For the First Time Safe Buyer
Have you been looking at safes and found one for $799 and another for $2299 and don’t know why there is such a difference? What makes up the price of the safes? There are four main things that make up the price of a safe. Let’s walk through them.
Number One – The first item is very simple and very easy to see. The larger the safe the more it will cost. Logical and very straight forward.
Number Two - The second item is steel thickness. The more steel you have in the safe the more it will cost. Again, very simple but harder to see when just looking at a safe.
Number Three – The third thing is in the Fire Protection. The better the safe is insulated for fire the more the safe will cost. This is a category that is harder to understand. There is not an industry standard when it comes to fire testing so each company is left to their own merits. Some companies have fire ratings that are designed simply to confuse you by using measurements that sound impressive but have nothing to do with what is really going on with the inside of the safe. Paper is the first thing that is going to be affected in a fire and so the time and temperature is critical for the inside of the safe. An average house fire will be around 1100 degrees and the average home will be fully engulfed within about 40 minutes (if it is unchecked by the fire department).
Number Four – This category is one that I have termed the cosmetics of the safe. It is the catch all of the categories but one that plays an important roll when it comes to the price of the safe. A high gloss finish will cost more than that of a textured style of finish. Other items like lights, electronic locks, door holsters, dehumidifiers, warranties and other items will all add to the price of the safe. Some companies like Fort Knox go way beyond that of the other safes in the industry by letting you add multiple layers of steel in the safe, the Reinforced Fire Door and many other options.
Know What You Are Buying
Composite Door vs. Reinforced Fire Doors
In the safe industry there has been a huge push to build what is called a composite door. Composite doors are formed by bending and forming thinner steel around a single piece of fire board. In order to get the sharp bends you have to use thinner steel material. This is the point where each manufacture that uses composite doors goes their own way. Some only use one sheet of steel with no second layer to support the door; they are counting on the strength in the bends of the doors to keep attackers out. The most telling part of the composite door system is that the manufactures will not tell you how the door is manufactured. This is why it is so important to know what you are buying.
Fort Knox uses a Reinforced Fire Door. A reinforced fire door takes a heavy plate of steel from top to bottom and side to side in the door. Then we add the fire board and then a formed jacket of more steel. In our safes with the Reinforced Fire Doors we start heavy and get heavier. We take the strength in the heavy plate of steel and add to it the strength in the bends of the door jacket. Strength and security; what a great idea when protecting valuables!
When you are looking at safes, make sure that you know what you are truly getting. Look for a company that will put in print how the safe is made, not just describing it with colorful adjectives. Words won’t do the job of raw steel. When the time comes that you need your safe to perform do you really want to wonder; or would you rather be sure with a Reinforced Fire Door?
So as you see that safe for $799 ask yourself, what is really missing? Are you missing steel? Fire? Warranty? There is always a reason why something is cheap! Don’t be one of the guys that are thinking you have a “safe” when in reality you have spent $799 for a locker. Check out the video on youtube under “Security on Sale” to see how the cheap safes perform. Remember mom always said ”you will get what you pay for.”
The Process of Building a Safe
When you look at safes, the company and the processes that they use affect how you buy the safe. Most of the companies on the marketing today do one of two things; either they import (bring it in from China or Mexico) or they make it on an assembly line. When you build safes like this you can only offer safes a certain way. If the safes are imported you can’t change the door swing, paint color, handle color or anything so you have to buy it that way and that way only.
Do you buy a car that way? Do you have choices of leather interiors, ac, power door locks or is it just take it or leave it option? Fort Knox gives you the options. You have options all the way through. Do you want more steel? How about color of interior, handle or other options? A safe, if done right, should be a once in a lifetime purchase. Why have your hands tied?
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