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The Ultimate Safes Guide

Written by James Blackburn

Extensive resources and information
Let us help you through the buying process

THE COMPLETE SAFES GUIDE

Everything you need to research and purchase a safe.



Contents







Why Should I Buy a Safe?

There are many reasons why you should buy a safe for your home or business. Many people choose not to believing there is nothing valuable they need to keep secure. This is one of many common misconceptions.

Protect cash, jewellery and other important items such as a passport

Most people will have a passport. Most of us have legal documents such as birth certificates, company certificates or even customer data. These are costly to replace. Burglars are now changing what they steal when they break into a property whether that is a domestic home or commercial business.

  • If you are a commercial business owners and customer data is stolen you can now face a heavy fine under GDPR rules.

  • If you are a homeowner or live in rented accomodation and your passport is stolen along with other personal information you could find your identity is used for fraud. This often isn't deduced until several months later. This can amount to thousands of pounds and takes a long time to sort out with the card companies.

Overall, the stress incurred from theft can be reduced when purchasing a good quality safe.

The list is endless but here is a general list of typical items you can protect in even the cheapest form of safe:

Typical Items to Protect in a Safe

  • Credit or debit cards - when not being used

  • Birth certificates and wedding certificates

  • Title deeds to a domestic or commercial property

  • Customer data - even the most advanced technology companies will have physical back up tapes so as they are not fully reliant upon the cloud

  • Jewellery of sentimental value - we often hear stories of when items have been stolen that have been passed down the family and have little value for resale. This is the worst type of feeling for us when we speak to customers.

  • Cash - despite the fall in the use of cash, there are still a huge amount of businesses such as cafes, fast food outlets and taxi drivers. At the end of the day you have to ask if you can afford to lose the hard earned cash for the sake of spending around £100 on a safe.



Handy Item Value Calculator

Use our handy value calculator for items that you wish to protect. More often than not the value is higher than you think.

Use the table below to help you find a safe with the right type of rating for your valuables.

Rings and Jewellery

£

Watches

£

Items of sentimental value

£

Laptops, tablet computers and other electronics

£


Total Value of Your Items
£

Example Ratings and What Cash Rating is Actually Required

To calculate the required security rating for both cash and valuables you will need to follow the simple process shown in the example below. It is a common misconception that if you have valuables and cash that they are treated as the same but it needs to be calculated to ensure a proper level of cover.

Example valuable and cash rating calculation - not as you might expect

In the above example the value shown indicates you should look for a safe with a rating of £4,000 cash. This is just a guide and you should contact your insurance company to ask what rating they require in order to cover you. There are outside factors that will affect the rating you might need and these include your address and other security products you have installed.


Safe Security Ratings

Rating Cash and Valuables Rating
Entry level safe £1,000 cash rating or £10,000 for valuables
Manufacturer recommended rating £1,500 cash rating or £15,000 for valuables
Manufacturer recommended rating £2,000 cash rating or £20,000 for valuables
S1 Certified rating £2,000 cash rating or £20,000 for valuables
Sold Secure tested £2,000 cash rating or £20,000 for valuables
Manufacturer recommended rating £2,500 cash rating or £25,000 for valuables
Manufacturer recommended rating £3,000 cash rating or £30,000 for valuables
S2 Certified rating £4,000 cash rating or £40,000 for valuables
Manufacturer recommended rating £5,000 cash rating or £50,000 for valuables
Eurograde 0 Certified rating - EN-1143-1 £6,000 cash rating or £60,000 for valuables
Eurograde 1 Certified rating - EN-1143-1 £10,000 cash rating or £100,000 for valuables
Eurograde 2 Certified rating - EN-1143-1 £17,500 cash rating or £175,000 for valuables
Eurograde 3 Certified rating - EN-1143-1 £35,000 cash rating or £350,000 for valuables
Eurograde 4 Certified rating - EN-1143-1 £60,000 cash rating or £600,000 for valuables
Eurograde 5 Certified rating - EN-1143-1 £100,000 cash rating or £1,000,000 for valuables
Eurograde 6 Certified rating - EN-1143-1 £150,000 cash rating or £1,500,000 for valuables
Eurograde 7 Certified rating - EN-1143-1 £250,000 cash rating or £2,500,000 for valuables



The Safe Buying Process

Each customer will have a different set of safes requirements. Although many will have similarities there are usually differing circumstances. This will limit the choice to certain makes and mode. For example, space might mean you are restricted to a certain size.

The following step-by-step buying guide process helps you tick off the process. Detailed steps is shown below.


Safe Buying Process - Step One
Step One...

Take a cardboard box. Put all the items inside that you want to store. This will give you an idea of the internal measurements you need in order to keep all your items or cash secure.

Measure the box and keep a note of this.


Safe Buying Process - Step Two
Step Two...

Use our handy item value calculator above along with the security rating table to help you choose the right level of security.

At most levels of security there will be a model that offers fire protection. However, this is not always the case, so check for this if this is a requirement. Fire protection in the walls of the safe will reduce the internal capacity. This is why it is important to keep a note of the measurements you need and always look at the internal dimensions.

There are options for different lengths of fire protection measured in time. They are 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes or 120 minutes fire protection.


Safe Buying Process - Step Three
Step Three...

Following the two steps above will mean you now have a good idea of the internal size and the rating you will need.

Next choose a safe using our Different Types of Safes section. The table below shows the levels of security available as well as a guide price.

