The Clarity Blog

Safes 101: Decoding the Underwriters Laboratories Rating System & More


How safe is your safe? Does it have an Underwriters Laboratories (UL or ULC) rating? Can you decode it and do you know what the rating means?Safes 101: Decoding the Underwriters Laboratories Rating System & More

Your safe is one of the most important physical security investments you can make for your business. So, what do you need to know in order to make the correct purchasing decision?

  1. The inventory value and volume you need to protect – Have an idea of what your safe will need to hold, and also think about future growth. Safes are heavy, big, and bulky…and expensive to move. You are better off getting a larger storage capacity safe with a better quality rating if you think your business will grow in the future.
  2. The Rating – A UL or ULC burglary resistant safe is designed to provide burglary protection for jewelry inventory against an attack using a combination of steel and composite materials. We always encourage obtaining a safe with a burglary rating from Underwriters Laboratories or Underwriters Laboratories Canada, as these containers have been tested in a controlled environment.
  3. Where you will put the container – Safes are heavy! If you are on an upper floor of a building, or have a basement below the floor where you are going to be putting your safe, make sure that the building can support the entire weight of the container. Involve a structural engineer if necessary! As always, avoid placing the safe on an exterior or common wall whenever possible.

Confused about all of those letters and numbers that make up the safe ratings? Here’s a guide for decoding the Underwriters Laboratories rating system:

TL – Tool Resistant
TR – Torch Resistant
X6  Indicates that there is protection on all six sides of the container
15,30, or 60  the amount of time the container can withstand an attack

So, a TL-30 safe is tool resistant for 30 minutes, on the door only. A TRTL-30x6 safe is torch resistant, tool resistant, for 30 minutes, on all six sides.

Contact us or consult your agent if you are looking at purchasing a new or additional safe. They, along with your underwriter, can work with you to determine the right container to meet your needs.

Click here for Vaults 101!

Click here for Alarms 101!