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I like to keep my 'personal and important documents as safe as I can, mainly, due to previous experience, it really is a pain in the 'you know where' when something like you driving licence or passport go missing.
So where is the best place to keep that personal and important documents from prying eyes and thieving little toe rags? Well, you could put them in a metal air tight container and bury them in a deep hole at the bottom of your garden. Although when it comes to needed your passport for a holiday this means you do have to dig the metal container up, take out you passport, (or what ever you need), then bury the box again. Remembering to dig the container up to put your passport back into it, then bury it all over again...
If you do bury it on you garden then this process of digging it up and re burying it every time you need something out of it could lead to a lot of back breaking work that may not be worth the troubles that it causes.
However, there are other ways to keep your important documents safe and away from prying eyes, such as hiding them under your mattress, or maybe slotting them under a loose floorboard or even keeping them in you coat pocket.
One way I have found is to invest in a safe so that I can simply slip all my stuff into it without any real hassles and absolutely no digging up in my garden.
But before you think that a safe would take up too much room let me stop you there, I'm not talking about a safe that you see when your in your local Natwest,(other banks have safe's too), which are bigger than a standard toilet suite. I'm talking about a safe that I happened upon a while back that takes up very little room indeed and yet manages to keep my things nice and, well, safe.
The safe that I am talking about, the one which I have my things in, is on fact made by a well known lock manufacturer called Yale, with this safe having the full name of Yale digital security safe.
Firstly, let me get the few specs about this safe...
It has a capacity of 20.5 litres with the actual size of the safe being about 300mm wide by 200mm high and 200 deep, although it is smaller on the inside as it is about 300mm long by 150mm high and 185mm wide. The whole safe weighs just over 13 kg which means that it won't be carried away by a gush of wind although it is still light enough to carry away.
So what is the point in having a safe that can be carried away by a midget ant..? I hear you ask.
Well, this one can be bolted into either the ground or a wall then carrying this away could be a bit tricky indeed.
The bolts that you use to 'bolt' this to the wall or floor do come with this safe and there are pre-drilled holes in the safe outer walls to accommodate the bolts so that the safe can be put into position straight from the box.
If you don't want to strap this to a wall then you can have it free standing without damaging any tops that it is sat on as it has lovely little felt feet.
What does it look like then..?
It's not massive so it really is for small things such as documents, passports, small amounts of cash and such sized items.
The outside of the safe looks like a safe, being made of steel and looking as strong as the proverbial ox. The door itself, as you look at it when closed, has ten numbers on it, with an enter button and a key symbol on either side of the '0' button.
Above the numbers there is a little basic LCD screen which displays the information that you need to know,
On the right side of the numbers there is a little Yale logo which is actually a cover that hides the override keyhole.
On the inside of the door there is a little hatch which, when released, shows the battery compartment that hold the four AA batteries required to use the safe.
The inside of the safe itself has a rather nice feel to it with cloth scattered around the floor and walls. This makes your valuables sit in the safe all nice and snug.
There is a removal shelf that slots into the safe in case you want to have more room, sort of, being able to then put things above other things in a more 'neater' manner.
Is it safe to use..?
Yes. Simple as that really.
Here is where I could go into how to set the safe code, or maybe how to open it up with the key and without it too. But I won't, all I will say is that if you follow the instructions that come with the safe then you'll know exactly what you're doing in no time. And, with the easy to read and very simple display, which shows basic messages, and I mean basic.
The door itself locks in position using two strong 22mm bolts which slide from the door into the safe wall, locking the door firmly shut.
So what about opening and closing..?
To open the safe you need to use the numbers that you set up in the first place. These can be a selection of 3 to 8 numbers of your own choice, so choose wisely so that you don't forget.
Although if you do forget you can use the 'override' key to enter the safe.
But if you do enter the wrong code three times then an alarm will blast out, although blast out may not be the right word here as it may be a bit of an irritating alarm but it won't alert the people next door.
