As standard, all Certified Safes Ireland™ safes intended for the secure storage of a valuable watch collection come with an integrated VdS certified wiring channel. This allows a watch winder and alarm integration cable to pass into the safe along a protected and certified cable route without the need to drill an additional hole into the barrier material that may invalidate the safes burglary resistance certification. Each safe we supply for watch collections comes prepared with mountings for seismic sensors and door contacts allowing you to integrate your safe immediately with alarm, duress and audit monitoring or to upgrade at a later date if it becomes a condition of insurance cover as your collection grows in value.
Our extensive range of Austrian, German, and Scandinavian manufactured safes not only have the highest level of accredited European burglary resistance certification available but can also be customised with off the shelf components such as pull-out collectors’ shelves, lockable drawers, pull out drawers and lockable compartments. If a bespoke solution is more what you had in mind, we can provide for any and all designer options, from simple RAL colour options, to working closely with Italian and Scandinavian design studios to customise your safe to integrate with and compliment existing aesthetics.
Bvlgari, Boodles, Brown Thomas, Isle of Man Gold Bullion, N.A.T.O. Europe, The U.S. Air Force (Europe), PayPal (Worldwide), Grant Thornton, The Department Of Communications (NCSC Cyber Security) (Ireland), The Revenue Commissioners, Electricity Supply Board (Cyber Security) (Ireland), The Danish Defence Forces (Afghanistan), The Insurance Institute of Ireland, The Royal College Of Surgeons, BFC Bank, Interxion Data Centres, The Private Security Authority, Druids Glen, The Shelbourne Hotel, and many others ....
Our seminars on safes, strongrooms and HNW secure storage have been part of Continuing Professional Development for underwriters and insurers having been awarded CPD points by the Insurance Institute of Ireland and the Chartered Insurance Institute (UK).
Home surveys are free of charge, without obligation and entirely confidential. We have years of experience installing home safes both large and small into houses built in Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian eras, common in Ireland. We are regularly referred by architects, insurers and wealth managers who appreciate the knowledge of structure and diligence required when fitting a home safe into an older and sometimes protected structure.
What Accredited European Burglary And Fire Resistance Certification Looks Like
EU Parliament regulation 765/2008 created the system that provides the legal basis of accreditation for the certification of safes for both fire and burglary resistance to European standards. This system is backed by regular auditing and market surveillance and is verifiable, proof of standard for litigation purposes. If you consider that 70% of safes tested for burglary resistance by accredited European testing labs fail on the first attempt the implications of accepting unaccredited claims of burglary or fire resistance are obvious.
A safe with properly accredited European certification will display at least one stamped metal certification plate on the inside of the door. This will always be a stamped metal plate, never a sticker. An accredited certification plate for a safe will display the logo of an accredited certification body, burglary or fire resistance grade, and most importantly confirmation that the certification body is accredited to ISO/IEC 17065. This is legal assurance that the certifier is accredited under European law. The same information will be available on accredited certification documents which are freely available and should always be asked for.
If a safe is certified for both burglary and fire resistance this will be indicated on two separate plates.
Below are logos of the four certification bodies with European accreditation to certify safes for burglary resistance that you are likely to encounter on a genuine certification plate in Ireland.
In the current market the majority of safes and cabinets that safe suppliers claim have an accredited certification of fire resistance have no such certification whatsoever. Often this is a side-effect of an ignorance of fire resistance standards for safes but as is the case with burglary resistance certification, technically there is nothing illegal about stating that a particular safe has a certain fire resistance as it may simply be a statement of opinion, so it is of primary importance that when it is claimed that a safe has fire resistance, we always ask, has the fire resistance claim been tested and certified, and if so, certified by who?
Below are logos of the two certification bodies with European accreditation to certify safes for fire resistance that you are likely to encounter on a genuine certification plate in Ireland.
Common Unaccredited Burglary And Fire Resistance Marks
The Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) (UK)The Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) (UK) is a mark commonly encountered in the Irish market. LPCB has issued "certification" plates for safes (European standard EN1143-1) and secure cabinets (European standard EN14450) for many years, despite the fact LPCB has never been an accredited certification body for the burglary resistance of safes, not even in the UK, according to the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). LPCB "certification" plates are in a similar format to properly accredited European certification, however, an ISO/IEC17065 accreditation which will be present on most accredited certification plates will be absent from an LPCB plate. The fact that LPCB claim to certify their own tests runs counter to any norms in Europe where both the tester and the certifier are legally required to be independent bodies. LPCB certification claims should not be confused with properly accredited European certification, which has a basis in European law as proof of standard, and on which all safe ratings in Europe are based.
Nordtest NT FIRE 017The most common unaccreited mark you will come across in the Irish market is without doubt the NT FIRE 017 mark. NT FIRE 017 is a conformity assessment of Nordtest originally founded in 1973 under the Nordic Council of Ministers. This is NOT a European standard.
NT017 may be applied to safes and cabinets of identical construction to a tested unit, provided that the external volume of the untested units are not less than half of, and not more than twice the volume of the tested unit. This means in a series of five sizes it is usually only necessary that one unit is tested, leaving the majority of cabinets and safes marked NT017 in such a series not tested. Additionally internal heat during the NT017 test is measured by thermocouples (sensors used to measure temperature ) placed at the centre of internal panels rather than at the corners as is the case with European and US testing. This placement of thermocouples will of course produce a more favourable result as panels will heat from edges to the centre during a fire. Additionally, NT017 does not include a drop test to simulate structural collapse of the kind that would likely happen in an intense fire.
