What’s a TL-15 Safe You Ask?

Great question! We spend a lot of time around here talking about security and security ratings.  One of the basic questions after you are done with talking to people about safes is what are you actually getting for the money? So I thought I would give you a run down to UL listed ratings for burglary. From the lowest to best or most that you would be interested in actually purchasing.  It is very important to note that there are a load of safes, metal boxes, and even plastic containers that call themselves “safes”. Some will even have a UL listing but it may not be for security. It may be just for fire.  Then those companies market what we call a “fire box” to the consumer.  The side package will say something like “UL listed 30 minute fire rated and burglary safe” What that means is it is UL listed for 30 minutes of fire. Then they just throw on the “burglary safe” at the end of the sentence. I see these on Sentry safes a lot. Which are basically like an igloo ice chest with a lock on them. Good fire protection just no real burglary but they mislead the consumer into thinking that it is burglary.  When it takes a kid less then 60 seconds to pry it open with a spoon!

  1. RSC: In the number one or lowest position on the ratings scale is the Residential Security Container or RSC.  You will see this mainly on high end gun safes and fire and burglary safes.  Low end gun safes found at Big Box retailers rarely have it and in fact make the thinnest steel safes to look like the higher end ones. But once you know what to look for you won’t be fooled. You want to keep in mind you are buying steel, fireproofing, and of course a lock.  No RSC rated safe is recognized by insurance companies or is insurable for contents.
  2. TL-15: In the number 2 spot is the TL-15 rating and this is actually the first rating in security by UL that is recognized by insurance companies. You can insure the contents with a separate rider policy. Those contents can even be cash, gold coins, and of course jewelry.  Now you may say you don’t need an insurable safe today because you just want to keep things quite. Well, I don’t blame you there. However, should the value of gold or the contents get caught up in inflation you may change your mind. Many are expecting the price of such commodities to sky rocket once inflation hits our shores.  I hope it never does but in the minds of many the die has been cast so to speak. TL stands for TooL and 15 stands for 15 minutes of actual attack time. Though the test may last 3 or 4 hours. There is also a 5 minute side wall test that is performed.  This type of safe is normally purchased by jewelry owners, coin collectors, and folks that want to keep a lot of cash on hand. As well as commercial accounts.
  3. TL-15×6: Same as above but instead of the 15 minute test being done just on the door they do it on each of the sides as well.  Same type person also purchases this safe.
  4. TL-30: Again, TL stands for TooL and 30 is for 30 minutes. A 15 minute side wall test is done. Often purchased by customers that have a minimum of $100k to put inside the safe and then up from there.
  5. TL-30×6 Same as the above but of course all the sides are tested at the same 30 minutes.
  6. TRTL-30×6: Okay, this really isn’t even found in banks.  However, many jewelers and pawn shops that take in jewelry for pawn or repair will have one of these models. The TR stands for ToRch and the TL stands for tool. 30 minutes tested on all 6 sides. The torch that the test it with is not blow torch but a lance. A lance makes a blow torch look like a candle compared to a bonfire! TL-15 rated safes

Compare Types of High Security Safes from TL-15 rated to Home Safes.

We just received this sheet showing different types of safes from high security safes to home safes. I thought it was just too good not share and tell you about.  Because we get so many phone calls here at Valuesafesinc.com with people wanting to store cash, jewelry, paperwork, passports, or whatever.  However, you need make the right choice for what you want to protect.  After all a bank isn’t going to store all their money in a home safe. Like wise we all need to think about security in layers. A safe of course is as good a starting point as any. But don’t forget about getting your home rekeyed by your local locksmith and having window locks. Monitored alarms are also excellent addition to any home security setup.

On the left below you will see the PM-1014 UL listed TL-15 rated safe. This one is an insurable rated vault and are commonly owned by coin collectors, people with lots of cash kept on hand, and the jewelry collector. It is also 2 hour fire rated. Bolts to any foundation for maximum security.  I believe this is actually smallest TL-15 rated safe available in the world.  Which makes it great in both home and commercial settings.

FB-450E is next on the list and this is a Fire and Burglary category.  It would rank as lower security rating when compared to the PM-1014 but still has the 2 hour fire rating.  Designed to take a beating by any thief but it would not be considered an “Insurable container” by insurance companies.  The UL rating that is below TL-15 is called RSC or Residential Security Container.  This is really just a hammer and crowbar test.  You will find it Fire and Burglary safes as well as gun safes. But it is not really considered much security.  Though it is much higher then say a home safe or office safe.

B1414E is considered a cash safe. Designed to protect just against theft. There is no fireproof material in it so really it is just a really strong steel safe.  Also bolts to the ground and is mainly used in commercial environments.  Good theft protection like the FB-450E but no fire resistance. You do save a lot of money on something like this when compared to the FB series though.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the HS-610 office safe and home safes. You really get only get a small amount theft protection but you get 2 hours of fireproof protection.  Also bolts to the ground.  I personally like 2 hour fire protection over just a single hour of fireproof. Because it really lasts through a big fire. Most fires are not found and once they are called in to the fire department it is on average 30 minutes after the fire had started before they begin to pour water on the fire. So a severe fire normally lasts longer then 1 hour. Which should then tell you that the small 30 minute fire safes are normally worthless in type of fire. I hope this helps. Follow the link to take a look at the PM-1014 series. TL-15 rated safes

Types of High Security safes

Types of High Security safes