Safe Ratings

The rating or classification of a safe indicates the degree of protection that a safe will provide in the case of fire or attempted burglary.  Safes are labeled using two different methods: construction and performance. Construction classification relates to burglar protection and is determined by the specifications of the safe.  Performance ratings are determined by tests designed to replicate safes in fire and burglary situations. The best known independent burglary and fire testing agency is United Laboratories (UL).  UL is a global independent safety science company offering expertise across five key strategic businesses: Product Safety, Environment, Life & Health, Knowledge Services and Verification Services.

Burglary Ratings

B Rate:
The B rating is a non-standardized industry rating.  This means that the rating is not verified nor are there any formal written standards to which manufacturers must adhere.  In general, the industry recognizes a B-rated safe as having a 3/16" to 1/4" thick steel body with a 1/2" thick steel door.

RSC (Residential Security Container) TL-5 Rating:
This is a UL rated container that certifies the "safe" is capable of withstanding a beating by one man wielding a hammer and small crowbar for up to five minutes.

Performance Requirements:
  • Shall resist at least 5 minutes of attack that would defeat its purpose.
  • Any disassembly of the protected property required to make it removable, is to be included in the 5 minutes of attack test.
  • The tools used in the test are to include hammers, chisels, adjustable wrenches, pry bars, punches and screwdrivers. The hammers are not to exceed 3 pounds in head weight, and no tool is to exceed 18 inches in length.
  • The product under test is to be mounted securely in its intended position, and the attack is to be carried out by one operator.

U.L. Label TL-15:
Signifies a combination-locked safe designed to offer a limited degree of protection against attack by common mechanical and electrical hand tools and any combination of these means.

Construction Requirements:
  • U.L. listed Group II, 1 or 1R combination lock.
  • 750 lbs. minimum or comes with instructions for anchoring in a larger safe, concrete blocks or on the premises where used.
  • Body walls of material equivalent to at least 1" open hearth steel with a minimum tensile strength of 50,000 P.S.I.
  • Walls fastened in a manner equivalent to continuous ¼" penetration weld of open hearth steel with minimum tensile strength of 50,000 P.S.I.
  • One hole ¼" or less, to accommodate electrical conductors arranged to have no direct view of the door or locking mechanism.

Performance Requirements:
Successfully resist entry* for a net working time of 15 minutes when attacked with common hand tools, picking tools, mechanical or portable electric tools, grinding points, carbide drills and pressure applying devices or mechanisms. *Entry means opening the door or making a six square inch opening entirely through the door or front face.

U.L. Label TL-30:
Signifies a combination-locked safe designed to offer a moderate degree of protection against attack by common mechanical and electrical hand tools and any combination of these means.

Construction Requirements: Same as TL-15

Performance Requirements:
Successfully resist entry* for a net working time of 30 minutes when attacked with common hand tools, picking tools, mechanical or portable electrical tools, grinding points, carbide drills and pressure applying devices or mechanisms, abrasive cutting wheels and power saws. *Entry means opening the door or making a six square inch opening entirely through the door or front face.

TRTL-60
Signifies a combination-locked safe designed to offer a high degree of protection against attack by common mechanical and electrical tools and cutting torches and any combination of these means. Has successfully resisted entry* for a net working time of 60 minutes when attacked with common hand tools, picking tools, mechanical or portable electric tools, grinding points, carbide drills, pressure applying devices or mechanisms, abrasive cutting wheels, power saws, impact tools and oxy-fuel gas cutting or welding torch (test gas limited to 1000 cubic feet combined total oxygen and fuel gas).

TXTL-60
Signifies a combination-locked safe designed to offer a high degree of protection against attack by common mechanical and electrical tools and cutting tools and cutting torches, high explosives and any combination of these means. Has successfully resisted entry* for a net working time of 60 minutes when attacked with common hand tools, picking tools, mechanical or portable electric tools, grinding points, carbide drills, pressure applying devices or mechanisms, abrasive cutting wheels, power saws, impact tools, and oxy-fuel gas cutting or welding torch, nitroglycerin or other high explosives equivalent to not more than 4 ounces of nitroglycerin in one charge (entire test must not use more explosive than that equivalent to 8 ounces of nitroglycerin).

Fire Ratings

The following is an explanation of the (UL) Underwriter’s Laboratories’ fire resistant container testing procedures on the class 350°F, one hour and two hour fire labels. U.L. Label/Class 350°F-one hour and Class 350°F-two hour. The safe will maintain an interior temperature less than 350°F when exposed to fire for a period of one hour at 1700°F or for a period of two hours at 1850°F. Safe must successfully undergo all other requirements for the Fire Endurance Test, Explosion Hazard Test and the Fire/Impact Test as stated below.

Fire Endurance Test
After heat sensors and paper are placed inside the safe, the unit is locked and exposed to a uniformly distributed fire. The furnace is regulated to reach a maximum temperature of 1700°F for a period of one hour, or 1850°F for two hours, then allowed to cool without opening the furnace. The interior temperature is recorded throughout the test and during the cooling period until a definite drop is shown and must never exceed 350°F. Once cooled, the unit is opened and examined for usability. The units locking mechanisms and parts fastenings are examined for security and the interior examined for visible evidence of undue heat transmission.

Explosion Hazard Test
The safe is locked and placed into a furnace preheated to 2000°F. This temperature is maintained for 30 minutes (2 hour test is 45 minutes) and if no explosion results, the unit is allowed to cool without opening the furnace doors. Once cooled, the unit is opened and examined for usability. The units locking mechanisms and parts fastenings are examined for security and the interior examined for visible evidence of undue heat transmission.

Drop / Impact Test
After the units' contents are placed inside and in contact with the interior walls, the unit is closed, locked and exposed to the Standard time as in the Fire Endurance Test for the period of time stated for that classification. Within two minutes, the unit is removed from the furnace and dropped 30' onto a riprap of brick on a heavy concrete base. After impact, the unit is examined for deformation, rupture of parts, damaged insulation, and any other openings into the interior of the unit. When sufficiently cooled for handling the unit is inverted, reheated for the time stated and allowed to cool without opening the furnace doors. Once cooled, the unit is opened, dismantled and examinations made regarding the heat insulating properties of the sample such as usability of contents, condition of the interior finish, security of locks, part fastenings and any signs of undue transmission of heat or moisture.