Five Rules For Investing In A Certified Safe
Five Rules For Investing In A Certified Home Safe
Ensure You Are Not The Victim Of A Dishonest Safe Supplier.
1. Documentation And Certification Is Important
Always look for accredited European certification. Accredited European certification is verifiable assurance that a safe, fire safe or data cabinet has been tested and certified under European law. This is proof of standard for insurance, GDPR and litigation purposes.
The European standard for safes is EN1143-1, fire resistance is EN15659 and fire resistance for data is EN1047-1. Get a certification document for your safe, fire safe or data cabinet and look for ISO/IEC17065 accreditation on the document and on the safe’s certification plates. These plates can be located on the back of the safe’s door. These will always be stamped metal plates, never a sticker. All plates will clearly state the European certification standard and the name of the accredited certification body, ECB-S, VDS, CNPP or SBSC.
2. Tricks Of The Trade
There are two main tricks used by dishonest safe suppliers which involve misleading the buyer regarding standards or leaving the client with a substandard unit rather than a safe that has accredited, tested, and certified attack resistance under European standards. The advantage for the dishonest safe supplier is that an uncertified or lower standard unit will likely be more profitable or may be lighter and easier to deliver and install.
- Safe suppliers even very well-known ones, often market EN14450 "secure cabinets" as safes. As there is slight similarity between the standard designation for a safe (EN1143-1) and the standard designation for a secure cabinet (EN14450) the two standards can easily be confused, a confusion that is often taken advantage of. EN14450 is the “secure cabinet” standard. It is not a safe standard. The EN14450 “secure cabinet” standard does not have an insurance rating in Ireland or most other European countries as insurers do not regard it as adequate to protect against burglary attack.
- The Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) (UK) has never been accredited to certify safes. Despite this, unaccredited certification marks such as LPCB appearing on safes in Ireland is still a widespread phenomenon. There are also other “certification marks” "certificates" and "approvals" from official sounding bodies such as the Association of Insurance Surveyors (AIS) or manufacturer badges that claim a particular standard or rating for a safe that have no basis whatsoever.
Manufacturers' badges that do not display the name of an accredited EU certifying body or that display marks from organisations not accredited to certify safes, such as the Loss Prevention Certification Board (UK), have never been accredited European certification marks for safes:
Remember: Accredited European certification is verifiable assurance that a safe, fire safe or data cabinet has been tested and certified under European law. If you consider properly accredited European labs that have their facilities and competence regularly audited, fail 70% of safes tested first time, it illustrates why taking unaccredited claims to comply with EU safe standards at face value could be a costly mistake.
3. Know Who You Are Talking To
The secure storage business has for a long time been an extremely attractive opportunity for criminals and fraudsters. Even today there are well known suppliers of secure storage advertising in the media, on the internet or at exhibitions who have associated with criminals or served time in jail. Many continue to have no reservations in mislabelling products, making fraudulent security claims, selling “refurbished” safes that contain asbestos or counterfeiting and making certification claims that have no basis in reality. Needless to say, we recommend that before you engage a safe supplier that you do a quick check into the background, credentials, and experience of who you may be buying from, divulging information to, or letting into your home.
Thankfully, the internet has made it extremely easy to do a quick search using the name of your supplier and checking the background of the individual or business you are dealing with. Always remember when making your assessment, facts are what is important. Press articles or "experience" mean extraordinarily little. Look for verified qualifications and a knowledge of European standards, something an honest safe supplier should be able to demonstrate.
4. Fire Resistance Must Be Certified
There are too many examples to count of "safes" it is claimed have a fire "rating", "approval" or are "tested" for fire resistance. In Europe the only fire standards for safes and data cabinets that have accredited certification are units certified EN15659 for paper and EN1047-1 for documents and data. Accredited European fire tests include multiple size testing and a 9-meter drop test after furnace testing. These standards (EN) far exceed the fire resistance requirements of Swedish NT017 standards which are common in many safes as they have a less strict testing, application, and surveillance regime that does not include drop testing, multiple size testing or market surveillance. An important factor that should also be noted is that accredited European certification is proof of standard for insurance, GDPR and litigation purposes.
5. Buying A Second-Hand Safe Can Be Very Dangerous (Asbestos Risk)
Without a doubt the vast majority of second hand safes on the market today are not fit for purpose and many can potentially be highly dangerous. If you are offered a safe that has no certification badge or that is marked as having been manufactured before the year 2000 (Asbestos ban in Ireland) the person offering you the safe is quite likely breaking the law unless they have documented proof from the manufacturer that the unit in question does not contain asbestos.
Due to the huge numbers of second hand safes for sale in Ireland that are not only missing parts and may have been previously damaged, but may also contain asbestos, the Health And Safety Authority of Ireland (HSA) issued a Legislation & Enforcement notice entitled “Asbestos Risks In Safes And Fire-Resistant Cabinets” on the 21st of October 2019.
This Legislation & Enforcement notice covers all safes, fire cabinets or vaults manufactured before the year 2000.
The new HSA notice states:
- “The EU-wide ban on the marketing and sale of asbestos-containing products applies to second-hand or refurbished safes and cabinets that contain or are presumed to contain asbestos.”
- “Where the asbestos-free status of a pre-2000 safe or cabinet cannot be established or is uncertain, it must be presumed to contain asbestos.”
Insurance Rates And Cover
The rates shown below presume a monitored intruder alarm is installed in the premises where the safe is situated. It is not hard to encounter rates that differ from these indicative rates as unfortunately there are many safe suppliers, some well known, that invent higher rates to attract business. It is often the case that displaying false rates is an indication of more serious issues with a supplier who does so.
Some insurers may decide that a higher cover is warranted based on their risk assessment, some may decide the specification of the safe is not adequate or may insist on various types of monitoring. For higher levels of cover a certain amount of negotiation is to be expected and additional measures may be required to mitigate risk.
|Amounts in €1000 units
Contents cover is five times cash rating
|Grade||Standard||Type||Cash||Jewellery / Contents|
|S1||EN 14450||Secure Cabinet||Not Advised||Not Advised|
|S2||EN 14450||Secure Cabinet||Not Advised||Not Advised|
|I||EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2||Safe / Deposit Safe||€12,500.00||€62,500.00|
|II||EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2||Safe / Deposit Safe||€25,000.00||€125,000.00|
|III||EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2||Safe / Deposit Safe||€50,000.00||€250,000.00|
|IV||EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2||Safe / Deposit Safe||€90,000.00||€450,000.00|
- Recommended amounts are for indicative purposes only and are subject to approval by the insurer on a case by case basis
- Certified deposit safes are only available in grade 1 to 5 and display the certification EN1143-2. Any other mark not accepted
- Certified safes with a weight of <1.000 kg must be anchored at the place of installation in accordance with the EN1143-1 specification
- NA – Not advised
- PA – Prior approval recommended – It’s necessary to discuss this cover in detail with your insurance company as it falls outside normal recommendations