Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
At Dominator Safes, we aim to have the answers when you've got questions. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions we receive. If you don't find the answer you're looking for, don't hesitate to contact our expert team.
What type of safe should I buy?
While there are a number of versatile, multi-purpose safes included in the product range, different security applications require different styles or types of safes to provide an efficient, secure solution. You should consider a variety of factors when choosing the safe that is right for you, such as:
- Do you need protection from fire as well as theft?
- Does the safe need to comply with any specific secure storage regulations?
- How often will the safe be accessed?
- What volume of storage space will be suitable?
Some of these answers are found in the following FAQs, however our expert team can gladly assist you in answering these questions and more to narrow down your search and ensure the right safe for your unique application.
Are in-floor safes the best choice?
In-floor (or below ground) safes certainly have their positive points and ideal applications. For instance, the fact that it is impossible to break-in to a safe that cannot be found. However, there is more to consider when deciding on your ideal safe than just this one point.
In-floor safes are ideal solutions for valuables storage applications where the users may not require frequent or regular access to the safe’s contents, but want to long-term secure storage solution. As the safe is installed below the ground, and usually concealed by floor coverings and/or furniture, it may not be the most suitable for storage of valuables that require more convenient organisation and more frequent access.
What is a cash rating?
Cash ratings, often referred to as “insurable cash ratings”, are terms associate with a sort of grading reference system that allows consumers to identify the security grade or level of security offered by a particular safe.
In their original application, cash ratings were applied to safes, as a cross-referencing tool for insurance companies to determine whether a specific safe was suitable for use in protecting cash holdings, usually in commercial applications. The higher the volume of cash being stored, the higher the cash rating the insurer would require the safe was rated to. In theory, it sounds like a very practical system that served a necessary function purpose, although there is sometimes a bit of uncertainty about the ratings being advertised, as there are no “official” Australian testing houses to certify safes to a particular cash rating.
In more recent times, as society has trended away from a majority-cash economy, the rating system has become more of a cross-referencing tool between different models of safe, as opposed to a direct reference as to what sum of valuables should be stored inside a particular safe. If two similar safes are compared, and one has a higher cash rating, it can be understood that it would be more difficult to gain access to the higher-rated safe than the other. Furthermore, it should be noted that valuables, as opposed to cash, are always assessed at different ratios when determining insurable ratings, with some insurance companies agreeing to insure up to ten times the advertised cash rating of a good-quality, high-security safe.
Always consult your individual insurance company to find out if there are any specific secure storage requirements to your insurance policy, and do not hesitate to contact our experienced team if you need assistance navigating the industry jargon surrounding these elements of security.
How do I change my combination?
Changing combinations to a safe is usually very easy… when you know how! The issue is that there are so many different brands of safe locks in the market that you first need to identify the make and model of the lock to determine the process for changing the combinations. The change procedure is relevant to the safe lock more than the brand of the safe, as you may find that the most well-known safe brands will tend to use locks from the most well-known brands of safe locks and install them into their safes.
Mechanical combination safe locks – the type you often see in the movies – are usually changed by way of a mechanical tool, called a “change key”. The shape of the change key can differ between brands, although the process itself is usually the same.
Electronic safes locks are much easier to change, as they usually just require a sequence of button presses to make the change, although as stated, you must identify the safe lock model prior to attempting, as you may cause more issues if you just ‘have-a-go’. Cheap “generic” electronic locks will often use a reset button to engage the change procedure, much like hotel safes or hardware store safes, as these styles are more like a basic electronic relay than an actual lock. High security electronic safe locks, like those produced by Tecnosicurezza, LaGard and K.J. Ross will typically have a button sequence to initiate the change process, then two additional steps to verify the new code, which is then embedded into the lock’s memory. A much more secure way to operate.
We have a comprehensive support page, which includes user guides and instruction manuals for many of the leading brands of safe locks however, feel free to send us a picture of your safe if you need help identifying the model relevant to your own safe – [email protected]
Does my safe need to be installed?
The short answer is yes!
But we realise it is not always that easy. If it is possible to install the safe, by attaching it to the physical structure of the building it is being stored in, then we would recommend it gets done. To provide a bit more context and understanding, a single 12mm (good quality) dynabolt, correctly installed, can withstand more than 750kgs of tensile and shear load, in the form of forced removal from concrete. If you add more bolts, the resistance compounds and makes the already difficult task of removing your safe far more unlikely. By installing your safe properly, you can essentially make 100kg safe feel like it weighs several tonnes to anyone of anything that attempts to remove it.
Not every property has engineered concrete floors to install the safe to, so it is always a case of doing the best you can with what you have. If you have a timber structured floor, use high quality coach bolts and try to get them into structural beams or joists. If you have undefloor heating or another preventative from installing through the ground, you could opt for a rear fix safe that can be secured to the wall. Which ever way you decide, it is definitely more advisable to install your safe where possible, to eliminate the easy removal of what is essentially a container of your most valuable possessions.
What is a fire rating?
Fire ratings, much like cash ratings, are a reference tool to help consumers gauge the level of protection from heat, flames and even falling impacts, in the unfortunate event of a fire at their property. Unlike cash ratings, fire ratings are able to be objectively measured and certified by testing the safes’ performance in an active furnace fire test.
It is not uncommon to see the term “Fireproof” being used with safes however, we always suggest the use of “Fire-resistant” as there is no material that is 100% fireproof. It is always a case of the amount of resistance a material can provide against fire, measured by temperature and time exposure on the outside of the safe relative to the internal temperature in the safe.
There are a variety of ways that safes can achieve their protection against fire, using different types of materials in their construction. Safes can be fabricated as a steel box, then lined with fire retardant linings, or they can be made into hollow steel shells that are then filled with a concrete compound, that provides insulation as well as increased security. You can even find plastic fire containers that contain a sort of insulated fire clay inside the walls, that won’t provide any security, but will resist fire.
It is also important to understand that different types of items will be destroyed at different temperatures. The most commonly used standard of fire resistance is UL350 (Underwriter;s Laboratories), which refers to the temperature that documents (paper) can safely be exposed to without being destroyed (350°F), yet the equivalent grade for data is UL110 (110°F) which clearly shows the destruction of data occurs much sooner than that of paper. It is therefore important that you do the necessary research to identify the temperature that you need your safe to safely maintain in order to protect what is valuable to you.