JWR’s 20 “S” Strategy for Tangible Investments

I was recently asked to reiterate my philosophy on parlaying wealth into tangibles.  I emphasize tangibles in many of my writings because we need to be ready for times of inflation. Yes, inflation is coming.  With multi-trillion dollar bailouts, monetization of the national debt, and chronic Federal over-spending, mass inflation is inevitable.

I must also state that I do not believe in heavily investing or any long-term investment in any “asset” that is just a piece of paper, a string of digits on a hard drive, or other abstractions that are mere promises. Promises and kind words don’t shelter and feed your family.

Our only genuine safety is putting the majority of our wealth in the form of practical tangibles. You may ask: Which tangibles? That can be pithily encapsulated in what I’ve just dubbed The Twenty “S” Investments Strategy:

  1. Safe to drink water, from a year-round source,
  2. Storage Food — several years for your family,
  3. Shelter (a defendable house, preferably with a bunker/vault),
  4. Soil (preferably 5+ acres of rich soil, in the hinterlands),
  5. Semi-Auto battle rifles,
  6. Shotshells and cartridges–in quantity,
  7. Semi-auto pistols in common calibers,
  8. Shotguns in 12 gauge, 20 gauge, and .410,
  9. Scoped bolt-action rifles in common calibers,
  10. Standard capacity magazines for your guns,
  11. Serviceable Pre-1899 guns,
  12. Scopes and night vision optics,
  13. Silver coins,
  14. Snap-On and other brands of high quality, precise, and durable tools,
  15. Slabbed numismatic coins (AU50 to MS60 grades),
  16. Sheep and other livestock,
  17. Seeds (preferably non-hybrid),
  18. Standing timber,
  19. Swiss watches, and
  20. Sixties classic cars and trucks.

That list is organized roughly in order of importance. But the single largest “S” investment for most of us will be soil–namely the real estate of our primary residences.  Choose where you buy your land wisely.  Personally, soil represents more than 75% of my net worth. I placed a priority on owning my ranch debt-free. It took a few years, but I now own the Rawles Ranch free and clear. I sleep well at night, knowing that.

You’ve surely noticed that I’ve waxed into alliteration, so the preceding list may sound a bit trite. But this 20 “S” strategy has some ground truth for you — at least as I see it.

You will also note that eight of these 20 “S” tangibles are firearms-related. That was no accident. Your guns are the insurance policy on your other tangible preparations and investments. This is analogous to how the Second Amendment is the insurance policy for the rest of the Bill of Rights.

I hope that you find this list useful.  I look forward to your comments. – JWR


  1. Good list. I’d also add tools to this list; quality garden tools(with spares), hand tools to build with, tools to cut and split firewood, etc. And the tools needed to can/dry/preserve what you grow and fish/hunt/butcher.

    1. Sorry, meant to just put in the part about garden, harvest and firewood tools- you did list the hand tools for building/repair. You can edit that out of my reply if possible!

  2. There’s inflation already with our paper money. The price of things haven’t increased so much, as the value of the American Dollar has decreased. The Rate of Inflation will increase in the future, especially if we can’t get the US economy going again; we also need to bring the good manufacturing jobs back to America.
    ……. We have a real choice in this election; 1) Make America Great or 2) Make China Greater than the USA.

    1960s classic cars’ valuation is an example of inflation, now days. … In the mid-1960s, it was possible to buy an ordinary new, Corvette Stingray for less, than $5,000; Ford Mustangs in the basic 1965 model were sold for less than & $2,500. [+A new Corvette is expensive, and goes 200mph.]

    As a personal note, I was just a kid back then. =
    My years-older brother explained the facts of life to me. With just an ordinary nice used car, a guy could date the gals that shaved their legs. … A guy with an older Junker Volkswagen (Worth a few hundred dollars) could shack-up with the hippie gals that didn’t shave their legs. [My older brother became a married Church going one wife, family man.]

    SurvivalBlog mentioned ‘Classic’ cars. Even a completely restored to ‘new’ condition old Volkswagen is worth quite a bit; but NOT as much as the ‘Classic’ fast cars. … Some tangibles are just old, or something to dust and clean; some other tangibles can be enjoyed.
    … … The Serviceable Pre-1899 guns would help protect the family during these dire times. Owning a house provides shelter; more than just an investment against inflation. Extra land with a house would be a bonus.

