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Safes UL! What Does Safes UL Ratings means?

SAFE RATING TERMS & DEFINITIONS

When buying a safe it helps to know what the termenology means, in this document we will shed some light on the subject.

DATA SAFE RATING

  • 1 Hour - U.L. class 150 Rate Safe:  This is a test done to protect computer data for 1 Hour.  The inside of the safe remains below 150 for the entire test both in the oven and cool down period.
  • 2 Hour - U.L. class 150 Rate Safe: This is a test done to protect computer data for a 2 Hour period.  The inside of the safe remains below 150 for the entire test both in the oven and cool down period.
  • 1 Hour - U.L. class 125 Rate Safe: This is a test done to protect computer data for a 1 Hour period.  The inside of the safe remains below 125 for the entire test both in the oven and cool down period.

Class TL-15

This is a combination locked safe that offers limited protection against combinations of common mechanical and electrical tools. The safe will resist abuse for 15 minutes from tools such as hand tools, picking tools, mechanical or electric tools, grinding points, carbide drills and devices that apply pressure.

Class TL-30

This is a combination locked safe that offers moderate protection against combinations of mechanical and electrical tools. The safe will resist abuse for 30 minutes from tools such as hand tools, picking tools, mechanical or electrical tools, grinding points, carbide drills, devices that apply pressure, cutting wheels and power saws.

Class TL-40

This is a combination locked safe that offers moderate protection against combinations of mechanical and electrical tools. The safe will resist abuse for 40 minutes from tools such as hand tools, picking tools, mechanical or electrical tools, grinding points, carbide drills, devices that apply pressure, cutting wheels and power saws.

Class 125

The safe sustains an internal atmosphere of 125 °F (52 °C) and 80% humidity. This class was introduced with the emergence of floppy disks. The safes are tested with only non-paper media, but are clearly sufficient to hold paper. New, more durable computer media, such as data on compact disks crystallize at 350 °F (177 °C), which make this type of safe overly-sufficient to store these media. However, Underwriters Laboratories have not tested whether data on Blu-ray disks, DVDs or CDs are altered during testing. They have just tested floppy disks, which are not a common storage medium these days. An added benefit of this safe is that it is waterproof due to a gasket on the door and the label will state this. These class ratings are used in conjunction with hour ratings such as: ½, 1, 2, 3, or 4.

Class 150

The safe sustains an internal atmosphere less than 150 °F (66 °C) and 85% humidity. This class was introduced with the emergence of computer data tapes or magnetic reel-to-reel tapes. UL tests this with paper and non-paper articles. This safe is also sufficient in storing some optical media, such as compact disks. Cases can be purchased that will meet Class 125, if they are placed inside a Class 150 safe. Some may be waterproof due to a gasket on the door and the label will state this. These class ratings are used in conjunction with hour ratings such as: ½, 1, 2, 3, or 4.

Class 350

The safe sustains an internal atmosphere of less than 350 °F (177 °C) and 85% humidity. This is the most basic of U.L. tests and specifically tests for the storage of paper. The ignition point of paper is 450 °F (232 °C), so this safe is sufficient for storage of paper. Cases can be purchased that will meet Class 125, if they are placed inside a Class 350 safe. These class ratings are used in conjunction with hour ratings such as: ½, 1, 2, 3, or 4.

Class TRTL-30

This is a combination locked safe that offers high protection against combinations of mechanical, electrical, and cutting tools. The safe will resist abuse for 30 minutes from tools such as hand tools, picking tools, mechanical or electrical tools, grinding points, carbide drills, devices that apply pressure, cutting wheels, power saws, impact tools and, in addition, can withstand an Oxy Fuel Welding and Cutting torch (tested gas limited to 1000 cubic feet combined total oxygen and fuel gas.)

Class TRTL-60

This class will withstand the same assaults as Class TRTL-30 for 60 minutes.

