Successful business owners understand the feeling of money continuously flowing in. However, they also know how it feels to spend or even lose a considerable amount of money. In businesses, it’s inevitable to incur costs, such as taxes, insurance fees, wages, and loans. Apart from this, companies also have to account for unexpected expenses, which include shrinkage. Shrinkage, or the loss of inventory, is caused by various factors, like administrative error and products getting damaged while in transit. It can also be a result of theft.
While most business owners expect random masked intruders to steal from their companies, theft within businesses is often carried out by employees. Employee theft is a pretty sensitive topic. Of course, it’s hard for owners to point the finger at those who they have chosen to trust and hire. Nevertheless, employee theft is a sad reality for many businesses. As a matter of fact, incidents of employee theft cost companies across the U.S. $50 billion every year.
There are many ways to prevent theft from occurring in your business. One of the best ways to do so is to purchase a commercial safe. With a safe, you can protect your cash against anyone with sticky fingers. In addition to this, you can keep your valuables secure from all kinds of unforeseen incidents, such as fire or natural disasters. You can also have the peace of mind knowing that your cash, financial documents, deeds, and other valuables will be safe and sound no matter what happens.
While security personnel and cameras are great investments, purchasing a safe can afford the security that no other things or people can provide. A safe is thus one of the best investments for any office and business. And as with all investment decisions, you need to go the extra mile in ensuring that the safe you plan to buy is worth every penny. Before picking the right safe for your business, you have to consider these nine important factors:
Contents of the Safe
The first factor to consider before buying a safe will determine the rest of the factors down the list. What you intend to store in the safe is the first thing you need to figure out. Safes come in a variety of styles and sizes, so it can be a bit challenging to find the right one for your business. However, knowing the things you plan to store in your prospective safe will help narrow down your choices of safes. If you intend to stow several large items, you might want to consider a safe with huge storage space. If you need to keep your flash drives and other media secure, you can easily find a wide array of specially designed data safes. With all types of safes out there, there’s undoubtedly a perfect one that’ll secure your valuables, whether they’re documents or bundles of cash.
It’s also best to determine how exactly you intend to use the safe. For instance, if you need employees to drop cash envelopes at the end of the day, depository safes are your best bet. These safes feature drop slots with anti-fish baffles, which can prevent people from fishing contents out of the safes.
Next on the list is related to the first one as well as to one of the first safes ever invented. In the late 1800s, Henry Brown figured out a way to keep flammable documents well-protected in the midst of a raging fire. With the use of forged metal, the inventor patented the first-ever safe that is resistant to impact and fire. From then on, manufacturers have been making fire-resistant safes to preserve flimsy documents and other fragile valuables, come hell or high water.
But what does this piece of history have to do with the safe you plan to buy? Well, the safe you might want to get should be capable of providing your valuables with the right kind of protection. If you intend to keep your important documents safe during fire emergencies, you should definitely invest in a fire-resistant safe. This type of safe can protect contents against high-temperature levels or fire.
Typically, well-designed fire-resistant safes can prevent water from leaking in and damaging documents and other contents. Their watertight feature can come in handy in the event of a flood or fire emergency when firefighters have to extinguish the flames.
To guarantee that the safe you plan to buy is indeed fire-resistant, you should check if it has been rated by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL). A safe with a UL rating means that it has passed a rigorous fire test conducted by the UL. If the safe has a UL Class 125 rating, it means that it has endured an internal temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Safes with Class 150 and 350 ratings have endured internal temperatures of 150 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit respectively. In addition, UL-rated safes normally have time classifications. For instance, safes with a Class 150 2-hour rating have withstood an internal temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours.
Not all fire-resistant safes are impact-resistant, so you might want to check if the fire-resistant safe you’re eyeing has been drop tested. If your top priority is keeping contents safe during emergencies, it’s best to have a safe with both fire-resistant and impact-resistant features. A safe like this can provide your valuables with maximum protection during emergencies.
Fire-resistant safes alone will not protect your valuables from getting stolen by skilled burglars. While safes are designed with locks, sophisticated thieves can easily unlock safes that are not resistant to burglary attacks. When you’re looking for a safe for your business, you need to make sure that it’s not only fire-resistant but also burglar-resistant. With fireproof and burglar-resistant safes, you can rest assured that your business documents, cash, and other belongings will be well-protected against fire and theft.
The only way to confirm the burglary resistance of a safe is to check its TL rating. A TL rating measures the duration that a safe can withstand attacks from a burglar’s tools. Like a UL fire rating, the higher the TL rating is, the more secure your valuables will be.
Class TL-15 safes, for instance, can resist attacks from standard mechanical and electrical tools for 15 minutes. Class TL-40 safes can endure abuse from common tools as well as power saws and drills for 40 minutes. Aside from this, there are Class TRTL safes, which can resist abuse from hand tools, power tools, and torches. There are even Class TXTL safes or safes that can endure all kinds of tools and even high explosives.
Type of Lock
When choosing the lock that you want your safe to have, you need to consider who can access the safe and how many people are allowed to open it. Mechanical key locks, for instance, have a strong resistance against humidity, and they do not need batteries to power them. However, if your safe needs to be accessed by multiple users, you might have to make several copies of the key. That means it will be difficult to get those duplicates back in case you do not want those people to access the safe any longer.
