The most trusted worldwide security and fireproof rating for safes is from Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL). The company started testing and certifying safes in 1923. UL technicians use commonly available items like “chisels, wrenches, screwdrivers, power saws, cutting torches, crowbars, jack hammers” and specialised tools like diamond-tipped drill bits, thermal lances, and nitro-glycerine during a test attack. A safe’s rating depends on how well and for how long it holds up against specific tools.
The lowest UL rating is TL-15. Safes with this rating have combination locks and stay intact for at least 15 minutes when hand tools, picking tools, electric tools, grinders or carbine drills are used. The highest security rating issued by the UL is TXTL-60. These safes can withstand an hour-long break-in attempt where the tools mentioned for TL-15 are used, and are also resistant to oxy-fuel, gas-cutting or welding torches and explosives.
Safes are further classified according to their burglar proof rating, material rating and fireproof rating. For example, a safe with a TL-15 UL rating falls into the class E burglar proof rating. These safes have one and a half inch solid steel doors, a one-inch thick body and weigh the same as a mid-sized car. M rating is one of the highest ratings available and, according to Brown Safe, they are the only manufacturers of M rated security safes.
Brown Safe’s M rated range
Brown Safe’s M rated safes are encased with ballistic armour and the company claims to be working with the U.S. military to work out a new protection rating for safes with this type of plating. The safes are like class F safes, but are lighter and easier to install in places like upstairs rooms. Tests were done where 50 calibre anti-sniper bullets were fired directly at the safes without leaving more than a mark in the paint. The armour plating leaves them resistant to cutting, sawing, explosions and drilling. They are even resistant to carbide tipped drill bits.
ISM’s Super Treasury UL TLTR-30×6
ISM’s Super Treasury UL TLTR-30×6 safe is recommended specifically for diamond dealers. Safes are cast in one piece, with 7.72 inch thick doors. The UL TLTR-30 rating means that the safe can resists attempt to open it with hand, picking, mechanical or portable electric tools, grinders, oxy-fuel and gas cutting or welding torches for at least 30 minutes. The safe is built from a mixture of cast aluminium, ceramics and manganese bar grids. It is explosive resistant and the largest model comes with three glass traps. These safes weigh from 2,420 to 7,810 pounds.
Platinum Vault UL TL30x6 Elite Safes
Platinum Vault UL TL30X6 Elite Safes offer a similar level of protection as ISM’s Super Treasury safe, with walls reinforced with manganese steel hard plates encased in strong, fire resistant composite materials and doors equipped with two-stage locking mechanisms. The doors are nearly seven inches thick and feature a manganese plate cast in cement inside. Platinum Vault safes can withstand attacks with drills, power saws, sledgehammers, carbide disc cutters, chisels, wedges and explosives.
ISM’s Super Platinum TXTL-60 range
Due to their cost and specialised nature, TXTL-60 safes are relatively scarce. ISM’s Super Platinum TXTL-60 safes offer one-piece cast bodies with 3.4 to 7.1 inch Alchronite reinforcement plates. Alchronite is ISM’s patented torch and drill resistant composite. The bodies are further reinforced with a layer of tar to discourage heat attacks. The doors are more than eight inches thick and are reinforced with Alceramic and Alchronite, and copper bars to protect them against attacks with torches. These safes can survive attacks from tools, torches and explosives like nitro-glycerine and C-4 for more than 60 minutes
Inkas Safes Monolith TXTL-60
Inkas Safes offer four different TXTL-60 safes, starting from a three shelf, 8.51 cubic foot interior model that stands 50 inches high and weighs 5,357 pounds. The biggest safe in the range has six shelves, an inside capacity of 18.29 cubic foot with a height of 77 inches, weighing 8,708 pounds. The inside of the safe can be customised to suit the client. Safety features include a glass relock system that activates huge relockers when someone tries to get in and the safes are fire resistant for up to two hours. According to the manufacturer, safes are made from composite materials, with fortified bodies in a heavy steel frame. Due to the nature of the industry, specific materials and manufacturing information isn’t available.
TXTL-60 rated safes are thoroughly tested. This safe has survived the UL impact test where it was heated to 1093 degrees Celsius in a furnace before being raised three stories and dropped on a pile of bricks. The inside stayed cooler than 150 degrees Celsius, the papers inside were still readable and the safe didn’t pop open. The safes are resistant to attacks with hand-held and electrical tools, cutting torches, grinders, saws, drills and explosives for over an hour. Monolith TXTL-60 safes are generally used for retail and industrial purposes, such as, by jewellery stores, pharmaceutical chains and financial institutions.