Home Safes

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Home  safes are one of the most important considerations for protection of your new home.  In this day and age of high crime rates caused by desperate armed criminals, out of control governments, immigration of undesirables, and drug thugs,  it is imperative to have a home safe, or home safes.

Not to mention the ever present danger of house fires, and even flooding in some areas,  can destroy a home’s contents, and your valuables along with it.

Home safes come in various types and sizes, with different levels of protection. There are different lock options available.  There are key locks, manual combination locks,  electronic locks, and variations, and combinations of all of these locks.

gun-safes are often used as home safes
Gun safes can protect your guns and other valuables.

Gun Safes

If you are a gun owner, you know how vital it is to keep your guns away from children, and possibly other family members.  Gun safes allow you to safely store your guns, and ammunition in a clean, dry environment, and also give you fire, and burglary protection.

Many gun safes offer both burglary and fire protection, and come in various sizes with different interiors. These interiors are designed to allow for the storage of both long guns, and handguns. It is also possible, of course, to store other valuables, in addition to your guns in these safes.

The more guns and valuables you need to store should dictate the amount of protection that you want to purchase.

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handgun-safe-or-pistol-safe make great home safes
Handgun safes allow safety and quick access.

Handgun Safes

Handgun safes are crucial for your home protection against burglaries, and other unwanted break ins.  These essential safes allow you to safely store your handguns away from the curious hands of children, while at the same time, give you the ability to access your guns quickly in case of an urgent need, such as a break in of your home.

Handgun safes can be bolted to the floor, under a bed, secured into a drawer or nightstand, or any where else quick access can be had.

If you are currently keeping your handguns in a locked cabinet, or a larger gun safe, you are to be commended for keeping others in your home safe, but unless you can also get to your handgun quickly in case of an emergency, it may not be enough.

If, in the middle of the night, you are woken from a sound sleep to someone in your house that intends to steal from you, and possibly do you or your family harm, you may not have time or the mental wherewithall to find the keys to unlock your cabinet, or put in the combination to your safe to get to your gun.

Not to mention you don’t want to turn on lights or make noise to let the burglar know you are aware of his entry. But, if you have a handgun safe nearby, that you can quietly access within seconds, you give yourself fast control of the situation, which could mean the difference between life and death.

home-safe Home safes provide safety, and peace of mind.
Home safes provide safety, and protection for valuables.

Home Safes

Many homeowners also like to keep cash, jewelry, car titles, family heirlooms, and other valuables at home instead of, and/or in addition to,  a bank, safe deposit box, etc.   These home chest money safes can be bolted to the floor in an out of the way area, or a wall safe secured between joists discreetly hidden behind paintings, bookshelves, etc.

These safes can have burglary protection features, fire protection features, or both burglary, and fire protection features.  The amount of protection you buy, should reflect the value of what you would like to store in your safe.

It is usually a good idea to have more protection, and capacity in your new safe than you think you will need rather than less. This way, if you need to add more contents to the safe down the road, you won’t have to buy another one, or leave some valuables unprotected.

The more value you want to keep in your safe, the more burglary, and fire protection you should have.  This is definitely a case where one can be penny wise, and pound foolish, to borrow an old adage.

For instance, most safes you find at a Wal Mart or a Costco are not very expensive, it’s true, but they offer little protection.  Do you really want to trust what is important to you to a cheap safe that can be pried off the floor, and broken into easily?

Or that, in case of an intense fire, allow the contents of your safe to be damaged or completely destroyed? Also, you should always buy a safe that can be bolted to the floor, if it is a floor type safe, unless it is a very heavy safe, 2000 pounds or more.

Even the heavier safes though, can be removed by some professional, determined criminals, so it is a good idea to bolt the heavy safes to the floor as well, if at all possible.

Have you wondered what the different letters, numbers, and ratings mean on a safe?

Fire safe test thermometer Fire ratings are important for home safes.
Fire safe test thermometer.

Fire Ratings

Buying a safe that includes fire protection is a very real, important, and smart consideration.   In the USA alone, fires cause over $6 billion dollars worth of property damage every year.  A home structure fire occurs every 85 seconds.

Ideally, you want a fire rated safe that has the UL listing or designation. UL stands for Underwriters Laboratory.

UL 1 Hour and 2 Hour Fire Labels.

U.L. Label/Class 350°F-one hour and Class 350°F-two hour. The safe will maintain an interior temperature less than 350°F when exposed to fire for a period of one hour at 1700°F or for a period of two hours at 1850°F.

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UL 1 Hr Fire Class 350 Home safes may have the UL 1 Hour listing.
UL 1 Hour Fire Classification

The UL Class 350 1-hour fire rating means that the internal temperature of the safe will not exceed 350° for at least one hour when exposed to external temperatures at 1700°.

UL 2 Hr Fire & Impact - 350 Classification Home safes with fire protection may have the UL 2 Hour listing
UL 2 Hour Fire & Impact Classification

The UL Class 350 2-hour fire rating means that the internal temperature of the safe will not exceed 350° for at least 2 hours when exposed to external temperatures at 1850°.

The safe must also pass all requirements for the Fire Endurance Test, the Fire/Impact Test, and the Explosion Hazard Test.

ETL logo Home safes used for guns need the ETL listing.
Intertek ETL is the trusted source for Gun Safe Fire Testing.

