Heavy snowfall increases risk of flood and theft

The heavy snow forecast to affect the whole of the UK at some point this weekend is further bad news for those businesses and homeowners at risk of flood. Snow, despite its picturesque effect on the landscape is rain by another name so when it thaws it can only add to the flood risk on already waterlogged ground. Now is the time to take added precautions to safeguard valuable stock and valuables by placing them out of reach of potential flood waters.
This precaution is doubly true if your business uses hazardous chemicals. It is advisable to consider raising hazardous storage cabinets well off the ground on steel stands available to suit most standard COSHH cabinets. Leakage of toxic substances into the environment can have devastating effects and if you are sited in a high flood risk area the environment agency will look to you for proof that sensible precautions were in place should a leak occur.


Valuables can also be stored in the same way in high security storage cabinets placed on stands, or in waterproof security chests and safes depending on the value and quantity of goods to be stored.
Another consequence of the freezing temperature is a significant increase in vehicle thefts. Criminals literally tour the streets looking for vehicles that have been left unattended on driveways with the engine running to defrost the car or van. This presents a golden opportunity for thieves to either steal the vehicle itself or rifle the contents in seconds for any valuables, laptops, tools and equipment.
Commercial vans and lorries can be fitted with lockable heavy duty steel van boxes and cabinets that bolt to the chassis for storage of expensive tools and equipment but that does not prevent theft of the vehicle if the thief has the opportunity. One tip is to use one key to start the engine to defrost and then use the spare key to lock the doors until you are ready to start your journey.
With a little care you can avoid falling victim to the unforeseen risks that the onset of winter weather can present.

Safe Insurance Explained

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.

New Safes for all the Elements

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.

 

Keeping your Cash Safe

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.

Gadget Show A Safe Bet

Fans who consider both this website and The Gadget Show on Channel 5 as “must sees” will have been given a treat when the erstwhile team of presenters were each given the challenge of breaking into a high security safe. If they failed to crack their respective safes the contents – apparently embarrassing clips of their previous incarnations on the Box – would be posted on YouTube or the like.

I was heartened that three of the 5 high security safes provided for the challenge are available from this website, the Phoenix CitadelSentry QE Datasafe, SecureLine Professional S2 and the mighty Burton Magnum.

Any professional Locksmiths and Safe Crackers viewing proceedings would no doubt have been entirely unimpressed by the efforts of the motley crew. At the outset they dismissed the prospect of manipulating the lock wheel pack as too fiddly and proceeded to try and simply destroy the safes.  In sequence they first used a digger and bucket to drop from a “great height” which looked like about 15 foot, they then attacked the casing with an angle grinder which was no match for the cobalt steel plate reinforcing and finally tried to blow the safe door off using PETN an industrial explosive.

Needless to say not one of the safes was opened in the process not even the traditional key lock Secureline Professional cash Safe. The Gadget Show team may have been better advised to do some research on the design of combination locks and the intricacies of contact points, drive pins and fences.

To be fair the most popular method of safecracking is to simply steal the safe and move it to where the safecracker has the time and equipment to take the safe apart. This is not always that easy if the safe owner takes advantage of the secure boltdown facility on most safes – they would have to remove part of the floor or wall along with the safe. In these circumstances the safecracker must attack the locking mechanism the majority of which like the Burton Magnum have already survived rigorous attack testing to BS1143-1.

Despite the high security of the safes chosen every safe must be accessible in some way to a locksmith in the event of a malfunction or lock-out. This requirement introduces a fundamental weakness that forms the basis of the locksmiths art and the would-be safecracker. However it is an art and there is apparently a world champion safe breaker to prove it in the guise of American Jeff Sitar who is by the way gainfully and legitimately employed as a locksmith.

To view the Gadget Show video follow this link http://fwd.channel5.com/gadget-show/videos/challenge/surprise-special-part-3