Home Safes are purchased usually for one main reason – fear of burglary. However, some safes offer protection from fire or water damage as well. What should I buy?

For the best value choose a safe that offers only security. Why? Because if a safe offers fire resistance as well then, if it is really burglar proof, it will cost at least 50% more than the equivalent security safe. Otherwise security will be downgraded in the design to offer the fire resistance.

Best Home Safe for Security in 2015

Over the past 10 years new advances in design, construction and materials has allowed safes to be lighter in weight, but still retain their security if installed correctly. This has benefitted the home customer as the safes are much more affordable and easier to install.

Probably the leader in this advance is the Police Approved Burton Eurovault AVER range of home security safes that offer a massive £4000 cash insurance rating or a limit of £40,000 for valuables such as jewellery. In addition the Burton Eurovault Aver is tested to EN14450 S2 for security and approved by both the AIS (Association of Insurance Surveyors) as well as the Police Preferred Specification “Secured by Design” award.

Although available in 6 sizes and all available in both key or digital electronic locking options the Burton Eurovault AVER S2 Size 2E is the most popular.

Opened door showing the shelve.
eurovault_aver_s2_elec_lock_2_1
Closed door showing the flush fit of the Burton Eurovault Aver S2 2E

Pros

  • Fully Certified to Security Level EN14450 S2
  • Lightweight but offers AIS approval to £4000 cash for insurance cover
  • High quality locking mechanism

Cons

  • No Fire resistance – will not protect paper documents in a fire
  • Lightweight – must be secured properly to a solid surface – ideally concrete
  • No key override for those who might forget their code!

Best Home Safe for Fire Resistance in 2015

If fire resistance is your priority in order to protect, for instance, important deeds, birth and marriage certificates, wills and passports then the best value safe available is the Chubbsafes Executive 15K 1 hour Fire Safe with a secure key operated lock.

This safe does exactly what it says on the box – protects your valuable paper documentation for a fully certified and tested for 60 minutes to ULClass 350 1 hour in a home fire. The secure key lock provides you with an insurance cash rating of up to £1000, subject to the view of your insurers.

The Executive by Chubbsafes is available in 3 larger sizes as well as the 15K shown and is also available with a digital electronic lock instead of the key operation.

Chubbsafes Executive 15K 1 hour Fire Safe Key Lock-executive_15_kl_002_2Chubbsafes Executive 15K 1 hour Fire Safe Key Lock-gu-executive_25_details_013_2 Chubbsafes Executive 15K 1 hour Fire Safe Key Lock-executive_15_kl_003_2

Pros

  • Fully Certified to Fire resistance UL Class 350 for 60 minutes
  • Can be bolted through base for security
  • High quality EN1300 key lock

Cons

  • No independent security certification – not principally designed to resist burglary
  • Advisory insurance cash rating is only £1000 if bolted down
  • Really designed for safe storage of important paper documents only

Best Home Safe for Higher Security in 2015

For those who require a safe that is secure enough to store higher value cash or more precious valuables then the Dudley Compact 5000 Security Cash Safe Size 00 is perfect.

It offers a traditional small British Made safe with an Insurance Cash Rating of £5000, which is equivalent to £50,000 of valuables. This safe, although small, weighs a whopping 83kg – just over 13 stones!

This quality safe designed and manufactured in Britain and offers real security, if bolted securely. AIS approved, so your insurers will love it, and with a Class A EN1300 certified key lock.

 

Dudley Compact 5000 Security Cash Safe 00-dy-compact5000-00_2Dudley Compact 5000 Security Cash Safe 00-dy-compact5000-00--hinges_1
Dudley Compact 5000 Security Cash Safe 00-dy-compact5000-00-bolts_1

Pros

  • British made safe – small and compact, but really secure
  • AIS approval to £5000 cash for insurance cover
  • High quality EN1300 Key locking mechanism

Cons

  • No Fire resistance – will not protect paper documents in a fire
  • Traditional solid design – not to everyone’s taste
  • Weighs 13 stones – so not easy to deliver via stairs

Best Home Safe on a Budget in 2015

If you only need a safe to protect low value items or if you believe that your building is pretty secure from break-ins then a budget security safe should be sufficient for your needs and will protect you from any opportunistic theft.

There are many to choose from, but one that stands out from the crowd is the new Phoenix Vela Security Safes.

The VELA range includes a variety of models, but the most useful is the Phoenix Vela SS0803E Digital Laptop Size Security Safe – a security safe that is wide enough to accommodate most Laptop computers or tablets such as the Apple iPad, but also can store cash, jewellery, passports and cameras.

Phoenix Vela SS0803E-ss0803e_3_

Pros

  • Smart up to date design and colour
  • Really easy to use keypad with soft touch buttons
  • Large enough for most laptop and tablet computers

Cons

  • No Fire resistance – will not protect paper documents in a fire
  • Lightweight – must be secured properly to a solid surface – ideally concrete
  • Advisory cash insurance of £1000 – not independently certified

Best Home Safe for both Fire and Security in 2015

For those who want complete protection then the Burton Firesec 4/60 Size 2 S2 Security Fire Safe Digital offers a full 1 hours fire protection from fire plus it will keep those pesky burglars away with the certified EN14450 S2 test that provides you with a Cash Insurance rating of £4000 or £40,000 for your valuable jewellery.

In addition the safe comes complete with expansion bolts to secure the safe to the ground. The Firesec Size 2 weighs in at 81kg (12 stones) and its external dimensions are roughly an 18” cube – neat enough to fit anywhere.

The three point locking bolts and with fixed bolts on the hinge side of the door offer superior security and the Independent fire resistant test – EN15659 LFS 60P for 1 hour will protect your important paper documents from damage from heat.

Burton Firesec 4:60 Size 2 S2-bu-firesec-4-60-size-2-b_2Burton Firesec 4:60 Size 2 S2-bu-firesec-4-60-size-2-c_1Burton Firesec 4:60 Size 2 S2-bu-firesec-group-b_1

Pros

  • Fire resistance is certified for 1 hour to EN15659 LFS 60P
  • Fully Certified to Security Level EN14450 S2
  • Full AIS approval to £4000 cash for insurance cover

Cons

  • Getting both Fire and Security certification adds extra cost to price
  • Extra fire insulation reduces storage capacity

 

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