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Industrial Safes – Types, why they are different?

The main reasons people invest in safes are: safety and security. You will see homeowners investing in residential safes and business owners investing in top-of-the-line commercial ones.

They enable you to store valuable items that you wish to keep protected from damage and theft and provide you with peace of mind that these items will be kept away from the wrong hands.

When it comes to industrial properties, such as warehouses, distribution centres, factories, and manufacturing plants, safes are installed for the same reasons.

Two of the main threats that most industrial properties face are theft (both internal and external) and the risk of fires and flooding. Luckily, industrial safes are made to safeguard items of value from both types of threats.

Read on to find out what industrial safes are, the main types of industrial safes most commonly used, and why they are different from other safes used in homes and businesses:


Industrial safes are similar to residential and commercial safes in that they safeguard their contents from theft and damage.

Their main benefits include:

  • Safeguarding against fire and water damage – these issues may arise due to several reasons such as faulty electrical wiring, improper use of equipment, pipe bursts, heavy rainfall, or floods. Regardless of the reason, safes protect valuable business items from both these threats and keep them safe, secure, and locked up in a protected environment.
  • Protection against theft – safes protect against theft, both internal and external, by keeping important items locked away from outsiders as well as unauthorised employees. Also, thanks to the advanced features on some safes, you can find out who accessed its contents, which can be super beneficial in case of a burglary or security incident.
  • Peace of mind – the last, and probably the most important benefit of having a safe on your premises is the peace of mind that it offers. You can rest easy that all your important business items are safely locked away and protected from both theft and fire.

However, since industrial properties may require a higher level of security and are more at risk of fires and other safety risks, they are different from residential safes in that they are more durable and have more powerful features.

Industrial safes come in a range of sizes and formats to meet the various requirements of different properties, for instance, a warehouse might need a different type of safe than a factory.

They can be used to securely store a variety of items such as media, documents, cash, guns, and keys. Let’s look at the different types of industrial safes and how to choose the best one for your property:


Depending on a couple of factors such as the level of security, the way the industrial property is built, and whether it has an area for offices on the premises, you may need one or more of the following different types of industrial safes:

  • Data safes – data safes are used to store different forms of electronic data such as hard drives and USB sticks. Data safes with a fire rating protect the media from being melted and destroyed till a certain temperature.
  • Floor safes – floor safes, as the name suggests, are embedded in the floor and hidden from plain view. In addition to being difficult to access, they provide excellent security and fire protection. There is, however, an issue when it comes to water flooding, especially if the property has sprinklers.
  • Key cabinets – key cabinets, or key safes, provide a secure place for keeping keys and their duplicates safe and secure. They come in a range of sizes to accommodate a minimum of 20 keys and a maximum of 700 keys, which is perfect for large industrial properties such as factories.
  • Gun safes – anyone who possesses a firearm is legally required to store it securely, whether they are in a residential, commercial, or industrial property. The number and type of guns that gun safes can store depend on how big they are.
  • Security safes – security safes are stronger in terms of the construction, locking mechanism, and the strength of the materials they are built with. They are ideal for industrial properties that are at a higher risk of burglaries or fires.


You can find industrial safes with a range of different locking mechanisms, based on the level of security they provide. You may opt for simple key locks or more advanced biometric locks for maximum security.

The most common types of locking mechanisms for industrial safes include:

  • Key locks – key locks are the traditional door opening method that has been used for as long as we can remember. Although incredibly easy to use, there is always the risk of losing or misplacing them, making the safe and its contents vulnerable to threats.
  • Electronic keypads – also known as digital locks, electronic keypads are advanced systems that require you to enter a code or password to gain access to the safe’s contents. You can easily change the code as often as you like and some systems allow setting unique codes for multiple users as well. The risks here are, of course, forgetting the codes or sharing them with unauthorised individuals.
  • Biometric locks – biometric locks make use of your unique identifiers, such as fingerprints, to unlock safes and allow only authorised individuals access to their contents. They provide a higher level of security and eliminate the risk of compromised keys, codes, and passwords.
  • Dual locks – dual locks are where two different locking mechanisms are used to keep the safe protected against unauthorised access. The two most common lock types found on dual locks are key and combination locks.


Any industrial property that handles large amounts of cash transactions or has important documents and media files to protect should consider investing in an industrial safe that can safely store cash, documents, media, and keys in a secure environment.

Investing in an industrial safe is one of the most important decisions you can make with regard to security since, like commercial safes, they are bigger, harder to bypass, and more fire-resistant than residential safes.

These safes are rated for how long they can withstand attacks from intruders and criminals, as well as extreme temperatures while keeping the contents safe.

When choosing the best industrial safe for your property, there are a few things you need to keep in mind, such as:

  • What you need to protect,
  • What you need protection from,
  • The type of safe,
  • The level of security required,
  • The type of locking mechanism required,
  • The size of the safe and its storage capacity, and
  • Where to install the safe.

Since we’ve already discussed the various types of safes and the different types of locks they use to keep their contents safe, let’s look at the rest of the features you need to look for:


Different safes offer different levels of security. The physical strength and durability of the safe are two of the best measures of assessing a safe’s level of security, and the easiest way to determine it is to look at its security rating.

