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History Of Safes – Part Three: The French Revolution and Safecrackers

In our last instalment, we focussed on safes in the medieval era. The medieval safes were heavy and cumbersome that had lost lots of functionality through ornate locks and beautiful decoration. From these impractical but stunningly designed safes, we then move to Paris and a rather surprising locksmith.

When we consider safe makers, the first thought that comes to mind certainly isn’t royalty, but a king has certainly played a part in transforming a change in safe design with a lesson to be learnt! King Louis XVI was the husband of Marie Antoinette and had a surprising locksmith talent. King Louis XVI was a mechanics enthusiast and was passionate about learning how things worked and making them better.

The king even had a master skill of forging metal and use his knowledge to create himself a safe. The security box was made out of iron, and the King forged the lock and key himself. The safe was very impressive, built with mechanic knowledge, skill and metal mastery. However, King Louis XVI had forgotten the one key rule about a safe, which is never tell anyone that you have one. The king revealed to a friend he had built a security cabinet into the wall. The safe was found to contain incriminating information, and as a result, the king paid for revealing his secret safe, with his head. Ouch.

From France, we move to 19th Century England where the industrial production of security cabinets began. These safes were still secured with keys; however, the level of security was hampered by safecrackers (burglars) who increased their skill with the growth of security. These safecrackers found ways to open the locks with crowbars and other tools or for particular difficult safes; they used gunpowder in the keyhole to blow the door open. This meant it was back to the drawing board for safe designers, who had to find a new method of keeping customer belongings secure. Enter the dial plate, where locks were replaced with locking keys. The dial plate consisted of several rotating disks. These rotating disks were given the safe code. However, as the technology increased so did the skill of the safecrackers. Often seen in films, safecrackers would put their ear to a safe and as if by magic, the safe would open.

This actually did work as you could hear a noticeable click when the dial was on the right number, making it easy to crack to code and gain entry. In the next instalment, we will look at how dial safes progressed into the modern-day safes we know today.

9 May 2017 15:25:31 By Chris Millward The History of Safes ,

The Importance Of Hotel Safes

Safes have been around since humanity has had valuables to store safely. Modern safes have evolved from the ancient caskets, and lockable safes go back as far as the Pharaohs. Regardless of the age of the safe, they have always been built on the same premise – to keep thieving hands and prying eyes away. The first industrial production of safes started in the UK during the 19th century when they were manufactured to be accessible with special keys.

Eventually, the infamous safecrackers forced change in the technology and access codes were introduced with dialling mechanisms which in time the safecrackers managed to get the better of too. Enter the modern electronic safe, which of course is difficult for the average person on the street to hack, but it can still be broken into by an expert.

There are a variety of safe types, but the most common is the furniture safe – hotel safes fall into this category. But how safe is a safe? A safe is only as safe as the number of people that can access it. A hotel safe will always have a secondary access feature whether it’s a master access code or an override key. After all, if a guest forgot to remove their valuables, the hotel would need to be able to access them and return them safely.

Hotel safes have become a necessity, especially when travelling with valuable documents and jewellery. Hospitality businesses have appointed key or access holders so that housekeeping staff cannot access the safes in the rooms that they service. In-room safes are useful because although you can leave your items in a larger hotel safe at reception, lack of access at will may become inconvenient.

Although an excellent deterrent; the hotel safe is not perfectly secure, and there are solutions to this too. Portable travel safes can be purchased for the business person or traveller who needs to keep items extra secure. The portable safes are small enough to fit into a hotel safe comfortably, and although the main safe can be accessed by others, only the owner of the portable safe can access their belongings.

While hotel safes are a necessity, small portable safes provide that additional security and peace of mind and only an intruder will know that you have made an extra effort to secure your belongings

9 May 2017 15:16:01 By Chris Millward Safes ,

Nowadays a Key Cabinet is becoming something of a necessity to have, if you looked around your home you would be amazed at how many items you have with a Key that needs to be secured.

The problem today is people are that busy with their lives be it with the kids or work we don't take enough time to consider the correct security measures. Whether it is the Key to the front door, the keys to the garage or even your car keys these items are your property and are personal to you , this is why at we want our customers to take their home security seriously.  

Security for your Keys

In 2017 there has been a sudden surge in the market and a need for Key Safes and Cabinets.

We have expanded our range of products for key security to match the ever growing popularity to meet the needs of customers.

This year we have added further models to the ever popular S range of Key Cabinets and these are now also available as an Electronic Lock.


Other Advantages of our Key Safes  

Most of our models are available as a Key or Electronic Lock, the Electronic model comes with your own user code which is better for security.

Storage is not a problem with these units as they hold anywhere from 20 to a 300 diverse key capacity, what's more most come with key hooks and tags.

