Archive for the ‘Home Safes’ Category

All is Not Lost in the Flames with an AMSEC Fire Safe

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

AMSEC Fire Safe after the San Diego 2014 Fires

If inspiring stories like this don’t cause you to run out right now, and invest in a quality fire safe, we don’t know what will! When Southern California fires raged across the Carlsbad area in May 2014, Anya and her family had no choice but to rely on the reputation of AMSEC’s trusted fire safes and pray for the best. *Spoiler alert – AMSEC’s fire safe and everything in it survives the fire, unharmed, but you should really hear the story in Anya’s own words:

“The fire at times reached 60 feet in height and the hot winds blew it so fast at my parents’ house that the firemen couldn’t do anything to stop it.  My parents were at my aunt’s house and my brother who was living with my parents at the time was at work. I was also working, so by the time we got to their house everything was ash. There was absolutely nothing saved. We all started to cry. All our memories, photos of us, everything was gone. Then my dad yelled “the safe is still standing!” We opened the safe and all my parents important papers, birth certificates, wedding rings, etc. were saved! We couldn’t believe it! In the entire house the safe was the only thing not burned to the ground.

My family and I couldn’t thank you enough. We recommended a fire safe to everyone we know. Your fire safe put a smile on our faces, we thanked The Lord at least something survived. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!”

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Mechanical Meets Electronic in the Redundant Lock

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Best of Both Worlds!

AMSEC Redundant Lock - Maximum Security SafesWhat if you didn’t have to choose between the reliability of a mechanical lock and the convenience of a digital lock? What if, you could have both, in one lock? Now you can! Introducing the Redundant Lock.

This new lock by American Security Products, aka AMSEC, is a single lock with two high security rated entry mechanisms. Either precisely dialing the mechanical tumbler or entering your combination on the electronic keypad, will trigger your lock to open. This lock is not double the security, but is double convenience. So, why would someone care about having two options in a single safe lock?

Scenario #1 – You’re in a hurry and need to get into your safe, but for some reason your keypad doesn’t respond. You try again and figure it must be time to replace the batteries. The only thing is, you don’t have any at home. What an inconvenience, right? With the redundant lock, the mechanical dial is your backup plan. With the redundant lock you can change the batteries at a later time and open your safe with the mechanical dial now.

Scenario #2 – This time, replacing your batteries doesn’t fix the problem. It appears you are one of the rare few who have come across a digital keypad failure. You dial open your safe and call the safe technician to come at a later more convenient time. When the tech comes the lock repair is significantly simplified because the safe is not locked up, there is easy access to the lock from inside the safe door. If the safe had not had a redundant lock it may have required an expensive and time consuming drill and repair job.

Senario #3 – A solar flare or EMP attack knocks out all electronics. You want access to your valuables and even though your electronic keypad won’t function, you conveniently dial open your safe with the mechanical dial and are set for any circumstance that follows.

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How To Secure a Safe in an Apartment

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

So, you’re renting an apartment and you have a hunch that your landlord won’t be too keen on you drilling holes into his hardwood floor, in order to bolt your safe down. You want to ensure that your safe is secure in your apartment, so what do you do? If you’ve spoken with our safe experts or done your own research, you know that if you don’t want a burglar running away with your safe, you should bolt it down. However, when that is not an option, like in this case, there are other ways to help secure your safe. Keep in mind, there is no perfect solution (that we know of), but there are a couple of ways we recommend to our customers that should do the trick!

Method #1 – Bolt to the Walls

If your landlord doesn’t want you bolting to the floor, he may not want you bolting to the walls either, but if the walls are fair game, then this method could be an option. *Warning – this method is less easily DIY than the following method*. First, you will need to choose your safe location, preferably a corner, so you can bolt to two walls instead of just one; the corner of a closet is a popular choice. Then you need to locate the studs in the walls where your safe will be bolted. Once you do that, the next step is the tricky part, because you’ll need to mark exactly where to drill the holes in your safe walls so that they line up perfectly with the center of the studs that you’re bolting into. Hiring professionals for this is recommended since it can be messed up easily and will may be a frustrating and time consuming experience, but that’s not to say it can’t be done. If you want a method you can more easily implement yourself, proceed to Method

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Do I Need a Dehumidifier For My Safe?

Monday, April 28th, 2014

If ever there were a recommended accessory for a home safe, gun safe, or any kind of safe, a dehumidifier would be it! Why a dehumidifier? Well, for starters, think about what is being stored in your safe. Most safe owners will be storing some sort of metal in their safe, such as guns, jewelry, etc. and what happens when moisture and metal meet? Rust and corrosion. That’s why you might need a dehumidifier for your safe.

To ensure the longest lifespan for your safe and adequately protect your valuables inside from rust and mold, consider whether you are a candidate for a dehumidifier. While a dehumidifier may not be absolutely necessary for everyone, more likely than not, you will find yourself in one of the following categories in which one is recommended.

Location – Think about where you live; are you near a coast or an area where humidity is higher, or do you live in a desert? If you live in an area that is at all humid, you will want a dehumidifier to protect your safe and its contents, no question about it. If you live in a desert, continue on to the next category below.

