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Drop Safes

Drop Safes, often interchangeably referred to as Depository Safes, are special-purpose safes typically used in the retail industry, and by restaurants, churches, and other organizations that frequently handle large amounts of cash and checks. These safes feature a drop slot, a depository door,  a rotary hopper or some other mechanism such as a drop chute for depositing cash, envelopes, or deposit bags into the drop safe. Once a deposit has been made into the safe, it cannot be retrieved unless the door to the safe is unlocked. The door to the safe can be secured by a wide variety of locking mechanisms, including a single key lock, dual key locks (two keys required to open safe), a dial combination lock, a single-user electronic lock, a multi-user electronic lock, or a fingerprint biometric lock. Except in the case of drop safes designed to be installed in a concrete floor, all drop safes come with pre-drilled anchor holes for securing the safe to a structurally sound object. Most drop safes can only be bolted through the base of the safe (i.e., to a floor) and not through the back wall of the safe. Anchoring a drop safe through the base of the safe is usually more secure than anchoring it to a wall through the back wall of the safe....[Read More]

 
There are several different types of drop safes:

Small Drop boxes. Small Drop boxes are very small safes that feature a small drop slot used for making deposits into the safe.  The drop slot is located either in the front or the top of the safe. Because of their small size and weight, drop boxes usually provide only a minimal degree of security. For this reason, these types of safes should only be used for handling a small amount of cash. Moreover, and for the reasons already mentioned, it is critically important that small drop boxes be bolted down to a structurally sound surface prior to putting them into operation. All safes of this type come with pre-drilled anchor holes for mounting. The vast majority of these safes have 4 anchor holes in the bottom of the safe.

Front-Loading Drop Safes. Front-loading drop safes come in a wide variety of sizes and feature a front-loading drop door for making deposits into the safe. Once a deposit has been made, it cannot be retrieved unless the door to the safe is unlocked. The drop door can accept deposits of cash, envelopes, or cash bags. These safes almost always come with 4 pre-drilled anchor holes located at the base of the safe for securing the safe to a concrete floor (ideal) or wood floor (less than ideal, but okay if done properly).

Top-Loading Drop Safes. Top-loading drop safes come is a wide variety of sizes and feature either a drop slot located at the top of the safe or a rotary hopper with a rotary drum and crank handle. If the safe has a rotary hopper, deposits are made by placing the deposit into the rotary drum at the top of the safe and then rotating the drum by turning the crank handle a full 360 degrees. Like front-loading drop safes, top-loading drop safes almost always come with 4 pre-drilled anchor holes located at the base of the safe for securing the safe to a concrete floor (ideal) or wood floor (less than ideal, but okay if done properly).  Top-loading drop safes with a rotary hopper can usually accept a larger package size than front-loading drop safes. These types of safes are also usually more resistant to attempts to fish the contents through the drop mechanism.

Drop Safes with an Interior Locker. Some front-loading drop safes come with an interior locker located inside the safe. The interior locker is where deposits made through the drop door are collected. The interior locker provide a means of limiting employee access to the safe. Employees who can open the door to the safe, but do not have a key to open the interior locker, can only access the space below the interior locker. However, employees or managers who can open the door to the safe and have a key to the interior locker can access both deposits made into a safe as well as the space below the interior locker. The interior locker is almost always secured by a single key lock or dual key locks. Because drop safes with an interior locker provide a means of controlling who has access to deposits and who has access to other storage inside the safe only, these types of safes provide an alternative to more expensive alternatives, such as double-door/2-door depositories or buying two safes, a drop safe for collecting deposits, and a separate burglary safe for separate storage of other valuables.

Double-Door / 2-Door Depositories. Double-door drop safes, also known as 2-door depositories, are special types of front-loading depository safes and top-loading drop safes. These safes feature two safe doors: (a) a door on the top protecting the drop area; and (2) a separate door located beneath the drop area. The two-door configuration is used for separating employee access into two separate areas of the safe: (1) the drop area, which is protected by the top safe door; and (2) the space beneath the drop area, which is protected by the bottom safe door. On wide body drop safes, the space beneath the drop area can be used for separate storage of cash register trays.

Rear-Loading Drop Safes. Rear-loading drop safes are designed with the drop door facing the rear of the safe. This design allows deposits to be made from the rear of the safe and retrieved from the front of the safe. Rear-loading drop safes are typically used in applications where deposits need to be made from one room and then accessed in another. In these cases, the safe can be installed in the wall separating the two rooms.

Installing a drop safe is a great way to improve security controls over cash handling and reduce the likelihood of external and internal theft. However, it is important to note that drop safes are designed for temporary storage of cash collections, not long-term storage of large amounts of cash. Given enough time and the right tools, any safe can be broken into. Moreover, drop safes are not fire resistant. For these reasons, it is very important not to use a drop safe as a substitute for making regular bank deposits.