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.