A security rating uses a series of cash ratings that determines whether your insurance will cover the safe contents in case of a burglary or fire.

For instance, an industrial safe with a £1000 cash rating will cover you for £1000 in cash or £10,000 in valuables.

Here is a summary of the cash ratings of different commercial and industrial safes:

  • £1000 cash rating = £1000 cash or £10,000 valuables cover,
  • £2000 cash rating = £2000 cash or £20,000 valuables cover,
  • £3000 cash rating = £3000 cash or £30,000 valuables cover,
  • £4000 cash rating = £4000 cash or £40,000 valuables cover,
  • £5000 cash rating = £5000 cash or £50,000 valuables cover.

The cash ratings of a safe are determined by factors such as the construction quality, the thickness of the door and walls, and the quality of the locks guarding the contents.

The safes are thoroughly tested by being subjected to attacks with various tools, and the safe’s ability to withstand said attacks determines the ratings that they are given.

High security graded industrial safes are built according to the European standards required by their grade, with a higher grade meaning a higher cash rating.


Any business owner overseeing an operation with a high risk of fire, such as a factory or manufacturing plant, must consider investing in a fire-rated industrial safe.

Although most safes protect against fire, the level of protection varies greatly depending on the type of safe and the way it is constructed.

Depending on the level of protection, a fire-rated safe can keep valuables and other important documents safe from fire anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Fire safes protect important business items such as paper, digital media, and magnetic media, and give the business owners peace of mind that they will remain safe even during extreme conditions.

These safes are not 100% fire-proof but are surely fire-resistant. The extent of protection against fire is determined by the rating of the safe and the period of time it can withstand the high temperature without damaging its contents.

The level of fire resistance that these safes have is determined by their fire rating. To get a fire rating, safes undergo three tests that include an explosion hazard test, a fire endurance test, and a fire drop test.

The explosion hazard test subjects a safe to extremely high temperatures to see how much it can withstand. The fire endurance test exposes a safe to high temperatures over a long period of time to see how long it can endure. Lastly, the fire drop test simulates a safe falling from a burning building.

Fire paper safes are made specifically for keeping important business documents safe from fires, while fire data safes are suitable for storing media such as hard drives and USB sticks since they can melt or become corrupted at extreme temperatures.


Safes can be large, heavy objects similar to furniture, therefore it is necessary to take into account the size of the place you intend to keep them in.

This goes for whether it is a freestanding safe or one bolted to the floor or wall since space and size will always be a huge factor to consider.

You will also have to keep in mind the items you wish to store in the safe. You wouldn’t want to end up with a small safe that can’t even accommodate some of the important items that need safeguarding.

Due to the thickness of the safe’s doors and walls, the insides of the safe may be smaller than it may appear on the outside.

This is particularly true for fire-proof safes where the casing uses fire-resistant materials to keep the contents safe from sudden and extreme temperatures.

Therefore, always check the internal measurements of the safe before investing in one, and as a general rule, always future-proof yourself and get a slightly bigger safe to factor in any miscalculations, mistakes, or confusion.


When it comes to industrial safe installation, you need to keep two things in mind: where to locate your safe and how to install it.

Before you determine the best location for your industrial safe, you need to determine the type of safe you require, and that depends on what you wish to store in the safe and what you need to protect it from.

Regardless of where you wish to locate it, you must make sure you have enough room to open the door and access its contents easily.

Since industrial safes are larger, heavier, and difficult to move, make sure you have them moved and installed professionally.

Installing them by a professional security company ensures that they are safe to use, that the floor can bear the weight sufficiently, and that there’s no danger of the safes falling and damaging anything.

A poorly installed safe that can be easily moved may not only put its contents at risk but also invalidate the insurance, which is why check that your industrial safes are installed correctly in order to satisfy the insurance ratings.


We are members of the Master Locksmith Association (MLA) and are familiar with a wide range of safes, cash boxes, and strong boxes. Our SSAIB contractors can help you assess your business’s needs and recommend a suitable safe perfect for your requirements.

We also offer commercial and industrial safe opening services since misplacing the keys, forgetting the code, or failure of the safe itself can all lead to the contents of the safe being inaccessible.

By design, of course, safes are very difficult to access in these circumstances and you need a professional safe engineer to do it for you. Our Calder specialists can open most safes and can restore them to full working order afterwards.

Industrial safes are deliberately designed not to be moved for added security. So, what can you do when you need to move one to a different room, a new location, or remove it completely?

Because of their size and weight, we would strongly advise you not to try and move it yourself and give us a call instead. You can count on our experienced safe engineers for the safe removal and relocation of your industrial safes.

As good as any security safe may be, it can develop faults and even break – especially if it hasn’t been serviced annually, as is recommended. To avoid this issue, our repair and maintenance services can ensure that your industrial safes are always in optimal health providing you with the best security.

Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 to talk to our security professionals right away for the best residential, commercial, and industrial safes for your property!

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash