Rob Suddaby
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A safe sits at the heart of your site's security as the last line of defence. They rarely break down or wear out, but is your safe still doing its job? Here are 4 indicators that you should be thinking about buying a new safe.

Your safe is over 25 years old

In Europe safes began to be graded according to a common standard around 25 years ago. Before that there were many disparate local norms, but no agreed benchmark.

As a result, if your safe is a quarter of a century old, then you should contact your insurer. The chances are it is not certified and therefore will not be covered.

Your safe has not been properly tested

There are plenty of safes on the market which have either been inadequately tested or not tested at all.

Proper testing provides a guarantee of the level of protection a safe provides. Testing of safes is unique in that you cannot get a machine to do it. You need real people with intelligence to attack the product.

So make sure an accredited laboratory has been involved in the testing process.


In Europe, the European Certification Body, or ECB•S, issues EN certificates for security products such as safes and vaults. It is an independent body supported by both insurers and the manufacturers of safes.

In the US, tests are carried out directly by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or by manufacturers, sometimes under UL’s supervision.

Some 120 companies worldwide use the ECB•S as an independent benchmark.

Your level of protection is too low

A safe's level of protection is indicated by its grade. For EN standards, safes are graded into eight levels of resistance from zero (0) to seven (VII).

grading-system-for-safes.pngThe grading system is particularly important for insurance reasons, as the contents of a safe will only be insured for the correct value if the safe carries the appropriate grade. The amount corresponding to each grade differs from country to country so check with your local safe supplier or insurance company for details.

If a safe has been graded then it will have an official certification label.

Your needs have changed

To take one example, there are far fewer documents being stored in offices, so perhaps there is no longer the necessity for a large safe taking up a lot of space in the corner of the room.

Modern compact safes are still able to offer good levels of protection despite having narrower walls thanks to new barrier materials which are light and strong.

Safe design has also moved on in recent years so models manufactured over the last 10 years are more likely to look good and be more ergonomic.Download E-Guide to Choosing the Right Safe

Read more about certified fire and burglary resistant safes for the protection of valuables, documents and data.