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Old July 22, 2010, 12:34 PM   #1
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Any suggestion on a safe that is hard to get into?

I am looking for a safe that isn't easily broken into. I have found out the hard way how these thieves open drop safes and combination safes. They simply smash out the combination knob forcing the locking mechanism inside the safe. Once the combination mechanism is knocked out they clear all the debris found behind it out. This will free the handle for turning. Our drop safe was opened in about one minute. They used a hammer and a punch to punch out the locking mechanism (which in this case was a dual key locking mechanism). I was left in shock on how easy it was to open. It didn't matter how heavy the safe was or how thick the door was. We decided to hide the only one we have left. Are there any really hard to get into residential safes out there?
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Old July 22, 2010, 06:49 PM   #2
Misssissippi Dave
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There are ways to open most safes used in homes when you don't have to worry about repairing them later that can be rather fast. Not everyone knows just what it takes to get the job done. The best thing to do is to make it difficult to locate. Never let anyone know where it is either. Just sticking it behind a picture or in a closet isn't really hiding it. You have to remember that locks of any type are to keep honest people honest. Knowledgeable crooks are very hard to keep out of anything.

Adding an alarm system with battery backup and also a cel backup for the phone line are good extra steps to protect your valuables. Security camera can help many times to identify the crooks as well. The question becomes related to money. How much do you want to spend to protect what you have? Do you need all the measures used in a bank?
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Old July 22, 2010, 08:17 PM   #3
James K
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Just about any safe can be opened by an experienced person with enough time. The key word is time. Most home safes are made to deter the drugged up neighbor kid with tire iron who just wants something to pawn so he can buy more of the good stuff. And most home safes will resist that kind of attack until the kid gets nervous and goes away to steal a purse or some other easy target.

But against a professional burglar, no home safe will stand up long. Some salesmen will emphasize the bulk of a safe, hoping the buyer won't realize that the bulk is asbestos for fire resistance, not steel.

Some folks go to another extreme; a poster on another site said nothing less than 3 inches of hardened steel armor plate was adequate. He avoided questions on availability, weight, and cost. On the other hand, a fellow I talked to planned to buy one of those safe doors to put on his storage room. The storage room walls have two layers of 3/8" dry wall that anyone can put his fist through, so I doubt the steel safe door will really keep his possessions very secure.

There is also the point that in many cases, fire is more of a danger than burglary, and most decent safes (excepting modular ones) provide fair to good fire protection.

Jim K
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Old July 22, 2010, 09:22 PM   #4
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Visit a locksmith that also sells safes, find a T-rated SAFE, (not your typical RSC that sells as a safe) - won't be cheap, but your insurance rates should go down somewhat
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Old July 22, 2010, 10:26 PM   #5
tony pasley
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Check around for stores that are upgrading thier store safes. They can be got for next to nothing so the contractor does not have to transport it for recycling. I got a Mosler safe that is rated for 2 hours at upto 5,000 degrees for less than $100.00. They are hard to move and need a solid base to sit on but are worth it.
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Old July 22, 2010, 10:32 PM   #6
Shane Tuttle
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Contact a1abdj, a fellow member here. He will steer you to a safe that's dollar for dollar the best out there. Beware; if you're serious about purchasing one that's difficult to break into, be prepared to fork some cash. Otherwise, you're buying false sense of security if you cheapen out.
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Old July 25, 2010, 11:55 AM   #7
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I agree.. I was sold on the heavier the safe the better by a salesmen that sold me my safe. It weighs in at just under 250 and was all but impossible to get in the house.
It is a rotary tumbler type and I guess if you can just smash the dial and get in the weight matters not!

