- Home Improvement
House safes, which safe is best, home security
Many homes now have a safe, hidden somewhere within their house, either behind a picture, inside a closet or in some other inconspicuous place. Which house safe, is actually safe? What type of safe, is the best for your needs? Safes are a secure place for hiding small items and money within a typical home, but really, are they that secure? and how easy are the hidden safes to spot and break into? I have been speaking to an ex con, who was also a safe cracker, he trained himself in the art of safe cracking over a small period of time, who else is best qualified to advise on the security of safes?
With the constant rise is house burglaries around the world, more and more people are having home safes installed inside their house. These little metal boxes are for the safe keeping of deeds, other important paper work, money, jewelry, the list can be endless, we have them installed and rely on them to keep our possessions safe in case of burglary. "Mr X", an ex-con, is here to help you make a choice for your own safe.
Types of Safes
The two main types of house safes are the ones which open with a key, and the type which need a code to be entered into a control pad to open it, although most of these electronic safes also have an option of using a key in case you forget the code.Some of the smaller safes, either key or electronic, can just be pulled away from a wall, because they are only bolted in by four bolts, which it only takes a few seconds to rip these out and take them away if necessary in a thief's arms, they are not very heavy as the metal is very thin. These are the types of safes that you would find in a holiday home or cheap hotels. These safes really are only for show and little peace of mind, they do not deter any thief at all.
Quite a lot of thieves have also had some lock picking experience, so a cheap safe with a flimsy lock can be picked within ten seconds. Usually, but not all the time, the more expensive the safe, the better the locking mechanism is and the thicker the steel casing will be. If you have a good safe and the thief cannot open it, the next thing he would try to do is to rip it away from the wall. Bear in mind that this is a professional thief, an amateur thief or an opportunisticthief would normally not have a clue on how to pick the lock, if he could find it in the first place, and would probably opt for the DVD player instead. A professional thief would know his safes, and how they are fixed into position, how thick the steel is and how to get through locks. Only if the professional thief knows you have a high quality safe, and can guess what is inside it, will he bring the tools needed to open it on site. So if you have a good quality safe at home, and it has been opened, the chances are that you have been watched for a while or have been talking to someone about what you keep in your safe.
When you do have a safe installed, get the type which has to be concreted in, these safes have iron bars protruding from all sides , and they have to be concreted in, making it virtually impossible for a thief to wrench it out by himself this applies to either key operated or digitally operated safes. Never just ask a bloke to install a safe for you, even a friend of a friend, employ a reputable company that you have no connection with, and if the safe is digital, change the code that same day, never take any chances. With key safes, many times MR X, found the key to safes in a drawer, hanging in a key rack, or on a bunch of keys, these are the obvious places, do not leave a key in the house if possible, unless it is so concealed, that Sherlock Holmes could not find it. Keep a key with you, but not on you usual bunch of house or car keys. With the digital code system, do not write the code down, not even hidden within a phone number in your diary, phone book or mobile phone, they know the tricks, don't use dates which are relevant to your family or even the dogs birthday, have something unique and change the code monthly, just in case. It is a safe, it is meant to do a job, it can only do it's job if you help, you have to make it as difficult as possible for any would be thief.
Floor safes are quite good, although smaller in size, as they are easier to hide and an average thief would not know what signs to look for, in trying to find a floor safe. Positioning of your safe is very important, as this really is your first line of defence. If you have a picture on a wall or a mirror or other hanging objects, a thief will look behind them to see if a safe is there, you need to be more inventive with where you hide your safe. A false chimney breast is excellent, but you have to build the whole chimney breast wall up and finish it to look like the rest of the walls, you hang a picture or mirror on it as usual. But if a thief does get into your house and moves the picture, he will see nothing, because, the chimney breast wall would be the door to where the safe is kepi, it is in fact a false wall, no keys or locks or giveaway signs, just a simple push button catch to open the wall, excellent idea. For floor safes, if you are not planning to use it daily, have it hidden under a table or armchair, because if it is plain view, there maybe some slight irregularities between the floor around it, and the rest of the floor, which is a dead giveaway.
If you have a safe, or are planning to have a safe fitted, your first line of defence is your home burglar alarm, this is the first deterrent, but if a thief is determined enough to get in, he will, no matter what you can do. The best place for valuables is in a bank vault or a safety deposit box, not under your mattress.