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Old September 5, 2011, 06:34 AM   #1
Adirondack
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Composite safe with TL rating and Fire rating from UL

Does anyone know of a safe (one that could go in a home) that has a TL rating for security and also a fire rating from UL? Everything I've been seeing has a "factory" rating or "omega" rating etc.
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Old September 5, 2011, 09:34 AM   #2
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The reason most safes do not have both fire and burglary ratings is due to the requirements that UL places on the manufacturers. On the fire rating side, all safes produced must be identical to those submitted for testing. Since many of the burglary rated safes have randomized designs, this precludes them from also having a fire rating, even though they may actually past the heat test itself.

Meilink Gibraltars used to have a few models with UL fire ratings, although when I just went to look it appears they are getting away from UL ratings on the burglary side. I also sell a private label line that has both as well. I'm sure there are others, I would just need to research it a bit.
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Old September 7, 2011, 04:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
The reason most safes do not have both fire and burglary ratings is due to the requirements that UL places on the manufacturers. On the fire rating side, all safes produced must be identical to those submitted for testing. Since many of the burglary rated safes have randomized designs, this precludes them from also having a fire rating, even though they may actually past the heat test itself.
I don't know if that's true or not but I would think the test engineers at UL would recognize if randomized security features will have an impact on the fire rating or not and give the manufacturers the fire rating if they can pass the test.

What I'm beginning to think is these heavy composite safes are only delaying the rise in temperature (like a pizza oven for instance) and due to UL's long cool down period used during the furnace tests these safes are unable to pass the test. I've been looking for a while now and I haven't found any UL fire and tool rated safes which is kind of a surprise.
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Old September 7, 2011, 10:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
I don't know if that's true or not
You can purchase the UL standards directly from their website. They're pretty expensive, but very detailed.

Quote:
I would think the test engineers at UL would recognize if randomized security features will have an impact on the fire rating or not and give the manufacturers the fire rating if they can pass the test.
The problem is it's not that the "security features" would not have an impact. They could have an impact on the rating, although unlikely. UL likes to keep things simple. You build the safe exactly like it was when it was tested. They will inspect your products to ensure that they are being built exactly like they were when they were tested. If it's not the same, you can no longer affix their tag.

Quote:
What I'm beginning to think is these heavy composite safes are only delaying the rise in temperature (like a pizza oven for instance) and due to UL's long cool down period used during the furnace tests these safes are unable to pass the test.
Other than there are composite safes with UL fire ratings, which pretty much proves they can pass the test. Similar to other types of safes, the materials used from one manufacturer to another are pretty similar.

Many burglary safe manufacturers aren't overly concerned about the fire protection their safes offer, as most of the contents in those safes do not rely on a fire rating for their protection. The fire protection is merely a side benefit of the design.

Some manufacturers want UL ratings, some don't. The jewelry store doesn't really care, as their insurance company is only concerned about the burglary rating. Since they want to spend as little as possible, there's no need to pay a premium for a safe that also carries a UL fire rating.

Quote:
I've been looking for a while now and I haven't found any UL fire and tool rated safes which is kind of a surprise.
I just pointed you towards two off the top of my head. The Meilink Gibraltar had both, as does a private label line that I sell (which is built by a brand name manufacturer).

Here's a photo of a Meilink Gibraltar




I'm sure there are others. If it's that important to you, I"ll run some down for you.
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Last edited by a1abdj; September 7, 2011 at 10:08 AM.
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Old September 7, 2011, 04:57 PM   #5
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One of my guys just pointed out that Diebold had a line of cashguards that also had UL fire ratings. I believe they were available in both TL-15 and TL-30.

I found a photo that shows the fire tag, but it's not easy to see, so I'll see if I can find a better one and edit this message with a photo for you.
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Old September 7, 2011, 07:21 PM   #6
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Thanks a1abdj. I did look at Meilink Gibraltar looking for the UL fire rating but I found it only had an 'Omega Point' rating. Could you please link the model you are showing in your photo.

Quote:
One of my guys just pointed out that Diebold had a line of cashguards that also had UL fire ratings. I believe they were available in both TL-15 and TL-30.
I'm more interested in a safe that could hold some valuable long guns but if you do have a link for the others I'd appreciate seeing how they are made.
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Old September 7, 2011, 07:58 PM   #7
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I don't know if you'll find many modern day versions. Most of these safes are no longer made, unless you want to purchase a used unit. The Gibraltar is still made, and is built the same as the former UL rated units, although it is no longer carrying a UL label.

I don't know why some of these manufacturers wanted UL fire ratings at the time, but none of them seem interested in paying for the testing now. The safes are still made the same, with the same materials, and would probably pass the test if they were submitted. The vast majority of the best made composite burglary safes don't have official fire ratings, although I would bet that they would perform exactly as the manufacturers claim they would.

There's a big difference between real safe manufacturers and gun safe manufacuters when it comes to some of these types of claims.
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Old September 9, 2011, 09:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
I don't know why some of these manufacturers wanted UL fire ratings at the time, but none of them seem interested in paying for the testing now. The safes are still made the same, with the same materials, and would probably pass the test if they were submitted. The vast majority of the best made composite burglary safes don't have official fire ratings, although I would bet that they would perform exactly as the manufacturers claim they would.
I can understand the manufacturers wanting to control costs and maybe the UL certification is substantially higher than the others. At the same time, if the UL rating is the accepted standard then it would seem that the cost difference might be absorbed through increased sales volume because you have the rating that people want. My guess is that not enough people care to spend the exta money on buying a gun safe with both UL ratings so the demand just isn't there to justify the expense.
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