While depository safes are unarguably highly convenient for businesses that operate while holding large amounts of cash on a daily basis, these models come with several trade-offs. For instance, due to their mailbox-like design—these models are provided with a fixed slot for depositing items into the safe, which can then be opened only by the individual with access to the safe’s key or lock combination—as of now, no model of the depository safe is fireproof. Because of this factor, while depository safes might be ideal for temporarily holding items like cash and important documents, it is not recommended to leave these valuables in the safe for long periods of time—ideally, not even overnight.
Fire safes may be acquired as a precaution for fireproofing the items that are to be stored, but fire safes generally have less protection against theft—because of this, it is recommended to deposit important items like cash or documents in banks or in higher-security safes especially at night or after business hours. Again, while the model might be convenient for maximum protection against theft without impeding quick and easy deposits, its vulnerability to fire damage is a very important trade-off and limitation to consider, not only for establishments that are highly prone to fire but for all businesses considering acquiring a model as well.
It must be kept in mind that while most models of the depository safe are considerably highly resistant to theft, fire is another important factor to consider in securing your valuables. The very first consideration in procuring a safe, after all, is finding a means to protect all these valuables from as many factors as possible.
Furthermore—and especially in the case of safes—size does matter. Aside from considering the storage capacity of the safe, both the size of the depositing slot and the distance between the slot and the bottom of the safe’s insides—what is called the depository distance—are crucial considerations in procuring depository safes, since the ease with which anyone can access the safe’s contents without a key or the lock combination depends on these dimensions.
For instance, the longer the distance is and the smaller the slot is, the harder it would be to access the contents of the safe without the key or the combination. Smaller slots, however, would mean that cash or documents cannot be deposited in bulk, and should instead be stored inside the safe by depositing in successive batches, which is potentially time-consuming—and this could be detrimental to busy establishments.
Most models of the depository safe, however, are built with highly useful anti-fish baffles, which work by keeping the safe secure from attempts to fish out its contents through the slot—another consideration before buying a safe. The anti-fish baffles are jagged teeth—very much like a shark’s set of teeth—on the edge of the depositing slot, preventing anyone from using coat hangers or other tools to fish the contents out of the safe. Several drop safe models—smaller models of the depository safe—also have similar anti-fish baffles, but with lower security ratings. The slots on depository safes can be usually found either on top or in front of the safe, and the depository distance depends directly on the size of the safe. The security ratings of the anti-fish baffles depend on the specific model.
It is important to be aware of these trade-offs and limitations before purchasing a depository safe—not only because these may not be suitable to your specific needs, but also because these trade-offs may spell all the difference between the safety and the loss of your valuables in the future.