John Dean Says: Floor safes — a burglar’s nightmare! They're flush with the floor so they're easily hidden, encased in concrete on all sides and the bottom, and can't be ripped out of the floor, so nobody’s going to be picking up this safe and running away with it!
While security and fire protection are excellent, concealment is the floor safe's biggest attraction.
Installing a floor safe in your home or office gives you access to your valuables twenty four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year.
A floor safe sits flush with the level of the floor. A cover plate fits over the top of the floor safe, and this protects the lock and handle because the door is recessed down a couple of inches. This is great because the “cover plate” can be covered with the same carpet or floor covering of the room it’s in, virtually making it invisible. A burglar can walk right over the top of it and not know it’s there! If it’s in a garage with a concrete slab, put a drip pan over it and park your car on it. Talk about concealment!
Since the safe is installed into the floor and then surrounded by concrete, fire protection just doesn’t get any better. Concrete is the best when it comes to fire protection. Heat (and flames) rise, so a safe installed in the ground surrounded by concrete is definitely going to be fire protected. In my 40 plus years of experience, I have never seen the contents of a correctly installed in-the-floor safe compromised by fire. Additionally, in-the-floor safes have consistently outperformed some of the world's best fire safes in the same fire. Note, by correctly installed, I mean that it should be completely surrounded on all sides and bottom by at least three inches of concrete. (Click for instructions on the proper installation of floor safes.)
A correctly installed safe has at least three inches of concrete on all sides and underneath.
Since the door is the only part of the safe exposed to attack, it should be made of steel and well built. Most floor safes have a “B” insurance rating (less than 1-inch thick, often 1/2-inch) or “C” rating (1-inch thick) door.
Some of these doors can be really heavy, so check out the type of door each safe has. Some are lift-out doors, where you actually lift the door off the safe, can weigh up to 30 pounds. Others have attached doors with a hinge and have a gas strut, spring, or hydraulic lift which helps open the door. This way you aren’t lifting the full weight of the door. Hinged doors offer a larger opening than lift-out doors and are easier to use.
The lock on a floor safe can be a manual dial combination, push-button digital combination, or even key locks. The locks should be protected by hardened steel plates and/or relocking devices. Key locks are less secure, but may be more convenient in a commercial application.
- Typically covered by carpet or other floor covering, floor safes offer fantastic concealment and protection. But these qualities mean they're best used for rarely-accessed valuables. We find that many customers will use a floor safe for their most valuable items, but have a more easily accessed home safe for more commonly used valuables like favorite jewelry, etc.
- In case of a flood (or a fireman’s hose), there may be seepage into a floor safe. Protect against this in advance by putting documents and moisture-sensitive valuables in a ziplock bag or a Tupperware-type container.
Thanks for reading.