The Safe Box

Our objective was to build the best safe box we could that would be suitable for both domestic and commercial applications. At the same time this box needed to present great value to our customers. To do this we knew we had to start from scratch and specify the right materials for our safes.

Building a safe box


What type of steel is used in safes and how thick should it really be?


Can you have too much fireproofing material built into a safe?


How important is the final finish of my safe and what does it do?

The Steel

Some makers think that the thickness of the steel used to make a safe box is all that matters. Well it is not only the thickness of the steel, but also the type of steel that matters. In all Safes4less safes we use 4mm steel for the sides, back top and bottom and 8mm steel for the doors of our fireproof range of safes. Many other safes on the market use 3mm and 6mm rather than 4mm and 8mm.

You might say that this is only 1-2mm difference, however when you do the maths there is over 30% more steel in a 4-8mm safe than a 3-6mm safe. This makes a real difference.

On top of choosing thicker steel, we know that the steel used for the door needs to be harder than the steel used for the top, bottom, back and sides. This is so would be thieves find it hard to drill through the door to get access to the locking mechanism or use a pry bar to deform the door. What this means is that 2 different “steel recipes” are required.

Taking these decisions from the outset means that we have built a better product. Sure, it adds extra cost, but the quality of the box is integral to the quality of the safe.

Click here If you are interested in more detail about the steel we use in our safes.

The Fireproofing

To make a safe box fireproof you need to add some fireproof material. This is sandwiched in between the inside and outside layers of steel. Typically, there are 3 common products that are used to make the safe fireproof.

  • Gypsum
  • Vermiculite
  • Perlite

All of these are naturally occurring minerals and can be used alone or in a combination mix to provide different levels of fire protection. They also change the overall weight of the safe.

Using 100% vermiculite or perlite yields the lightest weight safe, whilst using 100% gypsum yields the heaviest safe.

If you want to know more how these minerals make things fire resistant, click here.

We have chosen to use 16mm 100% gypsum in all Safes4less safes. Using 100% gypsum gives very good fire resistance at a reasonable cost. It also increases the overall weight of your safe.

Safes4less safe wall construction

Using a combination of gypsum and vermiculite/perlite would substantially increase the cost of the safe without a meaningful increase in fire resistance. It would also reduce the weight of the safe.

Light weight safes are a bonus for would be thieves, they can simply remove the safe from your premises and try and open it later at their leisure.

As all Safes4less safes prices include delivery to your door, so weight and transport are not an issue.


Powder Coating

Powder coating is an technically advanced process of applying a decorative or protective finish to virtually any type of metal. Powder coated surfaces are more resistant to chipping, scratching, fading, and wearing than other finishes.The powder used in powder coating is a mixture of finely ground particles of pigment and resin. This mixture is electro-statically sprayed onto the surface to be coated. The statically charged powder particles are attracted to and adhere to the electrically grounded metal surfaces. The product is then heated in a curing oven where the powder particles fuse into a smooth coating. The result is a high quality finish that is both uniform and durable. Powder coated surfaces are far more resilient than painted finishes.

All of our safe boxes are powder coated on the outside with a powder that once fused, creates a black wrinkle finish. We prepare each box by first shot blasting the surface to remove any impurities and key the steel surface so that we get maximum adhesion of the fused powder. The resulting surface is scratch and chip resistant, durable and easy to keep clean.

30 year warrantyWe guarantee our safe boxes for 30 years because we are confident in the quality of steel we use, the quality of workmanship and finally the quality of the finish that we apply.

Find this helpful?

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How long should my safe last in a fire. Is 30-minutes enough?