Safe as houses… Underfloor safes explained.

by | Dec 9, 2014 | 2014 Posts, Safe and Vaults, Uncategorised | 0 comments

Underfloor safes explained in our handy guidance blog. Questions of location, fitting and moisture levels all answered in this informative article.

A little over 5 years ago, Rossells was one of the only places in the area where you could purchase a safe for your home, along with the likes of Macro and Argos (if quality wasn’t as much of a concern). Now although the internet has introduced much good, it has also brought  waves of sellers who are more interested in their sales than actually providing the correct product for their customers and so in the end you find many people blindly buying what they think they need rather than a product which is fit for purpose and of a high quality.

A pair of Burton Underfloor safes with reinforcement kit installed.

It’s impossible to deny the importance of an online presence for any retail business in this day and age and our own online store has already proven this in the short time that it’s been active. Unlike many sellers however, we do insist on a follow up phone call to ensure the customer is certain the product they’re buying is suitable for their requirements. There is so much information out there on anything and everything that it’s sometimes hard to filter through what will actually help you in the real world. This is especially important when it comes to safes and protecting your possessions and ensuring that the steps you’ve taken are not only the best for your needs, but also give you one less thing to worry about. This is why we feel that making contact during the sale process can ensure things go smoother for everyone and really put your mind at ease.

Underfloor safes are essentially a steel box concreted into the floor, usually fitted with a nice lining on the inside to protect your belongings and a convenient cover plate to make it flush with the floor. If they’re properly installed, they are undoubtedly one of the strongest forms of secure storage you can have in your home. The main body of the safe is installed around 6 inches under the level of the floor, and encased in reinforced concrete, so besides a 3 hour stint digging the entire thing out of the floor, it may appear that the only real option of attack is the lid / door (as this is the only visible part of the safe). This is where life gets pretty tough for any prospective burglars as the lid itself is a solid combination of bolts, steel, reinforced plates and anti-explosive devices (aka AED’s). Did we also mention the fact that the lid is around 4 inches under the level of the floor? When the safe is in use, items can be easily placed in and out but as opposed to freestanding safes where all sides are exposed, there’s not much of the overall safe that is visible for attack and what is visible is designed to take the pressure.

Where do they go? Admittedly there are certain limitations to consider as opposed to their freestanding counterparts, but we have installed underfloor safes EVERYWHERE: toilets, kitchens, bedrooms, basements, garages, closets and anywhere else you can imagine (as long as it’s not upstairs). Stage one of the integrated security is definitely keeping it well disguised so it can’t be found in the first place. As long as it’s a standard concrete floor, and free from services, an underfloor safe can be fitted. Even homes with suspended flooring usually offer some alternative to avoid the empty cavities and suitable sites can usually be found in kitchens, garages or under the stairs.

Who installs them? We do! And it comes with the reassurance that the installation has been carried with security at the forefront during every stage of the process. Obviously a keen DIY’er can take up the challenge too, with some equipment hired from your local tool centre. Do bear in mind, however, that some home or buildings insurance policies may not recognise a safe as Professionally Installed unless the process is carried out by a member of the Master Locksmiths Association (as a member, we provide an MLA certificate after each underfloor safe installation as proof of the work carried out).

One of the most commonly asked questions is regarding the moisture levels inside the safe. As long as the existing moisture membrane of the concrete floor is replaced during the installation, there should be no issues with above average humidity inside the safe. This said, many of our customers sometimes choose to store their precious metals or more sensitive items inside sealable bags within the safe as an extra precaution.

So what should you look for when choosing your underfloor safe? The two most important factors are what value or items / cash you wish to secure, and how much room you’re going to require. Both of those affect cost, so it’s essential to find a good balance between our budget, and the actual security requirements. The cash rating of the safes is decided by the insurance companies based on the physical security of the safe and represent the limit that they will pay out for a claim for cash. Whatever the cash rating of the safe is, the valuables / jewellery rating of the safe is 10 times this amount. There are other options to consider such as whether you decide to go for an electronic, or key locking option and on some of the safes you have the option of a gas / hydraulic assisted opening door. This is always useful if you’re looking for a larger opening into the safe and comes as standard on some of the high cash rating safes due to the weight of the lid / door.

Call us today for an informative chat about the options available and associated prices. We’re Leicestershire’s largest safe supplier and preferred installer for the majority of the nationwide retailers. Being members of the Master Locksmiths Association, you can be sure our practices and workmanship are of the highest standard.

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