It’s hard to see how safes were ever any different to the intelligent devices in use today. However, safes have been in use in some capacity for centuries, and their history has shaped and dictated their use in modern times. How have safes developed over the years, and how are they most commonly used today?
History of Safes
The idea of protecting belongings has been around since the Egyptian times. The great pyramids were built as a way of protecting and preserving important people and valuable possessions, and to this day, vaults are being found within them that conceal treasures.
The Ancient Greeks were also known to use safes made from bronze, likely due to its strength and durability. These safes were designed like small chests, and valuables such as money were kept inside.
Safes began to resemble the ones commonly seen now in the 1700s. The development of swinging doors sealed with a lock was first developed by the English, and is a feature still seen on many modern safes.
The first safes were made using wood or steel materials. Without modern machinery, it was difficult to create a product that was durable. Wood was seen as the most practical and easy option, though it had issues with strength. Their main benefit is that it’s easier for craftsmen to work with. Steel was seen as a better option, but it required more skill and tools to manipulate. Both of these materials had a disadvantage: while safes were needed to protect items from fire damage, wood would burn and certain metals would conduct the heat through to the items inside. Safes needed to be more intelligently designed.
Starting in the 1900s, safes became more advanced. New metals were introduced into the process, such as wrought iron, manganese, copper and Siemens steel. These materials were preferable as they are malleable and linings could be added to give further protection to the valuable things inside.
In the early 1900s, safes began to be tested to see how well they protected the items inside them. As a result, safe technology advanced further to ensure that valuables are protected from heat, water and theft where needed. The doors of modern safes are frequently created in tongue and groove patterns that keep out any heat the safe may be exposed to. Safe locks can also be equipped with a relocking feature that stops entrance to the safe if tampering is suspected.
The locks on safes are no longer limited to simple key locks. Modern consumers can choose from combination locks, key pads and even biometric locks that only open to registered fingerprints. The safes available now are more secure than they’ve ever been, and this technology only continues to develop.
Modern Uses of Safes
Safes are no longer solely used simply for cash and small valuables, though consumers frequently do use them for this purpose too. Many documents need to be stored in safes to prevent damage, loss or identity theft. Many people choose to store large valuables inside safes too, and it’s possible to have very large safes installed inside homes and businesses for this purpose.
Perhaps the most modern use of safes is to store data and electronic devices. Many people have photographs and videos stored on memory sticks, SD cards and CDs, and these items should be protected to prevent the loss of memories which can’t be recovered. As these items can suffer heat damage at higher temperatures, some modern safes are fitted with adequate thermal linings to prevent damage.
If you’re looking for a safe that’s equipped with the latest technology, speak to a locksmith about the different options available to you. It’s best to talk to an expert so you can understand the many sizes, shapes and uses of safes in the modern world, and which would be the best design for your home or business.
If you need a professional when trying to choose between the different styles and types of safes, contact our team at Eastway Lock & Key in Charlotte NC. We will be happy to assist. Give us a call at 704-347-1088, or complete our Contact Form and we’ll get back to you right away. Don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter!