Fire or Security Safe?

Choosing Between a Fire or Security Safe. Which should I buy?

  • Fire Resistant Safes – What Protection Against Fire Do You Need?
  • High Security Safes – Understand Security Safe Ratings Home or Business – Which Safes Are Best?
  • Which Brand Of Safe? – See Our Highlights Of Each Brand



Fire safes are essential to protect your documents and valuable items from the smoke and heat damage caused by fire.

Safe Options offer a wide range of fire resistant storage for both paper and electronic data.

Fire Protection Certificates

Most safes have a fire resistance standard which shows how much protection it offers against fire. In the UK there is a set standard for safes to determine their ability to withstand prolonged intense heat and the resulting damage. Ratings for fire safes are given in units of time ranging from 15 minutes of protection at relatively low temperatures to 3 hours. The level of protection against fire you require will vary depending on whether you wish to store just paper documents or electronic media.

Fire Paper Safes

Fire document safes, filing cabinets and cupboards offer protection for important paper documents, such as wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, contracts, exam papers, employee information and classified information. Paper documents are protected to withstand temperatures up to 177 degrees C, which is the temperature at which paper combusts.

Fire Data Safes

Fire Data Safes are used to store back-up tapes, plastic computer media, external hard drives, USB sticks, DVDs and negatives. Fire resistant data safes are specifically designed to protect media against the damage caused by high humidity, liquids, magnetic fields, dust and smoke. The insulation on a fire data safe is thicker than that of a safe designed for just paper documents because electronic media melts at much lower temperatures than paper. The internal dimensions of these safes are therefore much smaller.


High security safes are designed to offer protection against theft. Security safes are rated to indicate how secure they are against theft.

Cash Ratings

The rating used to show how secure safes are is called “Cash Ratings”. This is the monetary amount an insurance underwriter would usually insure the contents of the safe for.

The higher the Cash Rating is, the better the protection will be.

For some valuables and most jewellery this figure would be multiplied by a factor of ten which means that you can store ten times the insurance cash rating. So if for example, your cash rating is £5,000 your insurance company will provide cover for loss of cash up to £5,000 and valuables up to £50,000.

Eurograde Ratings

The highest level of security safe is Eurograde rated. These are recommended by all leading insurers for the highest protection against burglary.

Eurograde safes are tested to the European wide security standard EN-1143-1. This means that the safe has undergone testing where it is attacked with a set list of tools and the time taken to break in is recorded. A score is then given based on the tools used and the time taken to gain entry.

Ratings range from Grade 0 to Grade 6 with 0 being the lowest and 6 being the highest. Grade 0 has a cash rating of £6,000 or a valuables rating of £60,000 and Grade 6 has the highest level of security protection with a cash rating of £150,000 and a valuables rating of £1,500,000.

Home or Business Safe, Which are Best for my Needs?

Whether you’re looking for a safe or your home, or for your office or business, you need to choose one that fits your requirements.

Home Safes

Home Safes vary in size and type depending on where you wish them to be located.

Small Fire Safes are ideal for the storage of small valuable items such as keys, passports, money, mobile phones and jewellery.  They are compact and can often be stored in both houses or vehicles.

Wall mounted safes offer a higher level of security as they are attached to the wall and offer more of a deterrent to thieves.

Underfloor safes combine security and concealment and are doubly secure when they are buried in weldmesh reinforced concrete.


Different businesses will require different types and sizes of safe depending on the nature of the business. Safes are available for all business from the retail sector through to schools and the NHS.

Fire Resistant Filing Cabinets are for any business looking for protection for important paper documents. They are especially useful for filing school exam papers and legal documents for solicitors.

Large Fire Resistant Cabinets and Cupboards are for the storage of bulky items such as document files, power tools, mobile phones, laptops, high value bulky products, school, college and university exam papers.

Hotel Room Safes are ideal for hotels, hospitals, student accommodation and nursing homes. Some can fit laptops. They are designed so that any new user programmes a personal code when opening or closing the safe and a master code can be programmed so that the safe can be opened in an emergency or when the user has left.

Fire Data Safes and Chests are designed to protect important electronic business data and back-up media.

Till Safes are designed to store drawers to protect till float from theft.

Money Deposit Safes and Night Drop Safes offer protection for businesses where cash is collected in public areas such as shops, petrol stations and off licences. Cash and valuables can be stored securely without the need to open the safe to deposit it.



