Are your most important documents and files protected?
With the proliferation of digital technologies, every hard copy document is now converted into soft copy and stored in a computer. However, there are some things that simply have to be kept in its physical form – be it personal documents such as birth certificates and passports, or business documents such as valuable legal documents and agreements. These documents also happen to be the most important ones of all.
Be it owned or rented, safe boxes let you keep your precious documents safe. They don’t just prevent intrusion and theft, they can also protect your documents against fire and damage.
If you’re still not sure about what safe boxes can offer, this article will show you everything you know about safe boxes from why you should use them and what to look for when getting one. Read on to learn more.
Why Use Safe Boxes
Before we get into how to choose the best safe boxes, let’s dive a little deeper into the reasons why you should use a safe box in the first place.
Protection from accidents and incidents
As mentioned above, safe boxes protect your irreplaceable documents from incidents like fires, which is one of the most compelling reasons to use one. It is better to prepare for the unexpected than to be caught off guard when something goes wrong.
If you are lucky, you may already have insurance to protect your business premises in the case of an accident. However, it would be much better to ensure that your documents safe in a secure deposit box. Plus, you’ll have a peace of mind knowing that they are safe no matter where you are.
Of course, one of the best-known reasons to buy safe boxes is to prevent theft.
With a safe box, you are able to grant access to authorized persons by giving them the PIN code. Thus, you know exactly who has access and who doesn’t. Allowing selective access will safeguard your valuables from any unauthorized persons or prying hands.
Furthermore, putting your documents in a locked drawer is simply not safe enough. As compared to safe boxes, drawer units with locks can be easily forced open either by a crowbar or by picking the lock. Safe boxes are by far more theft resistant than such drawers. They have a more complicated locking system which prevents forced entry and tampering. Additionally, the heavy and sturdy material of a safe makes it hard to carry and break open. This, therefore, makes the safe box resistant to theft.
Although the safe box will be an investment for you, it will save you money in the long run.
Replacing lost business documents can be costly. Even if they do not cost much, the replacement of such documents definitely require a fair amount of time. This may cause delays in application processes or in situations where these documents are needed, especially when there is a deadline. Lost time and delays can result in loss of revenue as well.
In the long run, a safe box will pay for itself. Avoid costly problems by keeping your documents protected.
Avoid lost documents
No matter how organized you are, there is always the possibility that your items will be moved, misplaced, or lost.
With your most valuable documents, you want to always be sure of exactly where they are. Safe boxes take away any guesswork about where your important items are.
As mentioned earlier, limiting access to selected people also lets you control who gets access to the valuables in the safe. This would prevent your documents from getting in the hands of the wrong people and therefore, minimize the chances of losing your items.
How to Choose Safe Boxes
Of course, there are different safe boxes with various specifications and features in the market. You’ll want to be sure to choose the most suitable safe box for your business depending on what you are using it for. Here are 6 considerations to keep in mind when choosing safe boxes.
How big does your safe box need to be? This will depend on what you’ll be keeping in it.
Be sure to get the dimensions of your safe box right and make sure that they are of the correct size before purchasing one. The best way to choose the right size for your safe box is to measure the dimensions of your items and have a rough estimate of how much space they will take up.
Most safe boxes for business use are not too big in size, as only important paperwork and documents are kept inside.
Resistance to Fire
A fire resistant safe box is an important investment for any business.
Fires are one of the most common and dangerous incidents that can break out in a property or premise. In 2016 alone, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has responded to other 3,871 fire calls and 12.1% involved non-residential premises which include commercial and industrial property. Fire break-outs are not be underestimated, they can be large scale and even affect the surrounding vicinity.
While your premise may be insured against risks such as fires, it is still better to be safe than sorry. Protecting your valuables in a fire resistant safe box poses a much lesser risk than replacing them when they damaged in a fire incident.
The fire resistance rating of a safe box is dependent on what can be protected from a fire, and how long it can be protected for. For example, to protect items like paper documents and records, the internal temperature of the safe box should be below 350 degrees. If you’re storing items like computer hardware, memory cards, or DVDs, you’ll need a much lower internal temperature to keep those items protected from fires.
Most safes offer about 30 minutes of fire protection. There are also some safes in the market that offer an hour or more of fire endurance although they tend to be more expensive. However, in most cases, 30 minutes of fire protection is all you need to keep your documents safe before the blaze subsides.
Resistance to Burglary
Some safes are more resistant to theft than others. The degree of burglary resistance you will need will depend on what kind of items you intent to keep inside.
If you run a jewellery or luxury watch business, your store is likely to be targeted for burglary and theft. Therefore, you would need a high theft-resistant safe to safeguard your most valuable items. On the other hand, if you are only keeping classified documents or confidential business information, you are less likely to be the target for such crime. In this case, you may not need a highly theft resistant safe. Only a moderately resistant safe will suffice.
To test for burglary resistance, the testing team will use explosives, tools, and torches to try to open a safe box. The burglary resistance rating depends how long it takes to open using these methods.
You would also want to be sure that your safe is heavy enough to not be carried away easily. If your safe is small and lightweight, make sure that you invest in a bolt-down kit to secure and anchor it to a wall. This is a further deterrent to theft and makes it harder for your valuables to be taken away quickly and easily.
Although you’ll be keeping price in mind while looking for a safe, you wouldn’t want to skimp on it. A good safe box will last a long time, so it’s worth it to spend a little more for quality. And as mentioned earlier, a well-made safe will pay for itself in the long run.
In this case, it’s important to consider what your needs and priorities are. You don’t have to buy the biggest, fanciest and the most expensive safe box if all you need to safekeep are a few documents and records.
Different safes have different locking mechanisms, and you’ll need to consider which is best to use for your business.
Key safes are often combined with digital safes, so the safe can be opened without a physical key if need be. There are also some safes that only use a key. A good key safe is resistant to being picked or broken into.
Electronic Lock Safe
Safes using electronic locks require a code to open, which can be great as long as you choose a code that’s easy to remember but hard to guess. The advantage of this type of locks is that you don’t need a physical key to open the lock. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about losing the key or replacing it. Just remember not to have the code written down somewhere that can be seen easily or where everyone has access to.
One important thing to take note is to change the code regularly, ideally twice a year, to ensure optimum security. This will deter unauthorized persons from gaining access who may try to guess the lock and tamper with it.
Dial/Combination Lock Safe
Dial locks are another way to enter a code, and are often combined with a key option, as well. They were the most common type of lock in use until the advent of electronic locks.
Any lock is a good choice, as long as it is able resist picking and tampering by unauthorized persons.
There are different kinds of safes in the market with specific uses in mind. These uses can be specific for various electronic products such as laptops and hard drives.
In addition to safes for general commercial or home use, some of the special safes in the market like laptop safes and hard drive safes. If you are a hotelier providing accommodation services, you might be looking for hotel safe boxes.
Looking for Safe Boxes?
By now, you probably already have an idea of what kind of safe box you’d like to invest in and what to look out for when getting one.
Check out our selection to browse through the different types of safe boxes that are available in the market.