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Antique Safes/Things I can add to a safes security


Besides pepper spray, and  gps, hidden walls (floors)  what are some other things a person can do to protect a safe?


The three best things that you can do to protect your "stuff" (not only the safe) are:

1.  NUMBER ONE - obtain the appropriate level of protection or higher.   if you obtain a "cheap" safe, you get cheap protection.   if it is light enough for YOU to carry it, then it is light enough for the bad guys to carry it as well.   Even if bolted down, cheap safes can fairly easily be torn from their mountings, or if mounted properly this can be used to pry against to simply rip the safe open.
    Safes are rated in their ability to keep either HEAT (fire) or PEOPLE (burglary) out of your safes.   The higher the rating the better the quality.  
    Also consider the $$$ value of the items that you place in the safe.  Everything has SOME monetary value - consider your birth certificate - replacement value runs between $50-$100 with cost and your time and energy, not to mention IF it is stolen, a thief can literally steal your life  (ID Theft).   How much is that actually worth.   Cash, Jewelry, weapons are a little easier to figure out replacement values, so the protection that the safe offers needs to exceed the value of what you contain inside it.
    For instance - non rated safes (B & C ratings) are ok up to between $5K to $10K, depending on the rest of your security.   Rated safes like TL-15, TL-30, TL-15x6, TL-30x6, TRTL-30x6 and higher ratings, hold substantially more $$$ value security the higher the rating.

2.  Bolt the safe down to concrete.   Basic standard is, if the safe is LESS than 750 lbs it MUST be anchored to concrete.   NOT just the floor, CONCRETE!   Safes over 750 lbs can be bolted down (recommended up to 2000 lbs if the safe is pre drilled).

3.  DO NOT tell people how you secure your valuables.   If a friend comes over and you have something in your safe that you want (or need) to show them, have them wait in another room while you retrieve the object.   If people don't know how you protect something they can't pass this information along, whether on purpose or accidently.
    If they don't know HOW you protect your valuables, chances are, they are NOT going to come prepared to break into your safe, much less find it, if it is hidden.

    Alarms, door and window locks are all preventative measures, however EVERYTHING can be opened or bypassed to get to the safe.   Regardless of the quality of the lock, the alarm, or the safe, what you are actually buying is "TIME".   The longer it takes someone to get past a lock or the alarm, or break into the safe, the more chances that they are going to get caught.   Time is the bad guys enemy.

    I have to warn you AGAINST "BOOBY-TRAPPING"!!!!!    In most states Booby-trapping is considered a felony.   "IF" someone breaks into your house and is trapped or injured by you, because of a booby trap, and is caught by the police - In our CURRENT judicial system, THAT person immediately becomes a "VICTIM" of society, which in many states means that YOU are going to be liable for any injuries sustained by them while on your property.
    Check your state and local laws, rules and ordinances to find out what you can legally do to protect your home and valuables.
    I can't advise you to attach any items to or around your safe which my capture, injure or kill a burglar.    I also can't advise you, in the event that you do catch someone, to tie them to a railroad track and let the authorities figure out what happened to them.

Hope this helps,

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland Safes from the 1860's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2013 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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