Karen Forbes has sent you a message.

Date: 3/13/2012

Subject: Use Grah Safe and Lock

Grah Safe and Lock has been our vendor for over 20 years. Without question I would recommend their services. Our many facilities have in-ground safes as well as many levels of locking doors and they have always met our needs in the time allotted and professionally.

-Karen Forbes



If you are looking into purchasing a safe, you might be surprised at the variety of options available. There is a wide variety of safes, so to help you start;

First consider what you plan to put in your safe. Are you looking to store documents, jewelry, cash, electronics or other items? Knowing what you will be storing in your safe will make your purchasing decision an easier one.

Once you clarify what you will be using your safe to protect, you then need to determine how large of a safe you need.  One easy way to determine the size needed is to take all of the items you believe you want to store in the safe, and put them into a cardboard box.  This gives you a starting point.  Generally you will want a safe double the size of the box. Having a safe at home causes you to consider adding many other items into the safe.  Two times the original estimate is what generally works the best.

Safes are used for primarily two reasons. 1. To protect your items from theft and 2. to protect your items from fire. You can get safes that offer protection from one or the other or both. Based on what you are storing a professional safe dealer can help you determine what type will suit your needs.

Another factor you will need to consider when choosing a safe is the type of locking mechanism. Mechanical combination locks or key locks are giving way to easier to use electronic locks.  Electronic locks are generally battery powered, and the batteries can be replaced with the safe in the locked position.  Biometric safe locks require the use of a finger print, or a fingerprint and a combination.  Networked safe locks allow for the remote control of safes and can be wired or wireless.

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Different types of safes include:

  • Wall Safes. These safes are actually built into your wall and rely on being concealed for protection.  They are generally narrow so that they can fit between the studs in your wall. They can easily be concealed by a wall painting, a bookshelf or with a built in sliding panel.
  • Floor Safes. These safes are also built into your home and are either cemented into a concrete floor, for example, or built into your floor board. Like wall safes they are also narrow so that they can fit in between your floor joists, making them difficult for burglars to remove. They can be hidden under a carpet, piece of furniture or concealed within the floor.
  • Free Standing Safe. Free standing safes are the easiest to use and are ideal if you will be using the safe on a daily basis.  They also have the most variety of sizes and types.  They can be fire resistant or burglary resistant or both.  Free standing safes should generally be attached to the building by being bolted to the floor or wall.   This increases the security and can increase the fire protection as well.
  • Laptop Safes. A more recent type of safe is the laptop or hand gun safe.  Since laptops are easy to take, and can contain valuable and often irreplaceable content, having a safe should be a consideration.  A common laptop safe allows for attaching it to a shelf, wall or desk.  Hard drives and other small computer equipment like flash drives are often stored in these safes. This is also the type of safe that can be used for storing handguns in a home or office.  They are small, convenient to get to and offer protection from a quick theft.
  • Fireproof files.  If the primary need you have is for paperwork or you have a large volume of documentsm, a high quality fireproof file may be the best solution.  They offer a maximum amount of storage space for the cost, and offer a UL fire rated storage solution.  Be sure that you get a file with a high security Medeco lock and keys.
  • Deposit safes.  Generally used in businesses that need to have a way to allow multiple people to deposit money into a safe quickly, deposit safes are generally designed for short term storage of cash.  They come in a wide variety of sizes and configurations.  If there are specific needs with deposit safe, they can be custom configured to your specific needs.

The best and most cost effective solution for home or business safe storage is often a combination of security containers.  For example a small laptop or handgun safe and a medium size fire and burglary safe for a home allow you to purchase just the security your need.  For a business a fireproof file for paperwork and a smaller burglary safe can be the optimum solution.  A visit with a professional safe dealer will help your make decisions and can save you time and money.

If you are local please come and visit our beautiful showroom and check out our large selection of safes or for some question feel free to call us at 619-234-4829.

google grah

We are located at 939 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92103.


We are so thrilled to talk about what happen recently. Google is sending out Favorite Places packets with window decals to 100,000 of the “most sought out and researched businesses on Google and Google Maps.

December is generally a fairly slow month for us, but this week was special because as our mail arrived… there it was, “Congratulations! You’re a Favorite Place on Google”.


They sent us a nice letter and a window sized poster/ decal with a QR barcode that I’m told will take you to our Google listing.  Most smart phones (or at least iPhones and Androids) can get an App that will read this little black spot, and do some 3G internet magic.

We focus on local San Diego customers, since that’s where we can best control the quality, unique solutions and services our customers have come to expect.  So we have worked hard on our web site in the last year as a place for information on safety and security for San Diegans.  Although we are happy when anyone goes to our site for information we really hope that local San Diego people, who we might actually service, go to our site. It was exciting for us to see that, because so many people used Google to find us, we are now in the top 1% of the US business sites that Google indexes.