    1. GGHD,

      Re: Corvettes, my dad tells me stories about when he bought a new 63 split window Corvette for around $4,000! But back then it was common for the guys to constantly trade in for something else. I REALLY wish he would have kept it. (I secretly think dad wishes he did too)! I believe that year Corvette is worth a small fortune now based on dad and I watching some of them go for big bucks on Barrett’s auctions. It’s okay though, I just enjoy watching the auctions with dad and him getting excited (and lucid) when a car comes up for auction that he especially appreciates (or possibly even had a particular model). He will then explain every detail about the car and with him having Alzheimer’s, this brings great joy to me that he can go back in time and be happy for a couple of hours.

      Have a Rockin great day

      1. RKRGRL68, bless your heart. A parent with Alzheimer’s is difficult for everyone in the family. … …. The 63 split window Corvette is a good example of a ‘tangible’ investment; it’s a classic.
        … … I looked on-line, and the 1963 Corvette is worth enough now, to buy a house with small acreage up in the Redoubt Region. … … But, a lot of men correctly decide, a family car and a family is better than having a Corvette.

  3. I was surprised that faith in Jesus was not at the top of your list! If you do not abide in Him, the best preparation will do you absolutely no good!

  4. Hey JWR, excellent list.

    Since I read The Spiral of Silence just this morning (https://fs.blog/2020/09/spiral-of-silence/), I’ll go ahead and share some thoughts. My comments are based on a grid-down TEOTWAWKI since my self-reliant lifestyle already makes me not give a hoot about short-term issues that may arise.

    #12, Scopes and night vision optics, I’d move much further up the list since IMO some of the people trying to get my cans of freeze-dried stroganoff who have even a low IQ will be smart enough to attack under the cover of darkness.

    On # 13, many of us, including me, have 1-ounce silver rounds but no silver coins. Rounds are good as investments, but I need to get some switched over to junk silver since gold and silver will be the only form of actual money (vs barter items) after the SHTF. The best kind of silver for both pre- and post-TEOTWAWKI will be junk silver since many people won’t have change for 1-oz rounds, making dimes and quarters be necessary.

    #18, Standing timber, I’d also move way up the list. People looking for property should have that one in mind if they really think we’ll see a grid-down TEOTWAWKI. Just my 2¢ but depending on fuels other than wood and solar is a humongous mistake.

    There are a few items on the list I would replace with other tangibles. Four of the items are “market investments” and would be things to increase our bottom line now to be sold later before TEOTWAWKI.

    I would replace #11, Serviceable Pre-1899 guns, with another “S”: Solar panels. I have the strong impression that only a single-digit percent of preppers have anything solar, other than perhaps a few tiny trickle chargers and things along those lines. For the price of one pre-1899 gun, someone could buy a couple of 325-watt solar panels and four deep-cycle marine batteries, then do something exceedingly simple, cheap, and non-technical like lean them up against a building and use them for both charging batteries and running things directly like deep-well pumps. Far too many preppers are depending on some kind of non-replenishable fuels to get them by. It won’t work for long and then what? Solar panels will last the rest of their post-TEOTWAWKI lives. For those with their own wells, how are you going to get that water out of the ground? There are things like well buckets that work fine, though very slow, but how would most people even get the pipe and pump out of their well so they can use a well bucket? I’m baffled why more people don’t have solar panels. Too technical? Afraid of learning how to set them up and use them? I have no idea but would love to understand the reasons. For grid-tied, they are an actual investment since people will get their money back and then 15+ years of free electricity, and can later be converted to an off-grid system. IMO pre-1899 guns are a great pre-SHTF investment, and I own two pre-1899 rifles, but not so much a good post-SHTF investment compared to solar panels.

    #15, slabbed coins, excellent pre-SHTF but not so much post. I’d replace that “S” with: “Stove for cooking using wood.” For those who think we really will see TEOTWAWKI in our lifetimes, the money would be better spent on things like parabolic cookers, parabolic water heaters, and parabolic fire starters, and a wood cook stove. At Lehman’s, wood cook stoves start at $2,000 for new ones, and I’d rather have one of those sitting in my storage shed ready to deploy after the SHTF, than a bunch of numismatic coins sitting in a safe. The stove would also have a great resale value post-SHTF an at least some resale value pre-SHTF. Anyone who has cooked over an open fire knows it’s a lot of fun when you’re camping but would suck royally 365 days of the year, especially in cold or rainy weather. It also creates a lot of soot and mess on cookware that’s not fun to deal with.

