Since the March lockdown, a huge number of people have made the tremendous effort of transitioning work from the office to the home. Despite the gradual easing of restrictions, for a significant number, this is going to be a long-term change to a new “normal”. Many customers have chosen to convert previously underused space such as lofts, spare/box rooms or even garages/sheds into working office space. Although home burglaries have fallen during lockdown, the influx of additional computer equipment, precious documentation and in some cases valuable stock, has resulted in many homeworkers to reconsider their home security measures. Despite a fall in boots on the street, this presents locksmiths with an opportunity to sell a vast array of security equipment; ranging from modern “Smart” solutions such as CCTV, alarms and video doorbells to more traditional physical measures such as door cylinders, window locks and safes.
A safe space to work
Still one of the most effective ways of protecting valuables, Burg-Wächter believes that safes should be the last line of defence for any home (or office). Locksmiths will already appreciate that the demand for safes is as diverse as the range of potential customers. Most of the time it’s individual home owners looking for a simple safe to lock away valuables and important documents. Next up are the local businesses handling cash; from restaurants and retailers looking to secure cash, to offices, accountants and solicitors with a need to secure important data and documents. Add to that the small executive housing developer, local hotel and even pharmacy all looking for advice on safes, it’s easy to see why it’s important to have access to a wide range of safe solutions via a reliable and well-resourced channel.
To realise the potential of this growing marketplace, locksmiths need safes that are easy to sell at a price that gives a good return, to customers who are happy with the product and its installation. Before they seek your professional advice, customers will often have a pre-determined idea about the size and cash/valuables rating for the safe they need to meet their insurer’s requirements. However, it’s important to establish from the outset what the customer is going to put in the safe, and what they are seeking to guard against before discussing the most suitable options available. Doing this will not only ensure customer’s needs are met, but it also provides opportunities for upselling features and protection levels.
In the current economic climate there is a temptation for locksmiths to engage in a race to the bottom, particularly if safes are a new or experimental line for their business. Ultimately this race will lead to so called “safes” that are nothing more than glorified cash boxes that fail to meet customers’ needs. Independently certified safes provide locksmiths with an opportunity to upsell to a model that is not only fit for purpose, but also offers higher profits for locksmiths.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that most burglars will take safes off site if they can, where they have more time, tools and privacy to break it open. Customers need reminding that for insurance ratings to be valid in the event of a claim, the safe must be properly installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, ideally by a professional.
Contrary to popular misconception, a high cash value rated safe isn’t necessarily going to offer adequate protection against fire and vice versa. Regardless of which rating is the most relevant to each particular customer, it is vital that the advertised ratings for models with cash ratings of £4,000 and above have been properly tested and approved by an independent body such as VdS and ECBs and are recognised by the AiS.
Space is also an important consideration, as is location and fixing method. It is also worth discussing the frequency and number of people requiring access to the safe’s contents, as this will help customers select the most appropriate locking mechanism, whether it’s timed, keyed, digital or biometric. For the fashion conscious, modern safes can be produced in any high gloss colour to complement the décor.
As Europe’s largest manufacturer of safes, Burg-Wächter is able offer locksmiths not only the widest range of AiS approved certified safes, but also the training, support services and sales materials needed to make the most of this growing marketplace. Coinciding with its 100yr anniversary, Burg-Wächter has comprehensively reviewed and revised its safe range with new models and features, proving that it remains at the forefront of innovation after all this time.