Anchoring A Safe To EN1143-1
EN1143-1 certification is void for a safe that has not been anchored but some safe installers idea of what constitutes “anchoring” can differ wildly from others. The benchmark for the correct anchoring of a certified safe is a replication of the laboratory test anchoring force. This means an anchor designed to achieve a holding force of 50kN (5.089 tons) for a safe up to grade III and 100kN (11.24 tons) over that grade, holding forces that rule out removing a safe under most circumstances.
All certified safes come with a bolt suitable for achieving these anchoring forces, so it is really down to the installer of the safe being familiar with the correct anchoring method. As with certification, always ask for a certificate of anchorage with the anchoring force the installation was designed to achieve indicated on the document. If an installer can not tell you how such anchoring forces are to be achieved this should be a red flag.
Monitoring Your Safe Via Local Alarm
In the context of a safe, a seismic sensor is a small high security alarm signalling device that monitors vibration and temperature, specifically configured to detect prising attacks, drill attacks, cutting discs as well as hydraulic and thermal tools. When using seismic sensors on a safe, it is important to understand that these devices should be configured by an alarm installer to always be on, even if the alarm is switched off. Seismic sensors will not be triggered by normal safe use. At Certified Safes Ireland™ we recommend the installation of two EN50131 compatible seismic sensors as An Garda Síochána (Irish Police) alarm response guidelines require two verified intruder alarm sensor activations to trigger an alarm response. Having two sensors located inside the safe should therefore ensure you get response to an attempted burglary, even if the local alarm system is switched off.
Most certified digital locks can be monitored via an alarm system via a certified and compatible Alarm Module. With an alarm module in place if you are put under any type of duress the addition of a digit to your normal access code when opening a safe will trigger a silent panic alarm. This is a very powerful tool if you are in a position where you may be held-up at home or work.
A critically important aspect of the addition any type of alarm integration is that all wiring and alarm monitoring devices are kept inside the safe protected from tampering and unauthorised view. Wiring on the outside of a safe is both an unnecessary and unacceptable security risk. It should not be accepted for the following reasons:
- External wiring advertises the presence of alarm monitoring and the possibility of duress signalling to anyone who sees the safe.
- Provides the opportunity to circumvent or tamper with the alarm devices or wiring.
- If it is necessary to connect to a safe lock many technicians will drill through the barrier material of the safe, even the safe door, severely compromising the safe’s security as well as its certification for burglary resistance.
- The possibility of accidental damage to the equipment, particularly in a commercial setting.
- It is not the most attractive approach particularly for a residential or luxury safe.
In the case of the safe shown below there is no need for a door loop to carry cables within the safe as this particular model has an integrated VdS certified alarm cable channel. This safe is shown with a draw cable and in the second picture fitted with alarm cable housed inside a stainless steel cable protector.
Digital V Mechanical Safe Locks
It has always been possible to open a mechanically locked safe by manipulation leaving no trace of entry. Both the knowledge and tools to defeat most mechanical safes locks are now very easily obtained and of course keys for safes are also easily copied, even from a photograph. In comparison, the penalty lockout feature of a certified digital safe lock shuts a safe lock down for ten minutes if four incorrect codes are entered in a row. With the ability to interface with duress and alarm modules, unavailable for a mechanical lock, mechanical access control for a safe has been phased out in most of Europe. The Irish Safes Ratings Group (ISRG) and An Garda Síochána recommend certified digital safe locking over mechanical for security reasons.
Always insist on a digital lock certified to European standard EN1300. If alarm integration is to be used in conjunction with the safe lock, all alarm integration components need to be certified to the European alarm standard EN50131 as alarm signalling devices, in order to elicit a police response.
Protecting Your Confidentiality
As Government and NATO contractors Certified Safes Ireland™ understand the need for confidentiality and will always respect yours. We guarantee the confidentiality of all of our private clients. Any photos taken for survey purposes have location data removed and are erased directly after use unless directed otherwise by the client. All booking records and client information pertaining to completed work is anonymised across all of our systems at the end of each month in compliance with the G.D.P.R
Certified Safes Ireland™ director Alan Donohoe Redd is a member of the European CEN263 Working Group responsible for writing European Standards for safes, strongrooms (vaults), secure cabinets and physical data protection for the European Union. A registered NATO supplier and a longstanding member of the European Security Systems Association, Alan has a vast range of experience spanning almost 40 years and encompassing installation of safes, strongrooms, physical data protection, CCTV, alarms, access control, secure storage control systems and Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) specification, design, and installation.
Alan is an expert on standards and fraud issues related to secure storage in Europe and the UK, has had articles related to these subjects published by The Law Society Gazette and Irish Broker Magazine, has forced retractions of multiple false claims related to secure storage offerings to the public, including some published by the Irish Times, and has been pivotal in having misleading standards and practises recognised and withdrawn in Ireland, the UK and at a European level.
Due Diligence Notes
Contrary to what many people may believe the profession of "Locksmith" has long been recognised as one almost completely separate from the supply and installation of safes and strongrooms in the E.U. With most insurers and An Garda Síochána (Irish Police) advising against the use of mechanical locks on safes due to the ease of opening via non-invasive manipulation, the last connection between these two professions is quickly disappearing. There are exceptions to every rule, and a locksmith may have the necessary knowledge to correctly specify, survey for, and anchor a certified safe, however, most locksmiths have very little knowledge in relation to European standards for safes and The Private Security Authority (PSA) does not require any qualifications to issue a locksmith license.
Ireland and the UK are notorious black spots for fraud and misrepresentation in the safe supply sector. Well-known safe suppliers being penalised for tax evasion and having served time in jail are just some indications of a wide range of malpractice and illegal activity throughout the safe supply industry. We strongly encourage due diligence before engaging a safe supplier or having someone survey your home or business, irrespective of who recommends them.