    #19 Swiss watches I’d replace with another “S”, “Saws, electric chainsaws and hand saws including 2-man saws.” Add backup splitting mauls and axes while we’re at it. Being no so bright in some areas, electric chainsaws never crossed my mind until someone mentioned it on SB recently. I thought they were toys so city slickers could prune their mulberry tree. When I checked into them, not only are they highly rated but very cheap for the highest-rated ones. It’s on my list to buy at least three of them once I feel confident about the first one I buy. Again, depending on fossil fuels post-TEOTWAWKI won’t get you very far. Electric chainsaws can be run off solar panels. Hand saws are also a necessity. Cutting firewood by hand will be extremely difficult for most of us, especially those who need 5 cords or more per year. Most of us will be like those third-world people you see carrying bundles of sticks on their heads, and when everybody is doing the same, it won’t last long. Those who do need 5 cords per year will be extremely regretful they built such a large which will be much more difficult to heat efficiently.

    And #20, “Sixties classic cars,” I’d replace with, to the disagreement of most, “Stocks, notably paper silver, and stocks after major market crashes.” Yes, yes, I know all the arguments for why that’s a dumb idea. But IMO the stock market will be one of the very last things to go away before the grid goes down. For people like me who’ve been investing in silver for nearly 50 years, and have a very good feel for it, SLV represents a way to actually invest in silver and get a ROI. Physical silver is a poorer way to invest pre-SHTF because it involves huge premiums that greatly reduce your profits, the labor of shipping it when you want to sell, the unbearably huge worry of something happening to it in transit, as well as storage issues. None of that is the case with SLV and returns are much higher since there are zero premiums, and not even stock transaction fees these days. How many people with physical took advantage of the 141% increase from the March lows to the August highs this year? If it looks like things are getting dicey, we can always cash out and put our money into other things. If we have no notice of markets going kaput and we’re all blindsided by TEOTWAWKI, then those Mustangs will be almost as worthless as paper silver. I say almost because you can at least dry food and herbs in the Mustang with all the windows rolled up. So I personally invest in SLV (in addition to physical which is very important post-SHTF insurance). I get good returns and in the next upcoming market crash, silver will drop right along with stocks as it always does, and I’ll be putting all my 401k cash into SLV again to take advantage of at least a portion of that 141% increase we saw this year. My physical sat on its shiny little butt doing nothing this year, as most insurance policies do, but it’ll be great when I need it in a TEOTWAWKI situation or when my children need an inheritance when I’m pushing up daisies. I’ve paid penalties on my 401k in the past for early withdrawals and will gladly do so again when things start looking bad, and put the money into physical precious metals.

    Just my 2¢. Apologies for the long post.

  5. Great list, I think having a surplus of anything can be useful. 3 of our children over the last year have begun trading/bartering with some of the older couples in the vicinity of our property. Mainly trading our excess firewood and surplus eggs for a variety of baked goods and homemade pasta. The value really struck home this spring when there were runs on pasta and bread from the Covid shut downs. A great learning experience but I do have to chuckle because our kids give a much better deal when cakes, cookies or pies are on the table, especially our 6 year old. Have a blessed day!

  6. I also read the comment about electric chain saw recently and started thinking. With my current gas chain saw not working reliably I saw a good reason and got an 18″, self sharpening one for less than $90. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OIZ1XHW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_GKIDFb74T0E1J

    It draws 15amps for 1800w or 2¼HP. I run it with my 3kw inverter generator, it is quiet, no ear muffs required. That means no one else hears it either. I don’t have a 3kw inverter for my tiny solar system (only a 1kw) but it should work with solar panels too. One advantage is it turns off every time you take your hand off of the handle, much safer when you put the saw down to turn a log over or to re-position yourself when limbing a tree.

    1. Hey John, thanks for the info and testimonial. That saw came out in the top five on more than one review I looked at last month. And only $87! I can get three of them for what I paid for my gas chain saw and it’s gotta take the edge off TEOTWAWKI at least just a little. 🙂

  7. Thanks JWR for this list. You & your wife are an inspiration to my wife and I. We have a long ways to go still, but have come leaps and bounds since we started following this blog about 5 years ago. You are truly an inspiration.
    And yes, to the other comments about our walk with God, we totally credit God for JWR’s example and instruction. Without Him, there is no prosperity, no resilience, and no liberty.
    “There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, and active, the brave.” Patrick Henry: Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775

  8. I would change Sixties cars to Sixties tractors, still collectable and increasing in worth, but also still valuable in non-restored versions and still even more important after the lights go out. Go back to early ’50s and the only electric items could be the ignition system. System for year round water (solar well) is my biggest concern for my BOL/farm.