I clearly states that you should not leave the keys inside the safe, which is so obvious as, if you forget the code, or things go pear shaped, then the only way to open the safe is to unlock it with the key, which, if you've left them inside the safe, then you'll never get into the safe ever ever again...ever. So you'll be left with one rather strange looking door-stop.
Is there anything else that may be useful..?
One thing that I thought would be a pain in the 'what-sits' is that when changing the batteries I'd have to reset the code. Luckily though, the safe seems to have some form of primitive memory chip installed inside the metal body somewhere as it remembers the code so that I can stick with my lucky numbers... 1-2-3-4-5-6-7.... easy to remember really but don't tell anyone will you... thanks.
What's the final result..?
This is well worth investing in as it will save your personals as long as they fit into the safe of course.
It is strong enough to stop most attempted forced entries, although I've not actually tried forcibly breaking into this safe with a drill or a bit of TNT, but the solid structure should be able to take a good battering in order to keep what ever is inside nice and safe.
The hinges, or hinge as it runs from top to bottom, is nice and strong, making the door itself feel solid as it swings open and closed, giving me confidence when I put my stuff in it and the door slams shut.
As I said you need 4 AA batteries to use the electronic safe, I use the well known brand Duracell as I find that they last a lot longer.
So, how much does it cost to keep your stuff away from prying eyes and as safe as, well, as safe as houses I think the saying goes, although houses aren't really that safe these days are they?
Anyway, the price of this safe is around £100, which is not that bad at all really considering the fact that a passport, driving licence and other items cost a lot more if they go missing and end up in someone else hands... there's a lot of damage that can be done if someone gets hold of certain documents.
Every time we travel abroad and store our passports and currency in the safe in the room, we always ask ourselves why we take such precaution on holiday but not at home. We used to hide our passports and any left over currency, valuables, etc somewhere in the house, but after one close shave when I couldn't remember where that safe place was, we decided it was time to invest in somewhere that we could store our valuables in at home.
After a little shopping around I was pleased to find a solid sounding Yale safe which sounded like it would be perfect for our needs. What was more pleasing was that I had some spare Amazon vouchers and it was half the RRP on Amazon. Retailing at nearly £80, I managed to pick it up for £37 on Amazon which included free delivery.
The safe is solid and made of steel construction. Inside it has quite a pleasant soft material and is a nice sized area to store any valuables and documents inside.
Supplied with two manual override keys, this is handy in case the electronic lock fails. It requires 4 batteries to power the electronic display.
At first I was being a bit thick when we decided to get a safe, thinking surely if anyone found the safe should we be unfortunate enough to be burgled, then they would surely just nick the whole thing?! No No No! What do I know?! The safe actually comes with pre drilled holes in the back and the base so they can either be wall mounted in a hidden place or secured to the floor. We have managed to secure ours inside a built in wardrobe and that safe is going nowhere! It is absolutely solid!
The only thing I would say is that if found during a burglary it does give the impression that something is actually worth nicking inside! Well if a V5 document and a load of passports is their thing then I guess they're luck is in! I however, don't have anything that I would really consider all that valuable, my jewellery is worn all the time and I don't have £20,000 in notes hidden inside (unfortunately!). It is a handy place to keep things where you will remember where they are! I 'lost' our spare car keys and when we sold the car we had to sell it with only one key which obviously reduced the value. Predictably a week or so after selling the car I found the 'safe' place and the spare key! Now, things like this automatically go in the safe to avoid things like that happening again.
Requiring a code to access the safe, you can use any combination you like between 3 and 8 digits in length. You must remember it though! A handy one is maybe your PIN for your bank cards. If the wrong combination is entered 3 times, an alarm sounds. This would obviously act as a deterrent but wouldn't really be heard from outside the property so would rely on either deterring a burglar or someone being inside the house at the same time as a robbery (and not know about it!).
The battery indicator on the front of the safe is handy to know how long you have to go until the batteries need replacing. You obviously don't want to be getting in the situation where the batteries run out, although if they do, this is when the override key would come into use (as long as you haven't locked it in your new safe place: the safe!).
