What You Need To Know About Bespoke And Custom Safes

Posted on Apr 16, 2018

When we consider the term, a bespoke safe, this normally means that the manufacturer or safe company has taken a standard safe and rather than leave it in factory trim, alters its external appearance or adds internal fitments.

To be accepted for insurance purposes, safes manufactured in Europe, need to conform to EN 1143-1, for Graded safes, from Grade 1 up to Grade VII.  When a manufacturer makes a range of safes, of the above Grades, they must send their safes to an independent body (Test House) who will place the safe through various tests. During these tests, the safe will be subject to attack with numerous implements and if it stands up, is then awarded a certification.

Coulson Burg Safe

Within each Grade of safes, a manufacturer usually makes several different sizes of safe, each of which must conform to the test.  If a manufacturer makes a new safe to a different size and it needs approval, this needs separate testing.

For this final reason alone, when considering a bespoke safe, we can unfortunately not make a safe to a specific size for a client, as this safe would need testing beforehand (this is an expensive job) and this new size may not fit everyone’s needs.  When choosing a graded safe it is important to consider what you intend to keep inside it and to select a certified safe to cover the value of your intended contents.


Exterior Upgrades 

Safes, by their very nature, are quite utilitarian and certainly in commercial environments, could be subject to hard use. For this reason, the external appearance of a safe is designed to be durable, with basic paint finishes and sturdy door furniture.

Some clients like to have their safe appearing more contemporary or stylized, with high gloss finishes, art or made to appear as though the safe is quite old. In addition, door furniture could be upgraded with Chrome handles and locks, or in some cases gold. The bolt work in the door could also be Chromed to give a more expensive appearance.

Whilst these alterations are only cosmetic and do not affect the safe quality, they are not in themselves cheap to do. On the downside, a minor knock on a standard factory finish can usually be touched in easily, but with high glass finishes, any mark is clear, and repairs never quite match the original. When being delivered or moved, with safes being heavy items it is very easy to get minor marks, especially if the safe is moved via stairs or craned into a building.


Internal Upgrades

A factory finished safe will generally just come with a removable steel shelf or perhaps a lockable steel drawer. Again, very utilitarian, given the nature of the beast.

Clients are now able to specify safes with many internal extras, not always supplied from the factory. The following list is not exhaustive but gives the major items that could be selected:  Coulson_Interior_1

Drawers (Plain, lined, with dividers, ring holders, spaces for watches)

  •  Watch winders
  • Jewellery trays
  • Secret compartments
  • Lighting
  • Hooks for hanging chains/necklaces
  • Humidors

 In addition, various levels of finishes could be obtained, from different woods, marquetry, steel, chrome & carbon fibre to name a few.

  Independent Safes Interior 1

As many of these alterations are handmade, their cost, in relation to the value of the safe, is for the most part considerably higher, pushing the cost of even a small safe to more than £10,000.

Please click here to take a look at how Independent Safes can help you with a Custom safe

There are several manufacturers, not in the EU, who supply safes with many of the above finishes and fittings but be aware that the safes themselves do not always meet European Standards. Especially if a safe is required for insurance purposes, check with the insurer before placing an order.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Independent Safes can provide cost-effective internal drawers, for jewellery etc. with a variety of finishes, to suit more modest needs. To keep costs at an affordable level, for those clients that would like just a little bit more than a steel shelf, our drawers are designed to fit in a factory finished safe.  Drawers can only be made down to a certain size, due to the length of drawer’s runners, so are not suitable for very small safes in some Grades. For a more refined finish, we can also supply a range of Graded safes from the Coulson safe range.   

If you would like to discuss any aspects of our bespoke service, please call Maurice Still on 0207 405 1540 or email maurice@independentsafes.co.uk

Photographs by kind permission of Coulson Safes