Stanley Caldarera, left, visits with Blaike Andreas of Lake Area Safe & Lock Co. to find out about the best safe designs to safeguard his gun collection and other valuables. (Rita LeBleu / American Press)
Last Modified: Monday, March 03, 2014 12:02 PM
Southwest Louisiana gun owners are buying gun cabinets for more than just their firearms, according to local lock and safe business owners.
Brandon Perkins of DeLoach Lock and Safe said, “Most homeowners are going with a gun safe because it’s less expensive, but in many cases, it’s just as protective as other types of safes.”
Lake Area Safe & Lock Co. owner Blaike Andreas said that the desire to limit access to guns, combined with the threat of increased gun control is driving the interest in recent gun safe sales.
Both Perkins and Andreas have been part of their respective family’s safe and lock business for more than a decade.
Keeping cash at hand, jewelry locked away and protecting important documents are also cited as reasons that people purchase safes, according to Andreas and Perkins.
“There are safes of all sizes designed for just about everything,” Andreas said. “There are wall safes, gun safes, floor safes, pistol boxes, jewelry boxes and pharmacy safes.”
He also said that an advantage of gun safes is that these can be designed with special cubbies for various items.
Here are a few more tips to help consumers get the right sized and rated gun safe:
l Gun collections generally grow over time. Consider a slightly larger safe than needed -- a little more expensive today but less than buying a new safe later.
l Consider putting a smaller safe with a higher fire resistance rating inside the gun safe.
The safest place to keep many valuable items and important papers may be a safety deposit box.
However, homeowner’s insurance may cover items kept in a home safe and the home safe may make the ideal place to keep copies of certain documents and items that are needed quickly or in a case of emergency such as a hurricane evacuation.
l Understand the rating codes. UL stands for “underwriting laboratory, “a global independent safety science company.”
The group tests many products, but in the case of safes, it tests the time that the product withstands high temperatures before the contents are affected and it tests the time period necessary to open a safe using mechanical and power tools.
l High temperatures affect digital information like DVDs, CDs, thumbdrives, etc. differently than it affects documents. Keeping these heat-sensitive materials protected requires a media/data safe.
Both Perkins and Andreas said that while the basic design of safes hasn’t changed much over the years, there are some differences.
First of all, don’t expect to stick your ear to the door to figure out the combination. Thumbprint readers are available now. Digital keypads are gaining in popularity, but dials continue to be the favorite. You can’t cut the hinges off to get the doors open. Safe designers make sure that’s not possible.
Safe owners haven’t changed much at all over time. They continue to lose or forget their combinations.
In fact, one of Perkins’ most memorable stories was about a business that didn’t want to pay the fee to get their safe opened after they lost their combination. So they attacked it with a cutting torch. It didn’t open the safe and once they finally did get inside, the money was burned.