While this safe couldn't be compared to a top of the range safe, you would expect if you had something super super valuable, then you would invest in something a little more top end in the 'safe world'!
I bought my yale electronic safe during my student days when I was sharing a house. Although I trusted my housemates there was always friends and people in and out visiting so the safe just gave me a little bit more of a sense of security for my posessions in my room rather than leaving them out on display.
The safe is nice and heavy and feels very solid and secure and it doesn't feel as though someone would be able to just jammy it open with ease.
It is eletronic and works on batteries which come supplied and you just need to choose a code that you can easily remember but which will be difficult for a stranger to guess. The set up is incredibly easy and even the most technophobic people will be able to work it with no problems.
The keypad is quite good and the buttons need a good push down which means you can't punch your code in too fast which cuts down the chances of entering your code wrong.
Even if you forget your code then it isn't a problem as the safe comes supplied with two override keys which means you can still open the safe incase you do accidentaly forget your code. Obviously it makes sense to keep the keys in a completely seperate place from the safe just incase anyone does find them and realises what they are for.
If you do forget your code and enter a wrong one three times an alarm will sound which is quite loud and an added little security feature. Using the override jeys will also allow you to reset your code.
One of my biggest problems with these types of home safes is the fact that although they may be difficult to get into a thief could easily just pick the safe up and take it with them. This safe gets around this problem by having predrilled holes and bolts so you can attach it to a secure surface meaning that it will be much more difficult for a thief to bother with.
Inside the safe there isn't a great deal of room for any large objects but it is more than large enough to store all your important documents such as passports and birth certificates. I also store some gold coins in it and there is a shelf so you can seperate items keeping anything delicate safe from damage.
Personally I think the safe is a great item and although not really needed in most homes it is nice to have a little bit of added security for your important things. A really determined thief might be able to gain access to the safe but for the thief in a hurry they are unlikely to try and take the time and effort that would be needed to gain access.
I only paid £40 for my safe but this was awhile ago and I see dooyoo show Amazon is selling it for only £25 which is a fantastic price for this safe.
We had this safe bought for us for Christmas by my boyfriends parents, although we have only just got it out of the box, as we didn't really think we had anything worth hiding in a safe! But when we looked round, we though it might be a good idea to put the cameras, ipods, passports etc all safely away in this safe.
I though this safe would be heavier than it is, it is lighter than it looks, but it still feels very well made. We have actually put ours up on the wall under the stairs. It was easy enough to put up on the wall, it needed two people to put it up though, one needs to hold it whilst the other one fixes it to the wall.
To open this safe, you need to firstly set up the code you want to use, and if you forget this code, there are two keys supplied with the safe which you can use to override this. You can set up two codes, and then you just twist the handle to open it when you have put your code in.
This safe is made of steel, but inside they have put a lining in it, so your cameras etc wont get scratched. You also need to put in 4 AA batteries for this safe to work.
It suprising how much you can actually fit in this safe even though it is small, it is more than big enough for our camera, ipods etc, with plenty of space left over. It is good to keep important documents in too, and you always know exactly where to look if they are in there, we are always losing stuff like our passports as we usually just throw them in a drawer, so now we know it is all safe in one place.
Our safe is black, and after searching on google, amazon are doing the same one as ours for £34.99 which is a decent price which everybody could afford to keep your valuables safe! I highly recommend everyone has one of these safes, but you must fix it down to something otherwise someone could just pick it up and take it!
These safes are exactly like the ones you get in holiday apartments, they are small, easy to use and gives you peace of mind that your things are safe when you go out!
My husband and I have had one of these Yale Electronic Home Safes for around 3 years now, buying it after we unfortunately got burgled. Thankfully the *******s were disturbed, so they didn't actually get away with anything, but we felt at the time that it would be a good idea to get a little safe to keep valuables in and stash this away somewhere hidden in the house to make things a little more secure.