But I agree check with a pro and then be ready to spend the dough. Heah that rhymes.
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Old July 25, 2010, 12:18 PM   #8
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Tom Gresham's tv show, Guns and Gear, on the Versus channel, is supposed to be addressing that exact question this week.
Show times are Weds at 12:30 pm and a replay early Sat morning around 8am or so.
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Old July 26, 2010, 08:06 AM   #9
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I agree with Mississippi Dave. If someone wants to get into a safe, it can be done. I dont have a lot of hiding spaces large enough in my home where I can hide a large safe. The best I could do is hide it in a closet in one of four bedrooms, bolt it down and place it where it would be hard to try and get into. I do have a monitored security system through ADT, but the problem with that is there could be a two to three minute delay with notification. I've added a inexpensive back up system to the security system. I've stregically hidden a very small motion detector with an instant automated phone dialer that calls me on my cell phone the moment motion is detected in the room the safe is located in. It can be programed to call up to three numbers and play a pre recorded message that says something like this is John Doe, an intruder has been detected in my home at 123 Elm St., please send police immediately. It can call you, the police and a neighbor if wanted. Since I work 5 minutes from my home, I just have it set to call me. I've only had it a few weeks, but it has worked every time I have tested it so far. I liked the product so much that I've added it to my product line. This plus a couple of other security measures I've put in place should have me covered, at least the best I could reasonably can do.

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Old July 31, 2010, 12:57 PM   #10
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Gunsafe eye opener

For a real eye opener on gunsafes, go to Youtube and search breaking into a gunsafe. Several videos showing how easily it can be done. And how quickly.
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Old July 31, 2010, 06:14 PM   #11
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Fort Knox Ky?!!

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Old August 5, 2010, 05:47 PM   #12
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Check out Sturdy Safe's, I have one and am very pleased.
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Old August 9, 2010, 12:02 AM   #13
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I'm curious as to who made your drop safe. Even the less expensive drop safes usually have relocking devices that would prevent a lock punch attack from opening the safe.

With that said, I've seen some poorly designed safes. A local restaurant had a safe with a dead bar on the hinge side, and live bolts on the opening side. Usually, this prevents the door from being removed if the hinges are cut. In this case, the burglars did cut the hinges, and were able to slide the door towards the hinge side, allowing the bolts from the opening side to clear the door frame.

All safes will buy time. A better built safe will buy more time. Time = cost, although it's usually not as bad as you might expect. I've been selling small/medium used TL-15 plate safes in the $1,500 range. These safes have 1" plate bodies and 1.5" plate doors. I don't care how much time somebody has with hammers, prybars, and axes.....they aren't getting in. Power tools are another story, but you still have to know what you're doing with them.

You probably don't want to say on the open forum, but it really comes down to your specific use of the safe. Safes are tools, and there is a right tool for the job. Using the wrong tool is a disaster waiting to happen.
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Old August 9, 2010, 10:51 AM   #14
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The typical RSC type safe's that you see around for guns are a basic 12-18 ga steel box with a fancy door. While I will not go into how to get into one through either destructive or non-destructive methods, (there are plenty of videos out there unfortunatly to show the bad guys) my thoughts for you would be one of two things, or if possible both.

1. Find a place to either hide the safe or to disguise it to look like something else. It may be hard in some houses, but if they can not see it, or it doesnt screem valueables, it is a good chance it will be over looked by most.

2. Grab the yellow pages, and look for safe dealers and locksmiths. The commercial safe dealers will usually have used safes for sale, that are priced at 1/10 of the original price, and you get a rated safe as well. If you look around for a store closing or updating, you may get one for free if you haul it away.

3. (option as well) Whether or not you get a RSC or rated safe, I would think about putting one of these self contained alarm systems in to the safe. You can google it to get ideas, but enough noise to attract attention hopefully will help. Some also connect to your telephone line and have an autodialer that sends you a pre-recorded message, or you can connect it to your home alarm system as well.

You can look around and find Mosler, Diebold, etc type rated safes that are either free, come and get it, to as much as you want to pay. If you look and are patient, you may find one for 200-500 bucks which would be way better then most of the RSC type safes you find for sale.

True story.
If a determined thug wants what is in the safe, he will get it. We had a store that the thugs took an ax to the electrical service wires, then beat the built in wall/counter around a 2,000lbs safe, pried the safe off the floor, breaking the bolts holding it down, loaded it up, and took it with them. It was found day later opened up, and laying on the side of the road where they dumped it. Funny thing was, they attacked the loose VCR trying to get the tape out, and distroyed the VCR and the plastic cassette, but not the film inside, got the film out and put into another plastic cassette, and had a brief video before it went offline, but nothing that was 100% to ID the thugs. What I am trying to say is, if they want it, they will probably get it. Make it as difficult as possible, and do what you can to limit the time that they can be there to work at it.
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