Tips For Buying a Safe For a Home

April 27, 2023

Photo of a Man Opening a Safe

Living in Florida has its perks – beautiful beaches, balmy weather, and an abundance of sunshine. But amidst all the fun and relaxation, it’s prudent not to overlook the security of your home and valuables. That’s where investing in a reliable safe comes in. If you want to protect paper documents, family heirlooms, or other prized possessions, a high-quality safe in your home is non-negotiable. 

In this post, we’ll guide you through the essential tips for choosing the perfect safe for your Florida home. This ensures your precious items are protected from theft, natural disasters, and even the occasional curious house guest.

Determine Your Needs

Whether you are looking for used safes for sale in Cocoa Beach & Brevard County, FL, or new American Security Safes in Cocoa Beach, FL, it’s vital to know what you need to protect and the level of security you’re looking for. By doing so, you’ll ensure you’re making an informed decision.

Identify the items you want to protect

Start by making a list of the valuables you’d like to keep secure in the safe. These could include jewelry, important documents (such as passports, birth certificates, and property deeds), cash, firearms, or sentimental keepsakes. Each type of item may require different security features, so a comprehensive list will help you select the appropriate safe.

Consider the size of the safe needed

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the recommended size of a home safe, as it depends on several factors, including the types of items you plan to store, the available space in your home, and your personal preferences. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Measure the dimensions of the valuables you plan to store in your safe, particularly larger items, to ensure they will fit comfortably. It’s better to have some extra space to accommodate future additions or store items you might not have considered initially.
  • Determine where you want to install the safe and measure the available space to ensure it will fit without any issues. Consider factors such as floor strength, accessibility, and concealment when choosing a location.
  • It’s a good idea to choose a safe that offers slightly more space than you currently need. This allows room for growth as you acquire new valuables or important documents.
  • Home safes are generally categorized as small, medium, or large. Small safes usually have a capacity of less than 1 cubic foot, medium safes range between 1 and 2 cubic feet, and large safes have a capacity of 2 cubic feet or more. Based on your storage needs and available space, select the appropriate size.

Selecting the ideal gun safe

Finding the right gun safe is an important aspect of responsible gun ownership. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a gun safe:

  • Determine how many firearms you need to store, including long guns and handguns, and any additional space required for ammunition and accessories. Choose a safe that can comfortably accommodate your collection, with extra room for future additions.
  • Gun safes should provide a high level of security, with features like solid plate steel construction, pry-resistant doors, and tamper-proof locking mechanisms. Look for burglar/fire safes that meet or exceed industry standards.
  • In emergency situations, quick access door to your firearms is critical. Consider gun safes with quick-access features, such as biometric locks or keypad entries, that allow authorized users to retrieve firearms swiftly and safely.
  • Familiarize yourself with Florida’s gun storage laws and ensure your chosen fire-rated gun safe complies with regulations regarding the secure storage of firearms in your area.
  • Consult with a trusted safe retailer, like Beach Locksmith, who can help you navigate the various options and select the ideal gun safe tailored to your security and safety needs.

Assess Security Features

A good safe should offer burglar protection, fire protection, and water protection to ensure your valuables stay secure in various situations. Whether you want to choose Merik Safes in Cocoa Beach & Brevard County, FL, American Security Safe Brevard County, or used safes in Cocoa Beach, FL, you should assess these security features.

Closeup Photo of Combination Lock

Burglary protection

“Burglar protection” is actually a term that refers to the features and design elements of a safe that help deter and prevent unauthorized access or burglar attacks. Locking mechanisms, door thickness, construction materials, and additional security features like anti-pry technology are all crucial factors when it comes to safeguarding your possessions from theft.  

We recommend buying home safes that are classified Residential Security Container (RSC); it indicates a certain level of protection against burglary attempts. This classification is given by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a top independent product safety certification organization. To earn this Underwriter Laboratory burglar rating, a safe must undergo testing by UL, which includes a series of burglary resistance tests.

Locking mechanisms: Both floor and wall safes have several key lock options, such as combination locks, electronic locks, or biometric locks (e.g., fingerprint scanners). Each type has its pros and cons, so choose one that best suits your needs and comfort level. Combination locks, for instance, are reliable, require no batteries, and are less susceptible to hacking, but they can be slower to open, and the combination could get forgotten.

Electronic locks, on the other hand, provide fast and convenient access with easily changeable codes and potential additional features, but they require a power source and may be vulnerable to electronic manipulation. Biometric locks, like fingerprint scanners, offer burglary protection and quick access, allowing for multiple users in some models. However, they tend to be more expensive, may require occasional recalibration, and rely on batteries or a power source.  

Reinforced doors: A safe with a thicker door and reinforced solid steel construction will provide better resistance against burglary attempts. Look for safes with robust hinges and anti-pry features to further enhance security.

Fire protection

You also need to think about fire protection: in the unfortunate event of a fire, a safe with fire-resistant materials can protect your valuables from damage. Fire-resistant safes are rated based on their ability to withstand high temperatures for specific durations. So, choose a fire safe with fire ratings that reflects the types of items you’re storing.

Fire rating: There is no universal minimum fire rating for home safes, as fire-resistant safes are designed and tested differently by various manufacturers. However, there are industry standards and guidelines that can help you understand and compare the longest fire protection levels of different safes. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is one of the leading organizations that test and rate fire-resistant safes. Some common UL fire rating categories include:

  • UL Class 350 – 1 hour: These safes can protect paper documents for up to 1 hour at a temperature of 1,700°F (927°C).
  • UL Class 350 – 2 hours: These safes can protect paper documents for up to 2 hours at a temperature of 1,850°F (1,010°C).

