How to Fit a Floor-Standing Safe
How to Fit a Floor-Standing Safe
What are you going to do with all those small items of value that you have lying around the house? It a problem! The swift and easy low-cost answer is to fit a floor safe — one that tucks away beneath a wooden floor.
Tools and Materials for the Job:
- Top quality BS under-floor safe – one that is designed to fit between the joists – with to fit
- Short bladed floorboard saw
- Cold bolster chisel or wrecking bar
- Pencil and measuring tape
- Bevel-edged chisel
- Screwdriver to fit the screws
1. Separating the Floorboards
Having decided where you want to fit the safe, gently saw through the tongues that link neighbouring floorboards. Be careful not to damage underfloor pipes and cables.
NOTE: if you have afloor, you will have to modify the procedures accordingly.
2. Removing the Floorboards
Use the hammer and the bolster chisel to ease and lever up the boards. Having wedged the board up with a short length of batten, pencil in a guide mark across the board — meaning a mark that is flush with the side of the joists —and cut the board through with the saw.
3. Fitting the Safe and Finishing
Set your safe in place so that it bridges the joists and try it out for fit. Depending on the size and design of your safe, you may have to add extra supports by screwing short trimmers between existing joists. When you are happy with the fit, take the chisel and cut a rebate for the fitting flange — so that the safe fits flush with the top of the joists. Finally,the safe in place, sand and polish all the sawn edges of the boards, and set them in place so that the safe is hidden from view.
Although marking property and compiling descriptions are very important methods of protecting your property, it makes sense to further secure those items that are commonly stolen in burglaries (cash and jewellery) by them in a safe.
Safes come in various sizes, shapes and weights, and provide a good level of protection for cash and other valuable items, such as jewellery, important documents and data. Some people have to install a safe as a condition of their insurance, but it’s a good idea for everyone to have one.
The security of a safe is determined by its construction, the strength of its sides and door or lid, the strength and complexity of its locking system, and its fixing All four elements are equally important, because even the strongest domestic safe can be opened if the burglar can take it away from your home and work on it at his leisure.
A safe may be locked with keys or a combination lock. Some have a key and combination or two combinations, depending on the level of risk and the insurer’s requirements. Keep spare keys or a record of the combination in a separate place away from your home, preferably in a safe deposit box at a bank. Bear in mind that an ordinary security safe will not protect its contents in the event of a fire.
Standards and Cash Rating
Safe manufacturers give their products a cash rating, which can start from as low as £750 and go right up to £150,000. This is based on the European industry standard for security testing of safes, which is BS EN 1143-1: 1997. The cash ratings are a good guide to the security offered by a safe: 0 is the lowest standard and VI the highest. The Loss Prevention Certification Board evaluates safes to this standard, so look for the LPCB certification mark. If you intend buying a secondhand safe, look for one that has been reconditioned in accordance with BS 7582.
If you’re thinking of buying a safe, speak to your insurer first to make sure that you obtain the right grade for your risk. The amount of cover your insurer offers on a particular model of safe may be higher or lower than its cash rating, and may also be adjusted depending on whether it has been installed professionally or by yourself. The way in which a safe is installed is just as important as the safe itself. Some insurers will not cover a DIY-installed safe and will insist on it being installed by the manufacturer or their authorised agent, so check first.
Cash ratings are normally multiplied by ten for any items of jewellery you might want to keep in the safe. This means that you could store £60,000 worth of jewellery in a safe with a cash rating of £6,000. If you wanted to keep, say, £2,000 in cash in the same £6,000 cash rated safe, you could only have jewellery to the value of £40,000 with it.