blue prints for a safe room

Every company claims they build quality safe doors – but what does a quality safe door look like? With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to get lost in the details. To help you make the best decision for your security, we’ve put together a quick list of the key parts of a high quality safe door:

  1. Steel - And Lots of It
  2. High Quality Lock and Lock Protection
  3. Fire and Smoke Protection
  4. A Safe Door Built for Your Needs
  5. The Wrap Up: Key Parts of a Quality Safe Door

1. Steel – and lots of it.

image (4) (1)Heavy duty plate steel is the foundation of a quality safe door. The thicker the steel, the better the security. Many companies offer what appear to be thick doors, but are often just thin sheet metal with drywall gypsum board in the middle – this is just an illusion of security. The key to a quality safe door is to keep your best defense front and center - thick, heavy duty, American-made plate steel. At Smith Security, we’re proud to offer plate steel on both the door skin and frame, all the way up to 1 ¼ thick stainless steel. Our steel comes from the Ohio River Valley and is a consistent high-quality product, unlike what many companies use. Another way to increase security is to add ballistic steel (AR) or stainless-steel laminates on top of the heavy-duty plate steel – something we offer at Smith Security Safes.

2. High quality lock and lock protection.

The heart of a quality safe door is a trusted lock mechanism. There are two basic UL (Underwriters Laboratories) ratings – Group 2, the bare minimum rating, and Group 1, considered “High Security” locks. We’ve been in business for over 40 years, and we’ve been able to find the most consistent, secure, and tested lock mechanisms available. Our mechanical and digital locks are UL Group 1 rated – which are considered High Security locks, a big upgrade from most standard security Group 2 locks. Group 1 offers a proven resistance to 20 hours of manipulation by a single expert, and over 1 million possible combinations. The other part of a great lock is lock protection. We offer an ultra-tough magnesium hard plate that specifically protects the lock. The hard plate prevents drill attacks and offers up to another ½” of metal of protection to keep the lock in working order.

3. Fire and smoke protection.

While the steel and lock prevent intruders, we can’t forget another real intruder – fire and smoke. A high quality safe or vault door will offer great fire and smoke protection in 3 ways. First – it must have a thick plate steel base. Why? Thin sheet metal designs tend to warp at high temperatures and allow smoke and flames past even the best fire seal. The average house fire exceeds 1400° F! Second – it must have a high-quality expanding fire seal. We offer a high quality intumescent expanding seal, which swells 10x its original size in the event of a fire, sealing out smoke and flames. Third – A high quality safe door will offer temperature rise protection. In the event of a fire, you may not have flames or smoke enter your vault room, but the back of the door may reach temperatures near those of the fire on the outside – 1400° F! At that temperature, typical building materials and papers will instantly combust. Smith Security Safes offers temperature rise protection by adding Fire Rated Gypsum and Fire Rated Rock Wool insulation to keep your vault room safe. For maximum protection, some customers have a safe door on their vault room, and then have another fire rated safe inside the vault room.

4. A safe door built for your needs.

Lastly, a quality safe door will be built for your exact situation. The worst thing that you can do is take a safe door that doesn’t quite fit your situation and try to make it work. Adding wood to make a safe door fit into your concrete wall is never a great solution. If your wall is unique and you can’t get your door to fit properly, it can ruin the security of even the toughest safe door. At Smith Security Safes, we’re focused on making a solution to fit your exact needs. We can customize almost every aspect of your safe door, giving you the solution that fits your vault room perfectly.


Heavy duty, plate steel construction High quality, proven lock system Fire and smoke protection A safe door to fit your exact needs While there are many other aspects to look at, these 4 will make sure your safe door is going to offer the maximum security to your vault room. At Smith Security Safes, we’re committed to offering you the best possible safe door to fit your security needs.

SmithSecuritySafes_IconCircle_printAbout Smith Security Safes

Since 1982, Smith Security Safes has been proudly making top-notch vault doors and safe room doors in the USA. Our doors are not just about locks and steel; they are about trust, quality, and peace of mind.

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