Before you purchase a second hand safe, here's what you need to check

Getting a safe is an excellent idea for securing your valuables and irreplaceable items. Sometimes, though, the cost for what you need can be prohibitive and getting a second-hand safe is more feasible because it can cut hundreds of dollars off the cost.

But just like buying anything used, certain precautions and considerations should be made. Here are some things to consider before you purchase a used or refurbished safe:

  • Make sure it is still functional- Many safes are water- and fire-resistant but these attributes can and do diminish. It is a good idea to be sure all seals still work properly. If you are not sure how to check it, hire a professional locksmith to examine it and be sure.
  • Compare the cost of replacing the things you intend to store in your safe, to the cost of purchasing the safe and having the lock re-keyed- Often, people think a safe is secure but it is always best to rekey a used safe the same as you would when purchasing a home. You don't want someone else to have a key to your valuables because it would make having a safe completely useless. If the items you intend to lock in the safe are highly valuable, consider purchasing a new safe. However, you could opt for a used safe to keep items you regard lowly, but need some confidentiality.
  • Get an extra key- When you have your new safe re-keyed, be sure to get an extra key. Having an extra in a secret place will prevent the cost of having it re-keyed if you lose your main key. Hide the extra key someplace where you won't forget it.
  • Check the measurements- Whether you are looking for a wall safe or a small, under-the-bed safe, be sure to measure the dimensions and make certain it will fit where you plan to store it before you purchase it. Don't let the low prices of a second hand safe lure you, yet it will be of no use if it doesn't fit in its intended location.

Ultimately, the goal of having a safe is to prevent loss, damage or theft of special items. Buying a used safe can save you a lot of money. While it is worth the investment, be sure you have the only keys to access the safe.  To keep your safe secure, do not hesitate to re-key it after purchase.