Whether you are looking for a safe place to store valuable documents or an under bed gun safe, it’s important to be smart with your money. The most expensive safes aren’t always the best in the market, and getting the wrong safe can leave your valuables vulnerable to burglars. Or worst yet, it can result in you being locked out of your own safe, which can be quite the headache. If you’d like to avoid these and other issues, here are some tips that will help you buy a great safe.

1 - Start with a budget

There is not really an upper or lower limit to how much you can spend on a safe. Some options in the market cost less than $100, while others cost hundreds of thousands. And since how much you are willing to spend on a safe will likely be proportional to how valuable the things you plan to store on that safe are, this is a good place to start planning.

As mentioned, the most expensive safes are not always the best. But there are levels of quality you can only find on the higher end of the safe market. After all, it costs more to put together safes with stronger materials and more intricate locking mechanisms, which will also be resistant to a wider range of attacks.

2 - Consider the use

Where are you going to place the safe, and what do you intend to keep inside the safe? The answer to these two questions will greatly narrow down what types of safe you should look into. For example, gun safes are often designed to be secure but quick to open, especially when it comes to safes meant for handguns. That’s because they are designed to prevent unauthorized people from fiddling with the weapon while still allowing a gun owner to get their weapon in a hurry if needed.

Safes meant for jewelry and other valuables, on the other hand, can be much sturdier and slow to open since there’s seldom a need to open them quickly.

3 - Consider environmental risks

Environmental conditions are also worth noting. If you live in an area where flooding is an issue, you’ll want a safe that can withstand water damage and being submerged. There are also fireproof safes, which use a variety of methods to keep even paper intact in the event of a house fire.

It’s also important to keep the interior of the safe free from humidity. Humidity and mold can damage the contents of a safe, and some safes come with some sort of dehumidifier solution out of the box to tackle this issue.

4 - Check independent reviews

A good independent review by a professional third party can give you a good glimpse into how secure a safe is. There is no such thing as a 100% secure safe, but you can choose to buy one that requires power tools and/or very specialized knowledge to open. And these third-party reviews will also let you find out if there are any blatant security flaws with a safe.

The latter is important, especially if you hope to keep the contents of your safe protected from people you live with. Anyone who can find out the make and model of your safe can look up their security flaws online, and you’ll want to make sure those flaws aren’t easy to exploit. This is also a reason why keeping your safe away from view is so important.