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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Ultimate Safe Security

Not many people find the need to purchase a safe with higher security ratings than a TL-15. This particular grade will keep your belongings safe from intruders with hand tools for no less than fifteen minutes. This is often plenty of security for general documents and smaller valuables. If you find that you need higher grades, you can consider the TRTL level, which protects from hand tools and torches, or the TXTL grade, which is impervious to explosives. As you might imagine, a safe that reads a TXTL-60 rating is just about the highest classification you can get for a private home, with protection from hand tools, torches, and explosives for no less than an hour.

Top of the Line Safes

For the most part, general consumers get all the protection they need with a TL-15 home safe. Sometimes, however, more protection is needed. If you have furs or other large valuable that need the utmost protection, you might need to consider the TRTL-30×6 safe. The TRTL-30×6 safe rating means that it is impervious to hand tools and torches for up to thirty minutes on all six sides of the safe. It is constructed from compressed concrete that his housed between magnesium steel hardplates. In addition to keeping thieves out, it is also fireproof up to 1750 degrees for two hours. There is no better safe for your needs.

Strongest Safes for Your Valuables

Most of the time, a general home safe is just fine for protecting your valuables. If, however, you have expensive jewelry and furs that require more stringent protection, you should consider some of the stronger safes available. The TL-15 rating will protect your belongings from a thief wielding hand tools for up to fifteen minutes. You can also find safes that will protect from torches and even explosives. Consider the value of the things you want to protect and then choose a safe with safety ratings accordingly. You may pay more up front for your safe, but the protection it can offer is priceless.

Everyone Should Have a Safe

Many people think that buying a safe means they’re uncomfortable with the safety of their neighborhood. There are over two million burglaries each year, and these could happen in your very safe neighborhood. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a top of the line safe if you’re just protecting general items. However, a safe rated TL-15 can discourage thieves from attempting to crack it, since these safes resist hand tools for up to fifteen minutes. No thief wants to hang around that long, which means they’ll give up long before they can get to your valuables inside the safe.

Protect Valuable Jewelry

For a large collection of precious metals and jewelry, you would be wise to invest in a home safe. It is recommended that you choose a safe that has at least a TL-15 rating, which means that your belongings will be protected for at least fifteen minutes from thieves that attempt to break in with hand tools. There are stronger models, however, and you would do well to consider the safes that protect against torches, as well. These safes can offer ratings that include protection from explosives, too, for up to an hour. Consider the necessary amount of security before making a purchase.

Don’t Assume You Don’t Need a Safe

Even if you think you live in a quiet and safe neighborhood, you are still at risk for a home invasion or a house fire. Studies show that a burglary occurs every fifteen seconds in the United States, with over two million home invasions occurring last year. With those statistics in mind, you can hardly argue the fact that you should have somewhere safe to keep your valuable belongings, as well as your important documents. Even the lowest rated safe, the TL-15, can keep your belongings protected against hand tools for up to fifteen minutes. Since most thieves spend less than five minutes inside, you can rest a bit easier.