How Are Safes Rated?

If you’re shopping for a safe you’ll probably have seen a variety of different ratings, but one questions that comes up very often is “how are safes rated?”

When you are going to buy a safe for your business or home, then the first question that will come into your mind is what are you going to put into the safe, and what are you protecting your valuables from? Just like cars and other mechanical tools and equipment have ratings, safes also come with several ratings.

These ratings are an essential description that you must know for you to identify what the safe can offer to your valuables. Is it fire resistance or burglar-proof? You’ll know that by knowing what rating is on the safe.

All safes undergo several tests, and it’s from these tests that a certain level of rating is attained. These tests also ascertain how effective the safe is. The critical things tested to determine the rating of a safe are how secure the fitted locks are, and the amount of attack time it can offer either from burglars and fire.

The following are some of the ratings and how they are achieved.

  1. UL Ratings

The UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories. It is an organization that is dedicated to educating the public as well as businesses about the performance and safety of products in a broad spectrum of industries. The UL rating indicates the quality and certification of the safety of the safe.

  1. B-Rating

It’s a rating that takes care of the safe’s walls. The walls of a safe having a B-rating are less than 1/2” thick while the doors are less than 1” thick. A safe earns a B-rating by having a locking device. Here, the re-locks and lock works are examined before giving the safe a B-rating.

  1. C-Rating

It is a rating given to safes having doors that are 1” thick minimum and steel walls above 1/2” thick. The 1” thickness also applies to the lock of the safe.

  1. TL Rating

It is a rating awarded to safes that come with combination locks that offer protection against combinations of electrical, cutting, and mechanical tools. Typically, these are safes that can resist abuse for a varying amount of time, based on which classification tier they fall under.

Under this rating, we have two types of safes. They include;

  • TL-15 Safes: They can withstand a minimum of fifteen minutes of attack when burglars use ‘fairly good tools’ before being compromised.
  • TL -30 Safes: They can withstand  a minimum of 30 minutes of attack when burglars attack with sophisticated tools before being compromised.
  • TRTL Rating: They are safes that can withstand both tool and torch based attacks.


  1. Fire Rating

The rating is achieved by subjecting the safe to different extreme temperature levels for set periods of time. Some of the varying heat and time include the UL class 350 1-hour fire rating. That means that the safe cannot exceed 350°F for one hour when the outside temperature reaches above 1700°F. The time of fire resistance varies from safe to safe, depending on the brand. You may get safes that endure fire for two or even three hours. Moreover, under the fire rating, the safes will tested for the impact of explosions by heating them ans then dropping them from different heights.

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