Wall safes are a good alternative to the more secure floor mounted type, particularly if you suffer from mobility issues or simply require a safe that’s easy to retrieve items multiple times each day. If you know how to pick the perfect wall safe for you and make the best use of it, your daily life will be stress-free and secured.
Typically, wall mounted safes are shallower that their floor or free-standing counterparts, making them ideal for items like keys, small amounts of petty cash or other valuables that require ease of access. Wall safes are also a great idea for keeping personal effects safe, such as passports, birth certificates and business documents.
The only downside to wall mounted safes, are the fact they can be “cut out”, especially if they aren’t correctly fitted to existing stud or brickwork. The space constraints also mean they offer limited fire and heat protection. However, heavier duty wall safes are available which can be securely bolted to your existing stud/brickwork, making it far harder for a thief to gain access or remove the safe in its entirety.
What to Look for When Buying a Wall Safe?
This is the ultimate question for anyone purchasing a new wall safe. Consider exactly what you’ll be securing and exactly what the space requirements are. As wall mounted safes are somewhat limited in their storage capacity, you’ll need to ensure your newly bought safe can match those requirements. It is better to explore how to pick a wall safe that is best suited with you. Here are the top 5 Determining Criteria You Need to Know:
#1 Find Out What Your Walls are Made of
Most modern houses are either “block and brick”, a layer of external brickwork plus an internal layer of “breeze blocks” or alternatively, a timber frame construction which does away with the breeze block layer and replaces it with a highly insulated timber/insulation layer. Both types of wall are reasonably easy to fit a wall safe within.
However, you may be wise to obtain the services of a local builder if your home is of brick internal wall construction as this will need to be removed carefully without losing structural rigidity. Existing stud work will likely reduce the available space for your safe. You’ll often find a gap between each stud of half a meter or more. It’s within these gaps that your safe will sit with the sides either screwed to the wall (Somewhat secure) or alternatively bolted through the stud work (Much better).
#2 Keep It Easy To Access
Unlike in the movies, we wouldn’t suggest fitting your safe behind picture frames or in an area where it will be difficult to gain access to. Part of the reason for buying a wall safe is to trade some of the security afforded by a floor mounted unit, for the ease of access that a wall mounted safe offers. If you need additional security, consider a floor mounted unit. Otherwise, be sure to locate your wall mounted unit where it will work for your lifestyle.
#3 Decide The Level of Theft Protection
Most modern safes tend to come with a “cash rating”. This is an indication of the amount of abuse a safe will take before it can be opened by a thief. Cash ratings are usually measured in thousands of pounds. For example, a wall safe rated as $1000 will have 5 times less protection than a safe rated as $5000.
One important point to consider though is that the cash rating doesn’t mean your insurance company will cover that level of loss if your property is burgled and the safe compromised. Most insurance companies have set levels for the type of valuable they will cover. A good example of this is cash value; companies only covering cash up to the value of $500 to $1000.
If you’re going to be using your wall safe to secure cash then ensure your insurance will cover any losses. If they won’t, (Which is eminently possible) then consider changing companies or moving cash away from the premises to a bank once the value exceeds the highest coverage level. As for fire protection, we wouldn’t suggest using a wall mounted safe.
If you’re looking to hold valuables that require heat/fire protection then we would recommend a floor mounted and fire rated safe, or alternatively a portable safe that can be retrieved easily during evacuation. If you do choose a portable fire safe, keep it in one place that’s easy to access, preferably on a designated fire escape route. Never take risks to retrieve your items during a fire.
#4 Choose the Right Types of Lock for Your Needs
Wall safe locks typically come in these flavours:
- A combination style tumbler
- Electronic lock
- Mechanical lock
- Biometric lock
When choosing a wall safe, we would suggest picking a combination lock or alternatively an electronic keypad style. Wall mounted safes are all about ease of use and avoiding a traditional key (Which can be broken or lost) will make using your new safe as easy as it can be.
Make sure your safe is located in such a way that entering the pin number or combination will be easy to do. Locating a safe where you’ll have to balance or stretch yourself whilst entering the code of a bad idea!
#5 Take a Look at Online Reviews
Whatever you’re trying to keep safe and secure, take a little time to research the wall safe through online reviews. There are plenty of different solutions out there for every budget and requirement. Be sure to check up on your state/governments requirements depending on what you’re securing; purchasing the most appropriate unit.
Although consumer reviews won’t be able to tell you how sturdy a safe might be whilst under attack, they will be able to give you good pointers about ease of use, build quality and value for money. You’ll also discover those little quirks and things the manufacturer might now tell you, such as how easy the safe is to fit, or pitfalls to everyday operation. Consumers tend to give very honest reviews, making the choice between different models and types more defined.
General Security Tips
If you have a particular need in mind, for example, key storage or gun/ammunition storage, you’ll likely be able to purchase a safe specific to these needs. Key safes are a great example of this as they’ll feature hooks to hand individual keys plus the ability to color code certain sections, handy if you operate a car dealership or run a fleet of different spec vehicles.
Gun safes in the wall mounted niche are often relatively small. However, there are tall versions suitable for holding shotguns and small hunting rifles, whilst most standard size wall safes are more than adequate to hold handguns and ammunition for personal use. As ever with gun safety, consult your local state department or government to ensure your safe complies with all applicable laws.
Once you’ve installed your safe, consider the general security of your premises too. Ensure that doors remain locked, outside areas are difficult to gain access to and that you make good use of security lights, CCTV and fencing to add additional layers of defense. Now you know how to pick a wall safe which will ensure the maximum safety & comfort to your home or office. Remember, a good quality wall safe is always the last line of defense during a burglary.