Q & A
Buying a safe does not have to be complicated, below are some of the more common points you may wish to consider.
This is defined as 'The amount an insurance company will cover in a safe/cabinet overnight'. If this is of importance, it is worthwhile to check with your insurer what level of cover they will offer.
Safes are available in various qualities and quality is defined as 'how resistant to attack'. The higher the level of cash or valuables being left in the safe, the better the quality. As quality increases, then generally the body of the safe becomes thicker as does the door. This is due to more barrier materials being used in construction to impede attack.
Insurers categorise safes in relation to the protection offered. Typically insurers multiply the cash rating given to a safe by ten to give the level of cover for valuables.
Safe Grade Cash Rating K (jewellery x 10)
The size will depend upon what will be stored in the safe. It is advisable to gather items together to decide what space will be required. Will items such as jewellery be kept in boxes? Are paper documents or data media being stored? The latter would require superior fire protection.
The two deciding factors are accessibility and cost. Generally, safes are quite heavy and from a cost perspective, it is more economical to fit on a ground floor location. Larger and heavier safes are more expensive and in some instances cannot be taken above ground floor level due to their weight. If jewellery is being stored it may be more preferable to have the safe in the bedroom as this is usually where jewellery is put on and removed.
A loft is not considered a strong option as only low quality safes are light enough to carry up ladders. Garages are only usually considered by insurers if they are located within an alarmed area. Basements may be used provided they are not damp as when the safe is fixed, moisture can rise up the bolt thread and affect safe contents. Underfloor safes can usually only be fitted at ground floor level in a solid floor.
Wall Safes - these are installed into a solid wall and cemented into place.
Freestanding Safes - these products usually come with a single base fixing point or wall fixing. Often insurance companies will insist that the safe is fitted by a qualified installer to maintain the correct insurance rating. If a safe is to be fitted within a cupboard this may require strengthening, not only to support its weight but to provide a secure fixing point.
Underfloor Safes - these safes are usually sunk into the floor by digging a hole or construction of a frame where there is a void. The safe is placed into the hole and concrete poured around it.
Safes for protecting valuables (burglary) offer limited fire protection for paper documents. In general, this is either for thirty minutes or one hour. Should you specifically require fire protection, please contact us for advice.
Key Lock - a manual key operated lock (key length will vary dependent on the grade of safe).
Mechanical Combination - a mechanical keyless dial lock with a changeable combination.
Electronic lock - an electronically operated keypad lock with a changeable combination.
Additional features available: