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"Once they get their arms full," he adds, "they're out of there." A 1.2 or 1.3 cubic-foot safe probably weighs about 100 pounds empty, making it a less attractive target than jewelry, cameras, small electronics, and other more portable items a burglar might spot.Many safes also come with bolt-down kits, a further deterrent to thieves in a hurry."Fires tend to move through a home, so 20 minutes is about the average in a room or an area." Burglary protection Independent ratings for burglary resistance are less common for home safes than for ones made for commercial users, such as jewelry stores.To determine their burglary-resistance ratings, UL testers go at safes with tools, torches, and even explosives, Drengenberg says.For example, safes rated to protect paper documents shouldn't get any hotter than 350 degrees on the inside during a fire, according to John Drengenberg, consumer safety director at UL in Northbrook, Ill.
The master bedroom tends to be the first stop for burglars, according to Mc Goey, so it might not be the ideal site for the safe.Home safes might not be the best place for your precious jewelry, rare coins, or 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card.For those kinds of treasures, a safe-deposit box at a bank probably offers more protection.But if you want to safeguard hard-to-replace items such as family photos, birth certificates, passports, and tax records while keeping them close at hand, a safe could be a relatively inexpensive solution.
A simple way to determine how large a safe you might need is to pile up everything you plan to put in it and measure.Dale Soos, an engineer with Intertek, says his organization confers a "verified" mark on safes that meet their manufacturers' criteria for water resistance.