Safe Ratings Explained

Safe ratings can be confusing--but we're here to help!
Be sure you know what the ratings mean so you don't get the wrong safe.


Burglary Ratings

  • "B" Rate Safe:

    A safe with at least a 1/4-inch body and a 1/2-inch door. These safes face no testing and the presence of a locking device on the box gives them the "B" rating. When buying a B-rate safe, look at things such as the lock works, relockers and other features when making your decision.

  • RSC (Residential Security Container):

    This is an Underwriters Laboratory™ (known as U.L.™) security rating (Underwriters Laboratory™ is the best known of about 500 non-biased independent testing laboratories). The safe must withstand five minutes of rigorous prying, drilling, punching, chiseling, and tampering attacks and must be tested using specific common burglary tools to prevent access to the contents.

  • "C" Rate Safe:

    This is defined as a 1/2-inch thick steel box with a 1-inch thick door with a lock on it. It must have hard plate and a relocking device. As before, no tests are given to provide this rating.

  • "E" Rate Safe:

    This rating is an insurance rating. It is normally a safe similar in construction to a TL-15, yet has not been tested by an independent testing company. It is normally a composite or plate safe.

  • "ER" Rate Safe (E Revised) - U.L.™ TL-15 Rate:

    "ER" is an insurance rating - Safes given a U.L.™ TL-15 rating have all passed standardized tests defined in UL© Standard 687 using the same tools and usually the same group of testing engineers. The label requires that the safe be constructed of 1-inch solid steel or equivalent. The label means that the safe has been tested for a net working time of 15 minutes using "...common hand tools, drills, punches, hammers, and pressure applying devices". Net working time means simply "when the tool comes off the safe the clock stops". There are over 50 different types of attacks that can be used to gain entrance into the safe. Usually they will try only two or three - based on what they know about the product, and they know a lot.

  • "F" Rate Safe - U.L.™ TL-30 Rate:

    "F" is an insurance rating - The tests given for this rating are essentially the same as the TL-15 tests except for, you guessed it, the net working time. They get 30 minutes and a few more tools to help them gain entrance. Keep in mind these engineers have the manufacturing blue prints and can disassemble the safe being tested before the test begins to see how it works. They know their stuff.

  • G&A Rate Safe - U.L™ TL-30X6 Rate:

    G&A is an insurance ratings - The tests for these safes are essentially the same as the TL-30 test except that the safe is tested on all 6 sides, including the floor of the safe. Again, the engineers can disassemble the unit prior to testing and have access to the blueprints to see how the safe is built and how it works.


Fire Ratings

  • 1/2 Hour - U.L.™ class 350 Rate Safe:

    This safe has been tested by the Underwriters Laboratory™.  The unit is heated for one-half hour to reach an exterior temperature of 1550 degrees. Because paper will begin to char at approximately 410 degrees, the unit being tested must maintain an interior temperature of less than 350 degrees during heat-up and cool-down testing in order to earn its rating. At U.L.™ after the safe has hit the test time, the safe is removed from the oven and hoisted 30 feet (equal to 3 flights of a building) and dropped onto concrete rubble. It is allowed to cool and then picked up and placed back into a 2000 degree F preheated oven. This is called the explosive test. It is done to see if the door will blow off. It remains in the oven and the contents of the safe must remain unharmed.

  • 1 Hour - U.L™ class 350 Rate Safe:

    To earn this rating, the safe is heated for one hour to reach an exterior temperature of 1550 degrees, then put through the cool down test. Like the 1/2 hour test, the safe must maintain an interior temperature of less than 350 degrees throughout the test. At U.L.™ after the safe has hit the test time, the safe is removed from the oven and hoisted 30 feet (equal to 3 flights of a building) and dropped onto concrete rubble. It is allowed to cool and then picked up and placed back into a 2000 degree F preheated oven. This is called the explosive test. It is done to see if the door will blow off. It remains in the oven and the contents of the safe must remain unharmed.

  • 2 Hour - U.L™ class 350 Rate Safe:

    The safe is heated for two hours to reach an exterior temperature of 1550 degrees, then put through the cool down test. During the complete process, the interior of the safe cannot go above 350 degrees. At U.L.™ after the safe has hit the test time, the safe is removed from the oven and hoisted 30 feet (equal to 3 flights of a building) and dropped onto concrete rubble. It is allowed to cool and then picked up and placed back into a 2000 degree F preheated oven. This is called the explosive test. It is done to see if the door will blow off. It remains in the oven and the contents of the safe must remain unharmed.


Data Safes

  • 1 Hour - U.L.™ class 150 Rate Safe:

    This test is done to protect computer data for one hour. The inside of the safe remains below 150 degrees for the entire test both in the oven and cool down period.

  • 2 Hour - U.L.™ class 150 Rate Safe:

    This is a test done to protect computer data for a two hour period. The inside of the safe remains below 150 degrees for the entire test both in the oven and cool down period.

  • 1 Hour - U.L.™ class 125 Rate Safe:

    This is a test done to protect computer data for a one hour period. The inside of the safe remains below 125 degrees for the entire test both in the oven and cool down period.





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