What safe to buy for home and where to install it?

The safest way to store valuable items in our home is by using a safe. Nowadays, for a reasonable price, we can acquire a high-security safe, but which one should you choose? And where should you place it?

The most useful, practical, and easy-to-install safe is a surface-mounted safe with holes on the sides and top and bottom parts for screwing it onto a solid wall, preferably in a concealed location, away from flammable objects, and above street level to prevent damage from flooding.

By following these simple guidelines, we can create a completely secure place to store our most precious belongings, safe from burglars, children, fires, and floods.

Furthermore, by fully anchoring and securing our safe to the wall, even if a thief manages to discover the safe, they wouldn’t have enough time to remove it (statistically, a robbery doesn’t last more than 10 minutes since criminals seek to grab the most valuable items and quickly escape the crime scene).

Certainly, a built-in safe offers a higher level of fixation, but the above-mentioned surface-mounted safes are more than sufficient in terms of securing. In addition, these built-in safes require construction work (higher cost), are more difficult to install (considering cables and pipes), and if you wanted to change them, you would have to redo the construction work to remove them. Simply put, built-in safes are impractical and hardly offer any additional security.


Factors to consider when choosing the exact model of a safe

As you can see, within the parameters we mentioned earlier, there are many types of surface-mounted safes. These are the different features that each model can have, and we will explain their importance:

  • Security Grade: Usually, the higher the price, the higher the security level of your safe. Safety in safes depends mainly on thickness and the type of locking mechanism. We recommend choosing an intermediate level of security, as it’s necessary to avoid cheap locks that can be easily forced, but at the same time, it’s pointless to spend a lot of money on higher-quality safes because thieves will try to remove the safe and open it later.
  • Weight: Generally, the heavier the safe, the more secure it is. Similar to the previous point, don’t spend too much money on this aspect. Choose a sturdy and reasonably heavy safe, and that will be sufficient.
  • Space: This point is highly personal, as it depends on the amount of items you plan to store. Naturally, the larger the space, the more expensive the safe will be, and the smaller the space, the cheaper it will cost. Avoid choosing a too small safe because you might regret it later if you run out of space.
  • Protection against flooding: This point is not necessary. This type of protection is costly, and as we initially recommended, place your safe slightly above street level. This will prevent flood damage since, in the event of heavy rain and floods, the water level won’t reach the safe.
  • Protection against fires: Similar to the previous point, this feature is not essential. Simply place your safe away from flammable objects.


Best places to install and hide your safe

In addition to proper fixation, the best way to prevent the theft of your safe is simply by ensuring that it can’t be found. Here are the best places to put a safe:

  • Under the sink: It’s highly unlikely that a thief, whose goal is to steal quickly and leave, would waste time looking under the sink.
  • Closet corner: A corner in the closet is ideal for hiding a safe. Besides being able to camouflage it with other items, you can anchor it to walls and either the ceiling or floor, making it difficult to pry it loose.
  • Pantry: This is another place where a criminal is unlikely to look for stealing cereals or whatever. Additionally, pantries are usually small spaces, which is ideal for finding a good corner since we want to prevent easy movement around the safe, making it easier to pry it open.
  • Corner under cluttered stairs: These narrow storage spaces are ideal because we can install the safe at the back and fill the area with clutter (it would take several minutes to remove everything, making the theft impractical).
  • Elevated position: Higher points are harder to reach and apply force to remove an object using leverage.
  • False ceiling or attic: Between the real ceiling and the false ceiling, it would be an ideal hiding spot for a safe. For us, it’s easy to access by knowing which panel to move and what’s behind it, but a thief wouldn’t bother moving all the panels and clutter in the attic.

Obviously, in addition to considering the security of the location, you should also think about the practicality of accessing it. It’s very different to occasionally store items in the safe, opening and closing it after long periods of time, than having to use the safe daily. Based on your needs, you should find the right balance between security and convenience.


