Choosing a new home safe? Things to consider before purchasing

On the face of it, a safe is just a big metal box on it with a lock? However those that are considering purchasing a new safe might be in for a shock with the many certifications and technical features available. We always tell customers to work backwards – think about what you need to store inside the safe first:

  • How large are the items?
  • What value of cash will you be storing?
  • What is the total value of the valuables you will be storing inside?
  • Do I need to protect my documents from fire?
  • Do I have a space in-mind to install it and will it support the weight?

Karat MT24 N E in white
When you have all this information, call your insurance company and ask them for a recommended “cash value”. This is the value your insurance company will recommend to cover the goods you wish to store, and more importantly the value they will insure you for in the rare event a safe is compromised.

BURG-WÄCHTER manufacturer safes with cash values from £1,000 to £100,000, so we have you covered. When it comes to your valuables, as a general rule of thumb (but again check with your insurer) the valuables covered are ten times greater than the cash rating. So for example in a £1000 cash rated safe, you are covered for up to £10,000 of valuables.

What about certifications?

Depending on the value of cash and valuables, if they are exceed £4,000 cash you will need a certified safe. The safe industry features many independent test houses that will attack the safe to try gain entry. Safes are then Eurograded and given a number from 0 to 6. The Association of Insurance Surveyors suggest recommended cash values for each Eurograde certified safe:

  • Eurograde 0 – Cash rating of £6,000 and a valuables rating of £60,000.
  • Eurograde 1 – Cash rating of £10,000 and a valuables rating of £100,000.
  • Eurograde 2 – Cash rating of £17,500 and a valuables rating of £175,000.
  • Eurograde 3 – Cash rating of £35,000 and a valuables rating of £350,000.
  • Eurograde 4 – Cash rating of £60,000 and a valuables rating of £600,000.
  • Eurograde 5 – Cash rating of £100,000 and a valuables rating of £1,000,000.
  • Eurograde 6 – Cash rating of £150,000 and a valuables rating of £1,500,000.

Safes with a £4,000 cash rating (£40,000 valuables) fall under a different grading known as “S2” to EN14450 (secure safe cabinets).

BURG-WÄCHTER safes are VdS tested and ECB.S certified to Eurograde standard. Look for the blue plates attached to the inside of the safe door to confirm the security credentials of your safe.

Do I need fire protection?

If you are storing important documents, a safe offering fire protection might be an idea. Many safes offer basic fire protection, but only those that are certified offer real protection you can rely on. Certified fire safes often provide a period of “certified fire protection”, often quoted in minutes such as 30 and 60 minutes. Again not all tests or equal so look for those that meet the strict European standard of EN  15659.

Ready to start looking for your new safe? Take a tour of the BURG-WÄCHTER range with our safe videos.

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