If you are looking for a safe to keep your valuables secure, you can save a lot of money by purchasing a second hand safe. However, you need to know what to look for when evaluating a used safe. Even if a second hand safe looks sturdy from the outside, it may still spring a few unfortunate surprises once you get it home.

Before you purchase a used safe, do your research. A safe should be able to keep your valuables safe from more than just thieves.

Learn About Its History

When you find a safe that you like, ensure that you discover all you can about its past. Try to find out what was kept inside the safe and whether the safe was ever broken into or damaged by fire. It is also a good idea to ask why the safe was sold in the first place.

Finding out the history of a safe should always be your starting point when looking to purchase a second hand safe. You might learn something that will either convince you or put you off.

Check Its Inner Workings

Once you know a safe's history, you should then check that it is in full working order. Check that the lock and its parts are in good condition. If purchasing your safe from a locksmith, have them explain to you what—if any—adjustments or repairs they have made to the safe's locking mechanism. You don't want your second hand safe to jam and trap your valuables inside it. Lastly, make sure the hinges are in good condition and well oiled.

Learn Its Strengths and Weaknesses

Is the safe able to keep out a burglar armed with tools such as crowbars and drills? How many minutes would it withstand such an attack? Moreover, you should consider the non-human elements of risk, such as fire and water.

Find out if the safe is fire resistant, and if it is, ask if the safe has ever been in a fire. If it has, you then need to check the linings and seals for fire damage.

If you plan to keep sensitive documents or media such as photographs in the safe, it's very important that you choose a fire resistant safe. Ask the person selling the safe how long it can withstand fire. Some safes can withstand smoke and fire for 30 minutes while others can last up to 4 hours. In addition, if water may be a risk, check to see if the safe is water-resistant.

If you want to purchase a second hand safe, consider looking into businesses like the Askwith Company.