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Understanding Anti-Burglary Ratings


Often when you are researching which house safe you want to purchase, you’ll come across different anti-burglar ratings. It can seem like a bunch of random letters and numbers all jumbled together, but in reality they are fairly easy to understand once you understand the basic idea behind them.

There are a few different ways of determining a house safe’s burglar resistance. Different companies use different ways, and different companies write down the results in different ways. Most industry standard safes worth your money come with minimal anti-burglary security ratings.

UL Rating

Underwriters Laboratories, is a very old, very prestigious company that tests security products and tries to find their flaws. Which will in turn help make the manufacturer build and design a stronger, more secure product.

The construction requirements for a UL Rated safe are:

  • Body must have 12-gauge open hearth steel
  • L. listed Group II combo lock or Type 1 electronic lock

Every year they test well over 20,000 products. The UL rating is an indicator of any tested products strength, durability and security.

The company has been around for over 100 years, and they help provide information backed by extensive testing to business owners and general public. They employ over 12,000 people.

Test Performance Ratings

Test Performance Ratings are made for combination lock safes that offer protection against different tools used simultaneously. These ratings were established by Underwriters Laboratories. This includes cutting, mechanical and electrical tools.

Depending on the TL Rating determines how long a safe can withstand abuse from any of the listed tools above. It all depends on what tier of tool the unauthorized invader is trying to use, and what abuse technique they are using on the safe.

Some common ratings are: U.L. TL-15 and TL-30.

What Level of Protection Do You Need?

When deciding on this one, you will probably think you need the best of the best. The reality of it is, if you don’t have a lot of money, then you don’t need to spend all of it on a safe.

You can purchase a safe with a lower anti-burglar rating. Especially if you live in an area that does not get hit with crime often.

Another way is by looking at the ratings below and deciding which one best suits your interests.

B Classification – Industry Standard

The B Classification is basically the safe industry standard. This standard was determined by the insurance industry as a way to determine which safe was deemed worthy of being insured.

The steel doors in the B Class are less than 1” thick and the steel body is less than ½” thick.

C Classification – Step Up from B Class

There is not a huge difference between C Class and B Class, other than in the door and body thickness.

For a safe to be worthy of a C Classification, the door must be at least 1” thick and the body must be at least ½” thick.

UL TL-15 Rating

This is the rating that a lot of people normally shoot for when purchasing a safe. This rating means Underwriters Laboratories has given the unit a green light, and has deemed it trustworthy.

In order to be worthy of a UL TL-15 Rating, the safe must have a Group 2M, 1 1R combo lock or Type 1 Electronic lock. The safe itself has be 750lbs, and/or comes with instructions on how to anchor the safe.

The body walls must be 1” of open hearth steel and have an at minimum strength of 50,000 P.S.I.

There needs to be one hole that is no more than ¼”, but usually less which accommodates electrical conductors. This hole must not have any direct view of the door or locking mechanics of the safe.

For performance testing, the safe must be able to at least withstand 15 minutes of being attacked by cutting tools, mechanical tools and electrical tools.

UL TL-30 Rating – A Step Above TL-15

The construction requirements for the TL-30 rating are the same as the TL-15 rating. 750lbs, or proper floor anchoring holes in place with instruction manual. And body walls with minimum tensile strength of 50,000 P.S.I.

The performance points for TL-30 is a bit above TL-15. The safe must withstand at least 30 minutes of abuse from any cutting, mechanical or electrical tools.

Most Worthy House Safes Come in TL-15 Rating

When shopping around for a safe, you’re going to want a house safe with a rating of at least TL-15. It will be easier for you to find something that has this rating rather than trying to determine whether or not the safe is a good buy based on its features.

Most often than not, a lot of highly rated safes on the web come with at least a TL-15 Rating. Which makes your life a lot easier because a safe with this rating, will be trustworthy and durable.

Keep in mind, a lot of time when a safe manufacturer gets the solid burglar resistance ratings, they may jack up the price. This is a normal thing to do. Expect to pay a bit more when dealing with highly resistant safes.

Now that you have read through all of the ratings, it should be fairly simple as to what safe you need.