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.

 

Choosing the right Hazardous Storage Cabinet

Selecting the most suitable storage cabinet for hazardous substances can be confusing given the wealth of regulations that businesses are obliged to comply with.

To comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations referred to as COSHH, any substance that presents an environmental or health hazard if inhaled, ingested or through skin contact should be segregated from the active work area in a secure lockable cabinet that complies with the COSHH guidelines.

Generally this means a steel cabinet with spill trays for shelves and lockable doors.

The purpose of the COSHH cabinet is threefold

  1. To prevent accidental contact with the substances
  2. To contain leaking containers or spills from reaching the work area
  3. To prevent spills from causing any environmental damage.

The cabinet should be clearly marked with an HSE compliant Hazard Warning label.

Storing flammable substances is a different matter

Even though you could argue they are hazardous to health and the environment as defined by COSHH their storage is covered by more specific fire safety regulations, primarily DSEAR the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations. There are other legal instruments and requirements for specific activities such as fuel depots.

Flammable substances should be stored separately in a purpose made fire resistant cabinet. Typically paints, solvents and fuels. As with COSHH the cabinet should be equipped with spill trays with a liquid retaining volume of at least twice the volume of the largest storage container in the cabinet.

Flammable storage cabinets are designed with double rebated flush doors and fully welded seams to prevent flames entering the cabinet. The purpose of Flammable Storage Cabinets is to segregate the contents from accidental contact with heat or flame, to provide secure storage, to contain environmentally damaging spills and leaks and to clearly identify their location in a fire emergency.

In the event of a fire the fire resistance of the cabinet is intended to prevent the flammable contents from adding to the fire although the resistance time is no more than 30 minutes depending on the fire intensity and proximity. The cabinets are not insulated and in a fire event with not prevent the internal temperature from rising for more than a few minutes. It is therefore important to use original containers and ensure caps are securely in place.

You should also be aware that there is a distinction between Flammable Liquids and Highly Flammable Liquids or HFL’s. HFL’s have a flash point, at which the liquid or its vapours can auto-ignite, at or below  ambient or room temperature of 32 degrees centigrade. Common laboratory HFL’s are acetone, ethanol and toluene.

More on the safe storage of HFL’s and the storage of chemicals and toxics in my next blog.