I can sum up the Liberty Safe SafElert monitoring system in one word: awesome. This piece of electronic wizardry acts as your personal burglar alarm and status monitor for your gun safe. For creative minds, it would also works on your liquor cabinet or cigar humidor. Working tirelessly, it provides an additional layer of protection and peace of mind, too.
Liberty Safe introduced their $200 SafElert monitoring system four years ago. At the time, it required annual monitoring fees. Now the device includes free lifetime monitoring. That’s a yuge savings compared to those traditional alarm company monthly monitoring fees.
Good things come in small packages
The diminutive 3″x2″x1″ box goes in your gun safe and connects to your home’s Wi-Fi connection. It works silently and unobtrusively, detecting potential threats to your safe’s contents.
Liberty partnered the sensor with a useful web-based interface. This allows users to configure “triggering events” to fit their specific needs. Unlike special snowflakes, SafElert does not get triggered over microaggressions. It does, however, react to light (door open), vibration (tampering), as well as measuring humidity and temperature (fire or an attempt to open with a torch). When it senses a pre-defined parameter, it sends an email and/or text alert to up to five contacts. Notification happens in seconds.
Also, if it loses its Internet connection, the home office sends an alert for that as well.
First, you’ll need to install two AA batteries. From there, follow instructions to set up the unit for your wi-fi network. Not tech savvy? Let your grandkid do it, or follow the helpful video at Liberty Safe. The software set up took me just a few minutes, and configuring the alerts took only a little longer.
The hardware set up took a half-hour to get it just right. I could have made things a lot easier by just putting it on a shelf in the safe and walking away.
I tested SafElert without the external antenna and it still connected to my Wi-Fi network on the opposite end of the house. But if a little is good, more is often mo’ bettah. So to get a stronger signal (and to give me more peace of mind), I installed the external, magnetic-mount antenna.
It took me some time to thread the antenna wire through the tiny hole in the back side of my safe. As for the sensor itself, I mounted it on the bottom of a shelf, using the included Velcro strips.
You won’t need a high-powered router. My cheapo router works perfectly with this device, even without the external antenna. Even better, if Mr. Bad Guy sees the antenna and thinks it’s a cellular alarm, I’m good with that too.
SafElert has its own free app for your phone. As an added bonus, the web-enabled interface allows you to check the status inside your safe from anywhere you have internet access. My safe currently checks in with the door closed at 75 degrees F and 35% relative humidity.
Set up and installation took less than an hour, including time spent fine-tuning. Since that time, operation has been flawless.
Lastly, even though Liberty makes this product, it doesn’t discriminate against your safe if it’s not made by Liberty. SafElert works wonderfully in my Ft. Knox residential security container.
Specifications: Liberty Safe’s SafElert Monitor
Case: Polycarbonate plastic
Size: 3.1″ long x 2.5″ wide x 1.05″ high
Weight: 2.5 oz. (sans batteries)
Power: Two AA 1.5 Volt alkaline batteries
Heat range: -30 to +150 Degrees F
Humidity range: 0-100%
MSRP: SafElert unit, $199.00 ($194 at Amazon)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Ease of Installation: * * *
It was a little involved for me, but it doesn’t have to be. As far as the technology end of it, if you managed to set up a smart TV, this isn’t much more difficult. Or you can find a high school kid to do it for you.
Ease of Operation / Ergonomics. * * * * *
The best way to describe it: install and forget. The small package, mounted under a shelf, takes up virtually no valuable real estate and requires nothing except a change of batteries from time to time. Three months’ usage has my unit reporting 90% battery life remaining, so an annual battery change should suffice.
Reliability. * * * * *
The thing works – all the time and without false alarms. Even with a small dehumidifier running nearby inside the safe, I don’t get false vibration alarms. If I unlock the door (which activates the interior lighting), my phone chirps within ten to twenty seconds.
Price: * * * *
Yes, the $200 initial cost felt a bit spendy. Buy once, cry once and enjoy the benefits of a well-designed, low-maintenance product for a long time. Besides, if it saves your valuables just once, it’s paid for itself many times over.
