How to choose the right safe for your business

Most companies have important documents and valuables that need to be protected from theft or fire. The introduction of GDPR in May 2018 has made the secure storage of sensitive documents critical as a data breach can cost your company up to 4% of the company’s annual global turnover or €20 million (whichever is greater). Likewise, goods and cash stored on site are vulnerable both to employee and non-employee theft and must be stored securely in order to reduce the risk and ensure your insurance company will pay out in the event of a burglary. Choosing the right storage solution is essential. We will help you find the safe that best suits your unique needs.

Lockable storage for low security items

Lockable cabinets that are not rated to a European standard for security are suitable for property with low or no insurance value. This type of cabinet is not certified for theft or fire protection but can be suitable for preventing opportunist theft.

Anti-theft protection for cash, valuables and important documents

Burglary-rated safes are designed to provide adequate protection for high value property and sensitive documents. The most important standards for a safe’s anti-burglary protection are EN 1143-1 and EN 14450. EN 14450 is a test for security cabinets while EN 1143-1 is a more stringent test for safes and deposit safes. There are two security levels of EN 14450 (S1 and S2) and 7 grades of EN 1143-1 (0-VI): the higher the grade, the better the burglary protection. The resistance grade and security level of a safe are both important factors when it comes to the insurance category of the safe’s contents. Business and retail premises storing high-value items are generally required by their insurance company to meet specific security requirements.

To help you decide which safe is suitable for your needs, we have included an approximate cash rating for each classification. The more secure the safe, the higher the cash rating. The valuables rating is always 10 times the cash rating, as cash is easier to steal (for example, a cash rating of £1,000 will mean a valuables rating of £10,000). You should always verify the cash rating with your insurer first. 

European Standard Approximate cash rating
EN-14450 S1 £2,000 cash rating
EN-14450 S2 £4,000 cash rating
EN-1143-1 Grade 0 £6,000 cash rating
EN-1143-1 Grade 1 £10,000 cash rating
EN-1143-1 Grade 2 £17,500 cash rating
EN-1143-1 Grade 3 £35,000 cash rating
EN-1143-1 Grade 4  £60,000 cash rating
EN-1143-1 Grade 5 £100,000 cash rating
EN-1143-1 Grade 6 £150,000 cash rating

Fireproof storage for valuable documents

Fireproof cabinets or document safes are suitable for protecting sensitive documents and important records from fire. The cabinets are generally fire-rated in accordance with NT Fire 017, EN 15659, EN 1047-1 or UL. They are assigned a fire class that indicates how many minutes the contents are protected from fire, for example P60, P90 and P120 will protect paper from fire for 60, 90 or 120 minutes respectively.

Note that fire-protected cabinets are not certified for fire protection but feature fire-retardant insulation in doors and walls to delay the spread of fire in low-risk environments.

Fire-protection for data media, such as USB flash drives and hard drives

Data media cabinets are specially designed to protect CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives, hard drives and similar media. The cabinets are fire-rated to ensure that their internal temperature never exceeds 50°C in the event of a fire within the time indicated. The low internal temperature protects data media, which will be damaged by fire quicker and at a much lower temperature than paper. Many of these cabinets or inserts are also waterproof to protect media from fire-extinguishing equipment.

Before you purchase a safe, we recommend that you speak to your insurance company to confirm that your policy will cover the full value of the cash or goods you are planning to store and whether there are any restrictions or conditions.