If you are after a product that is very small and holds very minimal space such as 1- 10 keys a model such as the Key Keeper would be perfect for your needs.

Generally speaking most of these Safes are easily accessible, secure and can be wall mounted which is the perfect solution as they can be installed on a wall outside your residence particularly ideal if people have a need to visit your home regularly such as carers and doctors, the only thing you would need to do is leave them the Key or the combination (if it's an Electronic Lock).

No matter the requirement or the need there is a Key Safe / Cabinet out there for you so don't be shy and secure your keys today.

1 May 2017 14:43:37 By Chris Millward Key Security, Key Safes, Key Cabinets, Safes ,

Letter boxes have a multitude of different names; mail slots, letter slots, letter holes, letter plates to name but a few but ultimately, they mean the same thing. A letter box is a slot or hole in the wall or door through which post can be delivered. While a letter box on a front door is widespread across the UK, it is much less common in the US, where postboxes are much more common.

While letter slots are common on most front doors in the UK, they are a major cause for concern for your home security. Letterboxes are an open invitation for burglars to see into your homes. It is well known that thieves can use the letterbox to slip wires or cords through to unlock the door and gain entry or use a hook to access keys that are left in the hallway, for a much safer option, choose one of our postboxes.

Post or mailboxes are incredibly useful and versatile. A mailbox can be attached to a porch, garage, house wall or freestanding on a post in the front garden for curbside post delivery. With a postbox, you can position the box where is best for you so that you can retrieve your mail easily.

Post boxes give numerous security benefits as they are robust, tough and lockable which keeps your mail secure which helps to protect you from the dangers of identity theft. The doors of mailboxes on are pry resistant to keep your parcels, packages and letters safe from thieves.

As well as ensuring your post is kept safe and secure, mailboxes can also protect your post from the weather. It is much easier for you to retrieve your mail when the weather is dry, rather than a mail slot, where you trample over the mail in muddy and wet shoes in order to get in the front door.

A mail slot also gives you a risk of shredded or ruined mail thanks to children or dogs who may pick it up from the floor. With a mailbox, you can be sure your post is safe from any interventions as well as making it much easier to collect your mail rather than it being scattered haphazardly on the floor which can be difficult to pick up as soon as you enter your home, particularly if you already have your hands full.

Another great reason to choose a mailbox is its aesthetic qualities; there are a variety of different colours to choose and many different styles and designs. Mailboxes can be traditional and classic to suit period properties, sleek and contemporary curves for modern buildings and traditional rectangle designs for minimalism. A mailbox can truly become an accessory to the front of your house and work in harmony with your current house entrance style.

You can find a great range of mailboxes by following this link and make sure to check out our new additions for 2017 that have been added to the collection. 

21 Apr 2017 09:49:54 By Chris Millward Post Box, Letterbox, New For 2017,

With Roman influence and the Renaissance, locking cabinets in the Middle Ages became more refined and were very artistic and impressive to look at.

Medieval safes were typically wooden chests, however, were commonly bound with iron bands for extra protection and security. Safes themselves needed protection as they were artistically designed and very expensive particularly when the safes had intricate and detailed carvings and were often adorned with precious metals and jewels.

Metal work was considered a great skill in medieval times, and this was showcased through ornate keys, locks and mechanisms. While impressively crafted, these were often just for show, and the keys were not necessarily secure. In fact, locks and keys were often on display to show the high craftsmanship; safe owners want people to see the parts, finish and material used as a sign of wealth and high quality.

As locks never really protected it's contents, safes were instead made secure by having many locking bolts rather than relying on the ornate lock and key. The many bolts gave security to the contents as the many bolts took a long time and effort to open, although it could be done by anyone with time and persistence on their hands. Unlike the fool-proof and highly secure safes you can purchase through, medieval safes only provided protection from time. If a thief had long enough in the Middle Ages, they would be able to retrieve the contents without too much difficulty.

Another characteristic of medieval safes was that they were extremely heavy. Thanks to the use of wood, iron bars and many bolts used, actually made the safes very difficult to use and opening the door or chest upwards was practically impossible. With this in mind, safes were then built to have hinged doors on the side of the container to make it easier to open the safe and retrieve the contents.

In the next installment of the history of safes, we will explore how wooden safes transformed into metal safes and how royalty not only used safes but crafted them too. 

19 Apr 2017 14:36:39 By Chris Millward Safes, History, Medieval, Wooden Chests,, The History of Safes ,

The Brand-New Guardian Gun Safe is one of the most secure shotgun safes available on the market today. It has also been tested to british standard BS7558:92 and is police approved making it ideal for personal and professional use.

It can store up to 3 shotguns with a total volume of 49 litres, and it locks with 2 double EN 1300 Class-A key locks to keep your guns and ammunition secure in high risk areas where tampering and unauthorised access is a concern.