  9. If your assets are going to be tangibles, make sure you have them secured from physical destruction by unforseen disasters, as I found out recently. If I had just stuck the money spent on guns, ammo, and Mountain House in the bank, I’d still have it and it wouldn’t be represented as piles of debris now. Even my cash stash didn’t survive. PLEASE keep at least 1/4 of your wealth in the bank. Yes, you might lose it to financial collapse, but that’s better than losing all your weath to physical destruction.

      1. Yes, and don’t EVER even temporarily move it all to one location, even for a week. That’s what got me. I had my preps in two locations, but combined them to do get everything organized. Then the disaster hit.

    1. Here in our little homestead we have a similar concern, without the ache of loss. I plan to buy a safe based on this advice, which I think I post a couple weeks ago:

      The Safe House knows its products

      Unlike a lot of online companies The Safe House has actual showrooms and warehouses where we have been serving our customers for over 26 years. We have three locations in Nashville & Knoxville Tennessee and Atlanta Georgia. We specialize in Home Safes, Jewelry Safes, Gun Safes, Commercial Safes and Storm shelters. We are registered Locksmiths and Safes and Security is our only business

      We work with individuals and companies all over the U.S. for their security and safety needs. Many of our customers include state and federal agencies, jewelry stores, large corporations, local small businesses but our main focus are individuals just like you.

      Read this article and let us know if you have any questions.

      1. What size safe should I purchase?

      The answer is simple, one that is bigger that you think you need ! The most common feed back from the 1000’s of customers we have had through the years is that they did not buy a safe that was big enough. Also, think of the value of the contents you could be putting in the safe in future years? Bigger is Better when it comes to buying a safe !

      2. Not all Gun Safes are created equally.

      One of the most popular type of safe on the market today is the gun safes. They come in different styles and sizes. Many are only thin metal cabinets without fire or burglary protection. The question is where to start in choosing a Gun Safe? First consider construction, thickness of metal and type of locking mechanism, followed by fire rating. Gun cabinets in the past were made of wood and glass and would showcase your weapons for everyone to see. Now in the world we live in a good quality gun safe to protect your weapons and other valuables is a necessity. Don’t rely on a cheap thin metal cabinet to protect your guns. If you look around the industry, most low end gun cabinets have very thin metal bodies made from 14 to 16 or even as thin as 20 gauge steel. A standard hammer and large screwdriver can easily break into a thin metal gun cabinet. A quality gun safe should use a minimum of 11 gauge steel in the body of the safe and preferably 10 to 7 gauge steel.

      Door construction is also very important. Look for a gun safe with at least ¼” of solid plate steel or composite equivalent in the door. More secure gun safes have a 3/8 to 1/2″ steel plate in the door. As a Minimum look for gun safes with the Underwriter Laboratory burglar ratings of a RSC (Residential Security Container). Better quality gun safes have higher of B Rated, U.L. TL-15 (Tool Resistant) and U.L. TL-30 ratings. One note on this subject, there are high quality gun safes on the market that don’t have an official UL rating above an RSC rating BUT are built to TL levels of protection, contact us for more details.

      So how thick are different gauges of metal ?

      3. What Security Rating is best to protect my valuables?

      We have many customers that come to us wanting to protect a wide range of items, from Jewelry, Guns, Precious Metal, Baseball cards, Paper Money ,Important documents and other high value items. For these customers we would recommend a well built composite or a BF rated safe or greater.

      We have provided the following industry guidelines for content value of the various levels of security that a safe can provide. These values are generally used for businesses for insurance purposes but are a good guideline for different levels of protection. Contact your insurance company for specific limitations

