In-Floor safes have a number of advantages over freestanding safes that make them a superior choice for protection against both burglary and fire -- especially when properly installed in a concrete slab at ground level. First, because they are installed in concrete, they are very difficult to remove from the premises or burglarize on-site. Second, the concrete surrounding in-floor safes and their in-the-ground installation makes an excellent fire resistant barrier, not only because concrete itself is fire resistant, but also because fire travels upwards and the safe is installed in the slab out of reach of most fires. Third, in-floor safes offer a concealment benefit by virtue of their ability to be easily concealed with carpet or some other object.
The vast majority of in-floor safes have strong Class B or Class C rated doors that are constructed of 1/2" or 1" hardened steel, respectively. The body of in-floor safes may be constructed of either steel or polyethylene. Polyethylene offers a few advantages, including rust and water resistance. It is important to note that, from a security perspective, the construction of the body of an in-floor safe is a lesser consideration than that of the door. This is because the body of in-floor safes is surrounded by concrete when installed, which itself provides excellent protection against burglary.
In-floor safes are usually installed by home builders or cement contractors. The best time to install an in-floor safe is when the concrete slab is being poured during new construction. In this case, the safe needs to be positioned properly when the slab is being poured and, once the concrete has been poured, protected from the elements during construction of the building. If the in-floor safe is being installed in an existing home, a hole needs to be cut in the concrete at the installation location. In general, the hole should allow approximately 3" on all sides of the safe (the more the better). Wire reinforcement can be added to add strength to the concrete surrounding the safe. All of our in-floor safes come with a cover plate for flush installation.
In-floor safes are available with dial combination locks, key-locking dials, key locks, and electronic locks. Electronic locks, while highly reliable and convenient to use, should be avoided in situations where there is a risk of water damage to the lock. The most common lock choice is a Group II dial combination lock.
The main disadvantage of in-floor safes is that they can be difficult to access by virtue of being installed at basement level, an inconvenient location for many homeowners. Despite this minor drawback, in-floor safes offer excellent burglary and fire protection and are the safe of choice among informed homeowners and businesses alike.