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Safe Insurance Explained

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When buying safes you cannot base your choice on looks or price alone, at least not if you want your insurance company to cover you for losses due to theft, fire or flood damage to the safe and or its contents.

The manufacturers of quality cash safes will give Insurance or Cash Rating for each safe expressed in terms of the amount of cash an insurance underwriter considers you can safely store in the safe. The general rule is that the higher the cash rating the more secure the safe is from burglars and safecrackers. The Cash rating also usually defines the Valuables rating of the safe i.e. the equivalent value of non-cash valuables such as jewellery the safe can hold. This is almost universally agreed by insurers as 10 times the cash rating.

A safe certified to EN14450 is suitable for low risk applications up to a maximum of £4000 in cash and £40,000 in valuables and are a popular choice for home security. The European standard EN1143-1 covers everything above this security level and safes to this standard are often termed Euro or Eurograde cash safes. The “Grade” is expressed as a number from Grade 0 to Grade13 in ascending order of greater security. A grade 13 safe is effectively equivalent to a bank vault with a cash rating of £3.5 million.

Assigning cash ratings is usually based upon testing to the European Attack Test Standards and drop tests that are now widely recognised by the insurance industry and provide independent third party confirmation of the security level and durability of a safe. You do sometimes see equivalent American test standards quoted usually prefixed by UL and independent laboratory certifications such as NT or NordTest more often for fire and water resistance.

Certification to international standards is the starting point for choosing the right safe for your circumstances but be aware that different insurers may apply different risk assessment criteria due to other factors such as the location of the property and the presence of other security measures. It is always best to check with your insurer that your cover is adequate particularly if you are storing lots of cash or valuables.

Water resistant storage a bigger priority

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At long last Summer has arrived, at least for a day or two. River levels are falling and the farmers may at last be able to get onto their fields to harvest crops. It’s easy to forget that many businesses are still cleaning up from the devastating floods that hit many towns and villages earlier this month.

Although insurance will cover the cost of reinstatement, for the majority this will do little to help the business return to normal trading or replace business critical documents and customer records lost in the deluge. It is also an ever present worry that once at risk further flood events are likely to reoccur in the future.

Businesses in risk areas should consider additional measures to protect their operations so that normal service can be resumed as soon as possible. Fortunately there are a range of waterproof safety storage options to protect documents, cash and valuables from as little as £50 or so. All have the considerable added benefit of providing fire protection.

A Sentry or Phoenix portable waterproof document box and cash box come in a range of sizes ideal for the small business providing both water damage protection and security against unauthorised access. If you have larger quantities of paper based records and files that would be difficult to remove from the premises in a flood alert a waterproof filing cabinet such as the Sentry vertical file cabinet or the innovative Phoenix World Class lateral drawer model, is an effective safeguard against both flood and fire.

Businesses holding significant cash or water sensitive valuables such as electronic devices and digital media on the premises should consider a waterproof safe with bolt down facility. Advances in design and technology means they are now an affordable option for even the smallest business. The Burton Aquasec will withstand total submersion in water, is certified for 60minutes fire protection and at less than £250 is surprisingly cost effective.

If the climatologists are to be believed extreme and freakish weather is likely to become the norm in the years ahead so business attitudes to risk and preventive actions must adapt to safeguard business viability.

Key boxes ensure secure access to your home.

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I was driving into the village where I live on yet another miserable rainy summer’s day when I passed a schoolboy walking the mile and a half road from the last bus stop into the village. Ordinarily I would not stop unless I was very well acquainted with the individual as sad to say these days such acts of altruism can and often are misinterpreted.

However as I looked back in the mirror I could see the lad was battling the elements so I pulled up and reversed back to offer a lift. It turned out his family had arrived in the village only recently and as he could not remember the house name he gave directions that led me to it. There were no cars on the drive or any signs of activity so I asked if his parents were around. They were both at work but he said he had a key. He thanked me for the lift and headed off but having had kids of my own I held back from driving off whilst I saw him safely inside.

Key Cabinet

The heavens chose that moment to unleash a torrential downpour while the poor lad was searching first his pockets then his schoolbag looking frantically for his key. Nothing I could do but watch and wonder what I would do next if he has lost the key. After what seemed an age he triumphantly held the key aloft and waved by which time he and the contents of his bag were clearly soaked.

For working parents it must be a logistical nightmare to arrange daytime care and supervision of the children and so called latchkey kids are all too common. To provide security and eliminate the risk of children or even parents losing the house key the security industry has developed some excellent weather proof home key boxes that you can mount outside the door to ensure a key is always to hand. They have combination or digital locks to control access and are also useful if you need to admit carers or workmen whilst you are away from home.

 

New Safes for all the Elements

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Making sure you choose the right security safe that properly balances your security needs and your available budget can be a daunting task given the huge variation in safe quality, size and functionality. Whether for the home or office the job has been made a great deal easier with the introduction of the Chubbsafes Elements range, one of the biggest brand manufacturers of safes in the industry.