Most domestic customers will choose a safe that is free standing. This is far easier to install yourself or have installed by a professional.

Commercial customers also favour a free standing model in most cases. Sometimes there is a specific requirement such as depositing cash in a drop safe or storing customer data in a media safe.


Safe Buying Process - Step Four
Step Four...

Next choose a fixing location. The location will need two important things. First, suitable for securing your safe and second, a location that you are going to find it most of use.

Our recommendation is to always bolt into concrete where possible if you are choosing a free standing model.

You may find you are restricted to a certain size model depending on the space you have. We recommend that you take accurate measurements of width, height and depth of the specific area. Check to see if there are any obstructions which would hinder the door opening. Also ensure you take into account any wardrobe or cupboard doors.


Safe Buying Process - Step Five
Step Five...

You now have all the information you need.

We hope that you can feel more assured in the knowledge that you can make an informed decision about your choice of safe.

You will have now probably narrowed your options down to 2 or 3 different products and feel comfortable in making your own choice.

Should you wish to speak to one of our sales team for your peace of mind then please feel free to get in touch.




Safe Locations

Where should I place my safe? Is it the safest location? The best location to secure your safe will depend on what type of home or office, or indeed what type of safe you choose.

Wardrobe Cupboard Safe Location
At Home in a Wardrobe

The common place customers choose is a wardrobe or cupboard. We understand there are not many locations to choose from at home.

Always ensure you do not fix to a hollow wooden wardrobe through the base of the safe as this is not secure and will be easy for a burglar to remove.

You will also find this an issue in the event of an insurance claim because the safe was not fitted properly. If there is no concrete floor to fix too a solid exterior wall is your next option.

Do's
  • Fix to a concrete floor or solid wall.
Don'ts
  • Fix to a shelf.
Tips
  • Check the cash or valuables rating you need with your insurer prior to purchase.
Under Stairs Safe Location
Cupboard under the Stairs

An understairs cupboard is another popular location for a safe. There is usually a concrete floor to fix the safe too. This method into concrete is in accordance with manufacturers recommendations.

Another top tip when securing a safe in your home is to remove any skirting board so it sits flush against the wall.

This is only essential if you are going to be using the rear fixing holes, the gap behind creates a levering point but more importantly will expose the bolt and make it easy for a burglar to cut the bolt to remove the safe.

Do's
  • Check for pipes and cables.
Don'ts
  • Put the safe in the way of obstructions.
Tips
  • Gadgets to check for pipes can give false readings - check with a local builder if unsure.
Home Office Suggested Safe Location
Home Office Space

Working from home has increased dramatically. Its predicted that 50% of the UK workforce will do so by 2020.

This means data and laptop computers among other things are put at greater risk to burglars and could mean a hefty fine for data loss to all sizes of businesses.

An ideal location for a safe is under a desk, meaning you are more likely to use it and is an excellent use of the space. Choosing a fireproof safe for this type of location would be our recommendation, however this depends on what items you wish to keep secure.

Do's
  • Check door opening size if storing laptops.
Don'ts
  • Use the wrong type of safe for data storage.
Tips
  • Use the safe religiously, you never know when it might be needed.

Loft Space Safe Location
Loft Space

This is not the most ideal of locations for a safe. However, some customers prefer it as a solution because it can easily be hidden away by boxes, and is deemed the last place a burglar might choose to look.

If this is still your favoured option then the weight of the safe is important since it will need to be lifted into place perhaps via a loft ladder.

If you go for a heavy safe this could be a safety risk. This location to fix a safe is a less popular option in new homes since a good proportion are town houses use the loft space.

Do's
  • Be safe when using a loft ladder.
Don'ts
  • Choose a really heavy safe.
Tips
  • Consider the lock type carefully - a loft will get hot and cold. Key locking or combination locking is the recommended option.
Garage Safe Location
Garage Space

If your choice of safe location is a garage then we would suggest confirming this with your insurer in writing. If the garage is built into your house then in most cases your insurer will not have an issue covering you.

If the garage is external, not attached to your property, you may struggle. Most garages will have a fluctuating temperature and you should consider the locking mechanism carefully.

Ideally an electronic lock is not recommended because of the potential of damp getting into the circuit and batteries will also drain quicker.

Do's
  • Check with your insurer prior to purchase if this is you chosen location.
Don'ts
  • Choose an electronic lock as damp, cold and heat will affect it.
Tips
  • Garages attached your home should be OK with your insurer but confirm in writing.
Living Room Safe Location
Living Room Space

While a living room is not the most popular space when securing a safe, it might be the only viable option for you particularly if fixing a gun safe. It is deemed not popular with customers because they feel a safe should be hidden away.

An option is to fit the safe inside a bookcase or cupboard. With this option we have helped some customers with bespoke cupboards for gun safes.

When choosing this as a location for a gun safe you will need to speak with your local firearms officer as it might not be deemed suitable.

Do's
  • Remove any skirting board for a flush fit.
Don'ts
  • To take into account the safe handle, hinges and lock depth.
Tips
  • If you want the safe hidden from view a bespoke cupboard could be added.

Wall Safe Location
Wall Space

This location requires a specific safe designed for a wall. These wall safes have flanges on the rear and front.

It is designed to be set into the wall using a special mix of concrete and is still a popular space to secure a safe. You will need to bear in mind that the depth of your wall will dictate the size of safe you can choose from. You may require a trusted builder to install it professionally.