We only paid around £30 for this safe from a small electronics shop, and we chose the black version over the silver colour the safe came in because we thought this both looked nicer although it doesn't really matter as our safe is well hidden, and any potential burglars wouldn't have a clue it was where it is anyway. No-one aside from myself and my husband knows where it is, so there's no risk of a burglar or other villain from spotting it or knowing about it.
One of the features I liked about this safe is the fact you can bolt it to the floor, so in the event that it's whereabouts are discovered, a robber can't simply pick the safe up and walk off with it, opening it at their leisure someplace safe. We found bolting it to a immovable surface to be fairly easy, I think it only took my husband 5 minutes to bolt it down in the hiding place.
The safe comes with full, easy to understand instructions on how to use it, starting with inserting 2 x AA batteries into the door of the safe to power the locking bolts that slide shut once the door is closed, locking the safe. Once the batteries are in, you enter your chosen 3-8 digit code on the easy to use keypad, and set this code as the one to lock/unlock your safe.
The safe also comes with 2 overriding keys, which if you forget your pin, you can use to unlock the safe manually. We keep these well hidden in the house also, so no one would know what the keys were for even if they found them, plus the keyhole on the safe is hidden (you'll find out where when you buy one) so it's not even obvious there IS a key for the safe.
One of the extra features is that if you put the wrong pin number into the safe 3 times in a row, an alarm goes off. We set this off once to test how loud it was etc, and it was enough to be heard from our bedroom at the other end of the house, and would probably wake us if we were asleep. The alarm runs for a couple of minutes and I imagine it's noisy enough to put people off trying to steal from the safe, particularly at night time.
We've had to change the batteries twice in about 3 years since buying this safe, but there is a battery indicator on the front of the LCD display on the safe, meaning you are always alerted as to when they are running out. If by any chance you do let the batteries die completely, you'll have to use the override keys to open the safe.
At approximately 25cm x 40cm x 25cm in dimensions, this safe is big enough for us to keep a variety of valuable in it, and the safe is very easy to set up and operate. The safe is a tough, heavy little thing made out of toughened steel so it won't give in to being battered by power tools, which is handy. Whilst this safe might not keep a hardened professional criminal away from it's contents for long, we feel that the safe is secure and tough enough to deter most petty criminals and house burglers, and we feel much better having our most valuable items safely locked away in this safe, hidden in the house.
When I first started out modelling most of the work I was getting was a long way from home and it made much more sense for me to live in Edinburgh than travelling through there regularly from Fife so I looked for shared digs and eventually found a nice wee flat share with three other models.
Now I am not saying any of them would have stolen from me but there's a bloody good chance they just might have so when I saw this little Yale electronic home safe on a trip to Homebase one day I just had to have it for peace of mind.
It cost me around the £30 mark, this was a little over two years ago, they had two to choose from a black one or a silver one, I went for black and it looked pretty nice although how it looked didn't really matter as long as it kept my stuff safe.
Starting out as a model it has to be said I didn't really have a lot of money but I used to keep my expensive makeup in it as well as things like my USB pendrive with my digital portfolio on it and various other little things that I didn't want to fall into the wrong hands.
It has a very simple to use digital locking system and as it runs on batteries this system can be bypassed using the key should the batteries run out you get a clear warning your batteries are going when they do but they don't run out quickly, I had my safe for over a year and used it regularly and only after about 14 months did I need to replace the 2 AA batteries that it uses.
It comes with two keys and I would suggest you do as I did and keep one on your person and one in a very safe place or with a member of your family or something like that. It also comes with four bolts so you can bolt it to the floor so someone can't just take the whole safe, a very nice photographer I know carried this task out for me as I would have been hopeless, although he did say it was very simple and it only took him ten minutes.
On the outside this is a sturdy steel frames safe and inside it has a nice little fabric base on which to place your valuables. It is 10X14X10 inches in size so if you want to store gold bullion then better get something a bit bigger but I guess you get the idea of what this can be used for.
I would happily recommend this to others and if you are like I used to be, staying in shared accommodation then I would suggest one of these is a very good idea, just remember to write down the pin code you set and not to be silly enough to write it down where others can find it.
