Underfloor Safes Warning
Under floor Safes are experiencing a resurgence in popularity recently. Units in a large range of designs, many imported from China have become available very cheaply to the trade.
As the main cost of an underfloor safe is labour in fitting, selling an underfloor safe is a very profitable proposition to many suppliers but there are also many problems and dangers associated with underfloor safes that aren't advertised.
There Is NO Certified Insurance Cover On Any Under Floor Safe
This is probably the most important factor against underfloor safes.
No underfloor safe has passed European testing and it is unlikely any safe ever will. The main protection against attack for the underfloor safe is the concrete around it. As this is down to the fitting there is no way to gauge it's effectiveness. It is also unlikely this would be greater than a mid level safe at best.
Incorrect Fitting Can Lead To Serious Structural Problems
If fitted incorrectly an under floor safe can cause a serious problem with damp course of your floor.
It has to be said that the majority of under floor safes we have seen weren’t fitted correctly. When a hole is excavated for an under floor safe it has to be below the level of your houses damp course. This hole then needs to be re-sealed against damp at the lower level with a perfectly smooth finish before fitting the safe.
The result of not doing this correctly can be dampness rising throughout the floor and adjacent walls and severe damage to the safe and its contents. In some cases floors eventually have to be replaced.
Expensive To Install And Cannot Be Moved
Given that an under floor safe is encased in cement it isn't possible to move at a later date.
Compare this to a properly certified safe that has been bolted to a floor to EN1143-1 specification of 50kN / 100kN (5/10 Tons). If at a later date it is decided to relocate the safe the safe can be unbolted and moved.
This provides its owner with a flexible certified safe as opposed to an uncertified unit with quite limited attributes.
The other thing to bear in mind is that a properly certified grade 1 safe for example, is probably cheaper compared to the cost of an under floor safe including installation.
Limited Physical Security
The main point of attack for an under floor safe is its door and this, due to the wide range of cheap imports, is usually far below the resistance standard of even a grade S2 cabinet.
Consequently opening most under floor safes is quite a straight forward task for even an amateur burglar and drilling is made a lot easier by the safe’s location.
As there is no testing and certification for under floor safes, the market is wide open to very poor quality units sold cheaply by unscrupulous suppliers.
Do not expect an under floor safe to withstand a competent attack. It probably won’t.
Corrosion Is A Very Common Issue
The temperature differential between the inside and the outside of the safe will cause condensation on the safe lid. The lid being the highest point of the safe. Over time this will cause rust.
For this reason your key lock needs to be maintained or you will eventually have a problem. A mechanical combination lock will have similar issues.
Electronic locks are not recommended.