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The Key Shop LLC

(904) 751-2778

Trusted since 1978

formally Northside Lock Key and Safe
Jacksonville, Florida Locksmiths
Home of the original
23 1/2 Hour Service

Below we have provided information regarding Safe and Vault ratings: Some of the ratings are for the type of protection the safe provides (Fire and Burglary for example) and there are ratings for the locks themselves. We have divided this information into three sections below.
Be sure to visit our Safe Information page for more info.

  1. Safe Fire Ratings
  2. Safe Burglary Ratings
  3. Safe Lock Ratings

Safe Fire Ratings

Classified UL: Fire Resistive Safe Class 350

Underwriters Laboratories

By far, the most respected name in testing is U.L. (Underwriters Laboratories). You see the U.L. logo on many electronics and household products. The most common fire rating is the Underwriters Laboratories (U.L.) 350 degree 1 hour rating. In order for a safe to earn this rating, the manufacture must submit the safe to U.L., it is then heated in a furnace at 1700 degrees for one hour. The inside temperature cannot exceed 350 degrees, or the safe fails the test. While the safe is heated, it is dropped to simulate a second floor collapsing, the safe cannot burst open, or it fails. The average house fire is 1200 degrees, and paper chars at approximately 450 degrees.
Some safes will have a 2 hour 350 degree U.L. fire rating, this means the safe passed the same test, with the time being 2 hours instead of 1 hour.
If you wish to store computer disks, picture negatives, tapes, etc... in your safe you will need a safe with a special fire rating. The most common is the U.L. 125 degree 1 hour fire rating. This means the inside temperature did not exceed 125 degrees, also, did not exceed 80% relative humidity during the same test mentioned above.
When shopping for a safe, look for a label or tag on the safe like the one pictured above.

Manufacturers Ratings

Some manufacturers conduct their own fire tests or use the service of a similar company to U.L. These are usually done along the same guidelines as the U.L. tests. It's important to understand three things.

1: What temperature the test was conducted at
2: The length (time) of the test
3: The maximum inside temperature of the safe during the test.

Remember, the average house fire is around 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and paper chars at 450 degrees.


Safe Burglary Ratings

Classified UL: Tool-Resistant Safe

Many burglary ratings exist. If you intend to insure the contents of your safe your insurance company might require your safe to meet a minimum rating.

U.L. (Underwriters Laboratories) has numerous burglary ratings, mostly for extremely heavy-duty type safes.

Safes with the Class "B" or Class "C" Burglary Insurance Rating allow you to receive insurance coverage in accordance with the Bank Safe and Mercantile Safe Insurance classifications. Pertinent insurance information is available from Insurance Service Office, 160 Water Street, New York, New York 10038.


Safe Lock Ratings

Classified UL: Combination Lock Group 2

Many safes are supplied with an Underwriters' Laboratory U.L. Group 2 combination lock, U.L. Listed dual key lock or a U.L. Listed electronic lock this is important. U.L. has stringent tests for safe locks. If the safe your considering doesn't have a U.L. Listed lock, it may not be designed for security.


More Reading:

Links below will guide you through the safe section.
Fact about Safes
Safe Buyers Guide
Bank Safe Insurance classifications
Mercantile Safe Insurance classifications
View/Download Safe Catalogs