Frequency of Use – If you own a jewelry safe and are accessing it on a regular basis, it may not be as necessary to use a dehumidifier. However, if you are storing your safe in your garage for example, and are not frequently accessing it, even if you live in a fairly dry environment, by not opening the door and allowing airflow in and out of your safe, humidity can build up. In this case of less frequently used safes, a dehumidifier is strongly recommended.

Fire Safes – Many fire safes contain a wall of moisture; in the case of a fire, this wall of moisture will activate and keep your contents safe from the heat of the fire. However, this moisture wall could also cause some unwanted humidity inside your safe when there is no fire, and end up damaging your metal valuables inside.

Types of Dehumidifiers

Three types of dehumidifiers can be used by themselves or in partnership with each other for added protection if you’re concerned about humidity affecting your safe.

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What Does “Gauge” Really Mean?

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Gauge InfographicIn the safe world terms like “gauge” are commonplace, but what does “# gauge steel” really mean? You may wonder when you’re shopping for a safe for home, is 12 or 11-gauge good enough, or should I invest in a 4-gauge steel liner? These are great questions you should ask and we hope our infographic to the left will help you have a bit more insight into what gauge represents. As the gauge # decreases, the thickness of the steel increases. Seems like it should be opposite, but that’s how it works. It’s as simple as that!

As far as what’s the right gauge of steel for your home safe, we’re sure you’ve heard the phrase: You get what you pay for. Well, it’s true! Safes at big-box stores can be alluring with their deep discounted prices. While some deep discounted items are the same wherever you buy them, safes are not. To the naked eye, they may look the same, but are you really purchasing a safe for its looks? Most likely the answer is no. When you look deeper at the specifications of these safes, take time to notice the gauge of steel and if there is none listed, that means something too, it’s worth the investigation. Also note what part of the safe the gauge of steel is referring to…is it the entire body of the safe? Or is it just the door? A safe door will often have thicker steel than the body of the safe, but the body is important too!

When shopping for a safe for home, know what kind of security you are investing in so you make the right choice. At Maximum Security our safe experts will take the time to help you be an educated buyer. We have quality home safes at all price points and steel thicknesses. Whether it’s 14-gauge, 4-gauge or something in between, we have a safe for you. As you can see from the graphic, it makes quite a difference!

AMSEC BF Gun Safes Sport New 2-Hour Fire Rating

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

amsec bf series gun safe fire proof testIf a fire resistant gun safe is what you’re looking for, it’ll be tough finding one to compete with AMSEC’s BF Series, and if you already have a BF you’ll be happy to hear this news. AMSEC BF gun safes were historically touted as having 90-minutes of fire resistance, which is already impressive. Recently, ETL Intertek, an independent testing lab, ran a blind gun safe fire resistance test between competing brands, and the AMSEC BF safe came out on top, proving fire resistant for beyond 2 full hours! The safe itself is exactly the same, but needless to say, BF series safes now officially come proudly certified with a 2-hour fire rating.

Curious how one of these Intertek tests is done? Fire safe tests literally involve sealing the safe inside a big oven and cranking the temperature up to 1200º. It then takes eight minutes for the oven to reach 1200º after which the temperature is held steady at 1200º for the remainder of the two-hour test. Typical house fires peak at 1100º, but 1200º is used to be on the cautious side. At this temperature, the interior of the safe must stay under 350º (paper chars at 450º); if the internal temperature rises above 350º the safe fails the test.

How did AMSEC stack up? The BF gun safe exceeded testing standards with internal temperatures never exceeding 325º until after the 2-hour mark. It wasn’t until 126.5 minutes went by that the interior temperature reached the testing cut off of 350º.

Better for a safe company to underestimate their own fire rating than overestimate. As you can see in the graph to the left, other brands did not meet their claims. These trumped up fire ratings, emphasize the importance of being an informed consumer. Know what to look for, safes that are tested by nationally recognized and independent testing companies such as Intertek. Be wary of unverified factory testing. For more detailed information on fire ratings visit the Burglar and Fire Rating Guide.

In other AMSEC BF Series news, the new BF6024 gun safe has just been released! Be sure to check it out, along with all the other BF Series safes here, and rest assured your valuables are certified fire safe.

For more fire safe tips check out these articles:

 

Heavy Winds Increase Fire Risk – Fireproof Your Home

Friday, January 17th, 2014

With recent Santa Ana winds raging, fire risk is higher than normal, which bodes the question: Is your home fireproof? Consider doing a fire safety survey of your home and check out the tips from the NFPA on how to fireproof your home on our infographic below. If you don’t have a fire safe already, don’t delay! Some valuables are irreplaceable and can only truly be protected in a fire resistant safe. Check out our inventory of fire safes here and leave us your questions in the comment section below.

What is a Data Safe & Do I Need One?

