About Brown Safe

Floor Safe Buying Tips
A floor safe (also known as an in floor safe, or floor vault) is a type of safe that is imbedded into the floor, usually into the house's concrete foundation.

Pros - Great for concealing your valuables and provides very good protection against both burglary attacks and fire.

Cons - Installation is messy, and is time and labor intensive.
Safe location within the house is often too inconvenient for regular use.
If there is a fire, floor safes often fill with water from the fire hoses, so you’ll need to keep all items in watertight containers.

Floor Safe Specific Buying Tips:

  • Look for a solid door jamb - Verify that the floor safe has a continuously welded jamb.
    Many manufacturers will just tack weld the inner jamb bars to the sides of the safe. While this is a far easier way for the safe manufacturer to build the safe, it makes it extremely vulnerable. The primary type of attack against floor safes is direct beating on the door and tack welded jambs quickly cave in under the abuse.
    The easiest way to check for what type of jamb a floor safe has is to look at the outside walls of the safe. A continuously welded safe will have a weld line about 2” below the top edge of the safe. If the jamb bars are tack welded in you will see no weld.
  • Seal the contents - Floor safes are not watertight, therefore everything stored inside should be placed in either double zip lock bags, dry bags, or sealed plastic containers.
  • Verify install slab construction - It is not recommended to install a floor safe into floors constructed with post tension cables.Post tension slabs usually have a stamping in the concrete near the garage door opening.
  • Consider inconvenience - Floor safes are an inexpensive way to gain solid fire and burglary protection, but the need to install them into a concrete floor means the safe is usually located in an inconvenient area. While this is fine when storing seldom used items, floor safes are a poor solution for items used regularly... convenience is key to actually using a safe on a regular basis.
    Many of our floor safe clients address this issue by installing a small wall safe or floor mounted burglary safe in their bedroom or closet for the items they access on a daily or weekly basis.

General Safe Buying Tips:

  • Check for a thick solid steel door and walls: It is essential that the safe you purchase has both a solid steel door and walls of substantial thickness. Without this base level of steel protection, any safe can be opened within minutes despite the hoopla of additional advertised protection features. While the majority of top selling safes on the market tout a plethora of protection features, virtually all fail miserably in this essential area.
    The safe you choose must have at minimum a ½” thick solid steel door and a ¼” thick solid steel body.
    Steel is very expensive and heavy, vastly increasing the safes build cost and the cost of shipping overseas to the reseller. As a result, nearly all oversea manufactured safes (and even many local built safes) cut these costs by making their safes with thin sheet metal wrapped around various forms of drywall to give the appearance of a robust safe. Click here to learn more.
    Be highly suspect if the safe manufacturer or reseller doesn’t state solid steel or lists "composite" for their wall or door material as this can be anything from sheet metal wrapped around wood to sheet metal and drywall.
    Also be on the lookout for safe sellers that list just ‘door thickness’ rather than the barrier material type and thickness as this is a recent trick many underhanded safe marketers employ. By listing the total thickness of the safe door including the safe dial, barrier material, airspace, inner bolt work, etc....  the provided figure can sound quite impressive while actually preventing the buyer from obtaining any solid information on how thick the barrier material actually is or what it's made of.
    Click here to learn more about the industry recognized protection rating systems.
    For details on the protection levels offered by Brown Safe... click here.
  • Judge a safe by its weight - Weight is one of the biggest factors when determining the base ability of a safe to protect from burglary.
  • Steel is heavy, a quality floor safe will weigh much more than its narrow gage counterpart. These are the safes to look for.
  • Stick with a UL approved lock - Always check that the safe you plan to purchase has a UL approved Group 2 lock or better. The three dependable lock manufacturers are LaGard, Sargent & Greenleaf, and Kaba Mas. These are the only lock manufacturers that produce locks guaranteed to provide decades of trouble free operation.
    If you decide on a safe without a UL approval, there's a 95% chance the safe's lock comes from China. The vast majority of safe manufacturers who equip their safes with "their own" lock brand also use Chinese locks. While highly affordable, Chinese built locks are highly undependable and are prone to early failure.
    We routinely receive calls from agonizing safe owners permanently locked out of their safe by a malfunctioning Chinese lock. Opening these safes is generally a very costly and time consuming ordeal as it's nearly impossible for even a licensed locksmith to obtain accurate blueprints to aid in a clean repairable entry into the safe. Most safe owners in this unfortunate position opt for the faster and less expensive forced entry option. The safe is rendered unusable after a forced entry and the owner is stuck with a hefty bill and in the market for a reliable and secure safe... many current clients sought out our company after experiencing one or more highly unpleasant lockouts with inferior safes.
    To view details on our UL approved electronic keypad lock, click here.
    Click here to view info on our combination dial lock.
  • Consider entry convenience: A safe that is slow to open or access is a safe you are less likely to use. Adding an electronic lock can make opening the safe quick and easy, as well as enabling the user to reset the combination when needed without the aid of a locksmith or combination kit. For the ultimate in user convenience and security, a high grade biometric lock can't be beat.
    Click here to see our electronic lock offering.
  • Check for re-lockers: All quality safes should have re-lockers to help ensure the safe remains locked in the case of a burglary. Re-lockers are hardened pins that are triggered, in a variety of ways during an attack, and cannot be retracted without hours of drilling. The number of re-lockers on a safe will range from 2-10+ depending on the size and burglary grade of the safe.
    Bear in mind, re-locker pins only prove useful when the safe has a substantially thick steel door and walls. Most safes today are equipped with two or more re-locker pins. But on a steel deficient safe, these pins along with the locking bolts simply tear or bend right through the safe's thin door jamb by prying on the safe door with nothing more than a common crowbar.
    Click here to learn more about our glass plate re-locker system.
  • Consider a custom safe: Does the size of your chosen safe make best use of the space it's occupying? Is the interior layout of the safe well suited to your needs? In many cases there's room for improvement and this is where a custom safe is worth consideration. Brown Safe is one the only safe manufactures in the world to offer fully customizable safes. Custom sizes, finishes, and interiors are available at a very reasonable price point. We can work with you and/or your interior designer, architect, and contractor to ensure a quality safe built to your exact specifications.

Installing a Floor Safe:

  • Oversize the hole: If you are pouring a new slab we recommend blocking out a hole 6” larger than the safe and placing the safe once the slab has set. This will require mixing a small amount of concrete to put around the safe, but it prevents water from getting in through the door and lets the contractor concentrate on getting the slab poured correctly.
  • Fortify the concrete: When mixing concrete to pour around the floor safe, consider mixing in a concrete additive to increase the strength of the concrete surrounding the safe.