Intertek ETL Gun Safe Fire Labels

Intertek ETL is the safe industry’s leading independent testing laboratory for fire ratings of gun safes.  They have a stringent 45 minute, 90 minute, and 2 hour fire rating.

If you don’t see either the UL label or the ETL label on the ‘fire’ safe, you can’t be sure that any fire testing was done reliably.

Burglary Safe Ratings

A burglary safe is designed to deter break ins of the safe. There are also safes that have both fire and burglary protection built in, but these ratings are strictly for burglary type safes. A burglary rating on a safe is a construction classification, as opposed to a fire safe which has a test classification. These ratings were established by the insurance industry to provide a standard of protection.

b-rate-safe Home safes like the B rate are popular.
B Rate Burglary Safe with Electronic Lock

B Rate Burglary Safe

A B rate burglary safe offers good protection, and is described as any safe that has doors of 1″ steel thickness or less, and doors of 1/2″ thickness or less.  The most common construction characteristics of a B rate burglary safe are 1/2″ thick steel doors, and 1/4″ thick steel bodies. B rates are normally used by retail establishments or restaurants that generate a small to moderate amount of cash, and that don’t store a lot of cash overnight.

c-rate-safe Home safes may include the C rate.
C rate safes offer very good burglary protection.

C Rate Burglary Safe

A C rate burglary safe provides more burglary protection than a B rate safe. The C rate is perhaps the most common of the home safes, and constructed with steel doors that are at least 1″ thick, and steel bodies that are at least 1/2″ thick.   Common C rate burglary safes are 1″ thick steel doors, and 1/2″ thick steel bodies. C rates are used by restaurants and retail establishments that generate a moderate to larger amount of cash, and have a need or who want the option to store some cash overnight. C rates weigh twice what a comparable B rate weighs.

Generally speaking the TL15’s, TL30’s, and the other safes to follow, are normally not used as homes safes, but rather in business, or commercial applications. However, if you intend to store a lot of cash or other highly valuable items at your residence,  then these could certainly be used as home safes.

tl-15-safe Homes safes may include the TL-15
TL 15 provides excellent protection from burglary, and fire.

TL 15 Burglary Safe

The TL 15 is considered to provide more burglary protection than the C rate burglary safe.  These are heavy safes, making them difficult to move from out of the home or place of business.  The TL stands for tool, and the 15 means 15 minutes. So, with the TL 15 you get 15 minutes of protection from a burglar doing his worst with his professional mechanical and electrical hand tools attempting to enter the safe.

The requirements for a TL 15 are a UL listed Group ll combination lock, or type 1 electronic lock.  Body walls of at least 12 gauge open hearth steel or material equivalent to it. Door at least 3/16″ open hearth steel or material equivalent to it. These safes also have fire protection.

TL 15 safes are used by retail establishments, and restaurants that generate medium to large amounts of cash, and who need the option to store cash or other valuables overnight.

tl-30-safe Home safes may include the TL30
The TL 30 provides superior protection from theft, and fire.

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TL 30 Burglary Safe

The TL 30 is considered to have more burglary protection than the TL 15.  In fact, the TL 30 has twice the amount of door, and body steel as the TL 15.  The requirements for a TL 30 are U.L. listed Group 2M, 1, 1R combination lock or Type 1 electronic lock.

Safe body walls of at least 1″ open hearth steel with a minimum tensile strength of 50,000 P.S.I.   Safe weight must be 750 lbs. minimum or comes with instructions for anchoring in a larger safe, concrete blocks or on the premises where used.

The TL 30 is designed for those retail establishments, and restaurants that generate a large amount of cash, and/or whose business requires them to store high cost items, such as jewelry, in the process of their business, and possibly overnight, or for extended periods of time.

tl-30x6-safe not normally used as home safes
The TL 30X6 has superior 6 sided protection.

TL 30X6 Burglary Safe

The TL 30X6 is considered to have superior burglary protection to the TL 30 burglary safe. This super sturdy safe is designed to protect against sophisticated tool attacks from all 6 sides of the safe for 30 minutes.  The same specifications as the TL 30 above, but on all 6 sides of the safe. These safes also provide excellent fire protection.

The TL 30X6 is designed for high end retail establishments, or restaurants, that generate large amounts of cash, and have the need to store and protect expensive items, such as jewelry, and precious metals overnight, and beyond, not necessarily ideal as home safes.

TRTL 30X6 Burglary Safe

TRTL 30X6 more than home safes.
The TRTL 30X6 offers optimum protection against break ins, and fire.

The TRTL 30X6 is the top of the line jewelry safe for maximum protection against burglary attacks. The TR stands for torch, and the TL stands for tool.  This safe can withstand the most sophisticated torch and tool attacks on all 6 sides of the safe for 30 minutes.

It has the same specifications as the TL 30X6, plus it has a high density compressed concrete material encased within inner and outer magnesium steel hardplates.

This safe is used by jewelers, and other high volume businesses that require the finest in protection. Insurance companies will often require the use of this safe for these high end customers.

The TRTL 30X6 safe is designed for very high end retail establishments, and restaurants that generate large volumes of cash, and have the need to store high end jewelry, precious metals, and other very valuable items for long periods of time.

Burglary, and fire safes have the ability to protect you against loss, both in business, and personally. Handgun safes, and quick access long gun safes allow you to be prepared properly for dangers that can occur at very inopportune times. All make great home safes.

I hope you will use this information to find the home safe or home  safes that are right for you, and will serve you well in the years to come.

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