I have for a lot of years used a safe at home for keeping my personal belongings such as my passport and very important documents, and I like to keep certain valueables locked away from prying eyes.
I bought this safe from Argos for around £30 a couple of years ago and I think they are excellent value for money. They come in different colours usually black or beige.
It has an easy programmable digital locking system and can be over ridden by a key, if the battery runs out for the digital lock, but it does pre warn you it is going to run out of battery well before it needs replacing. It takes 2 x AA batteries and they last a good 12 months or more, depending how often you use the safe but I use it around once a week and the batteries have always lasted a year so far.
It comes with 2 keys, and 4 locking bolts, so you can bolt it to the floor or inside a wardrobe or cupboard, or it can just be a free standing item also but I recommend it to be bolted down onto a hard surface as with free standing it can be easily removed by burglars.
You programme the digital lock to your own pin number, and once you have your 6 digit number, and you want to unlock the safe, you just key in your pin number and then click the B on the keypad and it is unlocked. To lock it you just close the door and turn the handle.
It is a very sturdy safe made from steel and in the inside there is a nice little fabric mat to place your belongings.
It measures 10 inches x 14 inches x 10 inches rectangle and there is ample room for jewellery and other precious belongings and documents.
It is advisable to not write down your personal pin number but that is the obvious as in the banking system too.
It is light enough to carry and that is why I recommend you secure it firmly down and 4 bolts are provided with the purchase of this item.
If the need arises to use the key, the keyhole has a cover which can be removed to access the keyhole.
In my home I have 2 of these items, one for myself and my wife has one too, and ours are bolted inside a cupboard and so if burglars did break into our home they could not remove the safe.
I rate this product a dooyoo rating.
Security is something that's always on peoples minds, shows like Crimewatch just add paranoia to the general public and that's one of the main factors why people are willing to spend that extra bit of money to protect, not only themselves but their family and of course their possessions.
I've always found safes to be a bit of a pointless addition to your home, if anyone has seen Crimewatch you'll have noticed that whenever a reconstruction of a burglary is shown the buglers always go straight for the safe and the longer it takes you to open the safe the more and more in danger you become. Therefore why potentially risk your life for the inevitable? If you're going to get broken into surely they're going to get into your safe one way or another and run off with its contents.
Living in quite a safe area (touch wood), there haven't been any burglaries to my knowledge therefore break ins have never been high on my list of worries; my scatter brain however is. I lose everything, therefore a safe is a great option for me to house all my valuables without the worry of losing things. I previously had a safe from Argos which when I moved out I gave to my Dad so I went online and purchased a new one.
*** Availability ***
Whilst trawling the internet for a new safe I came across this one - the Yale Safe With LCD Display & Digital Keypad. What captured me first about this one was the look, it's black with a polished and stylish finish to it. That coupled with the fact that it looked strikingly similar to my previous safe, I looked at the stats and was a little hesitant at the £42.60 price tag but in the end I thought it was worth it and purchased it online from the website choiceful.com.
*** Setting Up ***
The safe was delivered on time to my door and came in a (very heavy) box not much bigger than the safe itself. You'll find a small instruction booklet inside the safe which informs you of how to set it up. Also inside the safe are two overriding keys.
The instructions are laid out in a clear and easy to follow manner, infact even without the instructions the safe is so easy to set up you could probably do it anyway. Two AA batteries are required, which thankfully are supplied with the safe. These are inserted in the inside of the door and are very easily inserted. Once the batteries have been inserted you will be prompted to enter your pin code which can be between 3 and 8 digits long. You're required to enter the code twice, press the enter button and that's that. The safe actually has two pin codes that you can use, usually the other code is set to 8888 or 0000 so it's a good idea to change both codes. Not only for security reasons but just incase you happen to forget the main pin number. This is also good if you share the safe with someone else, so instead of them having to remember your code they can make their own up.
