Selecting the Correct Safe for Personal Use and Security of Personal Belongings

  • Image

A ‘safe’ (alternatively referred to as a strongbox or coffer) is a secure lockable box used for securing valuable objects and protecting them against theft and/or damage from fire.  Purchasing and installing such safes for both domestic and commercial properties is becoming more of a common practice to provide assurance that items such as cash, documents, valuables, sentimental photographs, etc., are secure and protected.

However, in terms of selecting a safe that is most appropriate for your needs, this takes careful consideration of the type of possessions (e.g. home or business) you would like to protect and the level of protection and security they can provide.  The cost of safes can vary quite considerably depending on your needs and budget, what you’ll actually be using it for, and the amount of space that you have in your property.

This page provides guidance and direction on selecting the most appropriate safe for your needs and addresses the following key considerations:

  • The value of items and possessions that will be stored in the safe;
  • The size of safe that is required to accommodate the items and possessions to be stored;
  • The amount of space available for the safe;
  • If there is any need for fire protection; and,
  • Where a safe with a key or electronic keypad is required.

The remainder of this page expands on the above considerations, in particular, the following:

  • Factors to consider/address when purchasing a safe, including:
  • Required cash rating of the safe
  • Fire rating of the safe
  • Different types of safe available
  • Contents to be stored in the safe;
  • Safe with a combination or keypad lock; and,
  • Further Advice/Information on Safes.

Safe Purchase Considerations

Required Cash Rating of the Safe

  • A burglar resistant safe has a cash rating, which defines the level of safe security and the maximum amount of cash that should be kept in the safe.  For example, if the cash rating of your safe is £1,000, then the value of valuable items such as jewellery may be factored by a multiple of 10 such that valuable items up to a value of £10,000 can be stored in the safe.
  • The cash rating of a safe is an important consideration, especially if the intention is to keep large amounts of cash overnight, and must be agreed to by the insurer.  It is also important to note and highlight that the ratings will only apply if the safe has been installed correctly. 
  • The cash rating also indicates the strength of the safe, walls and doors, and how secure the lock is.  The greater the cash rating, the more secure the safe is. 

Fire Rating of the Safe

  • The fire rating of a safe defines the length of time a safe can endure a fire, which is an important factor when taking into account the contents and the materials to be stored in the safe.  The fire rating may be more applicable to commercial, rather than domestic, properties, and the fire rating is generally greater for a commercial property or factory.  Typically, a safe has sufficient protection to endure a fire duration of one hour, but safes of greater duration are commercially available.

Different Types of Safe Available

  • The location and positioning of a safe are also key factors that need to be addressed in selecting a safe suitable for your needs, and safe types are dictated by those factors, as follows:
  • Wall Safes, which require a thick wall and which is not readily accessible from outside
  • Floor Safes, which are concreted into a solid floor
  • Free-Standing Safes, which can be bolted down to the floor or wall
  • Under Floorboard Safes, which fit between floor joists
  • Planning the location of a safe in a house is another important consideration, which should take into account, for example, where a burglar would anticipate one to be (e.g. master bedroom); therefore, installing a safe in those locations would not be advisable.

Safe Contents

  • Having decided on the contents to be kept in the safe, then this will dictate the size and dimensions of the safe.  For example, domestic safes can store family heirlooms, cash, jewellery, passports and birth certificates, while commercial safes may want to store important data, contracts, insurance papers, tax records and cash.  Insurers should be consulted when deciding the contents to be stored in a safe. 

Safe with a Combination or Keypad Lock

  • There are several types of safe locks, including electronic keypads, which require a pin code, and key locks.  Businesses may also require additional features such as time locks, audit trails or dual controls.

Further Advice/Information on Safes

For further information on the selection, installation and contents of safes, please contact us on 07940900617.

Locked out? Don’t worry! One of our professional locksmiths will have you back inside your property in no time.

Call us now on 07940900617