The most recent data provided by the Office for National Statistics shows a modest decline in the overall rate of residential burglaries in the UK. However, a separate study carried out by the insurance industry reveals that jewellery is now the most commonly stolen asset, overtaking cash which had retained number one spot for a number of years.
Most expert commentators put this trend down to two key reasons: the UK is increasingly becoming a cashless society, and secondly consumers aren’t taking the right steps to keep their jewellery secure.
However that’s not the whole story. What isn’t widely reported within the data surrounding jewellery theft is the significant increase in cases of safe theft, whereby the very item designed to keep valuables secure becomes the target for would be thieves.
Across the UK there has been a rise in this most unusual type of theft, which often occurs because the safe hasn’t been properly secured. When the homeowner is away from the property for a period of time, it’s the perfect opportunity for a thief to strike.
While having the right level of cover mean clients can rest easy knowing their insurer will readily indemnify them for the financial consequences of the loss, the sentimental value of the article is often as important to the client and their family. The loss can very quickly become a painful experience emotionally.
Many local police forces will issue guidance on how best to reduce the likelihood of jewellery theft. They often have two pieces of advice in common: install a good quality safe and make sure it’s used correctly. What sometimes isn’t included is advice on how and where the safe should be installed so that it remains a secure home for items including valuable possessions, cash and important documents.
So what do clients need to do to make sure their safe is secure?
- Every safe throughout the home should be installed by a qualified professional with a strong reputation and particular expertise in the type of safe being used
- Ideally, the safe should be located on a floor and secured to a suitable concrete base and wall. This is especially important for those weighing less the 100kg
- Safes shouldn’t be bolted to a wooden floor as this isn’t usually robust enough and can be compromised by an experienced thief
- Where possible, spread valuables and other important items across more than one safe located in different parts of the property
- Remember to choose a discrete location within the home
Our team of experienced Risk Consultants are on hand to advise clients on these risk prevention techniques and will always evaluate the location and operation of a safe while carrying out a home appraisal.
For more information on this topic, or to discuss a specific concern raised by one of your clients, please contact Alan Gorman.