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Old 12-23-2010, 07:56 PM
boy george fan boy george fan is offline
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Default Safe or strong boxes?



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So I'm looking for the best way to store precious metals, physical money, important documents and a small amount of ammo in my home.

I'm considering purchasing either a fireproof safe or several fire proof strong boxes to place my valuables in.

I can either buy on large safe or for the same price I can purchase several strong boxes.

The advantage of the safe is that it very hard to physically move once secure because of the weight and bolting it to the floor. Also, you can put a lot of valuables in a large safe.

The disadvantage being that I would have all my eggs in one basket. And if I was some how seperated from my home, that one safe could be eventually open by criminals or government officals.

The advantage of having several strong boxes is that I can conceal them in different areas of my home, making my valuables harder to detect. Also, if one of my strong boxes is discovered and stolen, then I still have valuables hidden in other strong boxes.

The disadvantage being I couldn't store as much in the strong boxes and they can only hold small items.

What would you guys opt for?

Also what do you guys think about having a cheap safe or strong box filled with metal junk locked but out in the open in the bed room as "bait" for criminals? (the thinking being the criminal will think they hit the mother lode and leave my home with it instead of searching for other valuables.)
Old 12-23-2010, 08:08 PM
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Difinetly, a safe, the biggest one that either your subfloor can handle, you can afford, or will fit thru your door. And bolt that ****er down!
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:12 PM
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I went through this a bit a year ago when I bought a Liberty safe. If you look online you can find a video of a couple guys breaking into a safe in a couple minutes. It's supposed to help you decide on a specific brand (liberty) but if you look at it carefully, you realize that these guys are whacking on a safe in a huge warehouse or other room, with long prybars and room to swing them.

Using the techniques in the video, I do not believe it would be possible to open my safe, liberty or otherwise. It's in a small room, it's bolted down, there's no room to swing long picks and prybars like in the video.

Ask yourself this: How many documented instances of safes being compromised have you heard of, in your area, in the last year or five years? I can't recall ever hearing of such a thing where I live.

Most burglars are not safecrackers. They're in and outers, getting what they can while they can and limiting their exposure if possible. Unless there's a reason for someone to assume you have significant valuables in your house--you are maintaining OPSEC, right?--you're no more a target for a casual burglar than anyone else.

Government taking your stuff? Again, why? Unless you've brought yourself to the attention of the authorities, I don't see an issue.

If you have places to hide strongboxes, really GOOD places, they may be worth it. But the more you have, the more likely it will be that a burglar will find at least one of them.

BTW, one nice thing about a safe: You can store rifles in them.

I think you're ahead to have a safe instead of strongboxes. If you're really, really concerned about hiding things, take a read of this; you won't need strongboxes to do it:

http://www.freecommonlaw.us/images/HIDING.pdf
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:36 PM
loadthedog loadthedog is offline
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My son and I piched in and purchased a gun safe at Atwoods Farm & Home Supply about three days ago. The safe holds about 24 to 28 guns. It has a combination lock and a key is required to allow access to the combination lock. It weighs about the same as two pianos. Man, I am glad to finally have that damn thing in the closet! We put all the guns and ammo except for one pistol for each of us. It is great to have a place to store important papers, coins, etc. It will take a thief a while to break into this safe!
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:38 PM
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Buy a large size gun safe. That way, you have the room to store long guns, hand guns, ammo, gold, cash, papers, etc.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:08 PM
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Default go for the safe

A good safe is the gold standard. Smaller fireproof boxes are useful, but their small size tends to reduce their fire protection effectiveness. And you can't put a rifle in one!

I'm haven't done it yet, but a wise man told me to buy the best and largest safe you can get subject to only two restrictions:
1) how much money you have
2) how much weight your floor can endure.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:09 PM
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Default Fake Safe is the way to go!

Buy an inexpensive safe, fill it with bricks so it is heavy!! Buy one that is the size of a cooler. The criminal will break his back stealing it. Don't bolt it to anything (thief won't have to tear-up the place to get it out your door). Place a small hand written note in the safe that says... "haha azz-h@#$") Don't put anything of value in it, just bricks. Why the safe trick? Because the thief will focus on it and waste his time there and will not ransack your home looking for valuables, because he thinks he has the mother-lode in the med-size safe. With a little luck, the thief will drop it on his foot.

Then build a false-wall in the back of a closet to hide your guns! Don't tell anyone! Nobody needs to know.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akblack10 View Post
Buy an inexpensive safe, fill it with bricks so it is heavy!! Buy one that is the size of a cooler. The criminal will break his back stealing it. Don't bolt it to anything (thief won't have to tear-up the place to get it out your door). Place a small hand written note in the safe that says... "haha azz-h@#$") Don't put anything of value in it, just bricks. Why the safe trick? Because the thief will focus on it and waste his time there and will not ransack your home looking for valuables, because he thinks he has the mother-lode in the med-size safe. With a little luck, the thief will drop it on his foot.

