Security Safes for you Home

Terminology, ratings and lock

Security safes

The expression security safe has a wide-ranged meaning. A simple description is that security safes are containers built out of metal to be used for secure protection of valuables. There are more facts to security safes though which are categories and ratings.

By becoming familiar with these terms it will then be easier to make the right purchase.


This is a brief overview of the popular home security safe types and their basic explanations. Wall safes get installed in the wall which can be accessed effortlessly; floor safes get installed in the floor which can be easily disguised but are less practical to access; chests are convenient security boxes and easy to transport and stored in cupboards for example; depositories are compact and solid safes with bigger storage space; vaults are high security walk-in safes for large items or high quantities.


Even though you might just be looking for a basic safe it can be useful to understand the basic rating system for security safes. Different ratings assure quality and standards and help the consumer to pick the right model. This is also important for the insurance industry to establish insurance rates. If a home safe is rated to be burglary safe it has to be constructed with the required door and combination lock. If a safe's construction does not comply with the standards of the trade it cannot be rated accordingly and won't offer real protection against a burglar; additionally there will problems regarding the insurance.

Main rating criteria:

1) Construction: safe can be cheaper as it has not been tested in a lab but has to be constructed appropriately.

2) Performance: safe can be more expensive depending on how resistant it is to an attack or fire. This gets accurately tested by the Underwriters' Laboratories and a performance which can be shown on the code label affixed to the safe.

B rate: safe is has a combination lock and a basic type of external relocking device. A ”B” rate does not guarantee a safe to be secure and should not be used for very valuable items unsupervised. .

C rate: safe has a 1 inch thick door

E rate: safe has a 1 1/2 inch thick door

TL 15 : tool resistant for at least 15 minutes and weights no less than 750 pounds

TL 30 : tool resistant for 30 minutes

TRTL 15 / TRTL 30: torch (fire) and tool resistant in the given time period of time (15/30 minutes)

TRTL60: torch (fire) and tool resistant (60 minutes)

TXTL60: safe weighs no less than 1000 pounds and is torch (fire) and tool resistant (60 minutes)

Main types of locks:

The 4 number dial combination is the less expensive version and is a reliable option. Digital locks are UL tested and have the advantage that the combination can be changed easily but therefore are also more expensive.


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