There are different ratings and locking mechanisms available and some models have an adjustable depth. While the concrete dries out it is not recommended to use the safe.

Do's
  • Check the depth of the wall prior to purchase.
Don'ts
  • Use a free standing safe to set into the wall.
Tips
  • Allow 10 days for the concrete to dry out before use.
Underfloor Safe Location
Floor Space

This location also requires a specific type of safe. It is designed to be set under the floor and is one of the most long standing types of safes available.

They are designed to be set under the floor into a special mix of concrete. Quite a lot is involved to install a floor safe but a competent DIY'er can manage this. There are different sizes available and key locking is standard with two keys supplied. We do not recommend an electronic lock because of the issue with damp in floors.

The concrete will take approximately 10 days to dry out before you can use the safe due to moisture from the concrete.

Do's
  • Check the area for cables and pipes before digging it out.
Don'ts
  • Use a free standing safe set into the floor.
Tips
  • Use crumpled up newspaper to take moisture away during the drying process.
Office Suggested Safe Location
Office Space

There are a wide choice of safes, cupboards and fireproof filing cabinets available for use in an office. When choosing a safe for an office, consider floor loading if on an upper floor and also check to see if you have computer flooring.

Computer flooring is constructed from wooden sections and allows for power and network cables to be run efficiently to where needed.

It is not secure to fix to this type of flooring as a safe can be easily removed by burglars. If this is your only option we recommend checking with your insurer prior to purchase.

Do's
  • Ensure you have the right type of safe for what you are storing.
Don'ts
  • Forget an upper floor will have a weight limit. Check prior to purchase of heavy items.
Tips
  • If you have computer flooring please advise us during the order process.

Hotel / Airbnb Safe Location
Hotel / Airbnb

Safes in hotel rooms are extremely helpful to have, particularly for tourists traveling from abroad. They are often found in mid-to-high end hotels.

We recommend that you pay particular attention to securing the safe into a solid wall if it is located on a shelving unit. If you place the safe in a wardrobe, you might also need to fix it to a wall to get a secure fixing.

Another option would be to reinforce the base of the wardrobe to make it secure so you can bolt through the base of the safe.

Do's
  • Ensure the safe is fixed securely.
Don'ts
  • Don't forget to change the default master code.
Tips
  • You may need different fixings from those that are supplied depending on what surface you fix too.
Cafe Bar Restaurant Safe Location
Cafes / Bars / Restaurants

Despite the decline in the use of cash for paying for food and drink it is still an essential part of any business that takes cash.

There are different types of safes available and the most popular are Insurance Approved Safes and Deposit Safes. Choosing a deposit safe will allow cash to be deposited securely by staff without giving them access to the main safe.

Card machine theft can prove costly to you as a retailer. The UK Card Association recommends in its guidelines that you take every reasonable effort to protect them and a safe is ideal for keeping them secure.

Do's
  • Think about a higher rating to cover an increase of cash taking.
Don'ts
  • Don't give all staff access to the safe.
Tips
  • Try to plan in a safe when opening a new premises.
Car Garage Safe Location
Car Garages

There used to be a big requirement for safes in car garages. This has declined somewhat because of money laundering laws and car dealerships making more profit from selling finance.

Despite this, there are still requirements for storing MOT books and information, car keys and customer data. Usually this means a high security key safe for keys or a fireproof data safe.

Surprisingly there is usually excellent space available for a safe and this is normally in a back office location. Other popular safe types are secure safe cupboards and underfloor safes.

Do's
  • Ensure you have the right type of safe for data protection.
Don'ts
  • Forget to change codes regularly and not use the same numbers to increase the product lifespan.
Tips
  • Keep keys secure in a Gold rated Securikey high security key safe.

Warehouse Safe Location
Warehouse

When considering a space to install a safe in a warehouse, the most obvious choice is an office but this can sometimes be an upper floor.

This may not be suitable depending on the weight of your chosen safe. As warehouses often have foot traffic and forklifts operating, it would be worth placing the safe or cupboard in a location that does not interfere when being used.

There are a wide variety of safes available and your choice of safe location may depend on which type you choose. Secure safe cupboards are the most popular and it is often for important documents.

Do's
  • Consider the locking option and which staff will have access.
Don'ts
  • Place the safe in a location that would affect it's use.
Tips
  • Chemicals and fuel will need to be stored in a specific cabinet designed for the secure storage.
Church Office Safe Location
Church Office

Safes for churches are primarily for the storage of items such as parish records, wedding registers and silverware.

Although the registers have no financial value they can be used in identity fraud. Due to the size of the registers it usually means a sizeable safe is required with fire protection. Popular locations for these are either in the church itself in a locked office or in the Vicars home.

When secured in the church location we recommend you check the room is secure as any burglars could be given hours to gain access to the safe without being disturbed.

Do's
  • Measure all items being stored carefully.
Don'ts
  • Forget to check door opening sizes on the delivery route.
Tips
  • If you choose a space inside the church ensure you have additional security to prevent unauthorised access.
Boat / Caravan / Static Home Safe Location
House Boats / Caravans / Static Homes

Securing a safe in these locations can be quite tricky to do and may require consultation from the manufacturer.

Your insurance company will ask for a safe to be secured in accordance with manufacturer recommendations - this may be into concrete or a solid wall - you may not have the luxury of this.

