I need a Safe

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by physics-fan3.14, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes?

    Tell me what I need to know (or, what you've used, or your experiences).

    I understand there are some serious security concerns regarding what safe you use or experiences you've had, so if you want to send me a PM instead of responding publicly I'll appreciate that.

    Questions:

    Size?
    Rating?
    - fire?
    - thieves?
    Price?
    Brand?
    Service?
    Insurance?
    Installation?
    Other considerations?
     
    Inspector43 likes this.
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  3. potty dollar 1878

    potty dollar 1878 Well-Known Member

    I just use a medium sized fire/water proof sentrysafe $50 and keep it under my bed im not worried about getting robbed there are at least 3 cops on my street.
     
  4. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    We raised Mastiffs, 4 of them in the room is a safe with teeth
     
  5. yakpoo

    yakpoo Member

    Like my retired Fire Chief cousin told me once..."Whatever you do, never keep a safe in your attic!".
     
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  6. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    The king of Polynesia stored his thrown in the attic of his grass hut. The throne fell trough and killed him. Moral is, “People who live in grass houses shouldn’t stow thrones”
     
  7. MIGuy

    MIGuy Supporter! Supporter

    I bought a four drawer nondescript fire proof filing cabinet on craigslist, maybe a Fire King? They retail for about $1700, but used (without a working lock) I got it for $100 (if memory serves) I bargained them down a bit. The problem was after they helped us load it out of their building into my SUV, when we got home, I wanted to put it in the basement in an obscure area with some old office furniture, but we (my son and me) couldn't move it - it weighs over 500lbs so I had to hire a moving company for an hour to get it where I wanted it - that cost another $150. I then installed a rail locking bar system I bought on Amazon that has 2 padlock points (about $40, plus $40 for padlocks). Unless you went around and saw the locks you wouldn't think there could be anything of value in it - if you walked by it and the chairs stacked next to it, you wouldn't think twice. I like the camouflage aspect. I have another regular small filing cabinet on wheels that I keep my active collection in, in my office. The fireproof cabinet is for all the stuff that I am not currently interested in / working with. We also have dogs, my main concern is fire, not really worried about anyone trying to steal it. The locks make it a pain in the ass if anyone wants to get in there, they'd need a hacksaw or something and some time.
     
  8. Inspector43

    Inspector43 72 Year Collector Supporter

    You can't protect everything. I have too much stuff. Drive through my neighborhood any time night or day and you will hear either myself or several of my neighbors practicing with their firearms. Security, not a big deal. Fire and wind, could be. I have a heavy duty, fire resistant, 7 drawer cabinet my wife bought from a large store when it was closing.
     
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  9. Danomite

    Danomite What do you say uh-huh Supporter

    I have several safes. All I can tell you is to get one with a good fire rating (45 min+) at a minimum. Also, what ever size you think you may need, double that! I personally don’t like the electronic key pads because of batteries and that’s the first thing that melts in a fire. There is also the problem of wrong codes being used and locking you out. Remember, the cost could be a factor but think about what you are trying to protect. The best brand I have is Liberty.
     
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  10. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

    Anyone with a "fireproof" or "Fire resistance " safe should research how the safe does this. Some safes use a chemical that releases vapor/steam if the temperature hits 350 as it is designed for Paper and not damage done to metal such as coins.
    Jim
     
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  11. yakpoo

    yakpoo Member

    Just keep your coins under your bed. No one ever looks there. ;)
     
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  12. Inspector43

    Inspector43 72 Year Collector Supporter

    Except your wife and grandchildren.
     
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  13. Rose collector

    Rose collector Twenty one cent dime.

    A fake wall . Or extra section in a closet.out of site you can put any safe.
     
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  14. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    My safe is a 450 pound Class B (2-hour fire proof).
    My insurance is with Hugh Wood.

    But the good stuff is kept in two bank safe deposit boxes.
     
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  15. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    My only advice is to bolt whatever safe you purchase to the floor. I have three safes and two are bolted to the floor. Still yet, like @kanga the good stuff goes to the bank box.
     
