What are Wall Safes?

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  • Written By: Brendan McGuigan
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 06 October 2019
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Wall safes are boxes that can be secured against intrusion, nestled into a wall to hide them from casual discovery. Wall safes are considered by many to be more secure than traditional safes because they require a potential thief not only to break the lock on the safe, but also to discover the location of the safe in the first place.

Wall safes are usually made from thick steel, though some other varieties are available. Some wall safes, for example, are lined with lead to protect against radiation, or with flame-retardant alloys to help protect the safe in case of a fire. Most wall safes are designed to resist not only theft, but also dust, water, fire and harmful gasses. To this end, wall safes may be fitted with airtight seals and other measures to ensure they close hermetically.


Ratings found on wall safes for fire and explosion protection are determined by extensive testing. For fire rating, the safe is placed within a fire raging at 1700°F (925°C) with a heat sensor and pieces of paper inside. It is left at this temperature for a full hour, or even up to 1850°F (1010°C) for two hours, depending on the rating being sought. Throughout the blaze, and during the cool-down period, the temperature within the safe must never exceed 350°F (175°C). After the safe has cooled entirely, it is opened and investigated to make sure that it still works adequately and that the contents of the safe are in good condition. To test for explosion, a safe is put inside a fire at 2000°F (1095°C) and left for half an hour. If it doesn't explode under these conditions, it is rated as explosion-safe.

Wall safes may use a number of different locking mechanisms. Some wall safes use combination locks, which range from three to nine digits and offer varying degrees of security. Other wall safes require a key or even two keys, one for an outer door and one for an inner. High-security wall safes may use a form of biometric security, requiring a finger or retinal scan to open, usually in tandem with a keyed-in combination. Digital combination locks are also increasingly popular, offering an easy way to set long combinations less susceptible to brute-force breaking. Still other wall safes may use a time lock, unlocking only at specific times of day —- such as during business hours.

The placement of wall safes plays an important part in determining their security. The location of a safe is its first line of defense, and a number of innovative strategies have been developed to hide wall safes from casual burglary. The most famous placement of wall safes, due in no small part to Hollywood portrayals, is of course behind a painting. Other methods include drop-away portions of wood paneling and false curtains. Some companies also offer small wall safes for storing valuable jewelry and money, which look identical to a standard wall power outlet.

Wall safes can be a wonderful way to store valuable documents, hard currency and jewelry. They can be quite affordable, and their use both as an anti-burglary device and as protection in case of fire makes them indispensable for many people.


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Post 1

I need to get a wall safe. I think it would be a really smart investment.

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