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Why Your Fire Safe May Not Be Protecting All of Your Valuables…

Data Media SafeMost people when they hear the term “fire safe,” automatically assume that the items they keep inside it will be, like the name indicates, fire safe. But did you know that fire safes do not protect all types of valuables? In fact, there are many types of materials a fire safe will not protect when it comes to a fire. Rest assured, there is a safe out there that will protect it all. Enter the data safe. This safe is really a safe within a safe. The outer safe has all of the fire protection of a fire safe, while the inside safe has the appropriate protection for any data, media files, and more (see “valuables that require a data safe” below). 

How a Data Safe Works

A regular fire safe has a special wall that when it reaches a certain high temperature, produces steam, which keeps the temperature inside, much cooler than the temperature on the outside of the safe. This steam does not harm many materials, but there are certain sensitive materials that will be ruined by the moisture of this steam. Therefore, a second layer of protection (found in a data safe) is required. A data safe is comprised of a fire safe with a second moisture resistive safe inside. The fire safe acts like a normal fire safe and produces the steam to keep the temperature lower on the inside, while the second non-fire safe keeps out the steam that otherwise would destroy your sensitive data materials. Our favorite trusted data safes are the Phoenix 4620 Series.

Valuables That Require a Data Safe

The following materials, though it may not be obvious, are all magnetically charged. Steam destroys all magnetically charged objects. So, don’t lose those precious photos or that favorite home video! Invest in a data safe.

  • CDs and DVDs
  • Floppy Discs
  • 4mm and 8mm cartridges
  • Tapes – Digital Linear Tape (DLT) and Linear-Tape-Open (LTO)
  • Removable hard drives, thumb drives

As you consider your personal valuables, let us advise you to take an inventory list of what you currently have in your safe, or what you would like to protect if you had the proper safe to do so. Next, let us tell you about some high quality data safes that we have to offer. The Phoenix 4620 Series Data Safes are designed for unrivaled data defense with first-class protection against fire and water damage. We currently have two Phoenix 4622 data safes with 2-hour fire protection that were improperly handled during shipment, so now they need to go! Because these Phoenix 4622 safes have a couple cosmetic flaws (see photos) we are offering them for an aggressive price of $5250. Make sure your valuables are really protected when it comes to a fire, and contact us to see if a data safe is right for you. For more tips on data safes and more, check out our FAQ page.

 

A Behind the Scenes Look at Safe Cracking

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Can safes really be cracked, or is it all a Hollywood illusion? In the recently released blockbuster film, Now You See Me, a team of magicians known as the Four Horsemen, are masters of every trick in the book, including safe cracking. One of the Four Horsemen, Jack Wilder, claims that, “Nothing is ever really locked.”

So is it true? And is it as easy as these grand thief actors make it seem? Well, the most popular method of safe cracking is simply stealing the entire safe and hauling it to another location where the safe cracking time can be unlimited. In fact, by putting all of one’s valuables in a safe that’s fairly light and not bolted down, one is basically packing a suitcase full of treasures for the burglar to haul away, making it an easy steal. Since this is such a common burglar method, we highly recommend bolting your safe down. For more info on how to do this, see our article: To Bolt Down or Not to Bolt Down…That is the Question.

With that being said, safe cracking IS possible and can be attempted inside a person’s home, when the burglar is not able to haul the safe away to a more secure location. The complexity and the likelihood of success for the burglar depends highly on a safe’s burglar rating.  The Underwriter’s Laboratory (U.L.) has developed a burglar rating for home security safes called: Residential Security Container (RSC), which equates to a safe being able to withstand 5 “attack” minutes of rigorous prying, drilling, grinding, punching, chiseling and tampering attacks using common tools found in a home, specifically a: 3lb. hammer, 18” pry bar, screw driver, grinder, and drill. You may think: 5 minutes, that’s all? The point is that 5 minutes of “attack” time can take 15 to 20 minutes of actual time on the clock. Statically, burglars are only inside a house for 8-10 minutes in a typical home burglary and in that time they have to find the safe, figure out what tools they’re going to use, etc. By that time, getting to the actual safe cracking time is not very likely. Want even more security? Higher security safes are available and come with a commercial (for banks and jewelry stores) burglar rating like TL-15, TL-30, or TL-30×6 (the number represents the number of minutes that the safe can withstand an attack).

You’re still probably thinking: but what about those guys in the movies who are actually able to “crack the code” and open the safe without all the brutal attack tools. Well, we can’t say that it’s not possible, but the masterminds who have learned that skill are very far and few between. The time required can be hours, and they are definitely NOT your typical home burglars. Want to know more about safe cracking or think you can figure it out? Check out our behind the scenes video looks at how mechanical locks and digital locks work HERE. Most of all, keep your safe secure by following these tips: bolt your safe to the floor and make sure it has an RSC and/or a TL burglar rating!

Maximum Security is Now on YouTube!

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Yes, you heard right! Maximum Security has come to YouTube and the videos have just begun. If it has to do with safes, locks, or anything in between, we’re covering it.  Become a subscriber to our channel by clicking here, and get updates sent straight to your email whenever we post a new video. Check out our latest video playlists: “All About Locks” and “See How it Works!” below:

Have an idea for a safe video? Let us know! We’re here to make learning about safes easy, so don’t hesitate to let us know what you’d like help with, and we’ll make a video about it!