There are numerous options available when it comes to protecting household valuables such as jewelry, important documents or even cash. Of course a safe is one of the best options, the question is “What kind of safe?” The type of home safe you select will depend on exactly what you want to protect as well as how much space you will need. In this article we will look at in-floor safes. This design offers dual protection by not only being resistant to break-in as well as concealable. Thieves will have a harder time stealing your valuables if they cannot find them.
When selecting a free standing safe you will want to consider the following features:
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Obviously the purpose of any safe is to keep unauthorized users from gaining access so doing so well is a top priority. Select a model with all steel construction, continuous welds and heavy duty locking bolts as each of these features makes it harder to defeat. An added bonus is an extra heavy door, or one with a drill resistant plate, as drilling is a common method of defeating any safe. Finally, look for a safe which is heavy – the added weight may make installation more cumbersome but prevents thieves from moving the safe to another area where they will have more time to break-in.
When you have an in-floor safe there is a good possibility it will be exposed to moisture or even water. Whether this is the result of a broken pipe, firefighting efforts or simply natural moisture it is important the safe you select have the ability to protect the contents from this hazard. Even a solid steel model will need some means of defeating moisture.
One of the reasons people select a home safe, rather than a faraway safety deposit box, is accessibility. For some owners this means the benefit of accessing items on their schedule rather than that of the bank. Other owners wish to have items close at hand because they need frequent access. It is important to understand when and how often you will wish access and select a model that suits your needs in terms of ease of access including operating system, whether door opens fully or needs to be removed and whether or not the items stored can be easily reach from the floor above.
Unlike many other designs most in-floor safes are not rated for fire resistance, however, this should not be considered a reason to automatically discount an otherwise quality product. Because your safe will usually be embedded in the concrete floor there will be some degree of fire resistance provided by the surrounding construction. Plus, since fire tends to move in an upward direction most in-floor safes have little need for this feature.
So, now that we know what to look for let’s review some of the most popular models and see how they stack up.
AMSEC C7 In-floor Safe
AMSEC enjoys a well-deserved, positive reputation for providing quality safes of several designs and the C7 is no exception. This model has become a favorite among business owners due to its high level of security and versatility design – features which make it a perfect choose for your home security needs as well.
The C7 is constructed of 1 ¾” steel and comes equipped with three hardened steel locking bolts which the manufacturer claims are able to resist 25,000 lbs of pressure before shearing. The recessed door is also constructed of 1 ¾”steel, making it resistant to drilling, and sits securely within the frame offering no pry points. The round design offers additional protection as it offers zero corners or welds which can be attacked. At 55 lbs. installation is manageable but the unit will still be heavy enough to resist attempts to removal. It is operated via a mechanical dial combination which can be changed as needed. The dial can also be removed to prevent access even by authorized users when desired. With the door removed you will enjoy 7 ¼” unobstructed opening for easy removal of items. Additional features include waterproof dust cover and rattle resistant O-ring to prevent shifting when walked or driven on.
- Extremely burglar resistant.
- Round design means small foot print.
- Water, dust and fireproof.
- Small size prevents storage of large files.
- Not as heavy as similarly designed competitors.
Protex IF-1500C Floor Safe
Protex produces a wide range of in-floor safes all based upon the same basic design, the 1500C is their midsized option designed for general home or office use. The rectangular offers inside dimensions of 13 7/8” x 13 ½” x 7”; large enough to store a variety of household items including unfolded documents or files. The lift out door provides clear, easy access to contents and the entire 0.70 cubic feet of interior.
Constructed entirely of ½” A36 steel with five ¾” chrome plates locking bolts, full length dead bolt and LaGard group II combination lock the 1500C offers the burglar resistance you need. By adding a bottom plate complete with a ½” lip on all four sides the safe is extremely resistant to removal when sealed in concrete. Although the safe is impact resistant it is not fireproof, although it does gain some fire resistance from surrounding concrete. The full welds do offer some protection from water, however, it is suggested users couple the safe with an interior waterproof bag for extra protection. When the included dust cover is used the safe sits flush with the floor and can be easily covered by a small carpet or piece of furniture.
- Large enough to store documents or books.
- Mechanical combination lock requires no power supply.
- Bottom plate lip prevents safe from being lifted out.
- Must be installed in concrete for maximum protection.
- Waterproof not included.
Hayman Polyethylene FS4000B Floor Safe
This safe is very unique in both design and security features. First and foremost is the patented 100% polyethylene body with multiple molded fins and serrations. Not only does this provide guaranteed protection against fire rust and leaks it also increases protection against the safe being removed. Because of the odd shape and many protrusions, around which concrete will dry, would be thieves face a major excavation before this safe will come loose.
A ¼” collar is bolted to the body using specially hardened bolts and the ½” door frame is attached to the collar with a full weld on all sides. Each unit comes standard with a ½” B-rated door, although you may upgrade to a full 1” C-rated version at any time as all 4000 model doors are interchangeable. The hinge side of the door is equipped with a solid steel anti-pry bar for added protection. When it comes time to access you safe you will find the standard UL Group II dial combination lock easy to use and nearly fail proof with no dependency on any power source. Of course, should you desire a faster, more modern digital lock that is an available option. Both versions are equipped with drill resistant door plate as well. The door is also equipped with a patented spring assist for ease of removal and to prevent slamming shut.
- Lifetime warranty against fire or seepage.
- Interior shelves for easy storage of small items.
- Almost impossible to lift out once installed in concrete.
- Door and lock can be upgraded at any time.
- Much large footprint makes installation in existing floor more difficult, not DIY project.
- Customers have complained the combination instructions have been difficult to understand.
Hollon B2500 safe offers a nice combination of security and ease of use in a basic design. The rectangular body has inside dimensions of 19 ½” x 10 9/10” x 11 3/10” , large enough to house a wide variety of valuables including firearms, cash, documents and even full size file folders or books. The door is constructed ½” thick solid steel and equipped with full length dead bar, spring loaded relocking device and 5 chrome plated steel locking bolts. A drill resistant hardplate protects against the most common type of attack. The entire safe is powder coated for durability, as is the included dust cover. Once the dust cover is installed the safe sits flush for easy concealment.
The UL Group 2 lock is operated by an old fashion, but highly dependable, mechanical dial combination. This time tested system will provide years of dependable service and require no power supply, perfect for when the power goes out.
- Can be installed in concrete of wood floors (concrete frame needed).
- Large, unobstructed interior.
- No power supply needed.
- Very solid construction.
- Not waterproof, it is recommended you pair with dry bags.
- Not rated for fire protection of electronics.