Different brands of safe offer different features depending on requirements such as whether the safe is for paper or data storage and if it is Eurograde Approved.

Phoenix Safes

Phoenix are the world leader in fire resistant storage for paper documents, plastic computer media, Back-up tapes and Negatives.

For protection of paper documents choose Phoenix Firefighter Safes, Phoenix Titan Fire and Security safes, Phoenix Fire Commander, Fire Ranger and Firechief Cabinets, Phoenix Fire Document chests and Phoenix Excel Fire Filing Cabinets.

For protection of electronic data, Phoenix offer their Phoenix Fire Datacare and Data Commander Safes with the options of 30, 60 or 120 minutes fire resistance. All Phoenix fire and security safes are independently tested.

Burton Safes

Burton Safes are the market leaders for AIS approved Eurograde high security safes, Hotel Safes and Deposit Drop Safes.

For home and business security storage the Burton Gold Torino Security Safe is the market leader and is recommended by Which? consumer magazine. It can store unto £4000 in cash or £40,000 in valuables such as jewellery and has been tested to the S2 class of the european test certificate EN14450.

Safe Options is the main distributor for Burton Safes.


Chubbsafes are the experts in the Safe storage of large amounts of cash – From £6000 up to £150,000 and valuables, such as jewellery, from £60,000 up to £1.5 million.

The Chubb DuoGard demonstrates their proven anti-burglary technology, which has been tested to the highest world standards.

ProGard and Chubb Trident Eurograde Tested Security Safes weigh from 100kg up to 1000kg and have been tested to the European standard, EN-1143-1, by the premier european testing house, ECBS, which is the only test approved by the AIS – the Association of Insurance Surveyors. This test certificate is the only fully approved test accepted by the British Insurance sector for the safe storage of cash and valuables.


Rosengrens Tann of Sweden are the world’s leading manufacturer of Fire Resistant Storage for computer media.

Rosengrens Polaris Fire Media Safes are acknowledged as being the premier product for storing Tape back-up cassettes. Rosengrens Polaris was chosen by leading Blue Chip companies and the British Government as their preferred option. The Polaris has been tested to the European standard EN1047 by the ECBS and to UL standards for plastic data media including DLT, LTO and DAT tapes

Safe Options takes great pride in being the elite UK distributor of Rosengren products.


Churchill Safes are the world’s leading manufacturer of underfloor safes – they are experts in underfloor technology because it is their sole product.

Churchill safes offer the widest range of underloor safes – drop safes, deposit safes, high security tested safes with cash ratings from £6000 up to £35,000. The range has the Domestic with a cash rating of £4000 right up to the Emerald with a £35,000 recommended cash rating. For bulkier valuables choose the Churchill Bulldog with a larger capacity and a large rectangular door for easier depositing and retrieval of cash or valuables.


Sentry are world renowned for Fire Safes which are tested to the most stringent UL or ETL standards in the USA to resist the effects of fire and heat.

Safe Options is the leading online distributor of Sentry Fire Safes in the UK.


Securikey safes offer protection from theft for cash, valuables or laptops for homes and offices.

The Securikey MiniVault offers an advisory cash rating of £3000 for the standard version or £4000 for the FR model which also offers fire resistance for paper documents. There is a choice of key or digital locking.


Eurograde tested safes are the most secure anti burglary safes.

Eurograde safes are recommended by all British Insurers if they are tested to EN1143-1 by the ECBS testing house. Any safe with the AIS label (Association of Insurance Surveyors) ensures that the safe has been tested by an approved testing house.

All Chubbsafes Eurograde safes and Burton Aver, Burton Firesec and Burton Biosec Eurograde Safes are fully approved.

Safe Options has been providing Safes online since 2001 and are now the most respected security retailer in the UK. Our goal is always to offer impartial advice as we can offer all the major brands of safes available within the UK.

Our customer advisors are fully trained to provide informative and helpful advice via our Freephone number – 0800 567 7549 – or via our online help desk where we normally average a response within 1-2 hours or sooner if possible.

Due to the high volume of business we gather we can offer the best deals and the finest after sales service from all our suppliers. We offer the same level of service whether your safe is for a home, a business or for the Public sector such as Schools, the NHS or Government.