We recommend choosing a fire-resistant safe with at least a 1-hour fire rating to provide adequate protection for your valuable documents and items.

Water damage and humidity protection

In areas prone to flooding or high humidity, it’s essential to protect your valuables from water damage. You may want to look at safes that have waterproof seals to prevent water from entering the safe, even when submerged. Check for waterproof ratings and make sure the safe meets your requirements.

If you’re planning to keep delicate items, such as important documents, photos, and electronic media, in the safe, you’ll want a burglar-fire safe designed to resist humidity and corrosion. Look for safes with built-in dehumidifiers or corrosion-resistant materials.

Evaluate Safe Installation Options

Proper installation ensures that your safe is secure, discreet, and convenient for you to access. Considering Florida’s unique climate, geography, and potential natural disasters, you’ll want to ensure your safe is installed to maximize its effectiveness. Here’s how to do it:

Photo of an Unlocked Safe


Select a location in your home that provides easy access while remaining inconspicuous. Consider placing the safe in a low-traffic area, such as a closet or a corner of a room, where it is less likely to be noticed by potential burglars. Also, consider potential risks like flooding, and avoid installing the safe in areas prone to water damage.


Properly anchoring your safe to the floor or wall adds an extra layer of security, making it more difficult for thieves to remove it from your home. For anchoring a safe to a concrete floor or wall, you may use heavy-duty concrete anchors, such as wedge anchors or sleeve anchors. They provide strong holding power and are designed to resist pulling forces. If you live in a place where hurricanes are a concern, a well-anchored floor safe or lock box can also help protect your valuables from storm-related damages.

Professional installation

While it might be tempting to install the safe yourself, hiring a dedicated safe locksmith or safe installer can ensure that the job is done correctly and securely. Professionals have the experience and equipment to properly anchor the safe, assess potential vulnerabilities, and address any specific concerns related to your Florida home. By establishing a relationship with a local locksmith or safe expert, you’ll have a trusted professional to turn to for maintenance, repairs, or updates to your safe’s security features.

Choose a Dependable Safe Manufacturer and Retailer

A high-quality floor or wall safe from a trusted and reputable company provides better protection for your valuables. Start by researching various safe manufacturers and comparing their products in terms of quality, security features, and warranties. Look for manufacturers with a solid reputation in the industry that have consistently received positive customer reviews. You could also consult with local locksmiths or security professionals to get their recommendations.

Next, evaluate the safe’s performance ratings. Safes are typically rated based on their resistance to burglary, fire, and water damage. Look for safes that meet or exceed industry standards, such as those set by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or the European Safe Standards. These ratings provide an objective measure of the safe’s performance and help ensure that it can withstand the unique challenges posed by Florida’s climate, such as humidity, flooding, and hurricanes.

If possible, visit local safe retailers or showrooms in Florida to get hands-on experience with different safes. This allows you to assess their build quality, security features, and overall design. Speak with the sales representatives or experts on-site to gain insights into the advantages and drawbacks of different safes, and any special considerations for Florida residents.

A good safe retailer should provide excellent after-sales support, like professional installation, maintenance, and repair services. This is particularly important in Florida, where hurricanes or extreme weather conditions may require extra security precautions to ensure the safe’s optimal performance. Inquire about the retailer’s after-sales services and choose one that offers comprehensive support.

Finally, before making a decision, read customer reviews and testimonials to gauge the experiences of other residents with the safe manufacturer and retailer. This can provide valuable insights into the quality of their products and customer service.

Budget Considerations

Determine your priorities

Before you start shopping, make a list of the features most important to you in a safe. Do you want burglary protection more than water resistance or a specific locking mechanism? By prioritizing these features, you can allocate your budget accordingly.

Evaluate different price ranges

Safes come in a variety of price ranges, depending on their size, fire-retardant material, security features, and brand reputation. Research safes in different price brackets to get a sense of what’s available and identify the best options that fit your budget.

Photo of Money Inside a Safe

Consider the potential costs of installation

In addition to the cost of the safe itself, you’ll need to budget for installation expenses. Professional installation is highly recommended, especially in Florida, where extreme weather can pose additional challenges. Make sure to factor in the cost of hiring a professional locksmith or safe installer when determining your budget.

Don’t compromise on quality for the sake of price

It’s important to stay within your budget, but remember that a cheaper safe may not provide the level of protection you need. Be cautious of safes that are significantly lower in price than comparable models, as they may be lacking in quality or security features.

Account for maintenance and repair costs

When budgeting for a safe, it’s important to factor in potential maintenance costs to avoid unexpected expenses down the line. Repairs may also be necessary if any part of the safe becomes damaged or worn. Depending on the extent of the repairs needed, the cost could vary significantly.

Trust the Leading Safe Locksmiths for Your Home Security Needs

With our extensive experience in the locksmith industry and a vast selection of quality, waterproof, and fireproof safes from trustworthy manufacturers, our team of experts at Beach Locksmith can guide you in finding the safe that meets your needs and budget.

We offer an incredible range of safes, and our knowledgeable staff can also assist you with professional installation, maintenance, and repair services. Plus, if you ever need a reliable safe locksmith for your home, vehicle, or business, Beach Locksmith has got you covered with our comprehensive services throughout Brevard County and the surrounding areas.

Don’t leave the security of your most cherished possessions to chance. Visit one of our Beach Locksmith locations in Cocoa Beach or Melbourne today and let us help you find the perfect safe for your home. Your peace of mind is our priority. Call us at (321) 783-4118 or contact us online to learn more.