Value: * * * * *
When it comes right down to it, you’re buying the sensor and monitoring for life. That’s vastly superior to paying traditional companies up to $50 per month to monitor your expensive security system. And for them to call in false alarms to your local police dispatch center that will too often get ignored.
Overall: * * * * *
This product provides reliable service and peace of mind, no matter if you’re in your back yard, at work or on vacation. Without a doubt, the SafElert belongs in your safe.
So if the safe is in a dark room I assume the sensor will not work?
Presumably even an intruder has some light source to work with.
Good point. I wonder how sensitive it is?
Rob: What, you got no lights in your safe, with door switch? Geeeeeese.
No I didn’t realize they were battery run. I will get one or two!
install a motion sensor light inside your safe. PROBLEM SOLVED
Yep. There are affordable, LED ones that are not crap where the battery will last a very very long time.
Have any recommendations?
Wonder how well it works if intruder unplugs my router?
you would get a noticed that it has been disconnected
Okay, I see if Internet connection is lost, it will alert “home office” But, my router needs to be re-booted about every two weeks.
Next question – Does lifetime mean mine, or the lifetime of Liberty producing this particular product? Does “new and improved” mean I’ve got the old product and it is no longer guaranteed?
I have a timer set up that reboots my remote router every day.
In his article, John says, “Also, if it loses its Internet connection, the home office sends an alert for that as well.” If a bad guy disables your router, the monitoring server would see that as a disconnect and you would get an alert.
If your router reboots are on a schedule, when you get the “disconnect” alert at those times, you know what it was. If you reboot it manually, then you know why you are getting the alert, also.
So now there’s a private company out there with a list of everyone with a safe full of guns worth protecting – hope they don’t get hacked.
When I go away for an extended period, I usually unplug my wireless access point.
Yeah honestly. This is just the dumbest idea. It will literately do NOTHING worth while and will be easily take out by any number of common tactics to screw with home monitoring software. And that’s before we get to very very obvious problem with the reality that this product still rely on the police to cop protect your house if it gets broken into. When time counts the cops are still a half hour out. And that’s when your life is in danger. Let alone just a normal B&E the cops aren’t going to rush to.
Once again TTAG flogs an ultimately useless product I wouldn’t waste a dime on.
Oh, I don’t know. I kind of like the remote monitoring for temp and humidity. Although, if you have any home automation at all there are or bablt less expensive ways to implement it.
Looks like around $60 on Amazon.
Precisely. There’s no reason for Liberty to be in the loop AT ALL after the sale– this thing could contact you or whoever without giving up your privacy and taking the risk of strangers knowing who have guns worth protecting.
I rejected this thing on that basis some years ago. Good idea, but I’ll wait for the sensible version from someone else.
Isn’t every gun safe company ALREADY “a private company out there with a list of everyone with a safe full of guns worth protecting”, assuming you bought direct and/or activated the warranty registration?
I put a $200 Nest Cam in my safe room. It alarms (push notices to my phone) on motion, will detect a person, records in total darkness and gives me 10 days of continuous video storage. Adding it onto my account was $50/yr.
Anybody smart enough to get into or move my safes is smart enough to cut my internet cord. You guys don’t have to buy every gadget down the new product pipe.
Every house burglar isn’t a pro. Most are junkies or meth heads looking for a quick in and out for easily carried and pawned objects. They aren’t travelling with RF detectors, plasma torches and night vision goggles.
“And for them to call in false alarms to your local police dispatch center that will too often get ignored.” I don’t know what kind of cops the author has but the department I worked for sent at least two cops on EVERY burglar alarm call. Now, the alacrity of the response would sometimes depend upon the frequency of that alarm going off; no cop would risk himself and others in a rapid response to an alarm which repeatedly sent false alarms because the system was faulty or the users were inept. BTW, to encourage alarm owners to keep their systems in good repair and set properly, the alarms were registered and an excessive number of false alarms would result in the owners being fined.
My alarm company calls me first. I then verify using my cameras (which don’t always send me an alert). if no one is in the house I reset the alarm via smart phone.
After 3 false alarms where the police are alerted a fine is assessed.
Eh. I’m waiting on the Zore Watchdog.
A Rat Thing ought to do it.
The article is most helpful for the gun owner