Tried and tested for piece of mind

In addition to being police approved and made to British standards, the Rottner Guardian Gun Safe has been tried and tested against other gun safes in the UK market to ensure it and meets our stringent specifications for safety, security, and effectiveness, and it excelled in every area.

During our independent testing, we found some gun safes to be flimsy and unstable, whereas the Guardian Gun Cabinet is robust, hardwearing, and designed to provide years of continuous use. The main body of the unit is constructed from 2mm high-grade steel, and the reinforced door is manufactured from 3mm steel, and so it is exceptionally strong, yet it is streamlined and aesthetically pleasing.

For added security and peace of mind, the Rottner Weapons Cabinet  is fitted with two high-security double-bitted locks, with two keys provided for each lock making it very difficult for a burglar to gain access to your Safe.

Tough, well-made, and suitable for use in high crime hotspots and vulnerable areas, the Guardian Shotgun Safe is equipped with 4 pre-drilled holes in the back and a further 2 holes in the base, so it can be secured to any flush wall surface or fixed to the ground with bolts (not included) to create a semi-permanent storage facility for your shotguns.


Product Features

As you would expect from a Gun Safe of this high quality the GUARDIAN has a long list of features:

  • Rottner Guardian Single Walled Gun Safe.
  • Tested to British Standard, BS 7558:92.
  • 100% Police approved.
  • Tried and tested against other leading Gun Safes.
  • Suitable for storage of 3 shotguns.
  • Made from high quality steel
  • Two High Security Double Bitted Key Locks with two keys supplied for each lock.
  • Door leaf 3mm and body 2mm.
  • Pre-drilled for fixing: 4 x 12mm holes in the back wall and 2 x 12 mm holes in the bottom. 
  • Colour: Anthracite-grey.
  • Free Delivery to UK Mainland, 1 - 3 working days.


  • External Dimensions: H 1300 x W 240 x D 200mm.
  • Internal Dimensions: H 1290 x W 230 x D 165mm.
  • Weight: 25 kg.
  • Volume: 49 litres.

Additional Features & Benefits

The sheer beauty of the Rottner Guardian Gun Safe is that it is tall enough to store your shotguns without breaking them down. Equipped with three interior brackets that support the gun barrels during storage, it is quick and easy to use, and it can help you remain compliant with the latest firearm safekeeping conditions as outlined by the Home Office.

Only those shotgun cabinets certified to British Standard BS 7558:92 are approved by the police, and so it is essential that gun owners invest in an approved, high-quality gun safe that keeps their guns secure when not in use, and keeps themselves on the right side of the law.

The Rottner Guardian Gun Safe offers exceptional value for money, and if you are looking for a top-of-the-range shotgun cabinet with the latest safety features and specifications, this brand-new model ticks all the right boxes.

8 Apr 2017 14:39:33 By Chris Millward Safes, Rottner, Guardian, Gun Safe, Weapons Cabinet, New For 2017,

Nowadays an Underfloor Safe is becoming one of the most popular types of safe on the market and is a luxury if you own one.

All of our Underfloor Safes are handmade in the UK and are designed to be set in reinforced concrete, the idea being if a burglar breaks into your home it is very difficult for them to gain access to your cash and valuables, these can also be hidden beneath furniture and floor fixings.

Another advantage of this type of Safe is they offer a big space saving, with them being stored under the floor they don't take other space up inside your house.

At we have our very own Brand of Underfloor models known as Pro First, all come with a FREE REINFORCING KIT.

The Pro First Underfloor Safes range is available with a 9 or 12 inch body and a £2K or £4K rated door, secured by a key lock supplied with two keys.

We aim to be pretty competitive on price, prices start from £137.00 rising to as a high as £377.00 dependent on the size and model you are looking for, we can also offer larger discounts if you are willing to collect your item in person.


Other Features include:

  • The Pro First Underfloor safes range offer a very high level of security
  • Designed for use in the home or in a commercial environment underfloor safes increase security by protecting cash, valuables vital documents and items of sentimental value.
  • Made in the England
  • Exclusive and only available from
  • Designed to comply with insurance company requirements




The one thing nobody wants is a Safe that you can't fit this is why we offer our very own installation service, for full details please get in contact with us at or give us a call on 0121 361 3607.


19 Mar 2017 14:34:20 By Chris Millward Safe, Underfloor Safe, Pro First, £2K, £4K, UK, Key Lock, Reinforcing Kit, Safes ,

The History Of Safes

From The Origins Until Ancient Rome A safe can be many things to many different people; ultimately safes provide security, a sense of trust and reliability.

Many people use safes to protect valuables, memories and important documentation from fire, flooding, burglary and damage. Nowadays the technology in safes is so advanced that there is the perfect safe to suit any home, business or property with a variety of different security options depending on the contents of the safe and the owner’s personal preference.

