What are the different grades of a safe?

3 minutes

The loss of a valuable item is always tough. Whether it is a favoured piece of jewellery or watch, a precious family heirloom, or a piece which represents a cherished memory, the loss can stay with you.

As we face an uncertain economic climate, there may be an increase in criminal activity as some look for “alternative” methods to get cash, so it’s more vital than ever to take precautions and look at what protection is in place for those prized possessions.

A home safe is a great way to protect your valuables, it being the last line of defence against a potential threat. However, choosing a safe can be a bit of a minefield so here’s some advice.

How safes are graded and what this means

There is a wide range of safes on the market, most of which are rated to identify the total value that they are able to hold.

A good safe will have a European grading or “Eurograde”. The grade of a safe is determined after extensive testing by an independent certification body including LPCB, VDS and ECB-S. The harder it is to gain access to the safe, or the longer it can withstand an attack, the higher the grade will be. Watch out for safes with an apparent rating that hasn’t been independently certified.

Each grade has a designated “cash and valuables” rating. Simply put, the value of items kept in the safe should not exceed the corresponding cash or valuables rating, so it’s important to look at what you are wanting to protect and choose a suitable grade.

Safe ratings

Safes with a grade have been tested to meet the European Standard EN1143-1 and can withstand much higher levels of attack than a safe without a grade. Grades range from 0 to 7, with ratings broken down as follows. Note that the valuables rating may vary from insurer to insurer, so you should always check with your insurer or broker before buying a safe

  • Grade 0 – cash rating of £6,000 / valuables rating of £60,000
  • Grade 1 – cash rating of £10,000 / valuables rating of £100,000
  • Grade 2 – cash rating of £17,500 / valuables rating of £175,000
  • Grade 3 – cash rating of £35,000 / valuables rating of £350,000
  • Grade 4 – cash rating of £60,000 / valuables rating of £600,000
  • Grade 5 – cash rating of £100,000 / valuables rating of £1,000,000
  • Grade 6 – cash rating of £150,000 / valuables rating of £1,500,000
  • Grade 7 – cash rating of £250,000 / valuables rating of £2,500,000

Each grade is available in a range of sizes – though as the grades get higher, the size increases.

Secure storage units

Grade S1 and Grade S2 safes, governed by EN-14450,  shouldn’t be confused with Grade 1 and Grade 2 safes. In fact, these are technically “secure safe cabinets” and have lower ratings than Eurograde safes.

Grade S1 – cash rating of £2,000, valuables rating of £20,000

Grade S2 – cash rating of £4,000, valuables rating of £40,000

Here are some other considerations when choosing a safe:

  • Select a safe to suit your longer-term requirements and consider the next grade up so that you’re future-proofed against new valuables purchased. The cost of a later upgrade can be quite costly as opposed to an initial slightly bigger outlay.
  • The rating of a safe may be increased by an insurer if the safe is linked to the home intruder alarm, by installing an anti-duress device, or with additional technology such as TSI’s Prosync device Home.
  • Professional installation is essential. The grade of a safe means nothing if an intruder can simply walk out of the home with it. 
  • A safe doesn’t just protect against theft; it can also protect against other threats such as fire and water damage.

Home safes and home insurance

Having a home safe can influence home insurance premiums or be a condition of a home insurance policy.  It’s therefore important that you have a safe which meets your insurer’s requirements – if you don’t then you may not be covered in the event of a claim. A specialist home insurance broker, like Aston Lark, 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. It’s just one of the many benefits of using a broker. For more benefits, read our article: Why you need a broker for your home insurance.

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