With all the safes on the market it can be hard to sort the good ones from the bad. So today I thought I would take a look at some of the safes that Bunnings sell and do a Sandleford safe review. Bunnings have been selling safes under the Sandleford brand name for more than 10 years. The most expensive safe I could find at Bunnings was $495 with the majority being under $200. Lastly and surprisingly the cheapest safe I could find was just $39.00. Safes come in many sizes but they also come in differing qualities. In the safe industry the gauge we use to differentiate safes is called cash rating or Insurance rating.
The cash rating is a measure of how how hard a safe is to break open. A safe with a low cash rating, $20,000 for example is much easier to crack than a safe with a $100,000 cash rating. Of the safes I have inspected at Bunnings the maximum cash rating I would give is $5,0000, and the cheaper ones I suggest only keeping valuables with a combined value of up to $1000 and no more.
The concept of cash ratings can seem confusing when compared to fire ratings. This is because fire ratings can easily be measured in a laboratory. Years gone by safes were touted as fireproof which is a total misnomer. Few things can truly be called “fire proof”. The correct measure used today is “fire resistancy” . Safes are now deemed as “fire resistant” for “X” with x being expressed in minutes or hours or both. The other criteria is whether the safe will keep paper or data in undamaged during a raging fire.
So a safe with a fire rating of one hour for paper is very different to one with a fire rating of 2 hours for data. If you were to put your DVD’s or back ups in a paper safe and there be a fire your backups would be rendered useless. The test to determine a particular fire rating is easy Simply get a furnace, a stop watch, a thermometer some spiffy white coats and a couple of clipboards, then crank up the furnace and wait.
To test a safes ability to withstand a particular attack is much more difficult, how can you reproduce the blows from a sledge hammer from a big thief as opposed to a weak druggie. You would need tests for drilling resistance, angle grinder resistance, crow bars, jack hammers and so on. ( it is worth noting that the US testing organisation Underwriters Laboratories do have a test for this but no safes sold in Australia have been tested) … *** update (2015 ) I have found 2 safes that meet or exceed the UL Tool & torch test.. (more to come)
So in closing if you do buy a Bunnings Sandleford safe make sure it will protect your valuables from either fire or theft or both, ask a safe expert. You can easily find a safe expert by asking “how many safes do you have on your showroom floor ?” if they have more than 40 you are probably at the right place.
Check out our Home Safes online; we have new and refurbished safes online.
Note – this is a legitimate method because of the simple solenoid locking mechanism found in many Sandleford safes !
See a safe cracking video (2 minutes) — beware the bad language ! (criminals also use spicy language)
NOT a Sandleford safe, this is a another cheapie fire resistant “home safe”
A cheap safe that has been smashed open with a hammer
Smaller safes are usually easier to crack open .. This BFG100 withstood the test !
Fire is more thorough than Criminals
Foolish Crims used a 9 inch angle grinder to NO avail !!
Crims worked on this safe for 3 hours and then gave up !!
A Guardall BFG400, note the bolts on the top of the door
We sell Lock focus fire resistant safes – not suitable for valuables