Choosing Your Personal Home Safe: The Definitive Guide

Is it worth having a safe at home?


Here’s the thing. If you are storing passports and other important documents, money, jewellery, maybe family heirlooms in your home that you cannot afford to lose, and these items are NOT currently locked away in a solid and secure safe, then you may want to weigh up what it might cost you if they perished in a fire, or someone broke into your home and stole not just your irreplaceable items, but the documentation that would allow them to steal your identity.

That is to say, installing a highly secure fire-resistant safe in your home that you can fit in your closet or office offers not just peace of mind but a high level of protection that is definitely worth the dollars spent.

For most folks, it’s important they can access their documents or cash as needed without having to visit their local bank’s safe-deposit vault.


How much does a safe deposit box cost?

Renting out a bank safe deposit box

Just to be clear here, a safe deposit box is normally a small drawer that’s located in your High Street bank vault room.

That bank-provided cash deposit drawer would have a yearly rental cost of between $500 to $6,000 depending on the size of the box and the storage company.

Your rented safe deposit box is only accessible to you during banking hours, most of the time you have to make an appointment, and you never own the box. The onus of security is on the bank. This is convenient, but if the bank is shut you don’t have access to your cash deposit box.

Investing in your own personal safe

A simple but good quality fireproof home safe is easy to install and quite often can be done for as little as $385.

None of this is hard work and can be done by anyone who is competent with some basic hand and electric tools.

These sorts of safes are ideal for domestic and light commercial security solutions to store paperwork, photographs, identity documents, and the like.

The only downside is that they are NOT cash insurance rated. That means this type of safe is not designed for items of a tangible value. But great for paperwork.

If you are someone who keeps a bit of jewellery, maybe has a few nice watches, possibly a little bit of cash, and you’re more interested in protecting your assets than saving a couple a hundred dollars on a safe, then you would be looking at the cash insurance rated safes that start at around $600 upwards, depending on size, cash rating, fireproofing, lock choice, etc.


What is the size of a safe deposit box?

Typically a safe deposit box in a bank is a drawer that’s 200mm high, 450mm deep, and 400mm wide. The vault is fireproof, but the actual cash deposit box is not.

The external dimensions of a small home safe start around 350mm high, 350mm deep, and 400mm wide.

The internal dimensions of the safe are just big enough to stack A4 paper without bending.

Big enough to fit A4 paper, but NOT big enough to store a laptop.

The ideal size for a home safe would be a Dominator HS-5D. This safe has a great cash and fire rating, they are well made, and the manufacturer offers excellent bang for your buck!

So when you buy a quality product like this you are buying value. Something that will last across generations.


What items should not be stored in a safe deposit box?

In a safe deposit box in a bank, you are NOT permitted to store firearms, ammunition, explosives, or liquid substances, amongst other items.

In your personal home safe, you can pretty much do what you want. And access it when you want.

We wouldn’t recommend storing anything “smelly” or “corrosive” in your safe, the reasons for which are pretty obvious.


Delivery and installation of your safe deposit box

If it’s a simple DIY purchase, we can courier it out to you so you can do it yourself and save some money.

Or, we can arrange to do it for you.

Most of the cash insurance rated safes have glass and mechanical security measures inside the safe’s door and require very careful handling. It is therefore not recommended that these are DIY delivery and installation. It’s best you get one of our experts to do it for you.


The Best Home Safes in Australia

This is horses for courses!

There are so many different variables in your personal circumstances and needs that we cannot give a definitive black and white answer here.

Some things we suggest you look for:

    • Is the floor in your home wooden or concrete? We don’t recommend putting a safe weighing more than 300kg on a wooden floor. Over time it could make the floor spongy. Concrete floors are easy – you can store what you want on them. Weight is only a consideration when your safe exceeds 700kg.


    • Are you in a fire-prone area? We recommend people in a high-risk area invest in a premium fire-resistant home safe.


    • Are you storing valuables that have a tangible dollar figure in your personal safe? For example, if what you store in your safe is something that you expect to be paid out on in an insurance claim, you need your home safe to have an equivalent or higher cash insurance rating than the assets you are protecting.


    • What lock type do you prefer? You can choose which type of lock you are comfortable using when you purchase your home safe. It can be a digital lock, combination, key, biometric, or in some cases a combination of all these.


  • Do you need internal shelving and/or compartments? These can, for some models, be added as part of our customisation service.


Best Safe for Storing Valuables at Home – 1

Best Personal Safe for Storing Valuables at Home - Oxley

Our experts recommend an Oxley Safe – Size 1 that comes with a Fire Rating of 60 minutes, and a Cash Rating up to $60,000.

Tested to the highest quality in its class against attack. Approved by Sold Secure to Gold Standard for burglary protection. This safe is TDR which is Torch & Drill Resistant.

Oxley Safe – Size 1


Best Safe for Storing Valuables at Home – 2

Best Personal Safe for Storing Valuables at Home - Victoria Safe

Our experts recommend a Victoria Safe Company Pre-Used Safe that comes with a Fire Rating of 60 minutes, and a Cash Rating up to $10,000.

Tested to the highest quality in its class against attack. Approved by Sold Secure to Gold Standard for burglary protection. This safe is TDR which is Torch & Drill Resistant.

Oxley Safe – Size 1


Speak to One of Our Experts

At CAPTAIN SAFE, we do not manufacture safes. What we do – and do it extremely well – is customise new and second-hand, pre-used safes to fit your unique storage specifications. We can tailor-make a personal home safe to include additional shelving space and locked storage. You may also require additional external locking devices.

Our purpose-built, high-end bespoke safes are engineered to meet and surpass industry standards.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can customise a quality personal safe for you, speak with one of our Security Industry experts on:

1300 648 182 or you may contact us via email: contact us.

We look forward to your call.


Nigel Hemming - Managing Director, Captain Safe

~ Nigel Henning, Managing Director, CAPTAIN SAFE


Nigel Henning is the business owner, director, and driving force behind the success of Captain Safe, based in Geelong, Victoria. A security expert since 2000, Nigel has been a leader in the Australia Safe Industry since 2016.

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