Safer Safes: What Australians Can Learn From the World About Keeping Their Safes Safe

A safe is arguably the most secure place you can store your guns, cash and other valuables, but unfortunately, even safes can be vulnerable to savvy thieves. If you want to ensure your stuff is protected, there are several steps you can take. Check out these tips – they are designed based on crimes that happened around the world as well as in Australia:

1. Use a safe

The first rule of safe safety is that you actually need to use a safe. Unfortunately, hiding spots, such as under the mattress, can be incredibly insecure. For example, currently in Greece, many people – worried about their country's economy – are hoarding cash.

Many people who have attempted to just hide their cash have become the victims of thieves. One couple, in particular, lost their life savings of 80,000 Euros, reportedly because it was not in a safe.

This risk is true in Australia as well. In fact, in an interview with one former Australian thief, it was revealed that thieves know all of the usual hiding spots and will tear the house apart until they find them. To avoid this, don't go for a hiding place. You may think it seems original and completely hidden, but professional thieves have the knowledge and experience to ferret out these spots.

2. Secure your safe

Once you have a safe, you need to ensure it's secure, and this issue needs to be approached from three different angles – the types of locks on the safe, the location of the safe and the immobility of the safe.

When considering locks, biometric locks are great – these locks cannot be opened unless someone can match your fingerprint. However, whether you choose biometrics, electronic codes or a safe that takes a key, you need to consider the mechanics of the lock. You don't want a high-tech lock backed up by weak mechanics that can be easily picked or broken.

If possible, try to find a discrete spot for your safe – you can buy safes that fit in a bed's box springs or ones that attach to the underbelly of a table, or you can find another discrete spot. Regardless of the spot you pick, secure your safe to it. Rather than wasting time picking locks, many thieves just pick up the whole safe and take it all. To avoid this, your safe should be bolted in place.

3. Consider a diversion safe

Rather than trying to hide and lock down a conventional safe, consider investing in a diversion safe. Diversion safes are safes that don't look like safes. Instead, they can look like anything, from a head of lettuce, to a fake book, to a piece of art on the wall.

These safes hide in plain sight, and they are an ideal place to store valuables like cash.

4. Do not allow unauthorised people into your home

When trying to make your safe secure, you can't exclusively focus on the safe. Instead, you need to think about the criminal elements that threaten your safe. Thieves have a range of ways of getting into homes, and they don't always creep in under the cloak of night.

In some cases, they arrive at the front door and ring the bell. If anyone arrives at your home and demands to come inside, vet them carefully before allowing them to cross the threshold. Unfortunately, recently in Spain, multiple families were robbed after a group of thieves pretending to be telephone service people came into their homes. Once inside, these disguised thieves scoped out the homes and identified where the safes were located. They returned later and took whatever they could get.

If someone arrives at your home and you weren't expecting them, turn them away. If the person is a legitimate rep from a telephone company, they can return after they've called in advance and properly set up the meeting. Keep in mind, these so-called doorstep fraudsters are not unique to Spain – they happen around the world, including in Australia. 

5. Invest in a safe with a ceramic liner

The thieves who posed as telephone workers in Spain didn't bother with trying to pick locks or take the safes with them. Instead, they used blow torches to open safes, and this same technique is used by thieves in Australia too – in fact, a duo of thieves broke into a cinema and tried to use a blow torch to intimidate employees and open the safe.

Luckily, they failed, but you absolutely want a safe that can resist a blow torch. For that purpose, look for the thickest metal possible, and if possible, invest in a safe with a ceramic liner.

For more information, contact a local safe company like Askwith Company