help you make the best possible choice.