In this instance we recommend you confirm your safe location with your insurer and stipulate your lack of other options. If in the early stage of manufacture, you may be able to have a special plate welded to the fabric to secure a safe.

Do's
  • Check with your insurer prior to purchase.
Don'ts
  • Forget to place in a location where it can be fixed securely.
Tips
  • Consider hiding the safe away where possible.



Common Misconceptions

There are many misconceptions about safes. It is not uncommon for us to speak to several customers the same day about the same misconception.

The most popular misconceptions is about fixing a safe down. Customers seek our advice about whether placing it on a shelf raised up off the floor would be a good idea. We would not recommend this. Should a burglar have sufficient time to remove the shelf, the safe becomes portable. This makes it considerably easier for them to remove the safe and break into it at their leisure.

Why an airing cupboard is not the ideal location for a safe

The second most popular misconceptions is “bumping”. We find that customers do a lot of research with YouTube. Many videos show electronic safes being easily broken into without the need for tools. This is called bumping and involves the solenoid magnet inside being bounced to release the locking bolts. It is common that this occurs on very cheap products and most certainly is not the case with insurance approved models.

Seven Safes Misconceptions

  1. It is not Fort Knox. Just because you have your valuables secured inside a safe, it is not Fort Knox. Safes are designed to buy you time from a burglar breaking into it. As a general rule, the higher the rating, the longer it would take to gain access.
  2. Airing Cupboards. An airing cupboard is not an ideal location for fixing a safe despite the endless possibilities of hiding it with bedding or clothes. This is more relevant when choosing an electronic locking model and is down to the humidity of the air.
  3. What’s in the box? We seem to be quite an distrusting nation. Customers do not like their neighbours knowing they are purchasing a safe for fear they might think there is something to steal. We can of course ensure plain packaging if this is the case. In most cases plain packaging is the norm so rest assured we respect your privacy.
  4. Hollow wardrobe. Fixing to a hollow bottomed wardrobe is not a secure method of fixing and would invalidate any insurance claim in the event of a break in.
  5. Which safe lock is best? Not one type of lock (key, combination or electronic) is more secure than the other and comes down to personal preference in terms of choice. Locks on insurance approved models have to be tested separately to the safe for your peace of mind.
  6. Batteries not included? Safes that feature batteries will not open in the event of low power and will retain your code should they fail completely.
  7. Hide and Seek. Keeping a safe hidden from view does not make it any more secure. If you are worried about security it might be worth choosing a model with a higher rating. The price differential might not be as much as you think.



Different Types of Safes


Burg Wachter Point Safe P1S Budget Safe
Budget Safes

Lower value items that need to be locked away.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples
Phoenix Safe insurance approved Fortress safe
Insurance Approved Safes

Cash or items that need to be protected for insurance purposes.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples
Burton Safes Lambent Hotel Safe
Hotel Safes

General items that need to secured whilst guests are out.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples

Burg Wachter Fingerprint Karat 24F Safe
Fingerprint Safes

Models that feature biometric fingerprint access as standard.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples
Yale Value Small Lightweight Safe
Lightweight Safes

Models that are lighter where weight might cause an issue.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples
Card image cap
Drop Deposit Safes

Designed for cash to be deposited without main safe access.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples

Yale Medium Fireproof Safe - YFM/352/FG2
Fireproof Safes

Designed to protect documents, cd's, dvd's, magnetic media tapes from fire.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples
Dual Locking Grade 4 Chubbsafes Trident 110KL
Dual Locking Safes

Models that feature two locking methods to gain access.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples
Card image cap
Gun Safes

Secure storage of shotguns, rifles and guns with scopes.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples

Office safe from Phoenix Safe - SS1173K Lynx
Office Safes

Ideal for office documents, customer information and low values of cash.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples
Churchill M5 Wall Safe
Wall Safes

Hidden from view and designed to be set in concrete.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples
Yale Premium Laptop safe for laptops and tablets
Laptop Safes

Designed for laptop and tablet computers along with A4 documents.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples

Eurograde Safe Grade 6 by Burton Safes
Eurograde Safes

Cash or jewellery of a higher net worth - different ratings available.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples
De Raat Protector Compact Small Safe
Small Safes

Ideal when space is at a premium and still want to protect cash or valuables.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples
Burton Safes Lusso Luxury Safes
Luxury Safes

Cut above the rest in terms of finish and special touches such as watch winders.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples

Outdoor Key Safe by Burton Safes Keyguard XL Key Safe
Outdoor Key Safes

Secure storage of keys for access by children, workmen or carers.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples
Home Safe by Yale - Certified Home Safe
Home Safes

Suitable for general levels of cash and valuables.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples
Securikey Minivault Electronic Safe Silver 0E
Electronic Safes

Models with a digital keypad access powered by batteries.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples

Floor safe by Phoenix Safe - Tarvos UF0602K designed to be set under the floor
Floor Safes

Designed to be set into concrete under the floor.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples
Key safe ideal for domestic or commercial use
Key Safes

Models with key locking access with various security ratings.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples
High security Phoenix Elara HS3552E
High Security Safes

Suitable for higher levels of cash and valuables to keep them secure.