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  16. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

  17. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    I have this but there is also a tool rating. I'll try to find it.
    Fire Ratings
    * FR — Fire resistant unrated insulated safe
    * 1/2 hr — UL class 350. Protects valuables for up to 30 minutes with outside temperature of 1550 degrees.
    * 1 hr — UL class 350. Protects valuables for up to 1 hour with outside temperature of 1700 degrees.
    * 1 hr+ — UL class 350. Protects valuables for up to 1 hour with an outside temperature of 1700 degrees, plus survived drop test from 30 feet.
    * 2 hr — UL class 350. Protects valuables for up to 2 hours with an outside temperature of 1850 degrees.
    * 2 hr+ — UL class 350. Protects valuables for up to 2 hours with outside temperature of 1850 degrees, plus survived drop test onto rubble from 30 feet
    UL Underwriters' Laboratories (UL) - UL is a non-profit, non-bias agency that tests and rates the safety and performance of consumer products. Safes that have earned specific UL ratings will carry a UL label which designates the product's security and fire-protection ratings.
     
  18. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    Safe Ratings

    Burglary Ratings

    * B1 — Theft resistant (minimum security)
    * B2 — Underwriters’ Laboratories Residential Security Container label
    * B3 — Non-rated anti-theft (incorporates features of high security safes
    without a UL rating)
    * B4 — Underwriters’ Laboratories TL-15 label
    * B5 — Underwriters’ Laboratories TL-30 label
    * B6 — Underwriters’ Laboratories TL-30X6 or TRTL-30 label

    Fire Ratings

    * FR — Fire resistant unrated insulated safe
    * 1/2 hr — UL class 350. Protects valuables for up to 30 minutes with outside temperature of 1550 degrees.
    * 1 hr — UL class 350. Protects valuables for up to 1 hour with outside temperature of 1700 degrees.
    * 1 hr+ — UL class 350. Protects valuables for up to 1 hour with an outside temperature of 1700 degrees, plus survived drop test from 30 feet.
    * 2 hr — UL class 350. Protects valuables for up to 2 hours with an outside temperature of 1850 degrees.
    * 2 hr+ — UL class 350. Protects valuables for up to 2 hours with outside temperature of 1850 degrees, plus survived drop test onto rubble from 30 feet

    UL Underwriters' Laboratories (UL) - UL is a non-profit, non-bias agency that tests and rates the safety and performance of consumer products. Safes that have earned specific UL ratings will carry a UL label which designates the product's security and fire-protection ratings.

    * Net Working Time - This is the UL term for testing time which is spent trying to break into a safe using tools such as diamond grinding wheels, high-speed drills with pressure applying devices, or common hand tools such as hammers, chisels, saws, and carbide-tip drills. If a safe has been rated with a 30-minute net working time, (TL30), the rating certifies that the safe successfully withstood a full 30 minutes of attack time with a range of tools.
    * Theft resistant - This rating means the safe provides a combination lock and minimal theft protection.
    * Residential Security Container rating (RSC) - This UL rating is based on testing conducted for a net working time of five minutes, on all sides, with a range of tools.
    * TL-15 rating - The TL-15 rating means the safe has been tested for a net working time of 15 minutes using high speed drills, saws and other sophisticated penetrating equipment.
    * TL-30 rating - A product carrying the TL-30 security label has been tested for a net working time of 30 minutes with the same types of tools mentioned above.
    * TL-30 x 6 - The TL-30 (30-minute) test is conducted on all six (6) sides of the safe.
    * TRTL-30 - The TRTL rating designates a safe which successfully resisted 30 minutes of net working time with a torch and a range of tools which might include high speed drills and saws with carbide bits, pry bars, and other impact devices.

