Security Box: What is it?

security box reviewThis usually refers to a type of safe or even a safe mailbox or P.O box. Contrary to popular belief you don’t have to be rich or live in a mansion to have a need for a safe. If you really don’t think you need a safety box, that’s fine but ask yourself if you have any valuables that you would like to protect no matter what for a small price. It doesn’t even have to be something that would be valuable to an intruder, it may be something special to you, such as old pictures or jewelry heirlooms.

Most today are pretty advanced and can definitely deter even the most seasoned burglars. In addition to an electronic lock, most security boxes feature live-door bolts, a pry-resistant steel doors, and even pry-resistant concealed hinges. These new designs make it almost impossible for intruders to access the contents of your safe. A crook may just grab a small safe and run off with it without knowing it’s contents. If you prefer this type of smaller box then it may be worth it to take some extra precautionary measures like bolting the safe to the floor. To avoid this potential problem it is recommended to purchase a safe box that is large enough to prevent a burglar from taking off with it as they exit your home. Tip: It should also be fireproof as you wouldn’t want your sentimental valuables to get lost in a random house fire.

Types of Security Safe Boxes

The best home safe is usually a large heavy one. A burglar doesn’t want to have to deal with the hassle of lifting it and carrying it all the way out of the house, if it’s even possible. It should also have a locking mechanism that is advanced enough to stump any common intruder.

Manual Dial Box

manual dial security boxThese type’s of safes will provide a lock with a preset combination and a dial or similar method to input your unique combination. What I’ve learned throughout the years of dealing with manual dial security boxes is that these locks have very few problems compared to the newer electronic keypad safe’s. Some of the most common problems is a loose dial ring which will result in the unlock point being in the wrong place due to the improper alignment. However, this is usually a simple to fix compared to electronic security boxes. Many people like to think that dial safes are not as reliable as the electronic ones simply because it is using “old technology”. This is simply just not the case, most professionals actually PREFER these versions as they are nearly impossible to hack or malfunction.

Tips for Manual Dial Safe Boxes

  • The speed, and easy usability of a manual dial lock can be improved by having your combo chosen using certain strategies. Try to avoid high numbers above 50. Having something like the 1st number in the 40s or 30s, 2nd number anywhere from 0 to 25, and the 3rd number between something more specific like 25 and 35 will not only cut dialing time in half, it may actually help.

Keypad and Electronic Box

electronic security boxElectronic safes, although still extremely effective, can have all kinds of issues. Not all of these problems are easy to fix either. The nature of this type of this makes it so it must be drilled into to open it when it malfunctions. Even worse, it’s usually not even a matter of ‘if’ an electronic safe will fail, but a matter of ‘when’ it will fail. Over the past decade or so, electronics have undoubtedly become more and more commonplace and as a result many safes have to be drilled into when they break. The scary truth is bad electronic security boxes vs. bad manual dial boxes are seen at a ratio of about 20 to 1. There are also fingerprint scanner safes but just like other electronic safety boxes they always tend to end up not working.

Tips for Electronic Safe Boxes

  • Electronic locks can have the combination changed by the user much more quickly and easily than the aforementioned manual dial locks. But, this can actually be a double-edged sword. Often times electronic locks have had the combo changed incorrectly by the user, resulting in an unknown pass-code that is impossible to figure out. Also, electronic boxes have a feature where you will become locked out if you enter the wrong code too many times which can obviously be frustrating.

How Secure is Your Box?

It is no surprise that both manual dial and electronic boxes offer great protection, provided it’s good quality. However, some of the cheaper locks are actually very simple to bypass so don’t be scared to shell out a little extra money for a safe that you know won’t let you down. No amateur burglar can crack a good manual or electronic safe. Both of these essentially give you a total theoretical 1 million possible lock combinations.

Other common features found in today’s boxes:

  • Some are designed to allow for easy bolting to a floor, shelf, or wall and often have the bolts included for this purpose. Mounting your safe box adds an extra layer of protection.

  • After installing batteries in your electronic safe almost all are re-programmable with your own unique pass-code. To open the safe, enter your pass-code you created using the key pad.
  • Emergency override keys are sometimes included, which make it possible to open your safe and access your belongings if the keypad batteries run out and you don’t have spares on hand.
  • Digital displays often have different symbols to indicate things like locked, unlocked, or low battery.
  • Shelving inside the box. You can adjust the safe’s interior shelf as you see fit to organize smaller items, or remove it all together to fit your larger valuables.
  • If you live in an area where you can carry a gun, security boxes are ideal to keep it away from kids, or anyone you don’t want near your firearm.

What About a Security Mailbox or Deposit Box?

Believe it or not, mail theft is actually on the rise in the U.S. with crooks using crowbars or other tools to break apart cluster mailboxes at apartments and even nice neighborhoods. These burglars usually strike around the holidays and you guessed it, near tax season. The logic is simple, you steal enough mail and some are bound to have some giftcards or even cash. The spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service has said that even though there is not exact figures to show how this crime is being carried out, it is on the uptick.

safe mailbox protected

Why do I Need a Mailbox or Deposit Box?

Mail theft can pay off big time for some thieves. People don’t often think about how much valuable information could be in your mailbox. It can contain things like:

  • Cash or money
  • Outgoing or incoming checks
  • Greeting cards that contain gift cards.
  • Utility bills (the information can be used to open fraudulent accounts)
  • Bank statements that have your valuable information
  • Credit card statements with the same information
  • Credit card offers that can be used to open a fake account in your name

People today are ordering everything from books to expensive electronics on the internet. This forces USPS and other mail providers to look for ways to improve their delivery methods. Time’s are changing and people don’t want just anyone to be able to access their mailbox with hundred’s of dollars of valuables inside. Companies have thankfully started offering safe mailboxes to help prevent you from becoming a victim. These security mailboxes may include features such as:

  • USPS approved full-service residential locking mailboxes that is proven to prevent mail theft
  • 14 to 16-gauge electro galvanized welded steel construction
  • Uniqe baffle door that accepts small packages and mail
  • Patented anti-pry locking mechanism’s to prevent leveraged entry
  • Multiple keys in case you lose one

There are many places and outlet’s where you can purchase these secure mailboxes. Most home and hardware equipment stores will offer at least a few choices. If you wish to have a bigger selection and even read some reviews on some of the most popular one’s out today you can check out the Amazon mailbox section.


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Kyle Wood
Kyle joins us at DIY Home Security Guide with multiple years of experience in the home alarm industry. He has been dealing with home safety products and equipment for as long as he can remember. He's installed, troubleshooted, and reviewed the best equipment and technology and is passionate about sharing his personal research.