Burglary ratings are a mix of manufacturer standards and Underwriters Laboratory burglar ratings. This is a general guideline that compares safes versus the content value. We recommend contacting your insurance underwriter prior to making a purchase so that you know the right rated safe to purchase for the amount of valuables you are looking to protect.
These ratings and content values are guidelines only:
|Burglar Rating||With Burglar Alarm||NO Burglar Alarm|
|B-Rate||UP TO $10,000||UP TO $5,000|
|B/C Rate||UP TO $20,000||UP TO $10,000|
|UL RSC||UP TO $30,000||UP TO $15,000|
|C-Rate||UP TO $50,000||UP TO $25,000|
|UL TL-15||UP TO $200,000||UP TO $100,000|
|UL TL-30||UP TO $375,000||UP TO $195,000|
|UL TL-30X6||UP TO $500,000||UP TO $275,000|
|UL TRTL-30X6||UP TO $1,000,000+||UP TO $500,000+|
Question: What are these ratings?
Answer: These ratings are based on years of conversations with insurance company underwriters who set the maximum insurable limits for safes for their companies. We have spoken with Lloyds of London, Chubb Insurance, and Jewelers Mutual who insures 75% of all jewelry stores in the United States.
These are guidelines intended to help you decide which burglar rating is best for you. Safe manufacturers do not guarantee these amounts, however, we are sharing them with you to help you make an informed safe buying decision.
Burglary & Gun Safes:
California Department of Justice Construction Standard (CDOJ) (This is NOT a TRUE burglar rating. It is a minimum construction standard)
Regulatory Gun Safe Standards DOJ regulatory standards require a gun safe to meet ALL of the following requirements:
- Shall be able to fully contain firearms and provide for their secure storage.
- Shall have a locking system consisting of at minimum a mechanical or electronic combination lock. The mechanical or electronic combination lock utilized by the safe shall have at least 10,000 possible combinations consisting of a minimum three numbers, letters, or symbols. The lock shall be protected by a case-hardened (Rc 60+) drill-resistant steel plate, or drill-resistant material of equivalent strength.
- Boltwork shall consist of a minimum of three steel locking bolts of at least ½ inch thickness that intrude from the door of the safe into the body of the safe or from the body of the safe into the door of the safe, which are operated by a separate handle and secured by the lock.
- Shall be capable of repeated use. The exterior walls shall be constructed of a minimum 12-gauge thick steel for a single-walled safe, or the sum of the steel walls shall add up to at least .100 inches for safes with two walls. Doors shall be constructed of a minimum of two layers of 12-gauge steel, or one layer of 7-gauge steel compound construction.
- Door hinges shall be protected to prevent the removal of the door. Protective features include, but are not limited to: hinges not exposed to the outside, interlocking door designs, dead bars, jeweler’s lugs and active or inactive locking bolts.
or ALL of the following requirements:
- Is listed as an Underwriters Laboratories Residential Security Container;
- Is able to fully contain firearms;
- Provides for the secure storage of firearms.
Burglary Classification Residential Security Container (RSC) signifies a combination or keylocked unit designed to offer protection against entry by common mechanical tools. Performance tests are conducted against the entire unit. The basic standard used to investigate in this category is UL 1037, “Antitheft Alarms and Devices.
- An Anti-theft device, as defined by Paragraph 1.3, shall resist at least 5 minutes of attack that would defeat its purpose.
- Any disassembly of the protected property required to make it removable, is to be included in the 5 minutes of attack test.
- The tools used in the test are to include hammers, chisels, adjustable wrenches, pry bars, punches and screwdrivers. The hammers are not to exceed 3 pounds in head weight, and no tool is to exceed 18 inches in length.
- The product under test is to be mounted securely in its intended position, and the attack is to be carried out by one operator.
Burglar safes are usually made of solid steel plate or a combination of solid steel and composite fill material such as concrete. These safes are divided into categories based on the level of protection delivered and the testing endured. Here we will discuss only seven classes: B-Rate, U.L. RSC Rating, B/C Rate, C-Rate, U.L. TL-15, U.L. TL-30 and TL-30 X6.
B-Rate Safes (Also U.L. RSC, Residential Security Containers):
B-Rate is a catch all safe industry rating for essentially any box with a lock on it. The safe industry had an unwritten standard of ¼ inch body, ½ inch door. Today, many safe companies use 1/8″ steel in the body. Some will make both 1/8″ and 1/4″ steel bodies. The 1/4″ costs more. As steel prices (and shipping costs) increased manufacturers tried many things to reduce their costs. No tests are given to provide this rating. When buying a B-rate safe, look at things such as lock work, hard plates, and relockers.
U.L. Residential Security Container rating (RSC) – This UL rating is based on testing conducted for a net working time of five minutes, on all sides, with a range of tools. Underwriters Lab conducts the test and provides certification to the safe manufacturers. See U.L. TL-15 and TL-30 descriptions below for “net working time” description.
This is a catch all rating for safes with at least a 1/4″ steel body, 1/2 inch door PLUS additional 10 or 12 guage metal layers where composite fire resistant material is also deployed. No tests are given to provide this rating. Look at the lock work, relockers and other features when making your decision.
This is defined as a ½ inch thick steel box with a 1-inch thick door and a lock. As before, NO tests are given to provide this rating. Look at the lock work, relockers and other features when making your decision.
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) High Security Burglar Ratings
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.Construction Requirements
- U.L. listed Group II, 1 or 1R combination lock. In addition, these safes may be provided with UL Listed High Security electronic locks which MUST be rated “Type 1”.
- 750 lbs. minimum or comes with instructions for anchoring in a larger safe, concrete blocks or on the premises where used.
- Body walls of material equivalent to at least 1″ open hearth steel with a minimum tensile strength of 50,000 P.S.I.
- Walls fastened in a manner equivalent to continuous 1/4″ penetration weld of open hearth steel with minimum tensile strength of 50,000 P.S.I.
- One hole 1/4″ or less, to accommodate electrical conductors arranged to have no direct view of the door or locking mechanism.
Net Working Time Definition:
The label means that the safe successfully resisted entry (i.e. opening the door or making a 6″ square opening entirely through the door or front face) 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 fifty different types of attacks that can be used to gain entrance into the safe. Usually they will try only 2 or 3 based on what they know about the product, and they know a lot.
Common Misunderstanding of UL Ratings:
The NET working time of 5 minutes for the RSC Burglar Rating, 15 minutes for the TL-15 and 30 minutes for the TL-30 are often thought to be the amount of time it takes to break into a safe. This is FALSE. Our safe crackers who are legally breaking into safes for our customers, have the knowledge, correct tools and plenty of time can often take from 1 hour to 8 hours to break into a safe legally. It all depends on the skill of the safe cracker, how much information he has about the safe construction and even some “luck”. Any safe can be broken in to. The higher the UL Burglar Rating, the more time it takes to break into the safe.
Construction requirements are identical to the TL-15 above. Tests are essentially the same as the TL-15 tests except for the net working time. Testors are allowed 30 minutes and a few more tools (abrasive cutting wheels and power saws) to help them gain entrance. The label signifies the testors were unable to open the door or make a 6″ square opening entirely through the door or front face within 30 minutes. 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. TL-30 x 6 – The TL-30 (30-minute) test is conducted on all six (6) sides of the safe.