    Fire Ratings

    * Impact test - The UL impact test calls for the safe to be heated to 1550 degrees for 30 minutes (1638 degrees for a 2-hour fire rated safe) then dropped onto concrete rubble from a height of 30 feet. The safe is then turned upside down and reheated for another 30 minutes (45 minutes for a 2-hour fire rated safe). During this process, it must maintain its integrity and protect all contents in order to pass the UL impact test.
    * Explosion hazard test - All UL fire-rated safes must undergo this test, during which the unit is inserted into a pre-heated 2000 degree oven. If the safe is not constructed properly, the rapid heating will likely cause an explosion.
    * FR - Fire resistant, unrated insulated safe - This product is awaiting UL approval.
    * Class 350 1/2-hour fire rating - During this test, the safe is heated for one-half hour to reach an exterior temperature of 1550 degrees. Because paper will begin to char at approximately 400 degrees, the unit being tested must maintain an interior temperature of less than 350 degrees during heat-up and cool-down testing in order to earn its rating.
    * Class 350 1-hour fire rating - To earn this rating, the safe is heated for one hour to reach an exterior temperature of 1550 degrees, then put through the cool-down test. During this time the safe must maintain an interior temperature of less than 350 degrees.
    * Cool-down test - This procedure is a key part of UL's fire testing procedures. After a one- or two-hour fire rating test, the safe is left in the oven for cool-down time with the heat turned off. Because of the intensive heat of one- and two-hour tests, the temperature inside the safe will continue to rise for up to one hour after the oven is turned off. To pass UL testing, the safe's interior temperature may not exceed 350 degrees at any time during heat-up or cool-down procedures.
    * Class 350 1-hour fire & impact label - The safe has passed both UL impact testing and Class 350 1-hour fire testing (see above).
    * Class 350 2-hour fire rating - The safe is heated for two hours to reach an exterior temperature of 1550 degrees and must maintain an interior temperature of less than 350 degrees to earn this rating. Class 350 2-hour rating and impact label - The safe has passed both UL impact testing and Class 350 2-hour fire testing (see above).



    1. Test attack against the door and front face:
    1. Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TL-15
    2. Tool-Resistant Safe - Deposit Safe
    3. Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TL-30
    4. Torch- and Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TRTL-30

    2. Test attack against the door and body:
    1. Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TL-15X6
    2. Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TL-30X6
    3. Torch- and Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TRTL-15X6
    4. Torch- and Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TRTL-30X6
    5. Torch- and Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TRTL-60X6
    6. Torch-, Explosive-, and Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TXTL-60X6


    There was an news article recently in CoinWorld about a burglary and how a collector/dealer’s safe was “smashed”. The manufacturer of the safe was listed and I was not at all surprised that the thieves demolished the safe. The manufacturer given is a major supplier of gun safes, not security safes.

    Gun safes are usually made with a body of SHEET metal (steel), 12 gauge, 14 gauge, etc. and a steel plate (usually 1/4 in or less) for the door. Security safes employ steel PLATE, ¼”, ½”, 1” or greater and often have additional composite material to provide defense against various attacks (drill, torch, peel, etc). Security safes are rated on a letter scale, B, C, D, ... with B being a general catch all for 1/4” body and 1/2” steel door. There is also an Underwriter’s Laboratory rating (UL) such ad TL-15, TL30, and so on. The “15”, “30” , etc. on are measures of a the MINIMUM time it takes a professional to break in, the UL personnel that conduct the tests are pros.

    Gun safes usually look pretty and have lots of thick locking bolts that give a false sense of security. Steel sheet metal is easy to break into, the local kid with an axe, crowbar and other tools can get in in no time. That thick fire resistant material between the sheet metal is just that, thick material to provide fire protection, NOT buglary protection.

    One half inch or more of hardened steel with a drill resistance hardplate protecting the lock, glass or other relocking devices, drill resistant pellets and fibers between the lawyers of PLATE, and so on will discourage all but the most professional burglars. Time is the key to a good safe, not lots of locking bars.

    The best jewelry safes may have a industrial diamond impregnated hardplate, slabs of copper to thwart torch attacks, multiple randomly placed relockers, and even layers (safe within a safe).

    I would never store coins in a gunsafe and never buy one of those nice looking safes for sale at coin shows, A fairly “safe” safe is going to cost about $1000 for a good TL-15 safe (500 lbs or more).

    Safest place for coins – a safe deposit box in one of those 50 year old bank vault safes that were build to withstand a nuclear attack.
     
