In times of economic challenges, it’s vital to recall the essence of American greatness: the rewarding nature of perseverance, dedication, and creativity. Embracing a commitment to superior American-made products and exceptional service can still pave the way to prosperity.
Furthermore, valuing and respecting both employees and customers fosters a loyalty that contributes to sustainable growth within our communities, both locally and nationally. Reflecting back, it was just 35 years ago that Liberty Safe began its journey in a humble storage unit in a small town in Utah. Through the years, this local American venture has risen to become the leading safe manufacturer in the country. Today, let’s explore the pivotal moments and breakthroughs in Liberty Safe’s journey that have sculpted this local entity into the national icon it is now.
From humble beginnings to industry leader
Liberty Safe’s inception is a quintessential tale of the American dream. It all began in 1988, when Jay Crosby, an engineer and entrepreneur who had previously co-founded the Fort Knox safe company, embarked on a new venture. With a vision and a small team of eight in a one-room storage unit, Liberty Safe was born. Jay’s focus on handcrafting high-quality safes rapidly earned Liberty a reputation for producing top-notch products at fair prices.
This humble beginning quickly transformed as the demand for Liberty Safes surged. Within a year, the company expanded into a 25,000-square-foot facility in Provo, Utah. Remarkably, even during the economic downturn of the early 1990s, Liberty’s sales and growth didn’t falter. By 1994, it had become the top safe manufacturer in the United States.
In 1995, a pivotal change occurred when Crosby sold the company to an investor, propelling Liberty Safe into a period of immense growth, doubling its sales and profitability in under four years.
The journey didn’t stop there. Liberty relocated its main headquarters to Springville, Utah, and continued to operate the Provo facility due to escalating demand. The need for expansion was inevitable, leading to the addition of a second facility in Provo and a 45,000-square-foot distribution center in Spanish Fork, Utah. Throughout these developments, Liberty’s commitment to innovative technology and maintaining a skilled American workforce has been unwavering. This dedication has enabled us to consistently produce high-quality safes in larger quantities.
In 2001, Liberty streamlined its operations into a 200,000-square-foot facility in Payson, Utah. Since then, we’ve expanded further into a 300,000 square foot space, achieving the capability to produce up to 700 safes daily at peak capacity.
Today, Liberty Safe stands as America’s unrivaled leader in the home and gun safe market, a testament to the power of quality, innovation, and the American spirit of entrepreneurship.
Investing in technological advancements
Since the very beginning, Liberty Safe has been unwavering in its commitment to advancing and integrating strategies, technologies, and innovations that enhance the security of our safes, while also ensuring affordability.
For example, our engineering team pioneered a novel approach to roll-forming and welding safe bodies. This method not only yields a more precise and replicable steel form but also results in a remarkably robust safe body, crafted from just two pieces of premium American steel. By minimizing the number of welds needed and employing precision corner jig-welders along with robotic welding booths, we’ve achieved exceptionally precise, deep, and clean welds. This is crucial because accurate, high-temperature welding doesn’t just join the metal at the surface; it practically fuses it together, creating a far stronger bond.
This innovation exemplifies our dedication to not just meeting but exceeding industry standards, ensuring that each Liberty Safe stands as a testament to quality, strength, and the relentless pursuit of excellence.
At Liberty Safe, we’ve always embraced technology, but with a cautious approach, especially when it comes to the security and convenience of our safes. This was particularly true with the emergence of EMP-resistant digital locks. Initially, like many of our customers, we were skeptical. Those with a traditional mindset often hesitate to trust anything powered by batteries or circuit boards, especially given the potential threat of an EMP attack. EMP, or Electromagnetic Pulse, is a burst of electromagnetic energy capable of damaging or disrupting electrical and electronic equipment, which can be caused by nuclear explosions, massive solar flares, or certain types of cyberattacks.
However, our perspective shifted after thorough technical and durability assessments. We found that Liberty’s SecuRam TopLit, SecuRam BackLit, and SecuRam ProLogic safe locks are not just reliable, but also certified as EMP resistant. This certification comes from Dayton T. Brown Laboratories, the largest independent A2LA-accredited testing lab in the United States, known for testing equipment for the military.
This advancement signifies a major step forward. It means you don’t have to choose between the high security of a traditional lock and the convenience of modern technology. With Liberty Safe, you get the best of both worlds - robust security and the ease of a quick-access digital lock. It’s like having your cake and eating it too.
Our double-redundant safe relocker mechanisms are another technological advancement that’s elegantly simple, but at the same time improves the security of a Liberty safe. If a thief tries to knock the safe lock’s backplate off or torch the lock, the lock’s internal spring-loaded relocker automatically fires, preventing the tumbler from completely turning. This keeps the locking bolt (in the lock housing) from retracting and keeps the safe locked. In addition, Liberty adds a second redundant external relocker to the backplate of the lock and the opening mechanism. If the lock’s back plate is punched off, the second external relocker fires like a mouse trap, permanently locking up the safe’s opening mechanism. This keeps the locking bars from retracting. Even if the lock is completely destroyed, the safe remains locked tight.
