Choosing the right safe to protect your precious metals is a serious undertaking and it’s worth doing a bit of research to find the security solution that’s right for you. While there’s no such thing as a safe that’s too secure, buying a quality safe can be an expensive proposition, and there’s no need for overkill. Consider the value of your precious metals, and think about how your collection may grow in future years. The safe market is overflowing with different models, and it can be a bit confusing or overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help you navigate your safe purchase.
Fire Safes vs. Burglary Safes
While all safes should be fire-resistant, safes labeled “fireproof” are intended for securing important documents in the case of a house fire. They do not offer sufficient security for storing precious metals and other valuables. Fireproof safes are made of different materials in finer gauges and are easier for thieves to breach in the event of a burglary. Many residential safes are sold as “burglar fire safes” and offer the best of both worlds.
UL Certification of Safes
The Underwriters Laboratory is an independent science testing and rating company which sets the global standard for safe security. When you’re buying a safe to store your precious metals, check to see that it carries a UL certification mark. This indicates that UL has evaluated the product and approved it according to strict guidelines. Safes undergo extensive testing by expert safe crackers, and are rated according to their ability to withstand comprehensive, strategic attacks for various amounts of time. Here’s a general guide to UL certification rankings:
- B-Rated For Up to $5,000 content value – the doors of the safe are at least 1” thick and the body is made of more than ½” steel.
- B/C Rated For Up to $10,000 content value – between a B and C
- U.L. RSC For Up to $15,000 content value – “Residential Security Container”: the safe has been proved to resist 5 full minutes of tampering attacks including prying, punching, drilling and chiseling
- C Rated For Up to $30,000 content value – the doors of the safe are at least 1” thick and the body is made of more than ½” steel.
- U.L. TL-15 For Up to $200,000 content value – The TL stands for “tool resistant. This rating means that the safe has been proved to resist 15 full minutes of attacks with common hand and electrical tools.
- U.L. TL-30 For Up to $375,000 content value – the safe has been proved to resist 30 full minutes of attacks with common hand and electrical tools.
Those UL ratings cover attacks on the door and front face of the safe. For more extreme applications UL rates safes on attacks on all six faces, for example:
- U.L. TL-30X6 For Up to $500,000 to $ 1,000,000 content value – this safe has successfully the resisted 30 full minutes of attacks with common hand and electrical tools, on all six sides.
- U.L. TRTL-30X6 For $1,000,000 and up content value – this safe has successfully met the requirements of the TL-30X6 class and has also successfully resisted attacks with an oxy fuel welding torch on all six sides.
These ratings make choosing an appropriate safe a much easier task. Just keep an eye out for the appropriate class and rating, and you’ll be off to a great start. Securing your valuables against theft offers peace of mind, and choosing an appropriate safe is the best way to protect your investments for the future.
Curious to see how Garfield keeps its metals safe? Check out the Garfield Refining FAQ page to see how we utilize safes and other security measures to protect your precious metals!