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Locksmithing/Simple cheap safe able to be cable tethered

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Question
Hi,

I am looking for a small, inexpensive safe, with a slot, that I can use for our church's Christmas tree sale, which starts in two weeks.  The goal is, if a person comes to our tree lot after hours, when no volunteers are on duty, they can pick out and take their own tree (self-serve), and then insert a check or cash for us into the slot in the safe (we'll be using the honor system). I've seen other churches do this successfully. The safe will be outdoors so preferably water-resistant, although we might be able to rig up a small shelter for it so the rain or snow would not hit it directly.

My challenge is finding a safe that can be tethered using a cable of some kind to a metal stair railing, to deter theft of the entire safe.  I've seen models like the Sentry Safe (.25 Cu. Ft. Drop-Slot Safe)  for $65 at WalMart, and this would be perfect, except it can only be bolted down to a desk, i.e. there is no slot for a cable to tether it to some large object.

Any suggestions for me?  Thanks in advance!

Answer
Clint,

While I'm sure that the Sentry models meet your "Inexpensive" criteria, the reason that they are "that" inexpensive is that the sheet metal is so thin that it can quite easily be broken into.

In general, the rule is - "If the container is LESS than 750 lbs, it NEEDS to be anchored down!   Usually with a minimum of 4 concrete anchors of sufficient size and depth, so that it can't "walk away"!

There are NO "safes" that I'm aware of that meet your criteria of "small", "Inexpensive", "with a slot, and that "have a way of attaching a cable" to secure it.

While there are a number of containers that I would possibly recommend, that could be modified for use with a cable, you are easily looking at $400 to $800.

While I understand your interest in "the honor system" as far as your trees are concerned, you still owe your customers a certain amount of security and guarantee that their checks won't be stolen and reused with the amounts changed.   And yes this does happen all the time.

So while I understand what you are looking for, as a security professional, I cannot in good conscience recommend anything thing which I would consider as substandard or unsecure.

The next item on your list concerns "Water Resistance".   Sorry unless you are setting up an ATM unit which is designed for exterior use, or an actual Night Depository Safe, again, which is designed for exterior use - there are no "Water Resistive" safes or chests.

An alternative to buying a safe or depository, might be to consult with a local safe company to see if they would donate one for a period of time, or at a minimum - rent one to you.   This way you get a container which gives you the necessary security to protect your customers checks, and at the same time it won't "break the bank" for your use.    At a minimum its worth a try, but don't go in with the attitude of getting something free, be prepared to rent, and hope that they will be inclined to donate its use to you.

While I'm sure that you can find something that you can use, which is very cheap, and we always hope that every one is as honest as you and I, the reality is simply the opposite.    If the purpose of the tree sale is to solicit funds for Christmas "deeds", then it is as much your obligation to protect these funds as it is to protect your customers checks from being stolen.   Using something which is "CHEAP", isn't being responsible.

Sorry, I'm not attempting to be "preachy" about the subject - its just my job to get you to look at it from a security aspect.

Good Luck with your sale.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 42 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900'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.

Experience

44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and 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 Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes".

Organizations
SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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 - 2015 - Listed in AllExperts Top 50 Experts. All Expert 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 and Western Nevada)

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