Installing Wall Safes: Lights, Camera, Burglary

Burton Biosec Wall SafeThis year’s Cannes Film Festival was the unlikely location for a timely reminder into how important it is to ensure your safe is correctly installed. As the Reuters news agency reports, Chopard jewellery worth up to €1.4 million was stolen from a hotel room during the prestigious gathering. The burglar is said to have completely removed the safe from the wall. The hotel in question – the Suite Novotel in the centre of Cannes – declined to comment.

Of course we cannot be certain that incorrect installation of the safe was to blame here, but it is one of the more likely reasons. Just like freestanding safes, walls safes must be anchored according to the specifications supplied by the manufacturer. This is of particular importance in the case of Eurograde wall safes which may be protecting cash and valuables worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

When installing a wall safe, an opening must be created by removing bricks. Wall safes are designed with similar dimensions to standard bricks and blocks so that they easily fit into the space created. Smaller safes may only need one or two blocks removed. Many wall safes can have their depth adjusted so as to fit almost any wall. In some situations, it may be necessary to build a brickwork alcove within the wall to house the safe.

Once an opening is made in the wall, a strong layer of cement must be applied along the bottom. Depending on the security level required, this concrete may have to be as much as 10 cm deep. The wall safe is then inserted into the opening. More cement is applied to the sides, top and rear, encasing the safe completely in a thick, well compressed layer. Again, the cement may need to be as much as 10cm deep on all sides to meet the manufacturer’s requirements.

Eurograde wall safes are subjected to an anchoring test similar to their freestanding counterparts. During testing, the safe is installed in a piece of brickwork as per the manufacturer’s instructions. The testers then attempt to force the safe out of the brickwork by applying a certain amount of force using special tools. A Eurograde wall safe must withstand between 50 and 100kN of force (depending on its security grade).

An safe that has not been correctly installed will not provide the full level of protection you require. While many safes can be installed by the end user, it is generally recommended that you seek professional advice and installation services, particularly in the case of high security safes. See our article on anchoring and installation of freestanding safes for more.

Please note that the installation advice given here is meant as a guideline only. Always consult and follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

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