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All You Need to Know About Safes

Safes are everywhere, and they are pretty important.

You might see a big metal door at your credit union, and a room behind it with a lot of small doors with locks on them. That is a vault and those smaller ones are safe deposit boxes. Safes and vaults are a big part of keeping your valuables and money safe. There’s a lot of cool stuff in the history of safes and vaults. Keep reading to learn about them!

What’s the difference?bank safe

A vault is a kind of safe, but not all safes are vaults. A vault, like the one you might see in your credit union, is part of the building. Safes are smaller and built separately. Think of it as a fireplace and a stove. Vault, like a fireplace, is built into the building. Safes, like the stove, are big but they aren’t part of the building, even if they’re made to seem like they are.

Why might you need one?

People use safes and vaults to protect all sorts of things. It might be important documents, valuable gems, precious metals, cash, or any collectibles that have a lot of value.

Some safes are designed to also be fire-resistant. These are often used to store documents that you need to keep safe under any circumstance.

How are safes rated?

There are two ways to rate them: one is with the materials and the locks used to construct the safe or vault. The other is how long it takes a professional to break in.

A small fireproof safe made of plastic filled with fireproof material won’t have a high rating. It’s not designed to stop a break-in; it’s just there to keep things safe from fire or water.

The big vault at a credit union will have a rating from Underwriter Labs, they test all sorts of things and give them a quality rating. That would mean it’s built from really thick, hardened steel and will take a really long time to break into.

Cool safe and vault facts you might not know:

  • Some have a sheet of glass in the door, and if it cracks, the safe is permanently sealed.
  • The heaviest vault door is in Cleveland Ohio and weighs 91 tons.
  • The oldest known safe was found in the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II from the 13th century BCE.
  • The oldest safe deposit box is the Secret of Mehriz’s Castle.

Safes are pretty neat things. They can be works of art in some cases. Marvels of engineering. Some people look at them as puzzles. However you look at them, safes are important to keeping our valuables safe and secure. Look around your house, do you have any safes? A piggy bank is actually a type of safe!

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