An abbreviated history of Liberty Safe and our innovative technology
- 1988: The first Liberty Safes are built in a storage unit by a team of 8
- 1989: Liberty expands to a 25,000 square-foot facility in Provo, Utah
- 1997: Liberty introduces the HiSecurity™ composite door, consisting of fire-board insulation between layers of steel and hardened plate steel
- 1997: Liberty introduces an innovative, beveled edge on the front of our top-tier Presidential series safes
- 1998: Liberty earns its first US patent for the locking-bolt mechanism on our plate-steel doors
- 1998: Liberty introduces the (now-patented) 4-in-1 Flex™ shelving system, which allows owners to configure their safe’s interior in 4 different ways according to specific storage needs
- 2001: Liberty consolidates all operations within a 200,000-square-foot facility in Payson, Utah
- 2001: Liberty begins producing our specialized 2-piece, roll-form safe bodies, proven to be significantly stronger than typical 3-piece safe bodies
- 2008: Liberty launches our door storage panel, which makes it easy to store handguns, documents, and other items on the inside of your safe door
- 2008: Liberty develops our new marble finishes, which gives customers even more color options to suit any taste and home decor
- 2009: Liberty introduces our revolutionary DX-90 and GX-480 Monster Mech locking systems to make our safes even less susceptible to theft
- 2013: Liberty expands our Payson facility to a massive 300,000 square feet
- 2018: Liberty’s engineers develop our military-style locking bars, replacing the round pins traditionally used to keep a safe’s door tight against the body. Locking bars make Liberty’s safes virtually impossible to pry open
Liberty’s commitment to American workers and customer service
The trend toward globalization and outsourcing has increased over the past few decades in the manufacturing and corporate world. Many companies have compromised their initial commitments to American manufacturing and have moved their facilities, product sourcing, labor force, and customer service centers out of the United States. This can benefit stockholders in the near term, as labor and material costs can be significantly lower in less-developed countries… which might increase profits and look good on the bottom line.
However, Liberty doesn’t do things that way. We believe in America, and we believe in keeping jobs, manufacturing, and materials sourcing local if at all possible. It’s better for our customers, products, employees, community, and country.
From its humble 8-person team at the beginning, Liberty Safe has grown to employ around 300 American workers now. Additionally, Liberty Safe partners with over 450 authorized Liberty dealers across the USA.
Innovative features that set Liberty Safe apart
As Liberty Safe grew, it quickly became apparent that to stay at the top of the market, we’d need to continue to innovate and stay dedicated to quality. Here are just a few key ways Liberty stands out.
Military-style locking bars
One Liberty Safe innovation is our military-style locking bars. We were never satisfied with the status quo, so we developed the next generation in locking technology in 2018. Most ordinary safes use round bolt pins to keep the door locked tight against the safe body. The problem is that these round pins are attached to the internal locking mechanism with either a rivet or sometimes spot welds. Those spot welds or rivet joints sometimes fail when pressure is applied with a pry bar. When this happens, thieves bend the locking bolts enough to pry the door off your safe. Additionally, a round pin applies greater force to the safe's internal surface than a wide, flat locking bar, which helps spread out the load.
Liberty’s hardened locking bars were designed to overcome this potential weak point in a home or gun safe. Our locking bars are cut from a single, solid piece of steel, and they’ve been proven in testing to be significantly harder to pry past. In a pull test designed to see how long our locking bars could withstand direct force attempting to pull the locked door open, Liberty’s locking bars were shown to be 120% stronger than a competitor’s safe.
Liberty uses US-sourced, US-made steel in our safes. Why? Because we believe it’s better, and we believe in keeping manufacturing, jobs, and supply chains local. We select the finest American-made, pickled, and oiled steel as the foundation for our safes. Pickling is a specialized way of treating steel that involves chemically washing the steel to remove any impurities — the pickling part — then oiling the steel to prevent rust from forming. This ensures maximum strength while preventing oxidation. This also has the side benefit of keeping the surface smoother and cleaner, so less prep work is required.
Using US-made steel has the additional benefit of reducing the high transportation costs, environmental impacts, and supply-chain bottlenecks that can occur when transporting globally.
Roll-formed 2-piece safe bodies
Liberty’s exclusive, state-of-the-art roll form process of building a steel safe begins in our state-of-the-art steel shop with rolls of heavy-duty coiled steel. Workers load the rolls onto a roll-form feeder that sends them through our computerized machine.
As the steel is uncoiled and fed through the roll-form machine, it goes through 6 stations where it is stamp-cut and precision-bent to create the industry's most accurate pre-bent steel box. Once all the edges have been pre-bent, the steel is fed into our custom gear-driven press brake to fold it into its unique 2-piece design. (Other safes often use three or more pieces of steel and weld them together.)
