How to Choose the Right Office Safe Depending on Your Needs

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Kelly's Keys, Locks and Safes Blog: Tips, Ideas and Strategies

Welcome. My name is Kelly. I know a lot about keys, locks and safes, and I want to share that information with you. My father was a locksmith, and as a single dad, he ended up taking me to work with him a lot. Later, I learned more about safes in particular when I studied criminal justice briefly. Ultimately, I decided to take my professional life in a different direction, but I love these topics, reading about them and writing about them. If the info in these blogs helps you -- and I certainly hope it does -- please share these posts with your friends. Enjoy!

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How to Choose the Right Office Safe Depending on Your Needs

10 August 2016
 Categories: , Blog


Office safes are important for various reasons, including protection of important information and assets from burglary and fires among others. Every business should invest in an office safe to protectd its most important assets from unwarranted access and accidents and the ensuing losses. There are many types of safes, and the one you choose/need will be largely determined by your reason for acquiring the safe in the first place. Read on to find out more.

B/C Rated Cash Safe

This type of safe is specifically designed to be burglar-proof, but it does not offer any protection against fire. Such safes are ideal if your business handles large amounts of cash that needs to be retrieved and replaced multiple times during the work-day before being put in the bank. Most cash safes of this type have a combination locking system, although you can select one with a more complex locking system for better security and reliability. B-rated safes have walls below 0.5" in thickness with doors below 1" thickness, while C-rated safes must attain at least 0.5" on walls and 1" on thickness.

Fire safe

As the name suggests, a fire safe offers sole fire protection with little to no burglar protection. It is basically a safe box with a simple locking mechanism and some form of insulation which keeps the inside environment at a constant temperature despite rise in temperature outside e.g. in the event of a fire. These locking mechanisms can typically be compromised by a burglar, and hence this safe is mostly used to store important (but not sensitive) documents.

Fire safes are tested independently and rated according to the level of protection they offer. For instance, a UL 350 1-hour will keep the safe's internal temperatures below 350°F for at least one hour when external temperatures exceed 1500°F. All sides of the safe are exposed to fire as well as impact testing to prove that the safe doesn't open following large-force impact while hot.

Your choice of fire safe will depend on the type of information being stored in the safe. Paper documents and digital media (CD, DVD, USB storage etc.) have the least requirements; 30-120 minutes protection will do depending on your budget. Magnetic media must be stored in a specialized data safe with a minimum of 60 minutes protection. These safes have thicker walls to keep internal temperatures low, since heat can damage/compromise the information. You can get fire cabinets or cupboards if you have a lot of documents to store. Some variations come with data boxes for storage of magnetic media.

Depository/drop safe

This is another option of safe for businesses that handle large amounts of cash. Drop safes are ideal for businesses that need safe storage for cash, but will not need to retrieve much of it during the work-day e.g. post offices, banks etc. There are three variations of the safe: top rotary drop, front drop and triple drop. Drop safes have a variety of locking mechanisms, shapes and styles depending on your security requirements and budget.

For more information, contact dealers like Askwith Company.