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The Safe Certification And Insurance Checklist

February 3, 2015

A guide to professional assessment of certified safes for insurance purposesAlan-Redd.jpg

In cases of theft, one would expect that the contents of a household or business safe should be covered by the homeowners or business insurance policy but increasingly many businesses and individuals are finding after a robbery that this is not the case.

Alan Donohoe Redd
M.D. M.Sec.I.I., Cash Security Systems Ltd.
 

When it comes to insuring the contents of a safe it is the insured party’s responsibility to see that all details such as certification, location and fitting of the safe are correct and as detailed to the insurer. Insurance companies may only inspect these details after a robbery occurs and are now increasingly aware of the many issues that will result in a denied claim.

Genuine European Certification

A safe’s certification has to be awarded by a certification body that has European accreditation according to European standard ISO/IEC 17065 in order to be valid in the E.U. This accreditation is a guarantee that the certification body in question has the same rigorous standards as its accredited counterparts throughout Europe and conducts its tests using properly regulated test houses.

Regulated test houses test safes and vaults for overnight insurance purposes according to their resistance to attack and the results are then graded by the certification body. When a safe is tested and graded according to European standards it has a certification badge fixed to the inside of its door stating its grade in Roman numerals, its weight and its type.

Regulated test houses test safes and vaults for overnight insurance purposes according to their resistance to attack and the results are then graded by the certification body. When a safe is tested and graded according to European standards it has a certification badge fixed to the inside of its door stating its grade in Roman numerals, its weight and its type.

genuine_certified_deposit_safe.jpg

Certification Bodies Currently Accredited To Certify Safes In Europe; 

• CNPP – France
 
• ECBS - Germany,
 
• ICIM - Italy,
 
• SBSC– Sweden,
 
• VdS - Germany
 

EN1143-1 is the non deposit safe standard whereas EN1143-2 and EN1143-2D is only used for deposit safes. EN1143-2N is for specialist night deposit systems only.

Invalid Certification

There are a number of factors that can render accredited certification and therefore insurance cover void.

Not Anchored

All certified safes which weigh below 1000kg must be properly anchored to a floor or solid wall. All certified safes are supplied with anchoring kits for this very purpose along with instructions on how to anchor correctly. 

Counterfeit Safes

Something that affects mainly low quality second hand safes that have been re-sprayed and relabelled as higher grades or other brands. In cases like this the certification badge inside the door will be missing or suspect, the safe body will probably not resemble the actual product and brand labels if present will usually not look original. In these circumstances the counterfeiter is relying on the assessor’s lack of knowledge leading to the label or invoice description being taken at face value. The practice of counterfeiting is widespread in Ireland. 

Uncertified Deposit Systems / Vacuum Cash Transfer Systems

All certified safes tested to the EN1143-1 (non deposit) or EN1143-2 (deposit) standard are tested as they were manufactured and are certified once the test is complete to their proven level of resistance. Once a test certificate has been issued for a particular product only very minor alterations may be permissible such as a lock upgrade or an alarm cable track. Any physical alterations to the unit such as vacuum tube, capsule deposit, or rotary deposit drum all of which involve cutting large apertures into the certified safe body will of course make the EN1143 certification void for all insurance purposes.

Uncertified Modifications

If unauthorised modifications are made to a safe, such as altering the bolt work, replacing the seal or adding a deposit slot then the safe’s burglary or fire certification is no longer valid and the certification label inside the safe should be removed. This is why all product checks, maintenance and customisation must be carried out by trained safe technicians with proven qualifications. 

Insufficient Lock Grade

If a safe carries a burglary protection certificate, then the lock or locks fitted to it must also have been certified according to the safes grade. If not, then the safe’s burglary protection certificate becomes invalid.

Locks are certified in accordance with the EN1300 standard in classes A, B, C, and D respectively, “A”being the lowest grade.

The chart below outlines the number and type of locks that must be used with various grades of safes and vaults in order for them to remain certified. 

Burglary resistance grade (as per EN 1143-1)

Lock configuration as per EN 1300 number of locks and lock class

Safe or Vault Grade               No. of Locks required           Lock Class Per EN1300

0 1 A
1 1 A
11 1 A
111 1 B
1V 2 B
V 2 B
V1 2 C
V11 2 C
V111 2 C
1X 2 C
X 2 C
X1 2 (3) D (C)
X11 2 (3) D (C)
X111 3 D
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Here’s The Five Point Check List For Standard Safes;

1.   Certification:

Check the certification credentials of the safe. Is that certification by an accredited body? If the safe is second hand are the certification labels genuine?  

2.   Documentation:

When reviewing a safe’s documentation watch out for terms such as “recommended cover” this is a red light phrase as this would suggest there is no certified cover other than that “recommended” by the manufacturer.

Big brands are just as guilty of this misleading terminology as small ones. This is particularly true when it comes to deposit safes.

Important Note:

Currently there is no such product as a certified grade five deposit safe yet many big name brands advertise grade five deposit safes. It is only on closer scrutiny you will find that these products have no certification whatsoever. Personally I have encountered many sales representatives who aren’t even aware of this in their own product range. 

3.   Modification:

All certified safes have a certification label fixed to the back of the door. If a label is EN1143-1 but is fixed to any type of deposit safe this means the safe has been altered and is not suitable for insurance. All safes over grade 3 should have two class B locks. If a safe lock has been changed look for the lock certification and ensure it matches the requirement.

4.   Fitting:

Always ensure that the safe supplier has bolted the safe in accordance with its certification. All certified safes which weigh below 1000kg must be properly anchored.

5.   Inspect What You Expect:

Never take an invoice description of a safe at face value. Always look for certification marks on the safe itself or if not on site ask for a valid safe certificate of certification. This should be freely available from any reputable safe supplier and can usually be checked on the respective testing houses web site. 

If you need help:

If you have a mystery safe, have a safe that has been altered or are concerned that there is an issue with documentation      
Safes Ireland.ie are happy to identify any safe, confirm its actual insurance cover, certification validity and advise you on steps you can take to rectify any identified issues free of charge.

They can be contacted on: 01 7076011 or at www.safesireland.ie

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