The Elements concept includes 4 distinct ranges aptly named Air, Water, Earth and Fire each offering the build quality associated with Chubbsafes products but individually designed to safeguard different levels of risk. As a tie-in to the launch of the Elements range Chubbsafes is also making donations to four leading environmental protection organisations; Carbon Clear, Water Aid, Tree Aid and CoolEarth.

The Elements security solutions start with the Air home safes, robust compact burglary proof safes that offer basic protection for valuables and important documents and are ideal for use in the home and for personal safe deposit in hotels. A specially designed safe with extra width for the storage of portable computers and tablet PCs is included in the Air home safes and all four models have a useful £1000 cash rating for insurance purposes. As with all the Elements Safes there is a choice of key or electronic lock.

Raising the security stakes is the Water cash safe that offers ECB•S certified Level S1 security to EN14450 and insurer approved £2000 cash rating suitable for the storage of cash, jewellery, cameras and other high value items. With 5 sizes available including the largest safe in the Elements range at 96 litre capacity, there is a model for every application.

When it comes to safeguarding significant amounts of cash as well as valuables you should be looking for the certified Level S2 burglary protection and £4000 cash rating provided by the Elements Earth fireproof safes of high security safes. Additional security safeguards include manganese anti-drilling plates and a double wall construction containing fire retardant material.

Completing this quick overview of Chubbsafe’s Elements Security Safe options is the Fire fireproof data safe that has all the high security features of the Water range with the added benefit of ECB.S authenticated 30 minute fire protection for paper. The perfect security solution for the protection of cash and valuables as well as passports, property records, legal papers and other mission critical and confidential documents.

Chubbsafes Elements are now available online from your Safety Storage Centre.

 

Safety a priority for Fuel Storage

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Safety concerns regarding the storage of flammable liquids hit the headlines following the threat of industrial action by fuel tanker drivers. After official advice was broadcast to stockpile a reserve supply the press went into a feeding frenzy when a woman was badly burned whilst decanting petrol into a container in her kitchen whilst a gas ring was lit.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of Ministerial advice to have an gallon or two of fuel put by for emergencies, the case of the injured woman highlights a general lack of public understanding of the safety risks attached to the handling and storage of flammable substances both in the home but also in businesses.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service was one of many fire services that strongly urged homeowners not to store petrol because of these risks, but in practice a great many homeowners, myself included routinely store at least a gallon of fuel either for lawn mowers or for self-drive holidays and excursions, as an emergency reserve should the tank run low with no filling station in reach.

The issue of storing flammable liquids safely is not just about car fuel. Many proprietary off the shelf cleaning products, solvents, varnishes and paints found around the home are hydrocarbon based and are also a potential fire risk. In the right concentrations it is the invisible vapours from these products that are first to ignite and all it takes is one spark, a lit cigarette or a lit gas ring to cause an explosion and fire.
If you wish to store a small reserve of fuel there is no reason legal or otherwise why you should not, provided you put safety first. Legally you can store up to 30 litres in two suitable metal containers each of a maximum capacity of ten litres and two plastic containers (which have to be of an approved design) each of a maximum capacity of five litres. These limits also apply to any containers kept in your vehicle when parked in the garage or on the driveway

Having up to four fuel containers kicking around the garage is not a good idea. Having flammable cabinets in a secure garage or stored away from the main dwelling gives the volume capacity to allow you to store all your flammable products in one secure location. The cabinets are designed to protect the contents from accidental contact with heat sources and have spill retention trays and sumps to contain any leaks from containers. All our COSHH rated fire safety storage cabinets have the approved fire hazard label and security locks to prevent unauthorised access and keep inquisitive children at bay.

 

Medical storage – Safe Storage of Drugs and medicines

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Outside of hospitals and pharmacies there are many other organisations that by design or default have the need to store controlled drugs (or CD’s) and prescription only medicines for dispense and use to patients and residents. These include care homes, residential hostels for the homeless, sheltered housing, dentists, mental health and drug rehab clinics to name but a few.

In relation to the safe storage of controlled drugs the primary piece of legislation to consider is the Misuse of Drugs (Safe Custody) Regulations 1974 although the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the
Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, the Medicines Act 1968 and the Care Standards Act 2000 and not least BS2881:1989 all need to be taken into account. Conforming to the regulations is legally binding on bodies authorised by the regulations to store and supply controlled drugs and prescription medicines.

A section of the Safe Custody regulations gives detailed requirements for the construction of drug storage cabinets, safes and medical cabinets to minimise the risk of unauthorised access and outright robbery. When choosing a storage cabinet look for the manufacturers assurance that the type and method of construction meets or exceeds the required standard under the law.

