1. B-Rated Safes
B-rated safes (aka class b safes) include any safe which has walls that are at least a ¼-inch thick, and a door that is ½-inch thick. Additionally, b-rated safes must have some sort of locking device, such as a key lock or a wheel combination lock.
Class b safes are some of the cheapest options available on the market, and are most frequently used by businesses to protect small amounts of cash, or by individuals who are looking for an added layer of protection for their personal documents.
It’s important to remember that any box with a lock on it that meets the thickness requirements stated above can be labeled a b-rated safe, and safes within this category are not required to undergo testing to receive this valuation. So, it is always advised that customers consider the type of locking device they will be getting, whether or not a relocker is present, and if the safe comes with a drill/ballistic resistant hard plate— all of which offer added protection.
2. C-Rated Safes
Class c safes, or c-rated safes, must have walls that are at least ½-inch thick and doors that are 1-inch thick— making them twice as heavy as their class b counterparts. They are similar, however, in the sense that they can come with a range of locking devices, from digital number pads to wheel combination locks and time locks.
Additionally, like b-rated safes, class c safes aren’t subjected to formal written standards, meaning there are no specific criteria that manufactures must adhere to when building them.
This means that the quality and safety levels of class b safes and class c safes can vary, making it crucial for customers to do their research before making a purchase decision.
3. Residential Security Containers (RSCs)
A residential security container (otherwise known as an RSC safe) is any safe which passes five minutes of rigorous prying, drilling, punching, chiseling, and tampering attacks, as determined by Underwriters Labratory (UL) one of the most recognized and credible independent testing companies in the world.
RSC safes provide their owners with additional peace of mind, since they have been proven to withstand many of the most common burglary methods.
It is important to note, however, that the tools used during these tests are an 18-inch pry bar a 3-pound hammer. So, if your RSC safe is tampered with using more heavy-duty equipment, or by someone who has experience breaking into these types of units, it can still be accessed. In fact, many criminals use power-tools to bypass the lock completely, drilling into the side of the safe, which has been done in less than five minutes.
For this reason, RSC safes are not recommended for storing guns, or for precious valuables that come with a hefty price tag. They are fantastic options for basic at-home use, or for small businesses who want to keep documents or other paperwork out of reach.
4. ER-Rated Safes
Any safe that has received a TL-15 rating from Underwriters Labratory (UL) is considered an ER-rated safe. UL rated safes, unlike class b or class c safes, do undergo standardized testing, giving consumers a guarantee they can depend on.
To receive the TL-15 rating, safes must meet all criteria as outlined in UL Standard 687, and must be able to withstand 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.
UL safe ratings are only given after a series of meticulous tests, so customers who buy ER-rated safes aren’t just buying the unit itself, but the insurance that comes with the TL-15 rating.
Important note: ER-rated safes should not be confused with e-rated safes, which are not subject to UL testing. E-rated safes do not undergo independent testing, and are thus similar with class b and class c safes in the sense that their performance isn’t guaranteed.
5. F-Rated Safes
F-rated safes are a step above those with an ER rating. They pass the requirements set forth by Underwriters Laboratory for a TL-30 rating, meaning they withstand attacks for at least 30 minutes. Safes that are awarded the TL-30 rating are also tampered with using some more advanced tools, which aren’t used during the TL-15 tests, like abrasive cutting wheels and power saws.
These UL rated safes are ideal for individuals who want to protect expensive items, or extremely sensitive information, or firearms.
And since UL has been testing and certifying safes for more than 85 years, customers can truly rely on their policies and procedures.
6. G&A-Rated Safes
These units are given the same UL safe rating as F-rated safes, with the only difference being that G&A-rated units are tested on all six sides.
For buyers who are looking to protect luxury items, or extremely confidential information, this can be immensely important, since as we stated above, many thieves will use power tools to drill into the sides of safes and bypass the lock completely.
These units offer the maximum level of protection available when it comes to burglary, and are the leading choice for buyers who never want to question the security of their prized possessions.
7. Safe Security Ratings according to European Norm EN 1143-1 by German VDS
VdS, Europe´s No. 1 certification mark, is one of the world’s leading inspection and certification companies in the field of fire protection and security. With its decades of experience, VdS is the partner of choice for the testing of fire protection systems and for security certifications of safes. Furthermore, VdS sets international standards with the publication of a comprehensive set of rules and guidelines for fire prevention and safety equipment.
The VdS laboratories for safes and strong-rooms determine the level of resistance of safes. The VdS safebreakers are using over 250 different devices and tools for their tests. These include crowbars, saws, diamond core drills, abrasive cutting tools, and oxygen lances heated to several thousand degrees Celsius for thermally separating even the hardest materials. Additional devices and tools are used depending on the latest perpetrator trends. We determine the VdS resistance level of safes using a formula that takes into account the tool groups used as well as the types and periods of attack.
Around the globe, companies, institutions, insurance companies and end consumers place their trust in VdS.
Stockinger Bespoke Safes produces handmade luxury safes with the highest available VDS security certifications:
- VDS III (three) at models CUBE, SIRIUS, CHIMERA, PHOENIX
- VDS IV (four) at models SIRIUS, CHIMERA, PHOENIX
- VDS V (five) at model PHOENIX
- VDS V CD (five incl. diamond core drill protection) at model PHOENIX