8 Tips When Buying – and Hiding – Your Home Safe

Unless you’re a Rockefeller or a Getty, you’ve probably purchased (or are considering buying) a commercially built safe for your valuables.

While it’s a good idea to store your valuables within a safe box, the unfortunate thing is that most commercial safes are easy to open. 

Because of this, protecting items from thieves may be best accomplished with a hidden safe. Essentially, you are placing a standard safe or lock box in a location that is only known to you.

Not all safes are good options for hiding. Consider these factors before you buy the first safe you see:

1. Size 

If you don’t have a space big enough to place your new safe, you’re stuck with something that’s easily discovered.

Before shopping for a safe, think about the possible locations where you can secure it.

2. Specifications and durability

Next, consider the safe’s features and durability.

For example, is it fire, water, and pry proof? Does it need a key, passcode, or even fingerprint scan to open?

Some wall safes even come with a matted surface to help protect the valuables you’re storing in it. 

Finally, does the safe you’re looking at have an override feature so that you can unlock it another way?

3. Location

The type of safe you purchase will determine where you place it, so if you plan to put it somewhere such as your attic or garage, consider getting a safe with a lock and key or a manual lock.

If you opt for a safe with electronics, it’s best to avoid placing it in a damp environment, such as your garage. Over time, the lock will rust, making it impossible for you to open the safe. If you have no other option, find out how to effectively dehumidify your safe.

It is preferable to place your fire-resistant safe on the first level, in a corner of a room, as there will be less heat there in the event of a fire.

Also, always consider that your home may be under surveillance. Try to avoid unloading your car and bringing your safe inside a box that has large, splashy promises, like “Super Home Safe for Rich People to Secure their Pricey Jewelry,”! Also, avoid leaving the box overnight in front of your house for the trash collector to pick up. 

In fact, consider shredding or even burning the most obvious portions that denote the contents of the box.

4. Buy multiple safes?

The idea is to play with burglars psychologically by giving them an enticement. There is a small safe somewhere in your house: not too obvious, yet not too difficult to find. 

And, a stronger, larger safe with your important valuables hidden elsewhere. The first safe is a ruse, obviously. 

With some money in it, it looks real enough, but you don’t use it for important things. Once a burglar steals it, he’ll probably move on to another house and not think about looking for another safe. 

The two safe option is a good idea; place one safe where you can access it easily and one you can access rarely where you keep your most important valuables.

5. Hiding your safe(s)

Now for the fun part. You can hide your wall safe behind several things, including:

Flat-screen TVs, tapestries, large paintings, mirrors, fish tanks, and even electronic fireplaces.

To hide it, you may also use a projector cloth if you have a projector set up. It all depends on the style of the room where you opt to place your wall safe.

If you don’t opt for a wall safe and go for a smaller, portable safe, here are some good hiding spots:

6. Vents

Almost every house and apartment has vents. Everyone’s seen a vent, so most people — including home burglars — ignore these fixtures.

Usually, this entails making a hole in the wall or the floor (depending on the location of the rest of your vents). There are many pre-made vent safes available for purchase. 

A vent safe is a good option; even if a burglar were to learn about it, it would take a long time to remove all the vents from a house.

7. Under floorboards

Making an integrated flooring compartment for your priceless items is not difficult if you have some basic woodworking skills. However, using the right hinge is crucial if you want your safe to remain concealed.

Find ones that mount entirely on the bottom side to avoid detection.

8. Install a safe inside a stair step

Finally, this secure storage option converts a stairwell step into a space big enough for a strongbox or concealed safe. In their haste to steal your items, would-be burglars won’t think to look underfoot!

For this, the stairway containing the safe must be identical to the others. In order to place the safe inside, it is normally best to remove the top part of the stair (or tread), then replace the tread on top.

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