Price range:


Security rating range:


Examples

Type of Safe Cost Security
Budget Safes
Insurance Approved Safes
Hotel Safes
Fingerprint Safes
Lightweight Safes
Drop Deposit Safes
Fireproof Safes
Dual Locking Safes
Gun Safes
Office Safes
Wall Safes
Laptop Safes
Eurograde Safes
Small Safes
Luxury Safes
Outdoor Key Safes
Home Safes
Electronic Safes
Floor Safes
Key Safes
High Security Safes



Safe Integrity

All safes are constructed in different ways and we have put together this section to help you understand the differences and the suitability for the type of safe. The first part of this section shows the types of hinges that are available on free standing safes and cupboards. We go on to talk about other parts of a safe such as locks and internal fittings.


Safe Hinges

There are two types of hinges on free standing safes and neither is more secure than the other. You will find that fire safes and higher eurograde safes feature external hinges.

Internal Safe Hinges
Internal Safe Hinge

Safes that feature internal hinges will have a laser cut door. These models will often fit a cupboard or wardrobe better.

External Safe Hinges
External Safe Hinge

External hinge safes are no less secure as they feature a dog bolt which prevents the hinges being cut and the door opening.



Key Safe Locks

There are many different types of electronic locks and they are all tested for reliability but not all locks are made in the same way. Below you will find two examples which show an approved lock for insurance and a non-approved version. For a safe to be insurance approved both the lock and safe need to be tested separately.

Budget Safe Emergency Keys
Budget Safe Emergency Keys

Entry level safes with an electronic lock feature an emergency opening by using keys.

Bitted and Double Bitted Safe Keys
Bitted & Double Bitted Safe Keys

These types of keys are more secure and feature as a method of opening and also for emergency use.

Dimple Safe Key
Dimple Safe Keys

These types of keys are not easily copied but offer a lower level of security than double bitted keys.

High Security Double Bitted Safe Key
High Security Double Bitted Safe Keys

These types of keys are longer in length to go through a thicker depth door to locate the lock.



Electronic Safe Locks

There are many different types of electronic locks and they are all tested for reliability but not all locks are made in the same way. Below you will find two examples which show an approved lock for insurance and a non-approved version. For a safe to be insurance approved both the lock and safe need to be tested separately.

Non Approved Electronic Lock
Example of a Non-Approved Lock

Entry level safes do not need to have an approved lock and will be mass produced to lower the cost to the end user.

Approved Electronic Lock
Example of an Approved Lock

Certified and insurance approved safes will feature a lock that has been tested for security, separate to the safe.



Alternative Safe Locks

Having the right lock for your needs as well as it being a secure lock is part of the safes integrity. There are different choices depending on your preference. At Simply Safes we hand pick all the safes that we list and ensure that the safe manufacturers have an excellent handle on the lock manufacturers process.

Mechanical Combination Dial Safe Lock
Mechanical Combination Dial Safe Lock

This type of lock is typically seen in old movies but is not as popular as it used to be. It requires precision during the opening process.

Fingerscan Biometric Safe Lock
Fingerscan Biometric Safe Lock

Don't want to remember a code or keep a key safe? Using a fingerprint to access your safe could be the option. AiS approved models will require two fingerprints for access per user.



Example from YouTube of Safe Crackers


Key points to take from this video:

  1. Safes can not be opened using just a strong magnet - this weakness has been fixed!
  2. Always ensure you bolt your safe down - this prevents it being removed by burglars so they can try multiple methods at their leisure to access the contents.
  3. Keeping a safe hidden from view does not make it any more secure.
  4. Bumping an electronic safe to force it open has also been fixed by various manufacturers who now use anti-bump solenoids.
  5. Both Masterlock and Sentry Safe fireproof models have plastic interior walls this does not make it any less secure but is not found on other fireproof safes.
  6. Attacking an external hinge is not a weak point of a safe.
  7. Using tools such as angle grinders and thermlite as per the video poses safety issues for a burglar in your property or office. This makes it less likely they would be used in any attack on your safe.

Example Safe Fixings

Securing your safe is all part of its integrity and is a requirement if you want to be covered for insurance purposes. Not all safes will be fixed in this way because floor and wall safes need to be set into a special mix of concrete. Some fire safes also do not have any fixing holes because the holes compromise the protection.

Typical Safe Sleeve Anchor Fixing Bolts
Typical Safe Sleeve Anchor Fixing Bolts

Sleeved anchor bolts are commonplace in insurance approved free standing safes. These are designed for fixing into concrete and are typically 120mm long and have a diameter of either 8mm or 10mm. All safes are supplied with different sized and length bolts so check in advance if you need more information.

Rawl Plug Wall Fixing Safe Bolts
Rawl Plug Wall Fixing Safe Bolts

If you cannot fix to a concrete floor, this type of fixing is an alternative and would need to be purchased separately as manufacturers generally supply sleeved anchors as standard. Budget and entry level safes are supplied with these types of fixings and are less heavy duty.




Safe Weights

When choosing a safe of any type, you will need to give some consideration to how heavy it is. Compare equivalent household item weights to similar weighted safes below.

Example weights of comparable products in the home to safes

Entry level models are constructed from thinner gauge steel. These have less protection to the door and locking bolts, which makes them less secure and weigh less. When comparing models of the same rating we recommend you not only look at the dimensions but also the weight. This will give you a guide of how solid the safe is.

Insurance approved free standing safes will as a general rule be quite heavy. Although they look small in the pictures, they can be the equivalent weight of a washing machine. This does make handling a safe that little bit more tricky, given that a safe can be a third of the size so the weight is spread over less mass.