However, where did safes come from and what made safes the invention that they are today? 13th Century BC While treasure chests have been a longstanding device, the first recovery of a lockable chest was found in the tomb of Pharoah Ramses the Second. This first instance of a safe involved a wooden mechanical lock; it is now known in modern terms as pin tumbler locks.

This is where wooden pins fall into the bolt hole under their own weight and, in effect, lock the door. While this was the first evidence of safes, many different civilisations were also developing wooden lockable devices at the same time. As this creation improved, we have seen the devices get more sophisticated, with improved materials throughout the ages.

Ancient Rome The Romans were claimed to have progressed the development of safes further through advanced locking technology. Romans used padlocks with spring mechanism as well as inventing locks with a variety of notches, to help prevent one key from opening all of the locks. While evidence is found in Roman settlements that make us believe that Romans were the ones to progress locking devices.

Merchants world over used locking devices to protect their goods from thieves. Locks were intricately designed, and in some cases, beautiful, featuring shapes of birds, animals, religious symbols and even embodied various figures.

While safes today are more sophisticated and practical than the intricately carved locks used in Roman times, these locks were not only well designed but intelligently crafted which helped the progression of safes throughout history.

18 Mar 2017 16:40:10 By Chris Millward The History of Safes ,

Fire Safes

While many people choose a safe to prevent losing valuables from burglaries, one of the most important considerations you should think about when selecting a safe is its resistance to natural elements, namely, damage from fire and water.

How Do Fire Safes Work?

Fire-resistant safes are designed to protect the contents of the safe from actual fire or the intensely high temperatures caused by a fire. Fire safes are designed to keep the interior of the safe as cool as possible, which is why they are usually constructed from double walled steel where the gap is filled with a fire-resistant component. Some fire safes use a water vapour mechanism that helps to create a pressure seal in the event of a fire while also regulating the internal temperature.

What To Consider When Choosing A Fire Safe

When choosing your fire safe, it is important to consider the items that you want to store in the safe. Different items can withstand different heat intensities and based on your requirements; you will be able to find a suitable safe for your needs. If you are storing film and data, such as a hard drive, these are most vulnerable and start to degrade at around 52°C, digital media such as CDs and USB memory sticks will be affected by temperatures around 120°C and paper documentation will degrade at 177°C. Fire safes are determined by the amount of time they can withstand the temperatures of a fire and are usually tested and measured by their resistance in half-hour intervals. When choosing your fire safe, opt for one that has been stringently tested to the highest industry standards so that you know your belongings are safe and the timescale and temperatures are accurate.

Fires Safes In The Workplace

In some workplaces where dangerous goods or flammable materials are used, it may be necessary to install a fireproof cabinet to help the security of the building and the prevention of further fire damage. In workplaces where large amounts of cash are stored, it is important to consider the value of the goods you need to protect when choosing a safe. Opt for a high quality and robust safe that will safely be able to protect the high value of your goods. Often it is worth spending a little more for security, than losing a high value later on. When it comes to fire protection for your items, the only way to guard your goods is to prevent the possibility of fire damage. Consider the value of your items, whether sentimental or monetary and make sure you look after your belongings and protect them from all conceivable occurrences.

12 Mar 2017 06:43:11 By Chris Millward Safes,, Firesafes, Fireproof safes, , Safes ,

At we specialise in top quality security products such as Safes, Mailboxes and Key Cabinets. We are also part of The Little Safe Company.

However what you may not be aware of is we are part of the West Midlands Safe Warehouse. We have on offer one of the largest selections of Safes and Mailboxes available in the United Kingdom.

What this offers you as a customer?

Being part of the West Midlands Safe Warehouse entitles everyone of our customers to COLLECT AND SAVE.

The Collect and Save is a great option for customers to save money, the offer is to make an appointment to come into our Warehouse to look at one or more of our products, you could save up to 60% off.

It could be that you have already made a decision on the item you would like to purchase or you may not be sure, it matters not we have plenty of friendly staff to assist you in your decision.

We are also aware that some customers may like to purchase more than one item, our selling prices are based on single priced items so we may be able to offer a greater discount if you order more than one, we would always recommend getting in contact with us first.

 Other Customer Information

We generally have a lot of different types of customers but one thing for you to be aware of is that we welcome trade enquires, this may be well worth considering if you looking to buy security items such as safes and Mailboxes on a regular basis. 

 Payment Options

In terms of payment options we are very flexible, if you know what you want before you arrive, you can pay over the phone if it’s a bank transfer or we will accept cash on the day.

We are based in West Bromwich our Address is:

The Little Safe Company

Charles Street

Industrial Estate

West Bromwich B70 0AZ.

 If you have any further queries, please give us a call on 0121 361 3607 or email us at

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