      RSC Up to $5,000 content value- passed a 5 minute attack test with simple tools. , Note, RSC ratings can by applied to low end safes that are easily pried open up to very secure safes that could pass higher rating test but the manufacturers don’t go to the expense of testing them.
      B-Rated Up to $10,000 content value – 1/2 inch plate door & 1/4 inch body
      C Rated Up to $30,000 content value 1 inch protection on door & up to 1/2 inch on body
      U.L. TL-15 Up to $200,000 content value- A TL-15 Rating means the safe door can successfully resist entry for a net assault time of 15 minutes when attacked with common hand tools, picking tools, mechanical or portable electric tools, grinders, drills or pressure devices.
      U.L. TL-30 Up to $375,000 content value -TL-30 means the safe door can pass the same test for 30 minutes. Note that this does NOT include attacks on the sides or top.
      U.L. TL-30X6 Up to $500,000 to $ 1,000,000 content value- U L 30 minute attack on all 6 sides of safe
      U.L. TRTL-30X6 $1,000,000 and up content value- U L 30 minute torch / tool attack on all 6 sides of safe
      Please be aware that these ratings are subjective , some import safes that say they are TL rated are not and will not provide you with the level of protection that are indicated by the ratings listed. How do you know? Call us for more information.

      4. When should you use a hidden safe or wall safe?

      Hidden safes and Wall safes are generally not a good place to store high value items . The best protection that a Wall safe provides is concealment. Just by design a wall safe is attached to the studs in the wall and can be easily cut or pried out of the wall . The only fire protection that they provide is limited to the sheetrock in the wall. As for hiding or concealing a safe, most burglars are going to look for a hidden safe or wall safe and if found don’t take long to penetrate. If you have items to store for a brief period of time or just have items to keep out of the kids hands a wall safe is a good choice but save your high end items and put them in a good quality safe.

      5. What type of Fire Rating is best?

      Fire ratings are often overlooked but should be one of your top considerations. We recommend that you purchase a minimum 1 hour fire rated safe. Safes with less than a 1 hour fire rating will not provide adequate protection to survive a typical home or business fire. Why spend your hard earned money on a safe that won’t protect your important valuables, guns, ammo or other items during a fire? If you are on a limited budget then select the safe with the longest fire protection that you can afford.

      Many customers have read that a fire rated gun safe will protect their important documents. This is only partly true, our recommendation is to look for a U.L. or a U.S. made safe with a CERTIFIED fire rating of 1 hour or greater. If you are thinking of placing any important documents or delicate items in a gun safe consider adding greater protection by investing in a small U.L. rated or U.S. made certified fire box you can place inside the gun safe for your paperwork and more delicate items.

      Don’t forget the fire seal on the door, Some cheap safes don’t even have fire seals on the door but a fire seal is an important part of a good fire rating. Another thing the fire seal will do is seal out most moisture from entering the safe on a day to day basis, this will help keeps rust and corrosion off of your guns or other valuables. During a fire the fire seal will expand to seal out fire and smoke and keep water from entering the safe if water is sprayed on the safe in the course of extinguishing the fire. One of the most popular brands of fire seal is Palusol brand fire seals. It will expand to 6 times it original size during a fire and completely seal the space between the frame and door of the safe.

      6. Don’t rely on a fire resistant safe to protect against a burglary.

      First, beware of any company that calls their safe “fireproof”, There are no “fireproof” consumer safes on the market today, they are all fire resistant, meaning that they resist heat and smoke (and some protect against water) over a given period of time , usually 30 to 150 minutes.

      Fire resistant safes do a great job of protecting paper documents (and even small amounts of cash) from heat and smoke damage, however, fire resistant safes use very thin metal (14-18 gauge) in the construction of the safe which makes them easy to defeat for a burglar. The metal is primarily used to hold the fire retardant material and can be easily punctured, cut or sawed with simple hand tools. Some of the cheap fire safes on the market today can be opened by simply dropping them on a hard surface.

      We DO NOT recommend storing high value contents such as large amounts of cash, jewelry or precious metals, in a low cost fire safe. Over the past 26 years we have accessed many cheap fire resistant safes that customers have been locked out of for various reasons , our record is 30 seconds to pry the safe open with very simple tools . We have also seen those same safes easily broken into after the owners mistakenly thought the safe would protect their valuables against a burglary attack. The better choice is a burglar, fire safe or good quality composite fire safe that are burglar rated, or for content value above $10,000, look at a high security TL rated fire safe. These safes are engineered and designed to protect your valuables against both burglar attacks and fires.

