Securing Your Valuables: Expert Advice on Choosing the Right Safe

Published on Nov 16, 2023

Frank Renfro, CEO of Modlock, shown with four models of safes his company sells and installs

In an age where protecting our valuables becomes increasingly vital, both at home and in our businesses, the quest for the right safe is not just a matter of choice, but a necessity. 

To navigate this important decision, Pasadena Now turned to Frank Renfro, CEO of Modlock, an expert in safe security who operates a Pasadena store. Renfro offers a deep dive into the world of safes, providing invaluable guidance for those seeking to safeguard prized possessions.

Understanding the Types of Safes

Renfro categorizes safes into three main types: fire safes, burglary safes, and gun safes. Each serves a distinct purpose, tailored to specific needs. 

Fire safes are rated by their ability to withstand high temperatures, with the duration of resistance often reflected in the price. Burglary safes, on the other hand, focus on robust construction, with increased steel thickness and advanced engineering to prevent break-ins.

In states like California, where laws mandate that guns be locked in safes, the choice of a safe becomes critical. Renfro suggests keeping guns and ammunition in separate safes for optimal safety.

Choosing the Right Safe for Your Needs

The key to selecting the right safe, Renfro emphasizes, lies in aligning it with your specific requirements. 

For residential burglary safes, he suggests American-made options with at least 12 gauge steel and a minimum 60-minute fire rating. This recommendation stems from his observation of the superior quality of domestic safes over their imported counterparts, often compromised due to cost-cutting measures in manufacturing.

For businesses, especially those dealing with high-value items like large amounts of currency and jewelry stores, understanding security ratings becomes crucial. 

Renfro points to UL and TL ratings as significant factors in meeting insurance requirements.

Enhancing Safe Functionality and Security

Renfro described the potential to enhance safes with various accessories. 

Options like watch winders, jewelry compartments, and cool pockets can add layers of functionality and security. Additionally, electronic sensors that monitor internal conditions like humidity, temperature, and vibration are becoming increasingly popular, offering real-time alerts to owners for any deviations from set parameters.

Installation and Insurance Implications

Renfro pointed out a critical aspect often overlooked, is the installation of safes. He underscored the importance of bolting safes to the ground, noting that most come with pre-drilled holes for this purpose. 

He cautioned against opting for lightweight safes found online, which often offer minimal security.

Renfro also said there are implications of owning a safe on insurance policies. For homeowners with high-value collections, having a safe might be a prerequisite for specific insurance coverage. 

There is a rising trend of safe purchases. Renfro said the increase has been driven by diverse factors such as family safety, individual security concerns, and regional issues like wildfires.

The Peace of Mind Factor

Above all, Renfro emphasizes the peace of mind that comes with having a safe. It’s about more than protecting valuables from theft or damage; it’s about the sense of security and organization it provides. 

Whether for personal treasures or business assets, the right safe not only secures valuables but also brings a sense of assurance in an unpredictable world. 


For further, personalized information call Frank Renfro of Modlock at  310-804-5302 or email him at

Make a Comment

  • (not be published)