Brand Model Weight Cash Rating
Yale Value Small Budget Safe 5kg £1,000 Cash rating
Chubbsafes Air 15E 9kg £1,000 Cash rating
Phoenix Safe Lynx SS171K 20kg £3,000 Cash rating
Securikey Mini Vault Silver S2 3E 62kg £4,000 Cash rating
Phoenix Safe Venus HS0651E 104kg £6,000 Cash rating

Options on our product pages offer different delivery options, some include as standard a drop off delivery by courier or a pallet delivery company. Normally this is the most cost effective, however forethought is required. You will need to have some equipment such as a trolley or dolly to help you move it once off loaded.

Heavier safes purchases are either a “deliver and position” service or a full professional installation or both of these services in most cases. If the weight is over 100kg we would generally recommend the installation service, particularly if you need the safe delivered to an upstairs location.




External and Internal Dimensions of Safes

As a safe online retailer, it is often quite difficult for our customers to understand how big or small a safe actually is. This is illustrated by two conversations we had on the same day with two different customers!

Customer One

One customer wanted a £4,000 cash rating fire safe. They needed a fixing hole in the rear which narrowed down their choice quite considerably. We discussed two different models and when looking at the picture the customer stated that it looked like A4 would not fit inside. Once I discussed the actual measurements with her and compared it to a ruler, (something most of us use in one shape or form throughout our life) she understood that it was more than suitable for her requirements. (Burg Wachter Combi Line CL20S)

The cost to return a safe is costly if ordered incorrectly

Customer Two

Another customer also ordered a small model safe, which quite a lot of customers do because they do not fully consider what they will be putting in their safe during the buying process.

This proved an expensive mistake as the return charges amounted to a meal out including wine at a good restaurant. During the buying process, we always suggest that customers take a cardboard box (which you can get from any supermarket if you do not already have one from one delivery or another) and place all the items inside that you wish to secure. You can then use those measurements to help you to make your purchase. In this instance the customer also ordered a lower rating than that was required by their insurance company, so always always check with your insurer prior to final purchase. (De Raat Vega 10K)

Customer Three

Another customer I spoke to today (29/04/19) when I suggested a model said that the safe (Securikey Mini Vault Silver 3K) did not look very big. When I said the height was nearly half a metre the customer agreed this was actually quite sizeable and looked smaller in the picture than she thought.

5 Different Rated Safes with Measurements

Brand Model External Size (W x H x D) Internal Size (W x H x D) Notes
Yale Value Small Budget Safe 310mm x 200mm x 200mm 300mm x 190mm x 150mm 0.5cm thick walls
Phoenix Safe Lynx SS1172K 420mm x 300mm x 380mm 345mm x 225mm x 290mm 3.75cm thick walls
Burg Wachter Combi Line CL20S 495mm x 360mm x 445mm 380mm x 245mm x 295mm 5.75cm thick walls
Burton Safes Home Safe Size 1E Eurograde 0 400mm x 300mm x 300mm 320mm x 215mm x 165mm 4cm thick walls
Chubbsafes ProGuard 60K Eurograde 2 500mm x 530mm x 521mm 400mm x 430mm x 360mm 5cm thick walls
NOTE: Wall thickness are a guide to show the level of security and how space is affected by security - these are only approximate due to manufacturing processes.



PIN Recommendations

When considering a PIN code for your safe, it is first worth understanding that some codes are more commonly used than others.

Some obvious 6-digit codes to avoid are 1,2,3,4,5,6 or 0,0,0,0,0,0 or even 1,2,3,3,2,1. These codes are easy to remember but if your house is burgled, these might be the first codes a burglar will try. Default PIN codes can be found in the table below so always ensure these are changed once the safe is installed.

Default and Obvious PIN Codes
1,2,3,4,5,6
0,0,0,0,0,0
1,2,3,4
1,5,9
6,6,6,6,6,6

There are others too which you may not have thought of. For example your birth date, this information may be readily available to a burglar on social media and he would be foolish not to give it a go if he knows it.

Example safe digital locking keypad

There are some very good ways of generating a 6-digit code which is easy to remember. Swapping numbers for letters is one very good way of achieving this. Pick a 6-letter word that means something to you, let’s say the word, ‘random’. Using an alphanumeric keypad like this one, the word ‘random’ will become 8,1,6,2,7,6.

Another way to generate a unique number could be by using a random number generator such as the one here: https://numbergenerator.org/random-6-digit-number-generator

If you decide to use this system, you may need to keep a record of the number on your smartphone until you are used to it and it is committed to memory.

Another factor worth mentioning, is the ability to work out a code using a UV lamp. Fingerprints become visible under UV light and once a burglar knows which 6-digits you have used, it may not take him too long to work out the code. He can even see which numbers have been used more than once by the heaviness of the fingerprint image under UV light.

In this image you can see that the only digits used have been 9, 5 and 3 and then enter. So, the code could only be one of 6 combinations using the same 3 numbers. This combination would be multiplied for a 6-digit code but it would still be a relatively easy task (if somewhat tedious) to work out each permutation, and there are even phone apps that can do this for you.

As well of the above, you can minimise the chances of the code being guessed by using a different code for each item you have with coded entry. Let us assume your smartphone is 214569. If you wanted to use a code similar to this, you could reverse it for your safe.