The two overriding keys are something I've never had to use as of yet, I keep them safe in a drawer just incase the batteries ever run out, leaving me unable to enter my pin number. You'll notice in the picture above there is a yellow sticker on the right side of the keypad. This is a little compartment that is removed to enable you to unlock and lock the safe manually. The fact that it's hidden is a great little aspect of this safe because it means that only you know that it's there. Therefore even if someone does happen to get hold of your keys they're highly unlikely to know what they're for.
The safe has the ability to be fixed to a wall or even the floor, through the use of four holes on the bottom and back of the safe. I however went for the easy option and decided just to keep this in my wardrobe as I have a mounted floor in one of my wardrobes enabling easy access.
*** Ease OF Use ***
The safe is extremely easy to use, getting into the safe is easy if you know how and you have the right code(s)/keys. The keypad is laid out very clearly and the buttons are easily pressed. My only bugbear with the buttons is that being a rubber type they can tend to stick occasionally but this is easily rectified with a bit of fiddling. You have the option of a silent mode for the safe if preferred, I personally prefer to have the silent mode on all the time as hearing the digits beep everytime they're pressed can get a little annoying. Silent mode, fortunately doesn't affect the embedded alarm. If an incorrect pin is entered 3 times in a row a continuous alarm will sound; I say continuous but in reality the alarm only sounds for around 2 minutes. This disables use of the safe and you will have to wait until the alarm has finished to then enter the pin again. The alarm can be overridden by the use of the keys. The alarm is a nice feature and if you're in the house then you're likely to hear it however if you're not in the house, which is when a burglar will most likely strike the alarm will become completely irrelevant as it isn't loud enough to alert anyone but people in the house. It might make the burglar jump but apart from that it is superfluous.
Inside the safe is a shelf placed in the middle, the shelf is removable however I choose to keep it in as it allows you to store more in the safe without having to pile everything on top of things. The shelf is very sturdy and is able to hold a considerable amount of weight.
The safe's capacity is actually quite impressive as when you look at the picture it appears relatively small. The safe easily holds flat A4 documents, however be warned that it isn't a fireproof safe therefore if this is something you're worried about I suggest looking elsewhere. I currently have filled up the safe with items such as Birth Certificates, Passport, expensive jewellery, iPod, photos, a steel money box and other such items that I feel are more secure when they're locked away. One thing that can be a bit deceiving is the door, which is very thick considering it holds the battery compartment, therefore when shut, the door does take up a few inches of space so make sure you push everything to the back of the space to prevent things from being crushed.
The front of the safe has an LCD display, you are given an option when setting up the safe as to whether you would like to be able to see the numbers that you are entering, if not this is easily changed, therefore in future when you input your pin code there will be mere dashes on show. The pin code is easily changed and as sense would tell you it's only able to be changed once the safe has been opened and will require you to enter the previous pin first. The LCD screen also displays the state of the batteries and you'll be alerted if they're running low, giving you time to change them before having to use the override keys to get in.
*** Security ***
Onto the most important aspect of the safe which is of course the security of it. The safe is made with toughened steel therefore no amount of hammering or drilling will gain you access. This does of course make the safe very heavy, however fortunately it's not too heavy to lift, just too heavy to hold for a considerable amount of time. The door is fitted with two bolts therefore as a relatively cheap home safe this is ideal against petty criminals. Of course for professionals I'm sure it will be a piece of cake but if you're getting a safe with this in mind then you should definitely go for something a lot more expensive. The lever that is used to access the safe is also very sturdy and will move to a certain angle before stopping and you'd need a considerable amount of force to snap the lever and even then you wont gain access to what's inside.
*** Is It Worth Buying? ***
Overall I feel this was a worthwhile, long term buy that I'm not likely to change in the near future. It's ideal as a home safe as it's not too big therefore it can be concealed into places like wardrobes and maybe even under a bed, however it's still big enough to store important A4 documents and other valuable things. I would definitely recommend it, however if you can shop around and find it cheaper or even find a cheaper alternative that does the same things then I recommend going for the cheaper option.