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17 Surprising Facts About Home Safes That Will Amaze You

By Jeremiah Colt November 18, 2020

Who cares about statistics about home safes? After all, as the well-known saying goes, we have "lies, damned lies, and statistics". Pretty understandable. But I statistics tells me about most of my fellow countrymen are doing, how they are behaving, and what they are buying. Besides, knowing a few facts means I can brag about my superficial knowledge at the next BBQ! So let's dig in.

History of Home Safes

(1) Safes were invented in 1818 by two locksmiths in England named Charles and Jeremiah Chubb which eventually started the Chubbsafes we know today. (Source) [Sweet. Who woudda thought that my namesake invented a safe!]

(2) In the U.S., Jesse Delano and Sons was the first manufacturer of safes in the late 1820s. The safe that Delano created was a knob-chest which later became known as the Hobnail Safe. (Source)

What Do People Call Their Safes

(3) There are over 38 types of terms commonly used for safes and related secure storage. How many do you have? I've organized them as follows :

  • Level of security and protection: fireproof safes, waterproof safes, disguised safes, concealment safes, biometric safes, fingerprint safes, high security safes, TL safes, UL-rated safes
  • Gun & Firearm Storage: guns safes, gun cabinets, gun vaults, handgun safes, ammo safes, tactical lockers, gun lockers, rifle safes, pistol safes
  • Location: wall safes, floor safes, dorm safes, hotel safes, under-bed vaults
  • Contents: jewelry safes, cannabis safes, digital media safes
  • People protection: safe rooms, panic rooms, tornado shelters, bulletproof cabinets
  • Business use: office safes, cash boxes, drop boxes, front loading deposit safes, safe deposit vaults
  • Home use: home safes, lockboxes, vaults

Visit our top level menu to review examples of most of the safe above.

Why Do People Buy Home Safes

(4) Mostly because of the risk of theft. The FBI says that a burglary occurs once every 26 seconds, which translates to over 3,300 burglaries a day! (Source) [I suspect some areas are more prone to burglaries. Check your area crime rates and then decide.]

(5) Burglars take on average nearly $3,000 worth of cash and valuables. (Source) [Pro tip: Spend no more than about 10% of the value of what you store in a safe, on the safe itself.]

(6) A survey found out that more than 50% of people who were burglarized lost items that were irreplaceable. (Source)

(7) In 2018 alone, $3.4 BILLION worth of items were stolen from homes. (Source)

(8) Burglars easily find wall safes hidden in cliché locations such as behind a picture frame or portrait. (Source)

What Do People Put in Home Safes

(9) The most common items stored in home safes are:

  • Cash is the most common thing people put in a home safe. Most people save this cash as funds in case of an emergency.
  • Guns and firearms. To comply with some local laws if you own a firearm, to keep it away from kids in the home, and for ready access if you have an intruder.
  • Personal ID such as passports, social security cards, birth certificates, or marriage license.
  • Family heirlooms with sentimental value such as jewelry, purses, silver, or gold
  • Other important documents such as property deed, home and health insurance, bank account information, car title, a will, medical record, and necessary prescriptions.
  • Hard drives or flash drives containing memories in the form of photos and videos.
  • Keys. Spare keys for your house and car, keys to a safety deposit box at your bank.

How Many Home Safe Buyers Are There?

(10) There are over 54 COMPANIES in the U.S. manufacture and sell home safes. (Source)

(11) In 2016, the total revenue of the home safe and vaults industry in the U.S. is estimated at around $434.7 Million. (Source)

(12) The residential market is accounted for about HALF of all home safe sales. (Source)

What Are The Most Popular Home Safes

(13) Cash management safes are the leading type of safes sold in the world. It is followed by depository safes, gun safes and vaults, and vault and vault doors. (Source)

Did You Know?

(14) Did you know that some safes have time-delay locks? After entering the right combination, you are forced to wait a set amount of time before you can open it. The safes with time delay locks are usually used by banks to give police enough time to arrive when a robbery occurs. (Source)

(15) You can get a fireproof cash box from a popular brand like Sentry Safe is as low as $19.99.

(16) On the other hand, the most expensive safe is the Doettling’s Narcissus (see below) which costs a whopping $336,000! (Source) [The cool dude in shades is Karl Lagerfeld, the designer.]

Dottling Narcissus - The most expensive safe

What's Available and What Should You do Next

(17) The cheapest cashbox with a simple lock can be had for under $10 on (But it will serve nothing more than hold your cash if you are running a lemonade stand.) A reasonable, small capacity home safe by an American brand like Barska or AmSec will run you about $350. A better decision is to get actual protection against fire and a petty burglar with a Hollon 2-hr Fireproof and Burglary Safe for about $550.

Conclusion / TL;DR

Hope you enjoyed our fun facts about safes. My favorite were the staggering number of burglaries that take place every day. Email me with a fun fact you have, and I'll add it to the list. Which one was your favorite stat?

-By Jeremiah Colt for

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