Safe and Sound – is the jewellery in your safe as secure as it could be?

2 minutes

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a worrying rise in the number of home safes that are being stolen, along with their precious contents. Modern safes, whilst still conforming to the relevant standards, are often lighter than their older counterparts and, consequently, easier to lift and move.

Years ago, a Grade 1 safe would weigh over 100kg and would be very difficult to physically manhandle and remove from the home. Nowadays, some Grade 1 safes weigh as little as 50kg. These safes, once detached from their fixings, can be picked up, stolen, and then opened off-site with little danger of interruption.

Mike Cripps, Private Clients and Insurance Liaison Manager at TSI Security, comments that:

“More safes are now being removed from domestic dwellings than, say, even 10 years ago. The two big factors for this are: safes are often far too light, and are not fixed correctly. I would also say that we will be seeing more domestic safes being stolen as time goes on – which is a sad fact.”

How to install a safe correctly

We advise all our clients to use a professional safe company when installing a safe – not a general builder. A good safe installation company will survey your home before the installation and ensure that your safe is properly fitted so that it can’t be easily removed. As a broker, we’ve had claims in the last 12 months where the safe was screwed to plywood wardrobe shelves or not fixed at all.

Mike Cripps comments:

“Any safe with a weight of less than 1000kg needs to be fixed professionally. It’s important that the correct fixing bolts are used. Homes with underfloor heating, or those who choose to place their safe in a basement which has had water tanking carried out, may need another method like industrial bonding.

Sometimes rear fixing a safe to a solid wall can be carried out, also the use of a bespoke steel or concrete plinth can help gain a stronger fixing. However, always consult with a recognised and established safe & vault company or speak to your insurance broker who may have companies they can recommend.”

A professional safe installer will certify their installers, not outsource the fitting, and your details will be kept secure. You’ll also get the best advice as to which safe will suit your needs, meet your insurer’s requirements, and accommodate any future jewellery purchases.

Safes and home insurance

Having a home safe can influence your home insurance premiums or be a condition of a home insurance policy. Insurers can limit some items as being insured in the safe only, or you may have a floating limit – particularly if you don’t wear all of your jewellery and watches all of the time.

A home safe must be approved by an insurer and be of sufficient quality to protect the balance of jewellery left in it. Home safes are graded:a Grade 1 safe, for example, is good for up to £100,000 of jewellery.

The professional installation of a home safe is often an insurer requirement. Simply relying on a safe being hidden in the home is not good enough – thieves will find it and we have examples of this. All you are doing is putting your valuables in a handy takeaway box.

How a broker can help

A specialist home insurance broker, like Howden, can talk to you about your property and make security and safety recommendations. This can be for safes, alarms, cameras, and locks, as well as smart home technology.

We can introduce you to security companies and help advise as to what rating your safe should have. It’s just one of the many benefits of using a broker. 

For specific advice on home safes, Howden recommends:

TSI Security


To speak to Howden about insuring your jewellery call 020 8256 4901 or email