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Now we want to see that the QR Barcode actually works!   We are offering a free gift and 10% off any purchase if you come and read our barcode during business hours.  You will find the Google poster near our front door on the corner of 10th and University and at our front counter.

So Free Goods and discounts too! Just get the QR reader app on your phone (you know that’s why you got your fancy phone) and come down to our storefront and see if you can read our Google poster. (Offer good until Jan 30th, 2010) We’re here Monday through Friday from 7AM to 5PM.

We are looking forward to seeing you at Grah in 2010!

Accessibility Laws now to be enforced in California

Accessibility laws for door opening pressure,
Now in force for California

Starting with the ADA requirements for the reduced door opening force of 8 ½ pounds of pressure or less to open a door, and now with the adoption of the current California Building Code requirements of 5 pounds of pressure to open a door, building owners and businesses operators have struggled to meet the low pressure door opening accessibility specifications. Although the requirements have been difficult to achieve on all doors, it is the exterior doors that are the most challenging due to weather, wind and stack pressure caused by building’s ventilation and HVAC systems.

In California since 2004 all entry doors are required to open with no more than 5 pounds of force, according to the California Building code section 1133B.2.5.
This is simply not achievable for most doors and situations, so in most building jurisdictions this accessibility requirement was not enforced.
Since the intent of the code was to make more buildings accessible, in
October 27, 2008 an amendment to code section 1133B.2.5 was adopted into law by the California Building Commission to take effect as of August 1, 2009.
The amendment states:

“One door in eight adjacent to an accessible route shall be power-operated and the remainder of the manually manually-operated doors may be of 8 1/2 pounds of force.”

The 1 in 8 ration applies to each accessible elevation of a building. If no power operated door is installed to this ratio, then all doors must be manually-operated with no more than 5 pounds of force.

As the building/ plan checking departments as well as local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) begin to enforce this requirement, and representatives of the disabled community begin to cite building owners and tenants for accessibility non-compliance this will become a costly hot button issue.

At Grah we offer and suggest some practical solutions to this accessibility challenge.

Power door operators are one very viable solution. In the past 10 years a wide variety of low power door operators have come on the market and there are now solutions for most doors, and budgets. Low usage doors can get by with a light duty door operator, where high use doors need a heavy duty door operator. These door operators are not visually distracting and the operator buttons can be hard wired or wireless making installation easy. These power door operators do require some maintenance. If there are many doors, using a power door operator on 1 in 8 ratio may be the easiest and lowest cost solution to achieve compliance.

Automatically adjusting closers are now available that use the motion of the door opening to power the motors to adjust the opening force to less than 5 pounds, then increase the holding force to keep the door closed against wind and building stack pressure. These self powered units are available in a footprint to match current door closers, so installation is easy and the end result is visually appealing. The self powered aspect of this solution makes for a lower cost installation.

Power assist door openers are another solution that has been available for many years, and are the only solution for some doors. Mounted in the floor or on the door, these require electrical power to the door opening and, as the name implies, once the door is moved even a small amount the electrical motors take over and assist the door open.

High energy door operators are familiar to anyone who enters a grocery store or hospital.
These are the sliding doors that open whenever anyone or anything approaches the door. These high power door operators are designed for high traffic environments. They require replacement of the entire door system. The drawbacks for existing buildings and doors are the cost, construction, ongoing service and increased HVAC costs. But for high traffic situations, this can sometimes be the optimal solution.

At Grah in our efforts to help others to meet regulations and reduce ADA liability we are happy to offer free consultation on your specific situation.

Workplace Violence and a Facility Managers Role

First line of access controlThe winter months are the top months for bad things happening to people at work. Is it the cold weather? For anyone charged with managing a facility, knowledge and preparation is better than the best response.

Workplace violence, and the impact of these incidents, can be mitigated through the recognition of the
impending signs of potential violent behavior. Had people been properly trained and educated to detect and
respond to specific individual threads of common behaviors, the majority of incidents of WPV might have
been avoided or the impact significantly limited.
Definitively understanding workplace violence, is the first step. One cannot prevent or avoid what is not
clearly understood. While violence cannot be entirely prevented, the likelihood of it occurring can be
reduced. Prevention is the cornerstone of any workplace initiative aimed at curbing violence and aggression
in the workplace. It is not enough to simply respond to violent events after-the-fact. Response is necessary
but it might not be necessary at all if the incident can be averted or prevented.
Prevention of aggressive acts does not need to be complicated or expensive. Combining prevention
strategies with initiatives that are intended to respond to incidents as they occur can be a powerful deterrent
to workplace violence.
Primarily, problems arise from negligent hiring, and failure to protect the workplace. To avoid
these problems, employers and their human resources staff must use every advantage afforded them. The
most important of all is information. When it comes to potential employees, screen all applicants with every
means available. If a potential problem becomes known, seriously consider whether or not to retain that
Once the workforce is established, ensure that certain proper security methods are in place to provide a
safe physical work environment.
This is where the facility management organization weighs in via its ability
to define building evacuation routes and contingency plans, fences, locks, gates, glazing, barriers, safe
rooms, building controls, drawings and a wide variety of additional resources that will be described in further
detail at

