New line looks a safe bet

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 June, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 June, 1994, 12:00am

AFTER 150 years of making strong boxes and safes out of metal, Chubb is making inroads with a line of safes made of hi-tech plastic.

Precision-moulded Ellox, a space-age plastic with ingredients that Chubb is keeping under lock and key, is the main component of its new line of Europlanet safes.

Chubb will be demonstrating this novel concept at Securitex 94, beginning its three-day run tomorrow at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Barry James, Chubb Hong Kong's business development manager, said the plastic idea took some getting used to for customers, but his company stood behind the quality.

''The Europlanet has tremendous capabilities against both physical attack and fire,'' he said.

''In the area of safes, it is pretty special.'' Historically, increasing a safe's ability to protect against a physical break-in has meant the use of more steel in its construction.

The more heat-conducting steel used in a safe the poorer its ability to protect against fire and the heat that comes with it.

And the inverse is true for highly fire-resistant safes.

''This is the best solution in one device,'' said Mr James.

He is recommending the mid-priced Europlanet range to jewellers, solicitors, ''cashier-type businesses'' and bankers.

One of the specific Hong Kong advantages of this line is its lighter weight. In buildings where floor-loading is an issue, the plastic safes will often avoid the need for reinforcing the concrete.

But Mr James was emphatic that ''light is a relative term'' and that the Europlanet line could be bolted down.

As for the new line's success in Hong Kong, Mr James said supply was the problem, not demand.

''One of the things customers like about Europlanet is that it is very presentable,'' he said.

''It's something that can stand alone as a rather pleasant piece of office furniture. I think it is more attractive than a personal computer.'' The plastic safes come in a range of colours and Mr James said some clients referred to them as ''designer safes''.