The box is then sent to our precision corner jig welders and our robotic welding booths for assembly. Using robotic welders, the back of the safe is sealed to the safe’s box while its front corners are automatically jig-welded using those clean, deep welds we discussed earlier.
Liberty’s Uni-Body construction results in an extremely strong, rigid safe with no seams on the front and sides of the top of the gun safe. This is where most safes can be pried apart or have their welds broken. Additionally, you get added fire protection because there are no weak links along the edges of your safe to fail when subjected to intense heat.
The welds holding the back of the safe to the roll-formed main body are extremely secure because Liberty’s back welds are not made along the corner edges of our gun safes (like some other safe manufacturers do, resulting in a weaker corner joint). Liberty has moved the weld from the edges to the back of the safe and overlaps the joints to create 3 points of contact for a much stronger weld. Additionally, with our precision-guided robot welds, there’s no need for grinding, which can weaken the weld.
Industry-leading fire protection and testing
Liberty has earned the title of America’s #1 home and gun safe manufacturer through our commitment to quality, customer service, and our rigorous fire testing. We use custom-cut, overlapping, fire-rated gypsum board to increase fire resistance while keeping weight manageable, and our certified fire testing leads the industry. Our testing protocol is based on studies conducted by Omega-Point Laboratories, and it’s designed to mimic what happens in actual house fires.
You may not know this, but there’s no regulation for fire-resistance claims in the US safe industry. And unfortunately, not all safe companies conduct legitimate fire testing. Some companies claim better protection than their safes offer in actual tests. We don’t play those games at Liberty. We have personally furnace-tested over 200 safes to make sure they’ll stand up to the fire protection ratings we promise.
Watch These Liberty Safe Fire Survival Stories
No other manufacturer subjects their safes to the number of actual fire tests that we do, and nobody we know of ramps up the heat as quickly as we do (in actual home fires, temperatures can exceed 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit in a few short minutes). At Liberty, fire protection is more than just a claim on a door sticker. You can count on our safes to perform exactly as stated, and many of our customers have actually found their safes to have performed better than expected in actual home fires. In fact, our safes have survived more fires than any other brand. Watch this video to learn more about our fire certification process.
Community and customer focus
As mentioned above, we believe in keeping things local at Liberty Safe. We pride ourselves on our friendly, helpful, and local customer-service team. Our expert team of customer service specialists is based out of our manufacturing facility in Payson, Utah, USA. Several of our customer service team members have actually worked on our production floor, building our safes from the ground up, so their product knowledge is unequaled. They can help you with any issues, like forgetting your combination (yes, we’ve all done it!), answering warranty questions, giving you step-by-step instructions for replacing your digital lock’s battery, or anything else relating to our safes and vaults. Unparalleled customer service is such an intentional part of our corporate culture that we’re sure you won’t find any safe manufacturer offering better support.
And, since our team is located in the same facility as manufacturing, in the rare case that you have a question that a customer service team member can’t answer, it’s just a short walk to find someone who can provide the information. It might sound like a cliché, but we really do think of our employees and workers as family.
Another fun way Liberty serves local communities is by investing in the Student Air Rifle (SAR) program. The SAR aims to increase involvement in shooting sports, enhance educational performance, and promote positive youth development through firearms safety and target shooting education. The SAR employs and encourages the following concepts in reaching its goals: Effective decision-making, accountability, respect, enthusiastic contribution, teamwork, integrity, and honesty. These same principles are the foundation of our business at Liberty Safe, and we’re proud to be involved in this exciting community program.
Liberty’s environmentally friendly manufacturing practices
At Liberty Safe, we believe in serving our local community and being responsible caretakers of the Earth. So, in addition to constantly innovating our safe designs, we also focus on improving our manufacturing processes to reduce waste and the chemical impact on our local community. Our million-dollar paint process is one of the US's most environmentally safe paint systems, removing 95% of all VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). We also recycle the overspray from our powder-coating booth, so there’s very little waste, making it even more environmentally friendly.
We use state-of-the-art water jets to cut our fire-board to exact specifications and extremely tight tolerances to improve fit and accuracy and provide better fire resistance inside our safes. Using water to cut has the natural result of producing soggy, heavy fire-board waste when we trim the patterns. However, to counteract this and reduce the volume and weight of our waste, we extract the water back out of our fire-board scrap before disposing of it. Manufacturing innovations like this have reduced our waste footprint by 90%. That’s something any company can be proud of.
Looking to the future
In an increasingly uncertain world, it’s good to know that Liberty Safe is there for you… over the past 35 years, and for the coming 35 years and more. Our commitment to using US-made steel, local US manufacturing, US employees, and US-based customer service has gotten us to where we are today, and we aren’t going to change our approach. You can count on Liberty Safe as a company, and you can count on your own Liberty safe to provide a lifetime of security, convenience, and protection for your most important items.