Neighborhood eWatch service

Did you know there’s a free service offered by SDPD that lets you know about crime in your area (or any area in San Diego)?
Neighborhood eWatch is designed to automatically alert you via E-mail of recent crime activity in your selected neighborhood(s). Crime activity information will only be returned for City of San Diego addresses. Other cities in the San Diego region are not included at this time.
This free subscription service will act as a “cyber” neighborhood watch, providing citizens with information to help reduce crime in their neighborhoods and to increase interaction between neighbors and the Police Department.
To sign up for eWatch notifications, go to this URL:

San Diego Wild Fire Season tips


Create Safety Zones Around Your Home or Building.

Begin with a 30-foot safety zone around any structure.
Keep the volume of vegetation in this zone to a minimum. Clear further to the east as this is the direction the strongests Santa Ana winds come from. If you live on a hill, extend the zone on the downhill side. Fire spreads rapidly uphill.

In this 30 foot zone, you should also do the following:

Move shrubs and other landscaping away from the sides of the house.
Prune branches and shrubs within 15 feet of chimneys and roof.
Do not trim trees or bushes as to create a fire “funnel” toward your house. Some bushes and low branches on trees 30 feet from a building can work to slow the wind near your house, and this reduction in wind speed will greatly reduce chance of flying embers starting a fire
Replace highly flammable vegetation such as pine, junipers and fir trees with lower growing, less flammable species.

Create a second zone of at least 100 feet around the house.
This zone should begin about 30 feet from the house and extend to at least 100 feet. In this zone, reduce or replace as much of the most flammable vegetation as possible. Fan Palm trees on the eastern side of a house can be problematic, as they catch fire easily in a Santa Ana wind/fire conditions and create wind borne fire balls.

Remember – clear all combustibles within 30 feet of any structure.

Ask the power company to clear branches from power lines.
Stack firewood 100 feet away and uphill from any structure.
Store combustible or flammable materials in approved safety containers and keep them away from the house.
Keep the gas grill and propane tank at least 15 feet from any structure. Always use the grill cautiously but refrain from using it all during high risk times.

Protect Your Home

Clear leaves, trash and other combustible materials away from underneath decks and porches.
Enclose all eaves to reduce the ability for an ember to start a fire. This is one of the simplest things you can do to make your home less likely to catch fire from an ember.
A San Diego Based company that does this very well is Best Rate Repair.
Cover all openings and vents with 1/4 inch or smaller corrosion-resistant wire mesh.

Use fire resistant materials in the siding of your home, such as stucco, metal, brick, cement shingles, concrete and rock.
Install non-combustible awnings to shield windows and use shatter-resistant glazing such as tempered glass.

Have and use a fire safe. Since you don’t know when a fire may start, store important keepsakes, papers and documents in a fire proof safe. A real fire safe has a testing label, such as UL, that will describe the length of time in fire protection it may provide. In Southern California a home should have AT LEAST a 1 hour, 1200 degree rated safe. An ideal safe would be rated for 90 minutes or more. Home fires that are fully involved can burn up to 2,000 degrees. A safe professional can help you select a safe that will work well for both burglary and fire protection. Visit or call the folks at Grah for more information.

If there is a fire:

Gather those items you will need to evacuate and have them ready to go. Insurance papers, prescriptions, phone numbers, cell phones, photo albums, etc. Remember most of your stuff is just that, stuff, and can be replaced. Take only those items you need or that can not be replaced easily.

If you are evacuating, leave early and have a destination in mind before you get in a vehicle. Do not panic, use common sense and be part of the fire solution, not the problem.

Things to think about when buying a Fireproof Safe

1. Determine what exactly you would like to store in the safe
2. Learn about fire ratings and what you may need based on your house design and location
3. Determine where you would like to install the safe
4. Will your floor support the weight of the safe?
5. Do you need different kinds of protection such as paper, or money?
6. Do you need the security of a burglary rated safe?
7. Do you have special needs for storage, such as guns or digital media?
8. Who should have access to your safe?
9. Will you need a delivery service and installation?
10. Is a Fire Proof File more appropriate for your needs?

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Contact a safe profession to help with your specific needs as there are many things sold as fire protection that are not up to the task.