Saturday, November 6, 2010

Where's Your Vault?

First, before I begin, let me be clear.  I am no stranger to owning a high quality gun safe.  The safe pictured to the left is one that I used to own, but is still in the family.  It is an American Eagle AE-35 safe, made by Cannon.  It is a very good and sturdy safe, loaded with all the goodies to keep my guns and valuables safe (pun intended). 

However, after moving twice, I soon realized that there was no good place to put this behemoth in the home I had bought.  So, I sold it to someone near to me and it is in his possession for "safe" keeping.

However, after itemizing all the guns in my house, and reading about how someones guns were stolen by a burglar, I have decided to get a new safe.  When someone breaks into your house and steals nothing but your guns (not even your ammo), you know what they were looking for, and it is a pain in the butt to track your guns down.  In many cases, you will never get them back.  Then there is the possibility that the guns you rescued from the street will end up back on the street to commit crimes and possibly murder someone.  That is not a reassuring feeling.

But what about other valuables, like laptop computers or jewelry?  What about important documents like social security cards, birth certificates, marriage licenses, family pictures, etc?  How do you protect those from fire or theft?  The above safe is ideal for all that and more.  When I owned it, I kept the guns on the side, the bottom lined with ammo, and the top shelves contained sensitive electronics and papers that I was interested in holding onto. 

Now, as I am on the hunt for a new safe, I will expound on what you may be looking at if you decide that it is a good idea for you to invest your hard-earned money in something that will save your other investments, and your ass, if the worst should ever happen to you. 

Of course, you have the entry level safe.  This is one that will usually withstand 1200-1400 degrees F for 30-45 minutes.  The locking mechanisms are pretty strong and will stand up to your run of the mill burglar looking for easy cash for drugs.  Additionally, this safe will be an insurance best bet against fire or other types of destruction that may occur.  Remember, you don't need to store guns in a safe - just the things that are valuable to you (for me, that is guns).  Most safes have a seal that expands when exposed to high heat to basically turn it into a monster sized cooler for your valuables.  They normally have a substantial amount of heavy pins around the door to keep the bad guys out.  These safes cost between $600 and $1400.

To be honest, this is exactly the type of safe I'm looking for at this time.  Yes, I know, I can spend more money elsewhere and get something that is more durable, theft-resistant, fire-resistant, and heavy, but I need a safe fast and on the cheap.  Keeping the guns in the closet just isn't cutting it anymore.

The next level up in safes (where most people buy if they are buying just one) has larger door pins, more door pins, better sealing, thicker steel, more fire protection, and the locks are usually larger and stronger.  Safes like this can run between $1500-$2000 depending on the quality, company, and size.  Plus, you usually buy into a larger safe to store more stuff.  If you buy just one safe, then this is for you.  Buy as big as you can afford, but make sure it will fit in the desired place in your house.

See, I don't plan to buy just one safe.  I plan on buying two.  Why?  Simple, I will have one for documents and valuables and one for guns.  The gun collection in my house grows almost monthly these days.  I need a dedicated safe for them, and it will be a big one.  But until then, I can get away with something a little less expensive that will do the job until something like a tax return comes in or I refinance my house.  Additionally, I can move smaller safes by myself rather than having to hire a safe moving company to do the job.  When you live in an area that isn't always ideal, it's best to invest your money into something that will save you should the time ever come that the burglar decides it's your turn to get robbed.

-James

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