Independent safe testing plays an important role in ensuring that the protective capabilities of a safe aren’t exaggerated by salespeople or manufacturers. With so many makes and brands, not to mention countries of origin, it is also helpful to have a single standard by which safes can be judged.
There are many organizations which test the burglar resistance of safes. In America, the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) has been certifying safes since 1923. The UL burglar resistance test – UL 687 – is the de facto standard in the US and in many other countries worldwide. A safe with a UL badge is sure to provide a high level of protection.
In Europe, safe and security standards are a little more complex. There are many testing organizations which have been certifying safes for many years, such as the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) here in the UK. Most countries would have had their own national standards by which to determine a safe’s burglar resistance. However, over time it was found that different testing organizations – and different countries – could be more stringent than others, leading to much uncertainty. As international trade increased within the ever-growing European Union, this became more and more of a problem.
Nowadays, European standards are decided upon by the European Committee for Standardization, also known as the Comité Européen de Normalisation (CEN). The CEN consults with various expert groups in drawing up its standards, which are then signed into law by each member state.
At present, there are two anti-burglar test standards in use in Europe, EN 14450 (for lighter security safes and security cabinets) and EN 1143 (for high security safes). The EN 1143 standard is also known as the Eurograde system. Safes that meet European standards usually have a badge on the inside of the door listing the standard reached, as well as the testing organization which performed the test.
Choosing a safe with an independent burglar test certificate is the best way to ensure you’re getting the protection you need. Building a safe to pass these stringent tests is something of an achievement, and manufacturers are sure to highlight that their safes have met these standards. Many testing organizations also keep a list of certified safes on their websites.