  19. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Check out American Security - https://www.amsecusa.com/ - they make some very good ones. And quality aint cheap. And yes I own one.

    Now you can find out a lot online, but do yourself a favor and go to a dealer's shop. Talk to the guy, ask all your questions that came up during your research.
     
  20. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    You got some very good and detailed information about safes. Having done my own research a couple of years ago prior to purchase, here's what I concluded about safes:

    1) A safe is a magnet for thieves. If they can see it, they will attempt to open or remove it. Having a safe is a temptation to lull you into thinking you've protected your asset. One strategy is to buy a safe for the burglars and then store your coins inside your mattress.
    2) If you cannot hide your safe, then see #1. And hiding is much more difficult than you might think. Give it the old mental exercise.
    3) No visitor to your home/apartment should be able to ever see your safe. These observers will inevitably tell someone, who tells someone else and the next thing you have is a burglary/home invasion. This has happened to more than one friend with a gun safe. In one friend's case, the loose lips belonged to his daughter, to her boyfriend, to his friends and then came the home invasion, pistol-whipping, etc. Fortunately no loss of life. Solidly upper middle-class family in a higher-income neighborhood.
    4) Going along with #3 is the axiom "Never, ever, ever tell anyone you have a safe (or a gun, or jewelry, or a coin collection, or cash).
    5) Decide what you want a safe to do for you. If it is fire protection, then buy the safe for that and don't worry about burglary ratings. If protection against burglars, then buy for that and make sure you can securely bolt down the safe itself and hide/disguise it. There are good safes that combine fire and burglary protection. If you are gone from home all day (like at your job) or extended periods (like business trips), you should probably not use a safe but rather a SDB. This is particularly true if access to your home is not secure such as if you rent and your landlord or his contractors have the right to enter your apartment/house.
    6) The terms "good safe" and "cheap safe" are mutually exclusive. But it is also possible to buy a bad safe (defined as one that doesn't meet your needs) that is also expensive.
    7) All good safes that have a reasonable internal size to them are heavy. If you plan to put it on anything other than a concrete slab floor, make sure you are structurally sound. That basically means all modern houses and apartments with wooden floors are verboten.
    8) Do not try to use a gun safe for your coins. Only the very best and most expensive gun safes have any utility for storing coins, except to keep your children from spending them at the candy store! There are videos on the better gun safe manufacturers' websites showing how quickly and easily thieves can enter the typical gun safe. Scary! Plus, I think it is a spectacularly bad idea to keep quantities of guns/ammunition in the same enclosed space with coins. Guns and stocks are cleaned with chemicals and oiled with various organic and non-organic lubricants. Ammunition is full of nitrates which while semi-hermetic will still outgas in a safe over time.
    9) To contradict my advice in #8, I think it is a good idea to keep a loaded pistol in your coin safe, preferably something with a partially polymer frame like a Glock or a small 0.380 polymer so you don't have to use but just a little bit of synthetic lube. The amount of ammo is small enough that you probably don't have to worry much about outgassing. The monthly opening to recharge your dessicant packs will air things out adequately.
    10) Traditional vs. electronic locks: You don't have to worry about batteries, they give you an audible alert when they get low and if they go dead, the non-voltatile memory retains your code until you put in new batteries. Electronic locks will perish in a fire. At least theoretically a traditional tumbler lock should survive. But most fires are so intense and long-lasting that even an all-metal tumbler can fail. And with modern cost-cutting, there could easily be non-metallic parts of traditional tumbler locks. Figure that in a house fire, you will need to cut your goods out of the safe no matter what.
    11) I strongly suggest moisture control within your safe. You can use a heater rod which will change the relative humidity but will not remove moisture (check your psychrometric chart), light bulbs, single-use adsorbent dessicants, throw-away absorption dessicants, rechargeable absorption dessicants. Among these I recommend the latter; they are inexpensive, reliable, perform well and have none of the disadvantages that pertain to the other options.
     
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  21. VistaCruiser69

    VistaCruiser69 Well-Known Member

    The safety deposit box at the bank fulfills my needs.
     
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