Burton Governor Drugs CabinetAs a start CD Safes and cabinets should be made of pressed and welded steel sheet or mesh in a steel frame not less than 5mm section thickness. An effective lock is of course critical and must have
at least 5 differing levers or, in the case of a pin and tumbler mechanisms on safes, have at least 6 pins. Locks should also have at least 1000 independent key-differs. Larger cabinets must have at least two locks and espagnolette bolt door retainers . Other required features include anti jemmy door reveals and predrilled bolt down holes for fixing to wall and or floor.

You cannot comply with the regulations with makeshift compromises for example using a lockable cash box, general purpose cash safe or using a cupboard in a cupboard. Full details on the provisions required for the construction of CD safes and medical cabinets under the legislation can be found on the government website:  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1973/798/schedule/2/made.

Safety Cabinets and COSHH Compliance

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The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002, requires employers to ensure any chemicals and dangerous substances used on the premises are stored and handled in a way that minimises the risks posed by those substances both to the environment and to those in contact with the substances

This is a pretty broad brush requirement when non-compliance can result in punitive fines or even incarceration. So how do you go about complying with COSHH? The answer, as in virtually all health and safety legislation today is Risk Assessment. You need to analyse your business to assess any risks arising from the storage and handling of any dangerous substances. Any identified risks to the people working on the premises, visitors or any potential negative impact on the environment- should then be actioned to minimise the risks identified.

In practice start the process by identifying what constitutes a dangerous substance. Any hazardous chemical should be supplied with a safety data sheet and the container should be marked with a hazard warning label. Typically hazardous substances are classed as toxic, corrosive, acid, alkali, explosive or flammable. If you see any of these labels but don’t have a related product safety data sheet contact your supplier.

The data sheet should detail any incompatible substances that may compound the risks if they are mixed so as a golden rule it is better to store in different COSHH or safety cabinets manufactured for that specific group of hazardous substances, Acids with Acids, toxics with toxics, and so on. Flammables are a special category and come under the DSEAR regulations but the same principles apply.

Within the actual workplace only store the minimum quantity of dangerous substances possible- for example enough for a days work. Store any bulk quantities in a separate designated secure area away from the workforce.

Any staff handling dangerous substances should be properly trained in their use and properly equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment. Needless to say in the aftermath of an accident you may need to prove this so keep up to date training and safety records.

If a substance is clearly toxic or otherwise dangerous if released into the environment take adequate precautions to prevent leaks and spills, for example by storing in cabinets with spill trays or sumps. Despite this precaution the risk of a spill is still possible so have spill containment products available to contain and remove spills before they leak into watercourses and drains or seep into land.

Risk assessment is about being honest with yourself when assessing the potential risks your business generates. Cutting safety corners may save money in the short term but may ultimately cost lives as well as your livelihood and quite possibly your actual liberty.

Hazardous Substance Storage – Are you safe?

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In facilities that deal with potentially hazardous materials on a regular basis, it is important that all elements of safety adhere to COSHH regulations (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health).

One such element of safety is the safe storage of dangerous substances. There are many cabinets currently available on the market that have been certified by COSHH.
COSHH cabinets such as hazardous storage bins, in many cases, will also adhere to DSEAR (the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations).
Available in many different sizes, hazardous storage bins and chests offer a practical and safe area specifically designed to house substances that are flammable, corrosive or toxic.

Whilst many, in a climate of economic downturn, might consider the expense of a hazardous storage bin or chest an investment they can’t justify, it is important to remember safe storage which adheres to COSHH and DSEAR is a legal obligation.
Keeping your workforce safe from the harmful effects of dangerous chemicals, however, should be reason enough to invest in safe storage.

Keeping your Cash Safe

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In a working environment where cash and other such valuable items are being dealt with Safeson a regular basis, the installation of a safe is recommended.

Providing protection – as well as acting as a deterrent to potential thieves – a set of good safes in your business’ office will allow you to rest assured that your valuables aren’t going to get into the wrong hands.

There are a number of different types of safes out there on the market – each designed to fulfill a specific purpose. Here are just a few:

Fireproof Safes – Fireproof safes provide a high level of fire resistance – whilst also maintaining a significant level of security against theft for any valuables stored within.
Ideal for important documents, digital storage media – such as hard drives – as well as cash and keys, a fireproof safe will allow these items to remain protected for up to an hour if a fire occurs.

Cash Safes – Cash safes are a great choice for protecting money and valuables against theft – whether it be in the home, office or a retail environment. With a choice of electronic or standard combination locks, you can ensure that only you have access to the materials within.

Key Safes – Some businesses – such as vehicle rental firms – will have to deal with a large number of keys. A key safe provides a great storage method that will allow you to store them in an organised manner without compromising their security.

Sudoku – Mailboxes

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Give the grey cells a workout with this special version of Sudoku using letters instead of numbers. The rules are the same, each row, column and 3×3 square box must contain each of the letters in the keyword exactly once.
We have filled in some of the solution to give you a start.
Your keyword describes products everyone should have at this festive time of year “MAILBOXES” for the Christmas post.

Answers next week!

 

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