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Antique Safes/ISM Super Treasury



I'm looking at purchasing a used safe made by the Israeli manufacture ISM. Could you give you thoughts on the quality of ISM safes? I saw in the USA that this particular safe has a UL rating of TRTL30X6. Since it is used, what questions should I ask the seller prior to purchase?
Thank you for your help.
With kindest regards,


Hello John,

Thank you for your question.  My speciality is in British and European safes and as ISM safes are manufactured in Israel and not marketed in the UK, my knowledge is limited.  We also have pan European standards therefore UL standards are not very relevant here.

However, perhaps as long ago as the 1980's I was approached by the Israeli Trade Delegation in the UK and invited to head a company marketing ISM safes in Britain.  After talking to them I believed their expectations were unrealistic and declined.  They eventually appointed a friend of mine who supervised the delivery of a number of ISM safes and stored them in London.  

Unfortunately they were supplied without holes in the base to enable them to be anchored.  UK insurers require all safes weighing less than 1000kg to be bolted down to prevent removal.  When engineers began to drill through the bases they became concerned about their quality.  A short while later the ISM marketing agency closed down.  To my knowledge, ISM has not attempted to export products into the UK since.

I have looked at their website and today's TRTL-30x6 Super Treasury and Ultravault safes look impressive but if you are thinking of buying a used model, you need to know the date of manufacture as it seems they may have had major quality control problems in the past.

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Mike Palmer FSyI
Mike Palmer Consultancy  

Antique Safes

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Mike Palmer


I earn my living identifying safes and suggesting cash limits for risk advisors and insurance surveyors in the UK. I'm am pleased to comment on safes manufactured in the UK or Mainland Europe but I am unable to accept questions regarding safes made in the USA or elsewhere.


I have been in the UK safe industry for 40 years and have one of the largest archive databases of old safe literature and serial numbers in the country. I started with Chubb in 1960 and became Assistant Manager of their Bank Security Division before moving on to become the Insurance Liaison Manager with the John Tann Group. I became Sales & Marketing Director for Guardian Safes Limited before semi-retiring. I am a Fellow of the Security Institute and ex-Chairman of Eurosafe UK, a trade body representing the interests of UK safe makers and distributors. I now work as a part time consultant.

I am an advisor to the Safe Committee of the Association of Insurance Surveyors, a Fellow of the Security Institute and founding Chairman of Eurosafe UK.

I have had literally scores of articles published in various security trade publications. So far this year I have had 24 features published in various journals including Keyways, Professional Security, Pawnbroker and Safe India. I have published one book, Peckham Boy, the life and times of the world's greatest safe cracker.

No relevant educational credentials.

Awards and Honors
In 1997 I was awarded the annual shield by the Association of Insurance Surveyors for "..outstanding services to crime prevention"

Past/Present Clients
I have represented or been an agent for the John Tann Group (Stratford, Ratner, Dreadnought and Tann safes); Churchill Safes, Chubb Safe Co Ltd, SLS Safes, SMP Safes, Dudley Safes and several others

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