Monthly Archives: November 2013

In-Floor Safes Part 2, the Downsides

In-floor safes provide terrific security from theft, but most customers decide against buying one when they learn about all the negatives.
1)  Difficult to install:  Floor safes are hard to install, especially if you need to cut a hole into an existing concrete floor.  Even when pouring a new floor it can be difficult to properly set the safe.
2)  Lack of space:  If all you are storing is gold or cash most floor safes will give you plenty of room.  But for bulkier items like silver or a coin collection or documents you will run out of space quickly.
3)  Inconvenient to use:  Getting down on hands and knees to unlock a floor safe is awkward.  Reaching down below floor level into the safe is worse.  Even if your knees and back allow you to do that now, will they still be OK in five or ten years?
4)  Water and moisture problems:  Most floor safes are not water-proof around the door, so a broken water heater, sewer backup, water from a fire hose or heavy rain can flood a floor safe and damage its contents.  A rising water table can flood the safe from below ground if there are cracks in the welds.  Floor safes tend to be more damp than above ground units, so they are more likely to develop odors and mildew.
5)  Rust:  When safes are installed so that there is contact with damp sand, most can rust through in just a few years.  A plastic or fiberglass safe body can prevent this problem.
6)  Lock problems:  Since the lock is below floor level, it is easy for sand and dirt to get inside it.  That will cause problems for any kind of lock.
7)  You can’t take it with you:  When you sell your house you will almost certainly need to leave a floor safe behind and buy a new one.

All that being said, the high security provided by floor safes make them appropriate for some folks.

In-Floor Safes, Part 1

In-floor safes offer several big security advantages compared to “above ground” units, but they also have limitations for most applications.



The first advantage is that they are out of sight – that is really important.  When properly installed they can be hidden by furniture or covered by a rug to become “invisible”.  Even if your floor safe is discovered, they are very difficult to open by anyone except a trained professional.  In fact, most of the safe technician’s usual opening techniques can’t be used on floor safes.     If properly installed in a concrete floor they are almost impossible to remove without big power tools.  In addition, a burglar cannot go through the side of a floor safe the way he might be able to on a standard type safe, and pounding on the door with a sledge hammer rarely works.



Some floor safes have removable “safe heads” that can easily be carried to a lock shop for a combo change.  This saves the cost of an expensive service call by the locksmith.  Businesses that need frequent combo changes appreciate the savings.

Next:  The downsides of in-floor safes.