Discourage and Prevent Theft with Modular Vaults

Jeremy Cassady, Managing Director for Securikey, looks at the importance of obtaining a secure facility for the storage of jewellery and precious stones, and examines how Modular Vault systems can offer a cost-effective, easy-to-install bespoke security system that meets all requirements.

The risks associated with high value goods such as jewellery and precious stones are understandably extremely high, both in terms of goods being stolen and also the safety of those tasked with transporting and storing valuables. Levels of risk differ depending on a wide variety of factors such as retailer location, type of facilities and quantity and type of merchandise, and each retailer is responsible for assessing the risks and taking appropriate measures to protect their goods and their staff.

The Jewellers Personal Safety And Security Guide For Robbery, which has been developed by experienced security professionals in the Jewellery industry, police service and other stakeholders, provides useful guidance and minimum standards that retailers can follow in line with the advice of their insurers’, local planning and fire officers. As with any sensible safety and security procedure, the initial focus is on the importance of a thorough, detailed risk assessment, with five important steps listed to ensure the necessary statuary requirements will be met. These are:

  1. Identify hazards
  2. Decide who might be harmed and how
  3. Evaluate the risk and decide on the precautions
  4. Record findings and implement them
  5. Review the assessment and update as necessary.

The document goes on to outline procedures to follow in a variety of areas, including the importance of secure storage.

High Security Storage

Secure storage facilities will need to meet a number of different criteria compared to other areas of a retail outlet, as valuables will usually be transported to this area for safeholding overnight, a time when there will usually be fewer staff members to prevent unauthorised access. In addition, a stock itinerary is usually taken as staff are putting merchandise away for the night or retrieving items in the morning, so the storage area needs to allow for the smooth running of any stock management system whilst reducing the risk of opportunists walking in through an open door.

A number of factors, such as the value of the merchandise and insurers’ requirements, will dictate the type of storage facilities required, and often a vault is the recommended suggestion. The Jewellers Personal Safety And Security Guide For Robbery recommends a vault should have the capacity to be integrated with the intruder alarm system, the option of a time delay lock, CCTV coverage and limited access with codes being split between staff members.

In order to attain appropriate storage facilities that meet requirements, retailers have a few choices. They can commission their own building from scratch, which is very costly and time consuming, and a suitable site will also need to be found that will meet all of the logistical requirements. Another option is to hire suitable premises; however, it can also be very time-consuming to find the perfect storage facility to meet very specific needs and that is situated in the best possible location.

Made-to-Measure Security

One of the most effective solutions to avoid these issues is to install a Modular Vault. Offering a completely bespoke, on-site-assembled security room to fit an allocated space, Modular Vaults such as the Modulprim from Securikey are increasingly specified by companies dealing in jewels and precious stones who are looking for new premises or who are expanding quickly, as they not only offer a high security option, they are also relatively quick and easy to install and provide a controlled environment.

Offering a five-sided solution if necessary for maximum security and installation flexibility, the individual components of each modular vault are manufactured off-site to fit the precise specification required by the retailer, which can be in either a new or existing building. The measurements and precise customer requirements will have been established during a comprehensive survey, before being delivered to site as individual panels and welded securely into place. Customised furnishing capabilities such as cabinets and rack systems allow effective stock management systems to be put in place. Security deposit lockers can also be provided that not only offer additional security with high quality aluminium construction, but that can be made bespoke to maximise use of space. Expanding the options further to meet any need, a variety of different locks can be selected for the door depending on the level of security demanded by the retailer as a result of the initial risk assessment.

To ensure optimum security at higher risk moments, such as the retrieval and putting away of stock, and to prevent opportunists from walking in and grabbing items, custom-sized grill gates can be installed in the wall of the vault so employees can pass items through to their colleagues from the inside while the door remains firmly closed. As staff may be spending time inside the Modular Vault to undertake stock management procedures, there is the option of integrating certified airing, ventilation and alarm systems throughout the vault room via customised openings in the walls and door. This also allows the retailer to ensure the perfect storage environment in terms of temperature and humidity, and provides additional security with the alarms being rigged to meet the retailers requirements. The best ventilation and alarm systems to meet the brief will be established as part of the consultation process.

Due to their adaptability, Modular Vault solutions are also used in other industries, such as the storage of money in banks and casinos and for cash in transit companies. Their capacity to provide a completely controlled internal environment also makes them perfect for storing pharmaceuticals.

When selecting a vault, buyers are advised to ensure it complies with European security standard EN1143-1 which ensures European wide approval. In addition, the vault should be validated by an independent testing house such as the VdS in Germany to prove it meets the stringent criteria to resist attack.

As Michael Hoare, Chief Executive of The National Association of Goldsmiths, comments in his introduction to The Jewellers Personal Safety And Security Guide For Robbery, “…no guide or template will ever foresee, predict or describe every eventuality, but by paying attention to the fundamentals of security every business will be better able to cope when the unexpected happens.”

Editor’s Note:

Securikey is a leading UK supplier of safety and security products, with a pedigree dating back nearly 40 years, and has recently launched the Modulprim range of exceptionally high quality, made to order modular vault solutions. Offering a solution for practically any requirement, from minimal security applications to highly demanding specifications, the comprehensive range of Securikey products also encompasses cash safes, fire safes, key control systems, padlocks, personal security items, convex mirrors and digital door locks. For more information, please contact Securikey on 01252 311888 or enquiries@securikey.co.uk or go to securikey.co.uk


In addition to our ISO 9001 certification, Securikey are also members of Master Locksmiths Association and ESSA. These organisations promote the highest standards within the security industry. The inclusion of the ‘AIS Approved’ logo reinforces the importance of the independent testing.