Besides safes being rated for fire and burglary protection, safes can also be rated to meet agreed upon insurance standards. Home safes with these ratings can earn you a discount on your home owners content insurance. Learn a bit about these different ratings to help you choose the safe that best suits your needs.
There are many home safes on the market today, and like many industries, it has its own vocabulary. But everyday people own home safes,and most do not want to learn the industry lingo in order to purchase the one that is best for them. Most safes are security and fire tested by the independent Universal Laboratories, and have a UL rating based upon the security and fire testing that they have passed. These I have discussed in previous articles, so today I want to take a look at other rating systems that you may come across when you are shopping for a safe, many that meet agreed upon insurance standards.
B-Rated Security Steel Safes
A B-Rated safe meets a set of agreed upon insurance standards. The B-rating basically wants a safe to have a minimum of a 1/2 inch steel in the door and 1/4 inch steel in the body. It also must have a drill resistant hardplate around the lock. One thing to be aware of is that many of these safes do not have any fireproofing, only steel. This is for maximum dollar to steel protection against theft. They often contain huge and numerous locking bolts, and have predrilled holes in the bottom so that they can be anchored to any foundation. They are designed as a maximum security safe that is affordable, just be aware of their fire rating, because a B-rated safe does not have to meet any minimum fire resistant testing.
These are popular jewelry safes or vaults as some like to call them. These are mainly used in jewelry stores, check cashing establishments, pawn shops, or by collectors of very expensive items. These home safes are UL listed with both a Fireproof Safe rating and Burglary rating. These home safes are also insurance rated and come with predrilled holes for easy bolting down to the floor. These safes are heavy and not fun to move.
Some basic features of TL-15 safes are composite construction with a 5" thick door and a 2" thick body, 1-1/2" bolts, full length hinge side locking bar, dual re-locks, and a drill resistive hard plate.
These are the top of the line in the safe building industry. You will find TL-30 Safes for commercial use in jewelry stores, credit unions, pawn shops, and homes that only want the best in quality safes. The next best thing is the vault at Fort Knox! The TL-30 has several relockers and hardplate on top of hard plate. It also has ball bearings sandwiched in between layers. A 1-1/2 hour UL fire rating is standard, and a TL-30 will also have the same basic features mentioned above for the TL-15 home safes.
It is important to notify your insurance company if you purchase one of these home safes (a TL-15 or TL-30) because they may give you a discount on your home owners content insurance.
European Grade 1 Safes
This is the European equivalent of our American TL-15, though they are put together different than the American safe. It is a fantastic design with a lot of thought put into its design. The fire rating is at 2000 degrees for one hour, which is a much higher temperature than we test at in the U.S. One thing you will notice is the weight is as much as 70% lighter and it has no exterior hinges. They depend on the bulk of the steel being "Drill Resistant Hard Plate". If you are interested in a TL-15, it is worth considering European Grade 1 home safes before purchasing, you will be impressed with the features. Excellent insurance rating and they are also ready to bolt to the floor or wall.
So, if you have a lot of valuables to protect, consider home safes with any of the above ratings. Not only do you get superior protection and security, but you may also save a bit on your home owners insurance.