Dealer Spotlight: In the “Live Free or Die” state American Security safes are helping residents protect their guns, precious heirlooms and historical family documents. Learn more from Pat Hargreaves in this interview.

How long have you been in security business?

I’ve been in business for 32 years.

What inspired your decision to get into home and commercial security?

Well, I was in the army for 10 years then I got out, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I worked at a lumber company and a gentleman looked at me and said, “Would you be interested in learning how to pick a lock?” I said sure and that lasted for about two years.  I learned the trade and then opened up my own company with 200 dollars and a Ford Escort. Now I’ve got three vans, five employees and we sell a lot of safes to locksmiths.

What is unique about the needs of your customers?

The biggest thing about locksmithing is you have to listen to the customer. And the customer is not always correct. Because what they do is, they learn a bunch of stuff from the internet, and they think they’ve learned a lot on YouTube. Then they think they’re locksmiths until they realize that they really don’t know anything. What my company does, is we educate our customers. Example, we had one customer with a preference for Sentry safes. I told him, “I’ll put one of my safes against one of your safes any day of the week.” So, what we did is we took the American Security DSF 2014, with ESL 10 on it and put it up against [a comparable model from] Sentry. I gave him a half inch drill with a three-quarter inch drill bit on it [to attack the American Security safe with]. And I attacked the Sentry safe with the same tool. I was in the Sentry safe within five minutes. Neither of us were able to get into the American Security safe. And that customer of mine was back in that early 90s. That customer was Dunkin Donuts, I ended up selling him 200 American Security safes.

What are your customers trying to protect?

What they really want to protect is their history, they want to protect their weapons, they want to protect their wedding certificates, their birth certificate, bonds and every day items like that.

My customers are buying legit gun safes. New Hampshire is the Live Free or Die state. We are 100% second amendment people, no one is coming to take our guns, and that’s what most people here are looking to protect. And we sell a lot of UL-listed safes for people interested in protecting estate or heirloom jewelry – not necessarily from burglary – but definitely from fire.

What are common misconceptions people have about the type of safe they need and how do you provide them the education to make the right choice?

They think they can protect a $2,000 watch with a $420 safe. And I tell customers, there’s a difference between a security box and a safe; if you want a security box, go to Home Depot, go to Lowe’s, go to Walmart and buy one of the $390-dollar safes. Some manufacturers claim their safes are “fireproof” and I explain to my customers that nothing is fireproof; safes are made to be fire resistant.

When it comes to safe warranties, the name behind the product matters too. I can call up American Security and 9 out of 10 times be on the phone with a live person in the same 1-2 minutes if I need help servicing one of their safes – typically it’s a customer who’s lost the combination to their safe and needs it reset or something.

What is the most significant advantage for you in doing business with American Security Products? What is it about American Security Products that compels you to do business with them?

You’re an American company with an American product, which keeps America working. And that’s that my line and I was a veteran and I tell people; you’re not buying me a second home. You’re not buying me a Lamborghini. You are helping me put my son to college and put my grandson to school. Buying local helps me support the local baseball leagues, the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts too. I am a proud supporter of all those. And I know that some of your product lines are built elsewhere – but it’s clearly marked on the box. You’re not trying to fool anyone, and it still carries the American Security name – so I can trust it was built to the highest standards.

Thank you Patrick!

Whether you’re looking to protect your 2nd amendment freedoms or your great grandma’s estate jewelry, Pat’s Lock ‘n Key in New Hampshire can help you find the safe that’s right for you.