Keep it safe at home – Andrew Reed
Safes have been around for at least a thousand years. The strongboxes of old were wooden caskets, often two inches thick and bound by iron hoops. Later versions were made with solid metal sides nailed to the inner wooden box, but it wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century that safes were designed to be completely fireproof. These safes had inner and outer walls of steel with the space between them filled with such nonconductors as plaster of paris. Later many other materials were used to fireproof safes, including alum, bricks, and clay in various combinations.
These security safes were developed more to protect contents from fire than from theft. Most buildings in large cities like New York and Chicago were built, or at least framed, in wood, and fires were a constant danger. By separating the outer wall from the inner one, the heat was dissipated enough to keep the inside of the safe from reaching the level of combustibility. An excellent web site for learning more about the origin and history of safes is www.mr-locks.com website featuring all the various types of home security safes. By the latter part of the century, when fireproof safes were the norm, theft became more of a concern. Even safes that protected their contents from heat were susceptible to drilling and other forms of breaking in, and attention turned to making them impervious to safecrackers.
Some incorporated steel tempered at different levels to create “soft” steel, which was far less susceptible to drilling than sheet steel, bars of soft steel in different configurations, and franklinite, the hardest ore known. Ultimately high tech caught up with safe safety. Glass beads and numerous other materials have been used to avert the power of hot and cold drills, blowtorches, etc. As a result (as we reported last February), most safes now are impervious to outside attack, and anyone who makes a concerted effort to break into one discovers, if he succeeds, that everything inside has been destroyed.
Most modern homeowners who require safe storage use safe deposit boxes at banks, but many prefer to keep their valuables where they can access them when they need them. This is especially true of individuals with private collections of jewelry or who use large amounts of cash, and for those with essential documents that must be on hand. For them, record safes are available that fit easily inside a closet or in a home office. Some have separate compartments for storage of records and cash or small valuables, adding to both convenience and security (a thief who gets into your home might get one or the other, but will have to break in twice to get both).
Personal documents including birth certificates, wills, deeds, documents of trust, and family archival material should always be kept in safe storage, whether at home or a bank. Also, and that is something any locksmith may tell you, stocks and bonds and negotiable instruments such as savings bonds must be stored safely, and many owners prefer to have them at home rather than on deposit at a bank.
Many residents in cities don’t have a lot of extra room to spare; those with limited storage needs will find a floor or wall safe a perfect solution for their needs. Available in many different sizes, these safes start at under 0 but provide ample protection for documents even in case of a fire. With some as small as 24″x 42″x 24″, they can be conveniently concealed without fear of discovery. Business owners, too, have need of safes, especially those that deal with large amounts of cash or valuable goods. Depository boxes allow store owners to put receipts out of harm’s way without constant trips to make bank deposits. These have deposit slots to allow receipts to be added at any time and a locked container box for storage. Mr. Locks carries a wide variety of cash boxes, depository safes, floor and wall safes, and record safes to meet your needs. If you have special design or storage needs, Mr. Locks can even custom design a safe just for you.