      7. Be AWARE that data, media or family photos need more protection than a standard fire resistant safe can provide.

      The term fireproof is a very misleading statement and too many companies use it to describe their fire safes. So what should the fire rating say? It should say “resistant to fire” for a particular period of time. Not fire proof . Customers come into our showroom on a daily basis and ask for a fire safe to protect their Important paperwork, money, pictures and other delicate or sensitive items like , data and media (photos, CDs/DVDs and computer disks/tapes, etc) We gladly show them the differences and options that will protect their valuables the most effective way. Most of these items are sensitive to heat and humidity/moisture and a standard fire resistant safe is not engineered to specifically protect against these things. Fire resistant safes are engineered and designed to protect paper and keep the internal temperature of the safe below 350 degrees, which is the critical temperature where paper will start to char and burn. This method of protection creates steam (moisture) inside the safe. Any sensitive data or media will be badly damaged or destroyed between 120 to 180 degrees or 85% humidity. Think of the inside of a car on a hot summer day,

      If you have any special data or media that you need to protect against fire, a data/media safe is what you should consider purchasing. These safes will keep the inside temperature below 125 degrees as well as the humidity below 85%. Most data and media safes do not offer burglary protection . As an inexpensive option you can purchase a small U.L. rated fire lock box that you can place inside a larger fire safe ( Gun Safe) for your more delicate items, this is one way to protect you data / media without purchasing a more expensive data safe.

      Data and media include the following materials:

      Hard Drives , Regular & Portable
      CDs & DVDs
      Old Negatives & Photographs
      Thumb Drives/Flash Drives
      Old Cassette Tapes
      USB Storage thumb drives
      Micro SD cards
      Note: Don’t forget to purchase a quality dehumidifier to protect against excess moisture in your safe!

      8. What is the minimum fire rating to protect paper and money?

      Pop quiz: What temperature does paper burn ? Answer 451 degrees . Fire Resistant safes and burglar fire safes should have a minimum of a 1 hour fire rating. Typically, a safe with less than a 1 hour fire rating will not provide adequate protection for paper or money in the event of a fire. A typical house fire burns in the 800 to 1200 degree temperature range ,if your safe is close to the starting point of the fire it would be subjected to higher temperatures than if it was in a different part of the structure. It is better to err on the side of caution and have a longer fire protection level to protect your items. Fire Resistant safes are great for protecting paper documents against fire for a limited amount of time BUT they are NOT recommended for protecting large amounts of cash or high value items from theft. When you want BOTH burglar and fire protection, look for a good quality composite-fire safe , burglar-fire safe or a high security TL rated fire safe.

      9. Floor Safes , great security but very little protection against fire

      Floor safes offer great security if installed in the floor surrounded by concrete BUT provide very little fire protection. Floor safes offer great protection for valuables due to the body of the safe being encased in concrete on all five sides. The reason they lack a fire rating is due to the door being exposed with no fire board to dissipate the heat. This leads to the contents being destroyed in a short period of time.

      If you need to protect money or important documents, you are much better off purchasing a free standing Composite fire safe , burglar fire safe or high security burglar fire safe that has 1-2 hour fire rating and is anchored with multiple bolts into a concrete floor. This is a much better option than a floor safe.

      10. What type of lock should I choose for my safe?

      We have many customers that ask us which type of lock is best to have on their safe., Is a dial lock more secure than an electronic lock? Will an EMP event render my electronic lock inoperable? What is a redundant lock ? What type of maintenance do either lock require?

      Better quality dial and electronic locks are U.L. rated and will provide an excellent level of protection
      Some electronic locks are EMP resistant some are not. We recommend the S & G brand of electronic locks for EMP resistant single lock installations
      Redundant locks give you the best of both worlds , they consist of a mechanical and electronic lock in one , so if one fails the other will allow you access to the safe.
      Most mechanical lock manufacturers recommend that you have your lock serviced at least every 5 years by a qualified safe technician.
      Electronic locks are sealed from the factory and if opened will void the warranty from the manufacturer. about the only maintenance is replacing the battery.

      Why stop at 10? Here are a few extra things to consider before your final decision is made.

      11. Where should I place my safe?

      In our experience, one of the most difficult decisions for customers is where to place their safe. If you do not have an alarm system in your home or business, then placing your safe “out of sight, out of mind” is very important.

      We suggest that you place your safe where you are most likely to use it. An out of the way location will make you less likely to use your safe to store the items you purchased it for in the first place. Another consideration is the lighting available to illuminate your lock when you are inputting your combination. The hash marks on a combination dial lock are relatively small and can be hard to see in low light area’s. If you must have your safe in a low light area or be able to access the lock in the dark there are dial lights that affix to the top of the dial ring and illuminate the dial so you can see the numbers and hash marks on the dial.

