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

Creative & Clever Ways to Hide Your Safe

how to hide a safeEveryone knows what a safe is for.  You don’t put just anything in a safe, you store your most valuable items. These valuable items might not only be of monetary value, rather items of great importance. This can include, titles, deeds, birth certificates, passports, and Social Security cards. Stuff you don’t want to land in the wrong hands.
 
Even though you own a safe which greatly increases the safety of these items doesn’t mean that your safe can’t be stolen or broken into. For this reason is why it’s smart to place your safe in a smart and concealed area.  Here are some helpful hints and ideas that will hopefully help you decide where to place yours.

     

  1. Inside a closet is a great spot to put a safe.  Typically a closet in the master bedroom or office. It’s most important that it’s not in an area of high foot traffic or visibility. You want to make sure the safe stays out of sight, which is why if you can hide it in a walk in closest behind some hanging clothes this will ensure it’s not easily found or transported.
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  3. Under the stairs. Most homes have that awkward half room, half closet space under the stairs. This is another secluded spot which can easily be concealed and forgotten. Sometimes these rooms can be setup with flush doors that look like a wall panel and are discernable to the naked eye.
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  5. Have an old fridge? Fridges can pretty easily be converted into a handy hiding spot. This can be used if you don’t have a super-secret room under the stairs and all you have a corner in your garage. Again, you don’t want the garage door being open and someone to drive by and spot your safe. This makes your house an easy target. Hiding your safe in the Fridge can disguise it in plain sight.
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  7. Building the safe into a wall can be a great option if you have the means to make it happen. This is ideal because the safe can be concealed completely behind the wall. If someone does happen to find where it’s at removing it becomes far more difficult and will require more tools and time by the thieves.
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  9. The easiest and least expensive route to hiding your safe is to use a cardboard moving box. This will help conceal it but doesn’t require too much protection outside of disguise.

 
Hopefully these tips will give you a better idea where to place your safe and what may or may not be a good idea.
 

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Safe Hacks: Protecting Your Profits in 2015

Anyone who has ever considered buying a safe for your business, you know that there are ways to hack into safes; or, in most cases, attempt to destroy them so they can get at the goods. The great news is that there are quite a few steps and skills that the burglar in question would need to possess and go through in order to get at what they need.
 

Do People Really Crack Safes?

 
The short answer is yes. If they see the contents of the safe as being rewarding or valuable, then they will certainly try to crack the combination, beat up the safe, or go as far as cutting it in half. This is a popular enough thought that it was featured on Mythsbusters:
 

 
Here they try to duplicate a famous safe crack where there is water and explosives involved. And it was deemed a “plausible” way to get into a safe. There is no shortage of creativity when it comes to safe hacking.
 
And that old trick about the stethoscope being used to hear the lock combination- eHow tells us that that’s a thing.
 

 
It took him a while to do it, but it’s definitely doable.
 

 
We just won’t even talk about how easy it was for Alex Lewis to pop that safe.
 
First, let’s start with some things you can do in order to deter burglars from stealing your safe.
 

Safe Thief Deterrents

 
There are a number of things that you can do in order to protect your assets and your profits.
 
If it isn’t a wall or floor safe, that means it can be set down somewhere. You probably didn’t think to bolt it down because it weighs 304,973,985,794,875 pounds right? Think again- if a thief is determined to get a safe, they will find a way. Don’t make it easier on them! Bolt the safe down so that, if nothing else, they would have to spend more time dislodging it.
 
Secondly, when is the last time you have changed your combination? Some thieves will go as far as getting up close and personal in order to get at the safe. Change the combinations regularly in order to keep people in their toes- designate a single person to be in charge of the combinations.
 
Thirdly, know what type of safe you have. Knowing everything about your safe inside and out will help to locate its weakest points. Being armed with this knowledge will tell you if your safe needs backup protection.
 
Put money into this investment. If you’re trying to deter someone from getting valuable, getting a cheap safe won’t do you any good. Cheap means flimsy, faulty, and weak at best.
 

What Can Business Owners Do?

 
The first thing to consider is whether or not people would know about a safe or not. Having one in plain sight is asking for someone to poke at it. Don’t advertise your safes; invest in a wall safe or a floor safe.
 
Also, consider buying a safe that is made of thicker materials. If a thief has to go through concrete and steel, there is a better chance the thief will either give up or not have tools powerful enough to handle physically working their way into a safe. Check out this video to see what we mean:
 

 
Boost your security. If you have the means to do so, having overnight staff to protect your valuables is a good idea. It’s easier to take the time to get into a safe if there is no one around, but the tools needed to crack a safe are rarely quiet enough where they wouldn’t get caught. Video cameras are also a great idea.
 
Along these same lines, train your staff. Show them how to properly handle emergency situations and who to call in those emergencies.
 
If you’re interested to know more about how to prevent these occurrences, feel free to contact Value Safes today!
 

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Selecting Security and Fire Safes

Too many people assume their new security safe will also be fireproof or vice versa. The problem with this is that not all safes are created equally. If you buy a fire safe without checking out the security aspects, you could find that it’s vulnerable to theft the hardest way possible. There are fire safes that are rated for security, as well. If you are looking for something that will protect your belongings through any type of disaster, be it fire or burglary, you should check the specifications of your chosen safe to ensure that it will do double duty.

Choosing Between Fire and Burglary Safe

While it is possible to get a burglary safe that protects from fire, many people don’t realize that they are usually two separate types of safes. You will have to verify that a safe is rated for fire and theft safety before buying, or you could end up disappointed. Hollon makes excellent examples of fire and burglary safes, with extra thick walls and doors that protect from heat and theft. These safes will remain fireproof for two hours. With three-directional locking bolts, they are made to keep thieves out, too. As always, these safes are the height of technology, and you’ll find them easy to use.

Fireproof Safes for All Occasions

How important are fireproof safes? Anyone who has gone through a fire and lost pictures, valuables, and important paperwork could tell you just how important they truly are. When you buy these safes, you will want to check the fire rating on them to see how long they are able to protect your documents. It might even be a good idea to buy more than one safe. You can keep fireproof safes in the home as well as the office. If you have a vacation home, consider getting one for that house as well. You can never have too much protection.

Finding a Perfect Safe

When you are trying to decide on a new safe, it really just depends on what your needs are. If you are planning to protect documents, then a fire proof safe is the way to go. For valuable jewelry, you will want a safe that employs several security tactics. There are even safes that are meant especially for the protection of digital media, which means that they will guard against dust, humidity, heat, and even electromagnets. If you are planning to store your firearms, the Winchester line of gun safes is an excellent choice to protect against both theft and fire.

Fireproof Does Not Equal Theft-proof

Many people that purchase a fireproof safe expect the same protection from attempted theft. The problem is that the materials that are used in a fireproof safe are very different from those used in a safe for security reasons. Fireboard is not as impervious to hand tools as layers of concrete and steel can be. You should also remember that a safe that is meant solely for security would not protect the contents from high temperatures that are found in a house fire. The Hollon line of fireproof safes does make a fireproof safe that can be bolted to the floor, which might be a good compromise.

Research Safes Before Buying

It is a very good idea to purchase a safe to protect your valuable jewelry and documents, but you should be sure to research your possibilities carefully. Purchasing a fire safe is not the same as purchasing a security safe, though it is possible to find models that include both features. House fires can burn at temperatures of up to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you have purchased a security safe that doesn’t feature fireproofing, you could lose important documents. The Hollon HS-320-E is a popular fireproof safe, and with one of these, you can rest easy, knowing your belongings are secure.