Class TXTL-60

This class meets all the requirements for Class TRTL-60 and, in addition, can withstand high explosives such as nitroglycerin or equivalent to not more than 4 ounces of nitroglycerin in one charge (entire test must not use more explosive than that equivalent to 8 ounces of nitroglycerin).

BURGLARY RATINGS

B-Rated Safe: A safe with at least a 1/4 inch body, 1/2 inch door.  These safes face no testing and the presence of a locking device on the box give them the "B" rating.  When buying a B-rate safe, look at things such as lock work, relocks and other features when making your decision.

C-Rated Safe: This is defined as a 1/2 inch thick steel box with a 1 inch thick door and lock on it.  It must have hard plate and re-lock.  As before no tests are given to provide this rating.

E-Rated Safe:  This rating is an insurance rating.  It is normally a safe similar in construction to a TL-15, yet has not been tested by an Independent testing company.  It is normally a composite or plate safe.

F-Rate Safe - U.L. TL-30 Rate:  "F" is an insurance rating - The tests given for this rating are essentially the same as the TL-15 tests except for, you guessed it, the net working time.  They get 30 minutes and a few more tools to help them gain entrance.  Keep in mind these engineers have the manufacturing blueprints and can disassemble the safe being tested before the test begins to see how it works.  They know their stuff.

"G & A" Rate Safe - U.L. TL-30 X6 Rate:  "G & A" is an insurance rating - The test for these safes are essentially the same as the TL-30 test except that the safe is tested on all 6 sides, including the floor of the safe.  Again engineers can disassemble the unit prior to testing and have access to the blueprints to see how the safe is built and how it works.

RSC (Residential Security Container): This is an Underwriters Laboratory security rating (Underwriters Laboratory is the best known of about 500 non-biased independent testing laboratories, known as U.L.).  The safe must withstand five minutes of rigorous prying, drilling, chiseling, and tampering attacks and must be tested using specific common burglary tools to prevent access to the content.

"ER" Rated Safe (E-Revised) - U.L. TL-15 Rate:  "ER" is an insurance rating - 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.  The label requires that the safe be constructed of 1 inch solid steel or equivalent.  The label means that the safe has been tested 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 a 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.

FIRE RATINGS

1/2 Hour - U.L. class 350 Rate Safe:  This safe has been tested by the Underwriters Laboratory.  The unit is heated for one-half hour to reach an exterior temperature of 1550 degrees.  Because paper will at approximately 400 degree, the unit is being tested must maintain an interior temperature of less than 350 degrees during heat-up and cool-down testing on order to earn it's rating.  At U.L. after the safe has hit the test time the safe is removed from the oven and hoisted 30 feet (equal to 3 flights of a building) and dropped on to concrete rubble, it is allowed to cool then picked up and placed back into a 2000 degree preheated oven (this is called the explosive test.)  It is done to see if the door will blow off, then it remains in the oven and the contents of the safe must come out unharmed.

1 Hour - U.L. class 350 Rate Safe:  To earn this rating, the safe is heated for one hour to reach an exterior temperature of 1550 degrees, then put through the cool down test.  Like the 1/2 hour test, the safe must maintain an internal temperature of less than 350 degrees throughout the test.   At U.L. after the safe has hit the test time the safe is removed from the oven and hoisted 30 feet (equal to 3 flights of a building) and dropped on to concrete rubble, it is allowed to cool then picked up and placed back into a 2000 degree preheated oven (this is called the explosive test.)  It is done to see if the door will blow off, then it remains in the oven and the contents of the safe must come out unharmed.

2 Hour - U.L. class 350 Rate Safe:  The safe is heated for two hours to reach an exterior temperature of 1550 degrees, then put through the cool down test.  During the complete process the interior of the safe cannot drop below 350 degrees.   At U.L. after the safe has hit the test time the safe is removed from the oven and hoisted 30 feet (equal to 3 flights of a building) and dropped on to concrete rubble, it is allowed to cool then picked up and placed back into a 2000 degree preheated oven (this is called the explosive test.)  It is done to see if the door will blow off, then it remains in the oven and the contents of the safe must come out unharmed.

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