Electronic locks can get easily damaged by humidity, and using them can be challenging at first. In spite of this, they’re perfect for business environments since they can be accessed by multiple users who know the correct code. Moreover, some electronic locks allow different combinations so that each user can have a different code. Unlike mechanical key locks, you don’t need to make key duplicates and hide keys when not in use. Before choosing a safe with an electronic lock, check if the lock’s batteries can be changed from outside. This way, you won’t ever have to worry about getting locked out of your safe when its electronic lock batteries die.
Biometric locks have the same advantages as those of electronic locks. With their fingerprint scanners, you won’t need to make several key copies for multiple users or to remember lock combinations. Simply press your finger on the lock, and you can open the safe. Most biometric locks can also record the fingerprints of multiple users. These locks make safes simpler and easier to use, calibrate, and access. Like electronic locks, however, biometric locks can get damaged in humid environments. You also have to ensure that the biometric lock of your safe is of the best quality so that you won’t have to go through the trouble of having malfunctioning locks repaired in the future.
Other than locks, almost all components of safes are essential in protecting valuables against fire and theft. The construction of a safe’s door and walls has to be thick and durable enough to withstand high temperatures and attacks from tools. A safe’s door should have a watertight seal to keep water from leaking in. It should also have thick hinges to prevent thieves from prying the safe open.
You should also find out how many locking bolts the safe you’re planning to buy has. The more bolts there are, the more secure a safe is. Furthermore, locking bolts should be at least 1-inch in diameter, which is enough to deter forced entry attempts.
The presence of a relocking device is also crucial in determining the level of security that a safe can provide. A relocking device serves as a sort of the second line of defense of a safe. If a thief managed to drill into the safe, this device will release the safe’s bolts and permanently lock its door. Once a relocking device is triggered, professional locksmiths are the only people who can open the safe again.
Size and Weight
The sixth factor in the list is something you should never forget to take into consideration: the size and weight of a safe. First, you have to figure out how many items you want to store in your safe. Most manufacturers will provide the internal dimensions of their safes. Because of this, you can easily find out if all of your valuables can fit in the safe you choose. As much as possible, choose a safe with ample storage space. This way, you won’t find it difficult to fit more valuables in the safe in the future.
Next, you need to determine how much space your prospective safe can take up in a room. This entails checking if its door can open without the wall or other objects obstructing it. In most cases, the larger the safe is, the heavier it is. Heavy safes are relatively more secure than lighter ones since they can’t be carried away that easily. However, heavy safes are a lot more difficult to move during emergencies or when they need to be relocated. Moreover, some buildings might not be capable of carrying the weight of heavy safes. That’s why these safes might need to be installed on the ground floor of a building.
When it comes to choosing the size and weight of your safe, it’s better to be on the safer side by selecting a bigger and heavier safe.
Perhaps the most important yet most challenging factor to consider before buying a safe is its location. Placing a safe somewhere accessible will make it simpler for you to get your valuables whenever you need to. Installing it in a room with sufficient lighting will also allow you to unlock the safe easily and see your valuables clearly. However, you might want to consider keeping your safe out of sight. One of the most effective ways to protect your belongings against theft is storing them in a hidden or inconspicuous safe. This way, those inclined to steal won’t be given an opportunity to do so as they won’t be able to see the temptation that a safe presents.
With this in mind, wall safes and floor safes are some of the best strongboxes you can use for your business. Wall safes can be securely bolted within a wall’s recess and be hidden from view by mounting paintings or posters over them. On the other hand, floor safes will be harder to pry out of their installation as they are designed to be concreted into the floor. These safes can also be completely hidden from view by covering them with thick rugs or carpets.
In any buying decision, considering the available budget is inevitable. When it comes to buying safes, however, it’s best to save up for quality safes and steer clear of cheap ones. Usually, safes with thicker construction tend to be more expensive, but they can provide the right amount of fire resistance and burglary resistance. Likewise, safes with better locks are also more costly, but there’s no question that they are worth the investment.
Cheap safes can easily break over a certain period. When they do break, you won’t be able to access your valuables right away. You also can’t simply carry your safe to have it repaired. While seeking the expertise of a locksmith is your best bet, a safe is designed to stay locked. That means it will take a considerable amount of time and effort before locksmiths can even open broken safes. To sum it up, substandard safes might be inexpensive at first, but they can get costly in the long run. Depending on the size, a quality safe can cost around $500 to over $1,000.
Lastly, you have to make sure that the safe you choose is made by well-established brands. In general, the best safes in the market are designed by manufacturers backed by years of experience in the industry. With a safe from these manufacturers, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that the safe you select can provide your valuables with the optimal protection.
For that reason, getting the best bang for your buck entails selecting a safe from any of the best safe companies. Engineer Warehouse understands the need for security in businesses, which is why we offer the best safes in the market. Made by leading manufacturers in the industry, these safes will surely keep your cash, documents, and other valuables protected against fire or theft. Purchasing a safe from our collection will be one of the best investment decisions you’ll ever make for your business.