Fireproof safes: Any reviews and/or recommendations

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9 years 3 months ago #34584 by kiwilassee
We are looking to purchase a safe to bolt onto the shelf in our wardrobe. Main aim is to store valuables from burglars but also to keep our backup hard drive (with lots of photos, accounts etc. on it).

Currently looking at:
- Mitre 10 $299
- Chubb $471

Any reviews? Recommendations? Thoughts?

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9 years 3 months ago #455400 by busholme
I would suggest you go to someone like Auckland Safe and Lock Servicing, Carr Rd, Mt Albert.

He main man there has an interesting array of safes and will be able to give you some idea of what the safes will cost for the specs you what as well. It will be a bit more than the $300-$500 mark though.

I took a safe to him, similar to the $299 one at mitre 10. He opened it in less than 5 seconds. With no key, without drilling and without damaging the safe. Needless to say the material it was made of wasn't up to much either. He had a demo one there that had been opened with a crow bar.

30 - 50 Sheep, 6 chooks, 2 dogs, 1 cat and a wife - who wants highland cows, donkeys, ducks, alpacas etc [:D]

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  • Akzle
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9 years 3 months ago #455416 by Akzle
as above - cheap safes are cheap for a reason.

although i'd really like to see that guy crack a 300$ safe. was it a combination lock?

sentry brand have a reputation as the most fireproof and i think still have the record for "never been cracked"

otherwise yale are also a good brand.

for a 300x300x200 burn-proof safe, expect to pay 900$ or more.

i like keys, as long as you don't loose your keys, they're fairly safe. and thief-proof.
biometric is probably the best protection, or a combination of bio and PIN.
combination locks, no matter how good, can usually be cracked given enough time.
cheap electronic locks (PIN code) (a-la bunnings) can be "jump started" open quite easily.

insurance is another consideration, your contract will probably specify that your safe must be serviced yearly, if it isn't... no payout for you.

your best bet is off site storage, as far as HDD goes. leave it at work etc.

as for opportunist thieves your biggest thing will be securing. if it can't be opened while they're there, it's usually just as easy to rip it off the wall/shelf or take the whole shelf, and sort it out later.

recommend M12 bolts through to steel plate secured to floor joists and wall studs.

hate to say it out loud, but an old fridge is a really good place to keep stuff, they've got a good 20min burn time in a house fire, and thieves don't always raid em.

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9 years 3 months ago #455458 by spark
Hi,

Generally, fire safes come in two flavours:

Document safes are designed to keep their contents bellow about 250 C (the temperature at which paper starts to char) for what ever their fire rating time is. They typically use stuff like gypsum board lining to achevie this because the heat of the fire has to boil all of the water out of the gypsum board before the temperature can rise much over 100 C.

Data safes are designed to keep tapes, floppy discs and optical discs at a low enough temperature that these plastic materials will not melt or otherwise be damaged (hard discs have a poor tolerance for heat too). Because this is harder to acheive, data safes cost significantly more than document safes.

Lots of fire safes are not designed to resist determined attackers with tools - you need a burglary safe for that. Good burglary safes have things like glass plates in the door to prevent drilling the lock - if you try to drill the lock, you will shatter the glass plate with the drill bit, which releases the springloaded "relocking" bolts which prevent the door from being opened ever again (if the glass plate has shattered, you will need to cut your way into the safe because you cannot unlock it).

On the floor in the bottom of the wardrobe is probably a better location for a fire safe than up on the wardrobe shelf as down on the floor won't get as hot as quickly as up on the shelf in the event of a fire (hot air and smoke rises). Also on the floor will make it easier to bolt down as Akzle suggests.

Locating the backups in a different building to the computer is probably a cost effective way of protecting them from fire and theft. eg theives are unlikely to take the computer from the house and the backup drive hidden in the garage in the same burglary. If the garage is located far enough away from the house that a fire in one building would be very unlikely to spread to the other building then you will also have good protection against data loss due to fire.

If you are keeping valuables in a safe, it's probably a good idea to keep the fact that you have a safe full of valuables a secret only known to a few very trusted people, lest some mad P-head overhears a conversation about what you have and gets the mad idea that they can get the contents of the safe (so that they can buy more drugs of course) by using threats of violence to you or your family [:(!]

Cheers

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9 years 3 months ago #455462 by Scuba_Steve
Out of the 2 there Chubb would be the better bet. Chubb usually make (or name) pretty good gear.
Akzle points out another 2 good brands, as well as the fact fridges are surprisingly good in fires especially the older ones.
And as Spark points out a fireproof safe is different from a fireproof safe, some [read: most cheaper ones] are merely there to stop the contents burning, whereas the more expensive (& MUCH heavier ones) can also keep the insides cool.

Another option might be the cheaper safe with a rugged HDD, the safe would stop it burning & the enhanced protection on the HDD should keep the data safe (just make sure you get one with good heat tolerance, I think ioSafe make one)


Science is but an organized system of ignorance

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9 years 3 months ago #455471 by GloPony
I recommend you ring my husband (Bryce) at Auckland Lock Services (0800 8 LOCKS) & have a chat with him. We have the largest safe showroom in Auckland at one of our shops in Balmoral. [;)]

You can also see some of our range here - www.locksonline.co.nz/catalog/index.php?cPath=39

Tell him you're an LSB 'boardie' & he'll give you a wee discount too. [;)] :)

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9 years 3 months ago #455491 by kai
for data, store it off site google drive is free and very easy to use. can be accessed from whatever computer you use.

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9 years 3 months ago #455502 by griev

kai;456611 wrote: for data, store it off site google drive is free and very easy to use. can be accessed from whatever computer you use.

Be warned if you back up your data to an off shore storage cloud type facility, you put your data straight into the hands of that countries best Govt snoops, it is all under their legal law not ours, and if they can do it, there is only a matter of time before an unscrupulous party will give it a go.

Can't say I would trust any third party off shore to store any of my data when backing up a drive off site is easy as, when I had my three shops, all three were backed up to a dedicated comp at my house as well as each store had copies at all other stores as did my computers at home.

all done seamlessly and started 11pm each night

I could access all stores from my home easy as

Let the sun shine on my solar panels[:)]

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9 years 3 months ago #455505 by Akzle

kai;456611 wrote: for data, store it off site google drive is free and very easy to use. can be accessed from whatever computer you use.

i'm going to be the tinfoil hatter here, and say that google are umbrella corporation and will cause the zombie apocalypse and you shouldn't trust your stuff to the internets.

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9 years 3 months ago #455536 by igor
Way to go griev. I'm with you and Akzle as far as trusting cloud storage facilities goes.

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9 years 3 months ago #455712 by Stikkibeek
Friends of ours had a floor safe which they buried in the floor of their car garage, put an oil tray over the top and parked the car over it. You'd never have known it was there, and completely fire safe.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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9 years 3 months ago #457064 by kiwilassee
Thanks for all the comments, feedback and suggestions! This is why I love this forum. Decided we're going to get an external hard drive for data storage and keep our existing simple safe for other storage (passports, spare keys etc).

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