Burglary Safes are among the many types of safes that provide protection from forced-entry attempts by burglars using tools such as cutting torches, power tools, explosives, chemicals and other common hand tools. Burglary safes are designed to thwart each of these type of attacks by carefully selecting materials and construction techniques best suited for the type of protection needed.

A burglary safe will deter burglaries by preventing unskilled burglars and delaying the skilled ones. While no safe is completely burglar-proof, when combined with other security measures such as intrusion alarms, a burglary safe can significantly increase the chances of a burglar being apprehended or fleeing before the job is done.

Burglary safes provide protection based on time and the tool used to break into the safe. The more tools the safe can protect against, the higher the burglary rating of the safe. Burglary safes are classified using safe ratings based on their construction and performance.

Burglary Safe Ratings and Their Meanings:

Construction Ratings:

Construction ratings rank safes based on the types and thicknesses of materials used. These ratings were developed by the insurance industry and are most commonly termed B-rated and C-rated.

Performance Ratings:

Performance ratings are developed by independent testing laboratories. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) in the United States, performs their tests based on a written standard called UL 687 which sets the standard that safes have to conform to in order to earn a UL rating. UL 687 rates its safes by the types of burglary tools used and the amount of time they resist attack using an alphanumeric code such as “UL TL-15” or “UL TL-30”.

B Class Burglary Safes

B-Classification / Good Protection

The “B” burglary resistive classification is an industry construction and performance rating. This type of construction rating was established by the insurance industry to develop a standard that will indicate the degree of protection a safe will provide against an attempted burglary attack.

Construction Specifications

Steel doors less than 1″ thick and steel body less than 1/2″ thick.

C Class Burglary Safes

C-Classification / Better Protection

The “C” burglary resistive classification is an industry construction and performance rating. This type of construction rating was established by the insurance industry to develop a standard that will indicate the degree of protection a safe will provide against an attempted burglary attack.

Construction Specifications

Steel doors at least 1″ thick and steel body at least 1/2″ thick.

UL RSC Burglary Safes

burglary safesU.L. Label — Burglary Classification RSC:

Signifies a combination-locked safe designed to offer a limited degree of protection against attack by common mechanical and electrical hand tools and any combination of these means.

Construction Requirements

* U.L. listed Group II combination lock or Type 1 electronic lock.

* Door material equivalent to at least 3/16″ open hearth steel.

* Body walls of material equivalent to at least  12 gauge open hearth steel.

Performance Requirements

The door successfully resist entry for a net working time of 5 minutes when attacked against rigorous prying, drilling, punching, chiseling, and tampering attacks by UL technicians.

UL TL-15 Burglary Safes

burglary safesU.L. Label — Burglary Classification TL-15: Best Protection:
Signifies a combination-locked safe designed to offer a maximum door protection against attack by common mechanical and electrical hand tools and any combination of these means.

Construction Requirements
• U.L. listed Group 2M, 1, 1R combination lock or Type 1 electronic lock
• 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 ¼” penetration weld of open hearth steel with minimum tensile strength of 50,000 P.S.I.
• One hole ¼” or less, to accommodate electrical conductors arranged to have no direct view of the door or locking mechanism.

Performance Requirements
The door successfully resist entry* for a net working time of 15 minutes when attacked with common hand tools, picking tools, mechanical or portable electric tools, grinding points, carbide drills and pressure applying devices or mechanisms.

* Entry means for: Opening the door or making a 6 square inch opening entirely through the door or front face

UL TL-30 Burglary Safes

burglary safesU.L. Label — Burglary Classification TL-30: Superior Protection

Signifies a combination-locked safe designed to offer a maximum door protection against attack by common mechanical and electrical hand tools and any combination of these means.

Construction Requirements

  • U.L. listed Group 2M, 1, 1R combination lock or Type 1 electronic lock
  • 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 ¼” penetration weld of open hearth steel with minimum tensile strength of 50,000 P.S.I.
  • One hole ¼” or less, to accommodate electrical conductors arranged to have no direct view of the door or locking mechanism.

Performance Requirements

The door successfully resist entry* for a net working time of 30 minutes when attacked with common hand tools, picking tools, mechanical or portable electric tools, grinding points, carbide drills and pressure applying devices or mechanisms, abrasive cutting wheels and power saws.

* Entry means for: Opening the door or making a 6 square inch opening entirely through the door or front face
Signifies a combination-locked safe designed to offer a maximum door protection against attack by common mechanical and electrical hand tools and any combination of these means.

Construction Requirements

• U.L. listed Group 2M, 1, 1R combination lock or Type 1 electronic lock
• 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 ¼” penetration weld of open hearth steel with minimum tensile strength of 50,000 P.S.I.
• One hole ¼” or less, to accommodate electrical conductors arranged to have no direct view of the door or locking mechanism.

Performance Requirements

The door successfully resist entry* for a net working time of 30 minutes when attacked with common hand tools, picking tools, mechanical or portable electric tools, grinding points, carbide drills and pressure applying devices or mechanisms, abrasive cutting wheels and power saws.

* Entry means for:
Opening the door or making a 6 square inch opening entirely through the door or front face

UL TL-30×6  Rated Burglary Safes

burglary safesU.L. Label — Burglary Classification TL-30×6: Extreme Protection
Signifies a combination-locked safe designed to offer a maximum six-sided body and door protection against attack by common mechanical and electrical hand tools and any combination of these means.

Construction Requirements
• U.L. listed Group 2M, 1, 1R combination lock or Type 1 electronic lock
• 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 ¼” penetration weld of open hearth steel with minimum tensile strength of 50,000 P.S.I.
• One hole ¼” or less, to accommodate electrical conductors arranged to have no direct view of the door or locking mechanism.

Performance Requirements
The body and door successfully resist entry* for a net working time of 30 minutes when attacked with common hand tools, picking tools, mechanical or portable electric tools, grinding points, carbide drills and pressure applying devices or mechanisms, abrasive cutting wheels and power saws.

* Entry means for: Opening the door or making a 6 square inch opening entirely through the body, door or front face

Burglary Safes

Many people are shocked when they hear that some UL rated burglar safes can be penetrated in as little as sixteen minutes. Keep in mind that UL conducts its tests using expert safe crackers in a laboratory setting, and that these safe crackers study construction blueprints of each safe before they crack it. While a world-class burglar might be able to crack a TL-15 safe in 16 minutes, it would probably take the average burglar an hour or more, even if he was reasonably skilled. TL-30 and TL-60 safes are even more difficult to crack, putting them beyond the capabilities of all but the most professional of burglars.