Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, a large number of people have made the tremendous effort of transitioning work from the office to the home. For a significant number this is going to be a long-term change to a new “normal”, despite the encouraging trial news on vaccines.
As we go to press we are in another lockdown to be followed by stringent measures in the new tier systems across the UK. Although home burglaries have fallen during lockdown, the influx of additional computer equipment, documentation and in some cases stock, has led many homeworkers to reconsider their home security measures, presenting the safe industry with an opportunity to increase sales.
Creating a safe space
Still one of the most effective ways of protecting valuables, Burg-Wächter believes that safes should be the last line of defence for any home or office. Retailers and installers will already appreciate that the demand for safes is as diverse as the range of potential customers. Most of the time it’s individual home owners looking for a simple safe to lock away valuables and important documents. Next up are the local businesses handling cash; from restaurants and retailers looking to secure cash, to offices, accountants and solicitors with a need to secure important data and documents. Add to that the small executive housing developer, local hotel and even pharmacy all looking for advice on safes, it’s easy to see why it’s important to have access to a wide range of safe solutions via a reliable and well-resourced channel.
To realise the potential of this growing marketplace, retailers need safes that are easy to sell at a price that gives a good return, to customers who are happy with the product and its installation. Before seeking professional advice, customers will often have a pre-determined idea about the size and cash/valuables rating for the safe they need to meet their insurer’s requirements. However, it’s important to establish what the customer is going to put in the safe, and what they are seeking to guard against before discussing the most suitable options available. Doing this from the outset will not only ensure customers’ needs are met, but it also provides opportunities for upselling features and protection levels.
Making the Grade
In the current economic climate there is a temptation for retailers, installers and manufacturers to engage in a race to the bottom. Ultimately this race will lead to so called “safes” that are nothing more than glorified cash boxes that fail to meet customers’ needs. Independently certified and graded safes provide an opportunity to upsell to a model that is not only fit for purpose, but also offers higher profits.
A common misconception amongst customers is that fire and insurance/cash ratings are related, and that a high cash value rated safe will also offer adequate protection fire damage. Customers need advising that these ratings are entirely separate. Regardless of which rating is the most relevant to each particular customer, it is vital that the advertised ratings for models with cash ratings of £4,000 and above have been properly tested and approved by an independent body such as VdS or ECBs.
One of the first things customers will look for is the “AiS approved logo” which indicates the specified safe rating will be recognised for insurance purposes. Only safes that are tested at an AiS recognised testing centre to the attack prevention standard EN 14450 and above are allowed to display the “AiS approved” logo. Anecdotal evidence suggests that most burglars will take safes off site if they can, where they have more time, tools and privacy to break it open. Customers need reminding that for insurance ratings to be valid in the event of a claim, the safe must be properly installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, ideally by a professional.
Fire ratings are a slightly hotter topic of debate, as they are usually expressed in terms of how long the interior of the safe maintains a temperature below the threshold in which paper combusts. A higher fire rating is taken for safes designed to store digital/magnetic media and film which are more sensitive to heat. The strict fire rating of EN 15659 is the one to advise customers to look for as this provides a more through test then others in the market.
Space is also an important consideration, as is location and fixing method. It is also worth discussing the frequency and number of people requiring access to the safe’s contents, as this will help customers select the most appropriate locking mechanism, whether it’s timed, keyed, digital or biometric. For the fashion conscious, modern safes can be produced in any high gloss colour to complement the décor.
BSVTA members are able offer not only the widest range of AiS approved certified safes, but also the training, support services and sales materials needed to make the most of this growing marketplace.
Coinciding with its 100yr anniversary, Burg-Wächter has comprehensively reviewed and revised its safe range with new models, features and superior EN1300A/B locking mechanisms, proving that it still remains at the forefront of innovation after a century of producing reliable and trusted security solutions.