      12. What size safe should I buy? Bigger is better !

      We know this was # 1 on the list but it is the number one thing our customers say to us after buying a safe.

      One that is bigger that you think you need ! The most common feed back from the 1000’s of customers we have had through 21 years is that they did not buy a safe that was big enough. Also, think of the value of the contents you could be putting in the safe in future years? Bigger is Better when it comes to buying a safe !

      13. How do you determine the size of a safe ?

      As we mentioned earlier , its better to buy a safe bigger than you think you need , with that said you may ask , how do I determine the area inside a safe? If you look at different brands of safes you will notice that some measure their safes by the exterior dimensions , some use the interior dimensions and some use the “cubic feet” or the area inside the safe. To determine that size use the simple math formula below.

      Yes, you can use a calculator !

      Multiply the height, width and depth of the interior of the safe and divide that total by 1728. Height x Width x Depth / 1728 (Example: 60” x 30” x 24” = 43,200 cubic inches / 1728 = 25 cubic feet)

      14. Should I Anchor my safe ?

      Anchoring is an effective way to secure your safe. One of the easiest ways for a burglar to break into any safe is to move it where they have the time and tools to get into it. . Even if you think your safe is hidden you still need to anchor it in case it is discovered by a burglar. Remember that being careful and taking extra security precautions will help keep your items secure.

      Most safes have anchor hole(s) and are fairly simple to anchor into concrete. If you have a wood sub floor be aware that simply putting a wood anchor in your floor will not provide adequate protection, one of the most effective ways to secure a safe to a wood sub floor is to drill holes in your floor and extend long threaded rod down below the floor joist and take a long piece of 2 x 4 or angle iron and span multiple floor joist and secure the threaded rod and bolt down the safe. If you decide to move and want to take your safe with you, simply remove the bolts. If have questions about this process, we would be happy to assist you

      15. Loose Lips get your valuables stolen !

      Many burglaries occur because someone in the family or business tells someone else that they have a safe or worse , what is in the safe. It might be fun to talk about that new safe you just purchased or the cool thngs you have in it but Loose Lips could get your valuables stolen. Its better to not openly talk about what you are protecting in your safe to just anyone. A conversation or cell phone call is easily over heard and could be communicated to a person that you don’t know and increase your odds of a break in. But as you lay in bed at night you may be dreaming of the big bad wolf huffing and puffing and stealing your stuff out of a cheap safe, but wait there is good news ( if you bought a good safe) ,when you wake in the morning the sun is shining , the birds are singing and your valuables are still there, in your safe , protected.

      16. Security should be multi layered

      Even though you have a high quality safe you should still be aware of other ways to protect your self and your valuables. A quality home or business alarm is a good deterrent. Always be aware of your surroundings and lock your doors and take notice of unfamiliar people in your neighborhood or close to your home. Don’t allow strange individuals in your home that can see your safe or valuables unless necessary. Motion activated exterior lighting will discourage a burglar from spending time breaking into your home or business. As a local law enforcement officer told me once, criminals are like rats, they tend to scatter when you turn a light on. Remember that being extra careful and taking extra security precautions will keep you and your important items secure.

      17. The Bitterness of Poor Quality Lingers Long After a Cheap Price is Forgotten.

      Don’t buy a cheap safe to store your most prized possessions in. Most of the time you are placing your most valuable and important items that you own in the safe that you purchase. Make sure that the safe you purchase is appropriate for the items you are storing in the safe.

      Thank you for visiting our website , If you are looking for more specific information according to your needs, we encourage you to contact one of our safe professionals.

      The content of this document was developed through years of real world experience servicing and repairing many different types and brands of safes. Through these years assisting our customers and consultations with other security professionals we have developed this list ,it is meant to provide general guidelines for the most commonly asked questions received from our customers about safes. Every situation may be different and unique.

      © 2001 Nashville Safe House, All Rights Reserved
      The Safe House

      1004 4th Ave South
      Nashville TN, 37210

      (615) 255-0500

      1. re:
        ‘fire rating’ of a safe

        A home fire or business fire is another reason to avoid wood structures.
        Wood structures need a warning label:
        * “!!! Using as intended may cause disfigurement and death !!!”


        I grew-up on a farm.
        My four grandparents lived next door.
        My granpa Jack told me “A safe is for the things you want the thieves to find.”.

        A burglar waits for the property to be unoccupied.
        The terrorists wait for the property to be occupied, then poke eyes or chop fingers until the safe is opened.

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