The more digits you have, the safer the code, so if your safe has the option for more than 6 digits it would be a good idea to use them all. A good 8-digit code can be a passport number, you could use your passport number plus one for each digit. For example, if the first digit of your passport number is five, you would add one making it six. If the second digit is nine, you would loop round, making it zero. Using this and then placing your passport in the safe is a very good way of generating a code which can’t be guessed. As above it may be a good idea to keep a record of this code on your smartphone.




Safe Manufacturer Warranties and Life Cycles

We have put together an extensive list of warranty periods for both manufacturers and models to help you quickly make a choice of safe model based on warranty period.

Brand Model Launched Warranty Notes
Burg Wachter Pointsafe 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Burg Wachter PointSafe 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Burg Wachter HomeSafe 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Burg Wachter CityLine 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Burg Wachter CombiLine 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Burg Wachter Karat 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Burg Wachter Diplomat 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Burg Wachter Royal 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Burg Wachter OfficeDoku 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Burg Wachter PointSafe Wall 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Burg Wachter CityLine Wall 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Burg Wachter Karat Wall 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Burg Wachter Diplomat Wall 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Burg Wachter OfficeLine 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Burg Wachter Ranger N Gun Safes New December 2018 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Burg Wachter Ranger I Gun Safes 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Brand Model Launched Warranty Notes
Burton Safes Primo October 2018 5 Years for consumers Free replacement in the event of burglary
Burton Safes Torino Eurokey Rebrand March 2019 5 Years for consumers Free replacement in the event of burglary
Burton Safes Torino S2 Rebrand March 2019 5 Years for consumers Free replacement in the event of burglary
Burton Safes Eurovault Aver S2 Rebrand March 2019 5 Years for consumers Free replacement in the event of burglary
Burton Safes Home Safe Rebrand March 2019 5 Years for consumers Free replacement in the event of burglary
Burton Safes Eurovault Aver Grade 0 Rebrand March 2019 5 Years for consumers Free replacement in the event of burglary
Burton Safes DK Wall Safe March 2008 5 Years for consumers Free replacement in the event of burglary
Burton Safes Unica Wall Safe Rebrand March 2019 5 Years for consumers Free replacement in the event of burglary
Burton Safes Sotto Underfloor New April 2019 5 Years for consumers Free replacement in the event of burglary
Burton Safes Eurovault Aver Grade 1 Rebrand March 2019 5 Years for consumers Option Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Eurovault Aver Grade 2 Rebrand March 2019 5 Years for consumers Option Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Eurovault Aver Grade 3 Rebrand March 2019 5 Years for consumers Option Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Eurovault Aver Grade 4 Rebrand March 2019 5 Years for consumers Option Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Eurovault Aver Grade 5 Rebrand March 2019 5 Years for consumers Option Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Eurovault Aver Grade 6 Rebrand March 2019 5 Years for consumers Option Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Eurovault Aver Grade 7 Rebrand March 2019 5 Years for consumers Option Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Firebrand May 2013 5 Years for consumers Free replacement in the event of burglary or Fire
Burton Safes Firebrand XL November 2012 5 Years for consumers Free replacement in the event of burglary
Burton Safes Firesec 4/60 Rebrand March 2019 5 Years for consumers Free replacement in the event of burglary or fire *excludes size 4
Burton Safes Firesec 10/60 Rebrand March 2019 5 Years for consumers Free replacement in the event of burglary or fire *excludes size 4
Burton Safes Data safe March 2010 5 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Fire Resistant Filing Cabinet March 2015 5 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Brixia Uno November 2015 5 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Brixia Tre April 2017 5 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Lusso New April 2019 5 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Eurovault LX Luxury April 2013 5 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Scout Gun Safe July 2016 5 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Warden Gun Cabinet March 2016 5 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Hotel Standard March 2010 5 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Hotel Drawer New April 2019 5 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Hotel Pop Up New April 2019 5 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Hotel Lambent March 2010 5 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Keyguard Combi October 2009 5 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Keyguard Digital December 2018 5 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Keyguard XL July 2016 5 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Till Safes New April 2019 2 Years Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Cash Guard Vehicle Rebrand April 2019 2 Years Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Teller Deposit May 2008 2 Years Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Eurovault Aver Deposit Grade 1 Rebrand March 2019 2 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Eurovault Aver Deposit Grade 2 Rebrand March 2019 2 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Burton Safes Eurovault Aver Deposit Grade 3 Rebrand March 2019 2 Years for consumers Optional Cost to Extend Warranty
Brand Model Launched Warranty Notes
Chubbsafes Air 2012 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Chubbsafes Homestar 2018 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Chubbsafes AlphaPlus 2010 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Chubbsafes Home Safe 2017 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Chubbsafes Zeta 2013 2 Years Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Chubbsafes DuoGuard Rebrand 2018 2 Years Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Chubbsafes Senator 2018 2 Years Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Chubbsafes ProGuard Rebrand 2018 2 Years Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Chubbsafes Custodian 2018 2 Years Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Chubbsafes Trident 2009 2 Years Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Chubbsafes Sigma Deposit 2010 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Chubbsafes Omega Deposit 2010 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Chubbsafes Sovereign Deposit 2014 2 Years Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Chubbsafes ProGuard Deposit Rebrand 2018 2 Years Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Chubbsafes Executive 2010 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Chubbsafes Archive Cupboards 2010 2 Years Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Chubbsafes ForceGuard Cupboards 2010 2 Years Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Chubbsafes Duplex Cupboards 2014 2 Years Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Chubbsafes DPC Fireproof Cupboards 2016 2 Years Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Chubbsafes CS Fireproof Cupboards 2015 2 Years Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Chubbsafes DataGuard 2012 2 Years Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Chubbsafes Data Plus 2010 2 Years Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Chubbsafes Fireproof Filing Cabinets 2010 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Brand Model Launched Warranty Notes