Then build a false-wall in the back of a closet to hide your guns! Don't tell anyone! Nobody needs to know.
Please do not do this.
Old 12-23-2010, 10:26 PM
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A gun safe is not cheap.($600.- $1,200. typical) However once you have it the problem is solved. The typical thief is not prepared to deal with a large gun safe. It is too heavy to take and too complicated to open. It can resist fire up to 1,400 degrees for about 30 minutes to one hour. It will hold more gold and silver that most of us can purchase. I am happy to finally own one.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:28 PM
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One disadvantage of a large safe is it's an invitation for a home invasion if word gets out.

Be very careful about this, including the delivery and installation.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:29 PM
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I decided on a large gun safe......my reasoning is it holds most all of my valuables, weighs 900+ lbs empty and in my opinion can't be opened by a house breaker. This safe has
1 1/2" hardened bolts around door jam, is fire proof and located so it can't be easily removed. I would save until you can afford one.....mine cost $1800.00 8 years ago and is made by Fort Knox. I would caution against bricks inside because they contain moisture which will ruin contents of safe quickly.
The piece of mind is priceless!!
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacknblue View Post
One disadvantage of a large safe is it's an invitation for a home invasion if word gets out.

Be very careful about this, including the delivery and installation.
Good point, Buy from a reputable dealer, put it a place where the plummer, pool guy, electrician can't see it. Also the family is not excluded when it comes to OPSEC, for instance, your son or duaghter blabbing about it to their friends. My oldest child is 6, and Ive been having the "you dont go around telling people daddy has lots of guns" talk for 3 years.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:45 PM
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Hmm a decoy safe. Interesting idea.
Old 12-23-2010, 11:14 PM
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Default Safes are a waste of money

Why safes are a bad idea;
1) An expensive safe can be broken into in less than 5 mins, with 2 people and a few metal bars. Don't believe me, check out you tube, I will look for the links and post later.
2) If you have a "safe" you must have lots of goodies in it.... home invasion will get into a safe really quick! Why invade a home with no valuables? Safe = valuables.
3) Our family has had a home-made hiding place for 30 years, never a loss of any valuables.
4) Chance of a home fire... less than 1%.
5) Chance of break-in once in a lifetime, 5%.
4) Try keeping a big safe a secret in a small town, sure you can.
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:33 PM
loadthedog loadthedog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akblack10 View Post
Why safes are a bad idea;
1) An expensive safe can be broken into in less than 5 mins, with 2 people and a few metal bars.
I am not trying to be disagreeable but most of the home burgularies I am aware of involve under educated males in their teens or early twenties. A good gun safe would require a professional locksmith a lot of effort under ideal conditions. A dumbass hoodlum could not get it open with a cutting torch!

Many homes have security systems, video cameras, and safes of all types. It is not unusual to have home security systems monitored from remote locations. I am just a poor boy, we delivered our safe ourselves and installed it ourselves. I live at the end of a dead end street so I do not anticipate any home invasions because of my purchase. But, they can let their conscience be their guide!
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:52 PM
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Default If you are happy with your safe great!

Loadthedog, if you are happy with your safe, great. The post was not directed at you but at a person asking for advice, that is what this site is all about. We can agree to disagree in a professional manner. The safe break-in I saw on YouTube was not with a locksmith or a torch, but with 2 metal bars and some elbow grease. Again, I am glad you like your safe.
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Old 12-24-2010, 01:01 AM
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I used to keep all my important papers & coins in a small firebox locked inside a file cabinet, and guns inside a small Stack-on gun safe (very sturdy but not fire-rated)

Just a week ago I bought a large, fire-rated Cannon safe, holds 48 guns, which is more than enough for my collection and I can put my old firebox inside it as well. I have not bolted it down yet, it is not in its permanent position, I need to re-arrange the storage room a bit before it can go in there. It weighs 700lbs empty, maybe half a ton now that it's full, not like someone could just cart it out on a dolly even if they were to break in right now.

I understand what you're saying about all your eggs in one basket but I'd much rather have all my stuff in one big, secure safe rather than scattered throughout the house in smaller, less secure methods.

As long as you have a good quality safe, bolted down, you're good against all but the most professional thief. Real life is nothing like in the movies where dudes wearing stethoscopes use sophisticated equipment to crack a safe. If you get burglarized, and the thieves discover your safe, they'll give it a quick one-two with a prybar or whatever tools they have on-hand and give up.
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Old 12-24-2010, 02:24 AM
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Definately a safe...Make sure you measure ALL openings in your home that you will bring it thru..IMO i would pay for delivery....IF you have unlimited money for one say about $3,000 get it in 8 gauge steel instead of the more common 11 gauge...Check into LIBERTY safes (Google LIBERTY safes) they have a redesigned locking mechanism on the more expensive ones .....Any safe you get besides bolting it i wrapped mine in the thickest hardened logging chain and a padlock on chains with a shroud on the shackle....I don't like the container deal in case of a fire ect...Just my ideas...
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Old 12-24-2010, 04:53 AM
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Be careful with the fire proof safes, handle broke on mine. I will tell you, it was more than a pain to bust into it.
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:33 AM
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If someone wants to break in to your safe they will succeed. Nuff said.
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