Warning from An Garda Siochana

Garda Advice on Specifications for Safes

Warning from An Garda Siochana

An Garda Siochana recently notified CBA of a Business Burglary in Cork City where a safe containing a large amount of cash was removed.

All businesses should now check their safes and ensure that they are in possession of a certified safe and not a safe cabinet. 

This is easy to check!

Open your safe door and you should locate a metal plate and not a sticker.
On that plate you should see a certification of EN 1143-1.
If there is a certification of EN 14450 that is a safe cabinet.

An Garda Síochána would always advise against keeping large sums of cash and valuables on your premises. If it is necessary to hold cash and valuables ensure that they are stored securely. Understanding sage ratings can help you choose the right safe for your needs.

The first and most important question to ask when choosing a safe is, what needs to be protected?
Safes are available with certification for burglary resistance, fire protection for documents or fire and electro-magnetic protection for electronic media, so it's important to be realistic about what needs to be protected and what risks need to be countered.

Business Retailers should consider a safe with an anti-hold-up pre-caution such as time delay or time locking whereas for a safe in a home office, fire protection for documents, as well as protection for small amounts of cash may be required.

Safe Grades
A safe's grade is intended to be an indication of the unit's resistance to attack and this is true if the safe has been properly tested in an accredited laboratory and certified by an independent accredited European body.

Be wary of safe grades “assigned” by the manufacturer or seller for marketing purposes as they have no real basis in testing. "Recommended cash covers" are the manufacturer's or seller's suggestion and have no relation to certified grades.

Always check that the safe you intend to buy is properly certified for its purpose.

Valid Certification And Grades
Without a doubt the most reliable guide to a safe or vault's resistance to attack or fire is properly accredited European certification.

European bodies certifying safes or vaults must have ISO/IEC 17065 accreditation to carry out certification of the specific products they are certifying. When a safe is tested and certified by an accredited body it is awarded a grade which indicates the unit's attack resistance. In the case of burglary resistance for example, grades are between 0 and 13. These certified grades have a direct relation to the cash rating recommended by each national rating organisation. In Ireland's case the I.S.R.G.

Irish Safes Ratings
In the Republic of Ireland safe insurance ratings are set by The Irish Safes Ratings Group (ISRG). Their task is to make and periodically update recommended insurance ratings related to the overnight cash cover for certified safes, strong rooms and secure cabinets for the Republic Of Ireland , conforming to European standards EN14450, EN1143-1, EN1143-2.

Digital Vs Mechanical/Key Locking
It is possible to access a mechanical safe or vault lock by non-invasive manipulation and in doing so leave no trace of entry. Keys for safes are also easily copied. In comparison, the penalty lockout feature of a certified digital safe lock shuts the lock down for ten minutes if five or more incorrect codes are entered in a row. The ISRG would always recommend a certified digital safe lock, to European Standard EN 1300 over either an old style mechanical combination or key lock.

If a safe has not been anchored and fitted correctly the safe’s resistance to attack is compromised and quite often it can easily be removed from its location. For this reason certification is invalid if a certified safe is not anchored correctly. Incorrect fitting can also negatively impact a safe’s fire protection so it’s important that your safe is fitted by a competent technician to EN1143-1 specifications.

All recommended ratings are subject to risk assessment and the appropriate security controls being in place. 


Recommended insurance amounts – Secure cabinets EN14450 – Safes EN 1143-1 – Deposit Safes EN 1143-2



Resistance grade indicated by certification body



Certification must be by a body with valid E.U. accreditation to certify these standards







Recommend insurance amounts in €1000


Rate for contents / Jewellery is five times cash

  Without With

Monitored intruder alarm system to EN50131


S1 EN 14450 Secure Cabinet N/A N/A
S2 EN 14450 Secure Cabinet N/A N/A
0 EN 1143-1 Safe €3,750.00 €7,500.00
I EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2 Safe / Deposit Safe €6,250.00 €12,500.00
II EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2 Safe / Deposit Safe €12,500.00 €25,000.00
III EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2 Safe / Deposit Safe €12,500.00 €50,000.00
IV EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2 Safe / Deposit Safe €12,500.00 €90,000.00
V EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2 Safe / Deposit Safe €12,500.00 €150,000.00
VI EN 1143-1 Safe €12,500.00 €200,000.00
VII EN 1143-1 Safe PA PA
VIII EN 1143-1 Safe PA PA
IX EN 1143-1 Safe PA PA
X EN 1143-1 Safe PA PA
XI EN 1143-1 Safe PA PA
XII EN 1143-1 Safe PA PA
XIII EN 1143-1 Safe PA PA



  • Recommended amounts are for indicative purposes only and are subject to approval by the insurer on a case by case basis
  • Certified deposit safes are only available in grade 1 to 5 and display the certification EN 1143-2. Any other mark not accepted
  • Certified safes with a weight of <1.000 kg must be anchored at the place of installation in accordance with the EN 1143-1 specification
  • N/A – Not Advised
  • PA – Prior approval recommended – It’s necessary to discuss this cover in detail with your insurance company as it falls outside normal recommendations

Produced by The Irish Safes Ratings Group

       For more information visit: www.isrg.ie

Purchasing a Certified Safe

 A Certified Safe will have: 

  • A metal plate on the inside of the door indicating that the product is certified
  • The indicated certification body is accredited according to ISO / IEC 17065 for vault certification
  • On the metal plate & the certificate, the resistance grade is indicated in relation to the applicable standard

Non-Certified or Unsafe products: 

  • No metal plate on the inside of the door
  • The indicated certification body is not accredited for safe certification
  • The certificate states that only parts of the standard are fulfilled
  • No certification body is mentioned and the manufacturer merely writes that the product has been built according to the standard or in accordance with the standard

 The advice contained in this information sheet in not intended to be exhaustive or absolute. Nothing contained in this publication should be interpreted as mandatory, obligatory or designed to conflict with any statutory regulations.