Churchill M Wall Safes 2009 1 Year Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Churchill Domestic Underfloor 2009 1 Year Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Churchill Vector Underfloor 2009 1 Year Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Churchill Sapphire Underfloor 2009 1 Year Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Churchill Bulldog Underfloor 2009 1 Year Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Churchill Ruby Underfloor 2009 1 Year Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Churchill Emerald Underfloor 2009 1 Year Optional 5 year paid warranty extension available
Brand Model Launched Warranty Notes
De Raat Protector 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat Protector Sirius 2010 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat DRS Vega 2017 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat DRS Combi-Fire 2017 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat DRS Prisma 2017 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat DRS Pro 2017 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat DRS Defender 2017 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat Protector MP Day Deposit 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat Protector PT / ET Deposit 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat DRS Neutron Deposit 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat DRS Prisma Deposit 2017 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat Protector Cupboards 2013 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat Protector SDK Sliding Door Cupboards 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat DRS Secura Cupboard 2017 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat DRS Combi-Paper Cupboards 2017 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat Protector Fire Filing Cabinets 2012 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat Protector Fire Resistant 60 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
De Raat Protector Fire Resistant 120 2009 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Brand Model Launched Warranty Notes
Phoenix Safe My First Safe 2015 1 Year No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe Vela 2016 1 Year No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe Rhea 2016 1 Year No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe Neso 2016 1 Year No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe Dione 2016 1 Year No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe Lynx 2016 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe NEXT 2016 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe Fortress 2011 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe Citdel 2011 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe FireFox 2012 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Venus 2018 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Neptune 2018 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Mercury 2018 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Elara 2018 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Cosmos 2018 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Planet 2018 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Titan 2016 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Titan Aqua 2018 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Fire Fighter 2010 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Data Combi 2010 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Datacare 2010 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Data Commander 2010 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Millenium Duplex 2015 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe SecureStore 2018 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe Fire Ranger 2012 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Firechief 2018 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Fire Commander 2014 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Fire Commander Pro 2018 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe Vela Deposit 2018 1 Year No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe Day Deposit 2018 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe Cashier Deposit Rebrand 2019 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe Diamond Deposit 2017 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe Lacerta 2015 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe Tucana 2015 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe Tarvos New 2019 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe Charon New 2019 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Phoenix Safe Archivo Fire Filing Cabinet 2018 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe World Class FS2250 Fire Filing Cabinet 2018 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe World Class FS2260 Fire Filing Cabinet 2018 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Phoenix Safe World Class FS2270 Fire Filing Cabinet New 2019 2 Years Lifetime after the fire replacement - terms apply
Brand Model Launched Warranty Notes
Securikey Euro Vault 2016 1 Year Free extension to 3 Years via Securikey website
Securikey Mini Vault Silver S2 September 2017 1 Year Free extension to 3 Years via Securikey website
Securikey Mini Vault Gold S2 September 2017 1 Year Free extension to 3 Years via Securikey website
Securikey Mini Vault Deposit 2009 1 Year Free extension to 3 Years via Securikey website
Securikey Eurograde 0 2006 1 Year Free extension to 3 Years via Securikey website
Securikey Eurograde 1 2009 1 Year Free extension to 3 Years via Securikey website
Securikey Eurograde 2 2003 1 Year Free extension to 3 Years via Securikey website
Securikey Eurograde 3 2003 1 Year Free extension to 3 Years via Securikey website
Securikey Eurograde 4 2003 1 Year Free extension to 3 Years via Securikey website
Securikey Eurograde 5 2003 1 Year Free extension to 3 Years via Securikey website
Securikey Underfloor Safes 1977 1 Year Free extension to 3 Years via Securikey website
Securikey Medical 2011 1 Year Free extension to 3 Years via Securikey website
Securikey Secure Stor 2015 1 Year Free extension to 3 Years via Securikey website
Brand Model Launched Warranty Notes
Yale Value 2011 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Yale Value Alarmed New April 2019 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Yale Budget 2011 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Yale Premium 2011 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Yale Certified 2011 2 Years No optional warranty extension available
Yale Fire Safes 2011 2 Years No optional warranty extension available



Quotes from Customers

Here are some customer quotes from our Trusted Shop feed, we are proud of the service we offer and go to great lengths to ensure we offer the best advice and all round service.

Answered all my questions, provided the product which exceed all expectations and resolved the security problem I had. 5 service.

Geoff C in Nottingham

Good pricing and excellent service. I had a potentially awkward installation site and the team advised me to change the safe I was considering to a more appropriate, and cheaper option.

Richard H in Chelmsford

It was a real pleasure to deal with your company . The lady on the phone and the installers were friendly,polite and helpful. I would really recommend.

Anne S in Huntingdon



Useful Resources

Here is a list of Best Buy Guides for 2019 which covers a variety of different types of safes:

Here is a selection of Buying Guides which offer additional advice to help you choose a safe:

Here are some external websites that you may also find useful in protecting your property and valuables.




Your Thoughts and Comments

Let us know what you think of our guide and how it could be improved in the comments box below. We appreciate feedback of any type as we continue in our quest to improve all parts of our business.



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