The 5 Best Home Safes of 2023
The 5 Best Home Safes of 2022
What better place to stash your important documents, cash, pieces of expensive jewelry and even ammunition than your home safe?
A quality home safe can protect items in it from prying eyes and hands, burglars, accidental loss and even elements like fire and water.
You’ve probably never thought about the benefits of a home safe, but these “boxes” are a necessity. Anyone serious about keeping their precious items safe and reachable – unlike storage boxes that are far away from home, will have one.
Safes are not a recent invention; they have very well been in existence for centuries. Chubb Locks, now Chubb safes was one of the earliest producers of safes, beginning production in 1835.
Here are the main attributes we look for and how we test them:
Portability: If a safe is light enough to steal, a burglar will get into it, says John Dean, owner of Dean Safe, who has 50 years of experience in the industry. All of the safes we tested were relatively light. The heaviest was only about 42 pounds. We gave preference to safes that came with bolts for secure mounting.
Security: UL, the leading safe certification company, rates residential safes (UL Standard 1037) based on five to 10 minutes of attack time using common hand tools, such as a pry bar and hammers. We used a small pry bar and a 4-pound sledgehammer to try to breach the safes and access the contents. None of the safes we tested took more than five minutes to access. We rated them based on difficulty. Our top pick was the hardest. The Jssmst book safe was the easiest, taking my seven-year-old son one minute to open.
Fire: Some of the safes we tested were UL Class 350 half-hour rated. This rating means that when the safe is exposed to temperatures of 1,550 degrees Fahrenheit, the internal temp won’t exceed 350 degrees for at least half an hour. This makes the safe suitable for paper products but not digital media. Still, we put paper documents and digital media in the UL-rated safes and put them in a fire for 25 minutes. We then removed the safes and inspected the contents. Since fire destroys a safe, we couldn’t put the fire-tested safes through the security test above. We’ll be getting additional samples to break open in the future.
Water: Two of the fireproof safes were designated as waterproof. We tested these claims by putting paper towels and a magazine in each safe and submerging them in just enough water to cover them completely. After at least 22 hours, we checked the safes to see if the contents were dry. Only the SentrySafe HD4100 remained dry.
Ease of use: We assessed whether we needed instructions to set up the safe and whether any features made it hard or easy to use. We also timed how long it took to open the safes using each available method. None of the safes took more than 10 seconds to open.