4 Tips for Making the Most of a Second-Hand Safe Purchase

Posted on: 7 December 2017

In an ideal situation, buying a new safe for your valuables would be best, but budgetary constraints shouldn't be a reason to not have a good safe in your home or business. Remember that homes and businesses are always upgrading their security levels, and this means there are thousands of safes in good condition that you can buy cheaper from trusted dealers. This article highlights some characteristics to look for when buying a second-hand safe.

1. Reconditioned/refurbished safes

When you buy a second-hand safe, go for reconditioned/refurbished safes from trusted safe dealerships. Often, these safes will come with at least 1-year warranty since the dealers subject the safes to rigorous checks before reselling. They should have had locking mechanisms checked and locks changed, stripped to the metal to ensure they weren't compromised or damaged, newly sprayed/painted, hinges and bolts lubricated for easier opening and all security features retested to ensure they work properly.

2. Size

A safe is a long-term purchase; if all goes well, you may never need to replace it. Therefore, the rule of thumb is to always buy a bigger safe than you actually need. In future years, you'll likely accumulate more valuables and the last thing you want is to be tearing into your wall or floor to fit in a bigger safe. It's better to save the little extra cash and get a bigger safe on the first go. Consider the area inside the safe and not the external dimensions, which are misleading. The internal compartment is the one you'll use for storage. External dimensions should only be considered if the space in which the safe will be placed is limited.

3. Anchoring

Most dealers include delivery and installation of their safes within a reasonable distance from the shop. In such cases, you should ask that your safe be anchored properly during installation. Failure to anchor means that should a burglar discover its location, they can easily take it away with them to a more comfortable place where they have the time and tools to open it. Look out for safes with anchor holes that can be fitted into concrete for proper anchoring. If you have a wooden floor/wall, you'll need extra measures to anchor your safe. This may have an additional cost, but it's worth the investment.

4. Multi-layered security

There are certain non-negotiables you should have with your safe. For instance, if you're buying a fire-safe (and you should) it should have a 1-hour withstanding capacity minimum. This is especially important if you'll be storing money or documents in the safe, as paper burns at very low temperatures, and can get damaged with heat, even if there's no open flame near it. Get longer fire protection if you can afford to. Burglar-fire safes are even better to protect from unauthorized access.