Frequently asked questions

Safe Central is committed to education and support for products and services relating to safes. We have compiled a detailed list of commonly asked questions to help provide answers for a wide variety of topics relating to safes and security. as well as producing a series of short videos to demonstrate different safe-related features and functions making content more accessible to anyone who needs it.

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General safe questions

The reason there are so many different types of safes, is because there are many different requirements for the size, function, level of security and/or fire protection or the type of items that need protecting. There is no single design that provides a solution for every different application.

The best advice is to have a think about several defining questions to help narrow your search options, then browse the product catalogue to see which safes suit your individual needs.

Some suitable questions would be:

What size safe can I fit into my allocated space?
What size are the items I need to store inside my safe?
What type of locking functions do I need?
Do my items require protection from fire and theft?
Does my insurance company require a particular safe to be installed?
Will there be controlled substances or firearms stored inside the safe?

With the answers to these questions, you can quickly narrow down the suitable options and browse only the most relevant products on our page.

Most safes can be categorised on one of two ways:

- By the way the safe gets installed into a property.

- By the type of items they are designed to store.

There are 4 main types of safes categorised as per their installation method:
-Surface mounted safes
-Floor safes (below ground)
-Wall safes
-Portable safes

Surface mounted safes are intended to be positioned into a property just on the floor or even inside a piece of furniture. These safes will usually have the provision to be anchored (bolted) to the floor or wall throuh holes inside the safe, so they cannot be unbolted unless you can access the inside of the safe.

Floor safes are designed so they can be installed into the floor of a property, usually into concrete, and accessed through the top-opening door only. This allows for complete concealment of the safe as it can be covered by furniture or floor coverings.

Wall safes are designed to be cut into a structural wall of a property, to provide a concealed, but easily accessible safe option.

Portable safes are safes that are intended to be moved or transported more easily to different locations, while providing limited security and usually fire protection.

There are numerous types of safes, categorised by the types of items they are intended to store. Often these are determined by regulatory or legislation requirements. The more common categories are:
-Home safes
-Commercial safes
-Deposit safes
-Gun safes
-Drug safes
-Key safes

There is no single type of safe that is always the best choice. While in-floor safes do offer complete concealment, a major feature that most other safes do not, there are also many features that you cannot get in an in-floor safe, such as certified fire testing and guarantees.

Other considerations you should think about when thinking of installing a below ground safe are:

Whether you may be exposed to excessive moisture from the ground?

If the holes in the concrete floor would affect any relevant pest barriers?

Is it difficult for you to access items from below ground level comfortably?

Will you be able to fit everything inside without being able to use shelving?

A cash rating is a term used to try and assist with measuring or rating the level of security offered by a particular safe, based on the materials used in the construction, the strength and type of locking devices fitted as well as resistance to any other possible methods of entry. These ratings enable you to easily compare different safes and what level of security they will provide.

While ratings are applied using dollar amounts, it is important to make sure you make your own decision on which level of security is most suitable for the level of risk you think you will be exposed to.

It is also very important to note that in Australia, there isn’t any official testing body that applies certified cash ratings to safes. Ratings are provided by the manufacturer and while they do make reasonable assessments based on industry comparisons to try and apply an accurate figure, there can sometimes be inflated or misleading ratings applied.

Make sure to ask the question as to why a particular rating was applied and how it compares to other models. Also, always consult your individual insurance company to determine if they have specific requirements for a safe when insuring cash or valuable items.

A fire rating is a reference to the level of protection a safe offers the contents against fire. Most ratings are described as a combination of temperature and time to give an accurate and easy to understand indication as to the level of protection provided.

As an example, Dominator Safes have safes that are certified to comply with the CNS Class 350F 105 minute rating. 350 degrees Fahrenheit is the point at which paper will get damaged from heat. With the testing furnace heated up to over 1300F, the internal compartments remained below 350F for 105 minutes.

You can use this information to determine if the provided fire protection is adequate for the intended application.

Many safes carry a “recommended” or uncertified fire ratings. These safes are guaranteed by the manufacturer based on their own design and testing and have not been tested by an independent testing house.

It is important to note that all of these ratings use the burning point of paper as a basis. You would need to look into the burning point/temperature of the particular items you want to protect in order to determine if the rating would provide sufficient protection.

There are several different types of locks used on our safes, so you will need to identify the model of safe in order to obtain the correct operating and combination changing instructions.

We have provided links to all of the common types of locks used on our safes under the ‘User Guides and Instructions’ heading to assist you with the relevant procedures. If you need any further assistance, feel free to email us or contact us by phone or email.

While sometimes there are limitations in the ability to install or securely affix a safe to your premises, Safe Central will always recommend installing your safe to increase its ability to resist forced entry and removal.

While concrete and/or brick structures will provide the most secure anchoring, you will still dramatically increase the security of your safe by securing it to steel or even timber structures.

Make sure to use quality fixings and have them installed correctly to maximize the protection offered and seek professional assistance from a police licensed safe installer if uncertain.

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