Types of Safes by Burglar Ratings: Provide Your Clients with Options

Posted by on May 26th 2020

Buying a safe is a significant investment, and depending on its size and purpose for security, there are different types of options to consider. From smaller household safes to secure, larger businesses safes, your clients need to consider the features, including size, fire and water resistance, boltwork, and burglar rating.

While all these factors may influence your decision, a burglar rating is perhaps one of the most practically relevant for your security needs. Safes are given different burglar ratings based on material thickness, the number of active and inactive bolts in the door, and the diameter of the bolts.

Safes Without Burglar Ratings

Safes without burglar ratings are usually considered to be smaller home safes. These safes are not crafted for real protection, but instead to store important documents. They are often fabricated out of thin metal or plastic and should not be used to protect valuable items.

  • B-Rated Safe

A B-Rated safe must be made out of ¼-inch thick steel and have a ½-inch thick door. B-rated safes must only meet the minimum requirements of having a locking device and thick enough construction. They are good for home and small business use and can be used to store compact or portable valuables. B-rated safes do not have a testing requirement.

  • C-Rated Safe

A C-Rated safe must be constructed out of ½-inch thick steel and have a door that is 1-inch thick. These safes are recommended for home and business use and can be used to store important documents, small, or large valuables. Like the B-rated safe, there is no testing requirement. The safe must only meet the thickness requirements and have a locking mechanism.

RSC Burglary Rating

RSC (Residential Security Containers) burglary ratings have been around since 2018 and have three levels of testing. These safes are rigorously tested by professional, safe technicians, who assess the blueprints, understand how it works, and disassemble the safe. Then, once they understand how the safe works, they try to access the locked safe, and the time it takes them to do so generally determines the RSC rating.

  • RSC I

An RSC I rating means the safe can withstand 5 minutes of an attack by one person using basic tools such as drills, hammers, or screwdrivers. The safe should have a UL-rated Group II combination lock or Type 1 electronic lock. The door should be made out of at least 3/16-inch steel and the walls of 7/64-inch steel.

  • RSC II

An RSC II rating means the safe can withstand 10 minutes of an attack by 2 people using advanced tools such as high power drills or lock picks. The safe should also have a Group II combination lock or Type 1 electronic lock, and the same thicknesses as RSC I apply. These safes are similar to commercial safes, able to withstand twice the break-in force.


RSC III safes are not yet in the marketplace, but require more in-depth testing. They will also be able to withstand more advanced break-in techniques.

TL-Rated Safes

TL rating is another way to test the security of a safe. A TL rating usually exceeds the needs of a home safe, providing extra commercial-grade security.

  • TL-15 Rated

TL-15 rated safes can hold up to at least 15 minutes of attack using common hand tools, lock pick guns, and carbide-tipped drill bits. This may be referred to as an E-rated safe by insurers and is similar to the RSCII rating.

  • TL-30 Rated

TL-30 rated safes can withstand up to at least 30 minutes of attack using similar tools. This may be referred to as an F-rated safe by insurers and may be similar to the RSC III rating.

  • TLX6 Rated

Read TL by 6; the X6 rating means that all 6 sides of the safe were tested. Usually, the door is the access point for burglars and is consequently tested heavily. However, these safes provide a higher security rating by testing the entire safe. This can be referred to as a G&A-Rated safe, as well.

The Takeaway

Depending on the security needs of your client and the amount and value of the items they wish to store, safes with a commercial-grade security rating are usually recommended to secure anything more than important household documents or valuables.

For more information about safes, lock, and security, contact us at (855) 9376-329 or browse our selection of locksmith tools.

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