Actually, there are some additional precautions that may prove worthwhile.
At the El Cajon Gun Exchange we make a point of selling safes as burglar resistant - not burglar proof,
plus we've all heard that you can't stop the professional burglar. Maybe not, but with the right safe and security measures, we can
increase the risk of getting caught to the point where the professional is forced to consider giving up. How you ask? Let's
look at the problem from the dark side.
The Burglar's Problem
It will help if we can define the problem from the burglar's perspective. Simply put, an intruder's risk
of getting caught increases with the amount of time that he spends in your home and the amount of noise that
he makes while there. Therefore, the question is what steps can we take to make the bad guy waste time and
make noise? You've already taken the first step, purchasing a safe. A safe is one of the most effective time
wasting, noisy obstacles you can confront a burglar with. The tougher the safe is, the more time and noise
it takes to break it. The weaker the safe, the less time and ... well, you get the idea.
A pry bar attack is by far the most likely attack on a residential safe. Unfortunately many of these Underwriter's
Laboratory (UL) rated residential security containers surrender in a matter of minutes. Embarrassing to be them. This
is why we carry Champion safes; they really are built up to a standard and not down to a price! Good luck trying to pry
open a Champion! Come around to the store and we'll give you the tour and show you why we think so highly of Champion -
oh, and we have some of the more popular brands on the floor, allowing you to compare design features head to head.
Buying a safe is a great leap in the right direction. That said, you can enhance your protection. One of the first
thoughts that pops into the bad guys head is
that if he can't break into it in your house, take it to where he can. Do consider bolting it down as weight
alone is not enough to keep the bad guy from removing the safe and transporting it to a location where he
can take his time and make as much noise as he wants. It's not that hard to move a heavy safe. Commercial
power dollies, such as the Ultra-Lift that we use for deliveries, can easily walk up and down stairs, in
and out of the back of a pick-up truck with as much as 1900 lbs. No power dolly? Remember the commercial
"Two men will move you"? Well two men can easily tip most safes over into a pick-up bed. Bolt
Be creative. Stick your safe in a closet with a solid core door and a deadbolt (more time, more noise). If the
closet is in a garage or utility room stick a professional looking sign on the door like, ""WARNING! HIGH
VOLTAGE, ATMOSPHERE CONTROL UNIT, NO USER SERVICEABLE PARTS INSIDE". Put a smoke detector on the
ceiling directly above your safe - many of the things a bad guy does to break into a safe, (drilling into
a hard plate, grinding, cutting torch), creates smoke. If the smoke detector lights off we have noise and
the bad guy doesn't know if someone is responding to it or not. Odds favor an exit stage left.
As already stated, a pry bar attack is the usual way a bad guy breaks a residential safe. If a pry bar works,
it is generally fast and the burglar doesn't need to have any specialized knowledge. Just brute force. Cutting
torches are generally not used; they will light off just about every smoke detector in the house, creates a risk
of fire (most burglars won't risk of an arsen charge!), and as demonstrated by Myth Busters - cutting torches
pretty much toast the safe's contents. Plasma cutters, grinders and drilling also create substantial smoke as
the paint burns from fire or friction and grinders tend to be quite noisy. So whats a burglar to do? Pry bar!
Take advantage of the S&G electronic locks. They dramatically increase security and increase your
convenience at the same time! YOU change the combination, not a locksmith, a full million combinations, a
tamper lock out to waste the bad guy's time, multiple combinations which you can change, alter, or
delete as desired. The 9 volt battery is on the outside and the combo is stored even if it dies. For Champion
safes, a glass relocker is an outstanding way to improve your security by booby trapping the internal mechanism
against tampering and drilling; this feature, usually reserved for more expensive commercial safes, is installed
in the Champion Crown models.
One last burglary item. Unless the safe is a "show piece" for some reason, treat it as confidential
family information. The less others know about your personal security measures the more unlikely they are to be
unprepared to deal with a safe. Install it somplace out of sight and out of mind. Warn the kids against showing
it to or talking about it with others.
As with burglary, fire safes are not fire proof, they are fire resistant. If the safe cooks long enough,
everything in it is toast. A fireliner buys time. Hopefully enough time for the FD to put the fire out. Simply put, the best
fireliner is one that buys more time. Learn how the safe was tested - a LOT of misleading games being played and just getting
a "time" rating like "90 Minute Fire Rating" means next to nothing unless you KNOW how the safe was tested. Champion and
some others do a very difficult and honest test. Many of the rest are junk with a false sense of security. Having said that,
you can enhance the fire protection of your safe if you can think inside and outside the box.
Inside the box thinking includes things like not storing super flammables like perfume, gun powder, and
ammunition inside your safe. It is possible that a fire could heat up the inside enough to ignite these items
and that valuables that might otherwise have survived, won't. We stock a variety of lockers for these relatively low value,
flammables and "keep away from children" items. Another example of inside the box thinking is a fire box. Small enough
to fit into most safes, (they come in several sizes), they can dramatically increase the fire protection of most safes. It's
a great solution for important papers and small valuables, especially if you do not already own a Champion safe.
Outside the box thinking might include: double or triple sheet rock inside the closet that your safe is in.
Installing a sprinkler. Not storing flammables and other fuel sources by your safe. Installing the safe away from likely ignition
sources so that it isn't the first thing to go. Not storing ammo or gun powder in or by your safe; like I said - once flammables
start cooking off valuables that otherwise might have survived now may not.
Be creative, do your own thinking, visit us for more tips.