Throughout many parts of Europe such as The Netherlands, Belgium and to a slightly lesser extent Germany, having a safe in your home is as natural and common as having a TV. It is just one of life’s necessities to the people of these countries. This is not because burglary or indeed other crime statistics are higher in these countries than in the UK. It is because enjoying the peace-of-mind that a safe provides is a contentment that the residents of these countries would not even contemplate living without.
Safes can and should be used to securely store not only cash and extremely valuable jewellery but a multitude of other items which are either time consuming and complicated to replace or indeed, simply irreplaceable. The family passports needed the night before that long-awaited holiday, a will that should be stored securely, insurance documents and share certificates are all items which alone may not have any significant value themselves but can be difficult and sometimes even costly to replace. Whilst other things such as a child’s first tooth, a partner’s love letter or indeed any sentimental trinket or family heirloom may to the owner be priceless.
For these reasons more and more consumers in the UK are now making the decision to invest in a safe for their home. We spoke to Matthew Dumsday, the National Sales Manager at the UK’s oldest and leading independent safe manufacturer, Insafe. Matthew commented, “It’s great to see that consumers in the UK are now taking home security more seriously than ever. However, the worrying thing from my point-of-view is that the largest retailers of “safes” on the high street and on the internet are companies such as Argos and Amazon. The problem here being that the vast majority of products that these large retailers sell are not actually “proper” safes but in essence a steel box with a lock fitted to it.”
Matthew’s comments bring us on to the next question: What actually is a safe? This is where insurance companies can be extremely useful in providing information to the consumer. Insurance companies will give a safe a cash and valuables rating based on the “grade” of the safe. To achieve a “grade” a safe must be independently tested and certified, not by the manufacturer but by a recognised, independent testing institution. Matthew says,” It is vital that consumers are given the best information and advice available when they are considering purchasing a safe. It has always been clear to me and my colleagues at Insafe that locksmiths are amongst the best people to give this advice. In many instances a consumer can actually visit a locksmith shop and view a range of safes.” Matthew also pointed out that locksmiths know the questions to ask a consumer to determine which type of safe will be best suited for their needs.
So what are the questions a consumer should be asked? What amount of cash will be stored in the safe? What is the value of other items to be stored? Does the consumer require key or electronic locking? Is fire as well as burglary protection required? Where is the safe to be located in the house? Sometimes these questions can appear quite personal or even intrusive but this is where the skill and tact of a professional locksmith come in.
Matthew pointed out that a real safe is often the last line of defence, “although it is a slightly different scenario, in a riot situation there are normally alarms sounding, CCTV in operation and maybe even a police presence. However people still walk into a shop to attempt to steel goods or cash. In many instances it is just the safe that prevents them from doing this. This situation is unfortunately mirrored all too often in a residential property. If a burglary does take place, it is the safe that prevents valuable and irreplaceable items from being stolen. It is the last line of defence.”
In conclusion Matthew said that, “Insafe are proud to support our network of Premium Partner Locksmith’s. All of our safes, from the Insafe Guardian S2 range with a valuables rating of £40,000 (cash £4,000) through to our EuroCash Grade 6 with a valuables rating of £1.5 million (cash £150,000) are independently tested and certified against attack by LPCB to a recognised European Standard. This gives our locksmith partners, and in turn their customers, peace-of-mind, safe in the knowledge that they are buying a real safe from a true safe manufacturer, that will protect their valuables.”