How Secure Is a Safe, Really?


When it comes to keeping valuables secure, safes are often the first line of defense. They are heavy, thick, and difficult to open without the combination. But how secure is a safe really? You’ve probably seen movies with expert thieves who crack a safe in seconds. But is that accurate? Have you wondered how well your safe can actually do its job if needed? Let’s look at how secure a safe really is.


Many safes, like those at Liberty Safe, are made of steel. They also often have a coating of oil to help prevent rust from setting in. Many modern-day safes are extremely durable. The use of coiled steel makes it difficult to drill into or break open. If you’re concerned about a robber forcing his way into your safe, rest easy. Any good quality safe is going to be very difficult to break open with brute force. However, threats to your valuables come in many forms. Many people lose their possessions not from robbery, but from fire. While a safe may be able to take a beating, that doesn’t necessarily mean it can withstand a house fire. However, there are safes specifically made to withstand fires, so if this is a concern for you, there are several options to choose from.

  • Fireproof Safes

Deciding to get a fireproof safe is a great step towards added security. However, some safes claim to be fireproof just because the steel has such a high melting point. This does not mean that your valuables won’t heat up and get damaged. Even if they’re not directly exposed to the fire they can be destroyed. This can be avoided by choosing a fireproof safe that utilizes a fireboard and protective fabric. This helps insulate the inside of the safe to keep the heat out longer. Choosing the right material for your safe is a great way to ensure your valuables are as safe as they can be.

Different Types of Locks

Another important factor to consider when it comes to your safe, is what type of lock it has. Since the lock is what gets picked, it’s crucial to make sure you have a good one. There are several types of locks to choose from. Each lock has its own level of security. Here are some common lock types.

  • Combination Lock

This is perhaps the most common lock. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the least secure. Combination dials utilize a numerical code. You have to rotate the dial to each number in the sequence, and then the safe will open. Turning the dial too far in one direction, even by one number, is enough to keep the safe from opening. Combination locks typically come preset and you cannot change them later. 

  • Key Lock

The key lock is another common lock and offers about the same security as the combination lock. One benefit of this lock is the ability to give access to other people one time only. If you share a combination there is no changing it. But without the key, no one can gain access to your safe. Therefore the key lock helps limit access to your valuables. 

  • Biometric Lock

The biometric lock is far more secure than the combination or key locks. With this safe, you don’t have to worry about sharing the combination or misplacing a key. The only way to access this safe is by scanning your fingerprint on the screen pad. However, these safes can typically store several fingerprints meaning you can give the ability to access the safe to a spouse, child, or friend. It is very difficult to crack this safe and if you feel you need extra security, this is a great option. 

  • Electronic Lock

Electronic locks are typically seen in hotel rooms. You input what’s usually a 4 digit code, save it, and that’s your combination. Then, if you want to change it again, you can. The problem with this is that it’s easy to forget which combination you used, Or someone else with the code could easily change it and lock you out. While this lock offers moderate security, it isn’t the most secure choice on the market. 

  • Dual Lock

One of the most secure choices out there is a dual lock safe. This lock offers the best of both worlds and to gain access you need both a key and a combination. While it isn’t quite as secure as the biometric lock, it’s a close second. 

Let Us Help!

North American Safes provides assistance to our customers through repairs, lock changes, and relocations.  When it comes to safes, we are there to help in any and every way. Contact us today with any questions you may have!

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