The majority of high security safes on the market are now tested to burglar resistance standards decided at a national or international level. This helps ensure that safes provide exactly the level of protection they claim. The most common burglar resistance tests are the EN 14550 for secure cabinets and the EN 1143 Eurograde for high security safes. Both of these test standards are decided on at European level and are agreed upon by all member states of the EU.
During these burglar resistance tests, expert technicians try their best to break into the safe using a variety of means. The techniques they use will vary depending on how secure the safe claims to be. A low security safe might only be subjected to attack from common hand tools such as hammers, chisels and crowbars. A very high security safe might be attacked with specialist tools such as thermic lances or diamond core drills.
Safes are rated and graded according to how long it takes to break them open, as well as other factors such as the complexity of tools needed. Safes below a certain weight must also pass an anchoring test to make sure they can’t be easily ripped from their base or rear fixing bolts.
The cash ratings on these certified safes are (in €1,000s):
|EN 14550 S1||EN 14550 S2||EN 1143-1 Grade 0||EN 1143-1 Grade I||EN 1143-1 Grade II||EN 1143-1 Grade III||EN 1143-1 Grade IV||EN 1143-1 Grade V||EN 1143-1 Grade VI|
Independently Approved Safes
There are certain security bodies which will give their approval to a safe if they believe it meets particular standards. This usually applies to safes which have been independently tested to the EN 14450 or EN 1143 standard, although this isn’t always the case. Some of the security organizations you might see certifying or approving a safe include:
ECB-S – A European body who perform burglar resistance and fire tests. ECB-S technicians are among the most experienced in the industry. An ECB-S certificate is issued to safes which pass their stringent tests.
Association of Insurance Surveyors (AIS) – A British body which usually approves safes that have been tested by the ECB-S or another well regarded testing body. AIS Approved safes usually have a special purple badge or sticker.
Loss Prevention Control Board – A British body which tests and approves safes and security products, or approves safes tested by other well regarded testing bodies.
Other similar groups include Sold Secure and Secured By Design.
For the highest levels of security protection, always choose a safe that has been independently tested and certified. You are advised to consult with your insurance company before purchasing a safe, especially if you intend to store large amounts of cash or valuables inside it. Cash ratings on safes are guidelines only, even in the case of independently tested models. Your insurance company may apply its own cash ratings to safes.
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