Worst places to install a safe

You should think like a thief. Where would a thief look first, and therefore, where should we avoid? These are the places to avoid for installing safes:

  • Master bedroom: Master bedrooms are the first places burglars look.
  • Bathroom and master bedroom closet: Similar to the bedroom, the bathroom and master bedroom closet are favorite spots for criminals.
  • Garage: Despite being very convenient and practical, garages are some of the worst places to install safes because they are easily accessible, usually have many valuable belongings stored, and are somewhat isolated areas where thieves can proceed with the theft, making more noise when searching for the loot. Additionally, in case of heavy rain or river overflow, garages can potentially be flooded areas.


How to install a surface-mounted safe at home

Once you have chosen the ideal location for your safe, you should install it to ensure it’s fully fixed and anchored to the wall. The following steps are recommended:

  1. Choose a solid wall: It will be better fixed on a concrete, reinforced cement, or brick wall. Never screw it into a plasterboard or wooden wall, as it won’t be securely attached.
  2. Screw it into a corner if possible: Preferably, screw it by supporting it on three points: floor and back, or ceiling and back. This will make it virtually impossible to remove.
  3. Use long screws and anchors: The longer the screws and anchors, the more securely the safe will be anchored. Typically, safes come with thick and long screws and anchors.
  4. Use anti-theft nuts: These are a type of nuts that can only be screwed using special keys (they come with the nuts when purchased). Without these keys, the safe could only be removed by prying it loose.

Please note that it’s always recommended to consult with a professional or follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing a safe to ensure proper installation and security.


What happens if the safe runs out of batteries?

Nowadays, many safes have electronic opening mechanisms. They feature a keypad and by entering the code, the safe is electronically unlocked. But what happens if the battery runs out?

In the event that the power supply of a safe is depleted, there’s no problem. Most manufacturers allow for an external power source to be connected, batteries to be changed from the outside, or the use of a master key for emergency access.


What alternatives to a safe are there?

The best alternative to a safe for storing your valuable items is to find a good hidden spot in your home. It should be a place where a thief would never think to look, meaning it should be difficult to access, time-consuming to reach, and potentially require making noise to access.

Here are some great alternative hiding places to safes for storing things:

  • Inside an old book with cut-out pages: Create a small hidden compartment within the book to store small valuable objects.
  • Inside a low-value decorative item: For example, inside a plastic plant pot. Obviously, these types of decorative objects are unlikely to be stolen. You can have several of them at home, and only you will know where you hide something important.
  • Inside a cereal box, cookie box, whole grain bread box, etc.: In the pantry, we have dozens and dozens of products. They are numerous and of little value. No one will ever steal or inspect them all, so you can store your most precious belongings in one of them.
  • Attach an envelope to the back or underneath of drawers: No one is going to steal a drawer or bother to take it apart and inspect it. You can place small valuable objects (money, keys, small jewelry, etc.) inside the envelope.
  • Paint can: If you have many paint cans, you can use one of them as a hiding place.
  • Bury a waterproof box in the garden: Only you will know the exact spot where it’s buried. No one will be able to discover it. Be cautious about rain; you need to waterproof it perfectly to prevent moisture.
  • Between the frame and the canvas or cardboard of a painting: Inside seemingly low-value paintings, you can hide non-bulky objects and keep them completely concealed.
  • Inside air conditioning ducts: We can precisely know which grille and point in the duct to check. Even if someone knew that something is hidden in the air ducts, it would take hours to find anything.
  • Behind an electrical box cover: Once again, similar to the other clever ideas mentioned earlier, it’s evident that no thief in the middle of a robbery will think of opening all the electrical boxes in a house to see if they get lucky and find something valuable.
  • Under a loosely fixed tile or baseboard: We all know that corner in our homes where a piece isn’t properly secured and can be moved a bit. It can be a tile or skirting board, as well as any other similar element like a grate, stair tread, or outlet frame, etc.

As you can see, there are countless places that can be ideal for hiding our valuable objects. Take a look around your home, and you’ll find dozens of potential perfect secret spots.