Which Safe is Best for You?

What are you going to protect?

The first question to ask before you consider any safe is: What am I going to store? Every business needs to protect its assets, whether they are in the form of data, software, documents or valuables. There are several other factors to consider, but it is most important to get a safe that is specifically designed for your intended use. You will also want to consider the volume of material you will be protecting. Many safes with similar features come in a variety of sizes. Be sure to choose a safe that will be big enough to suit both current and future needs. The wide variety of safes on the market can make finding the right safe confusing, so if you have any questions, contact a Factory Express safe expert at 800-399-2564 or use our online chat service. The following will outline the different items you may be storing and which style safe works best for each.


Regardless of company size, all cash should be secured in a safe. For cash, there are two main types of safes, Depository Safes and Computerized Cash Safes. Depository safes are popular in businesses because they are simple, yet effective. Multiple people can deposit cash without a combination or key. Deposits are made through a bin, which places the cash in the interior of the safe as it closes. Computerized cash safes are also available. If you have several people handling cash this safe is your best bet. This type of cash safe tracks every deposit or withdrawal, the amount, as well as the person performing the transaction. A computerized cash safe is ideal for small to medium sized businesses, but larger businesses may require a vault safe.


Media includes video, photos, disks, CDs, DVDs and other similar items. There are special safes that are specifically designed to handle this type of material. They feature a unique dry filling designed to protect the contents from moisture. This would be the perfect type of safe to store company computer back-ups and other essential media. It is also a good idea to make multiple copies of certain media and store them in different places.


Important documents are often overlooked, but can be some of the most crucial items to secure. Many companies all over the world have suffered losses due to the destruction, loss or theft of important documents. The best type of safe for records and document would be a fire safe. No business is ever completely safe from fire. Fire safes are designed with a special filling to keep the internal temperature under 350º F by producing steam. So when temperatures surpass 405º F (the temperature at which paper chars) you can relax knowing your records are protected.

Once you know what you are going to store, it is time to narrow your choice to one style of safe. For the most part, there are four main types of safes for business: Burglary Safes, Cash Safes, Fireproof Safes and Media/Data Safes. Many safes will span multiple categories, and each category of safe will have multiple sup-categories like fireproof file cabinets, floor safes, cash boxes and fingerprint safes. You will also find several other types for home and office use including gun safes, waterproof safes and key boxes.

Burglary Safes

These are designed to protect mostly against theft. They offer very little protection from fire and are not suited for data/media storage.

Fire Safes

These safes are designed to protect stored documents against fire damage and will maintain an internal temperature below 350º F(the point at which paper ignites). Fire safes generally have a minimal (if any) cash storage rating and are not suitable for use as a data/media safe. All fire safes have different ratings. An A rating is the best and a C rating will be of lesser quality. C rated safes usually protect for up to 30 minutes, while A rated safes protect up to 2 hours.

Data/Media Safes

These safes are designed to protect data media (tapes, disks, CDs etc) against damage by fire, humidity and electro magnetic contamination. They will maintain an internal temperature below 125º F. This is much lower than a fire safe, but the temperature at which data storage media is corrupted. They are also designed to hold the humidity at less than 85 percent to prevent damage from excessive moisture.

Cash/Money Safes

These are designed to hold money, and protect it from fire, water, and theft. You will find several models including cash boxes, security boxes, waterproof fire safes, fireproof safes and all types of money safes with a variety of features to suit every need. You also have a choice of combination dial locks and digital lighted keypad locks, all with key lock backups. Some money safe models are available with biometric fingerprint locking technology with key lock override that allows multiple users to access the contents with the touch of a finger.

Where are you going to place it?

Beyond the type of safe and it's contents, you will want to factor placement into your decision. Some of the most secure safes are floor or wall safes because they are recessed and mounted either in the wall or in the floor and can be hidden from view. Hang a picture or place a rug to hide the safe from view. Fireproof safes are always more effective if you place them on lower levels of buildings. Since fire burns up, the hottest part of a fire will be at the point of origin and all points above that. If you are in a flood prone area or area with high moisture levels, keep the safe as high as possible or purchase a waterproof safe for maximum protection. Keep your safe in a secure, but convenient location. It is best to select the location first and then choose a safe that fits your intended application.

To find a great safe online, just browse the large inventory we offer at Factory Express. If you need help making your choice, or are looking for something not featured online, then give us a call at 800-399-2564 for assistance. All Safes