What you want to know to choose a gun safe


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JoeSF
March 17, 2003, 12:05 AM
This site has good information about safe ratings if you are in the market for a safe.

http://www.maximumsecurity.com/askmax2.htm


Where do I start? Consider these points BEFORE you spend any money!

Peace of mind comes with the right safe. A false sense of security comes with the wrong safe. There are good reasons some safes cost $100 - $300 and other safes cost $600 - $1,000+. You will get the protection you pay for, and no more. We hope your safe is never put to the test. But if it is, the decision you are making now is very important.

1. Make a list of the items you want to place in the safe to help determine the size safe you'll need and the content value. Some of the most common secured items are:


2. Determine whether your primary concern is burglary, fire, or both. Buy a safe that provides the protection you need based on your concerns. Generally, a fire safe offers minimal burglar resistance. Not all burglar safes are fire resistant. The most popular safes for home have both burglar and fire resistance. The best safes are rated by Underwriter's Laboratory as to their level of protection for burglary and fire. See the Safe Rating section below for details on ratings.

3. How safe is a safe? There are only two ways to KNOW the protection level of a safe. 1). Work with a safe dealer you know to be knowledgeable, trustworthy and honorable (how long have they been in business under their current name). 2). Safe has an Underwriters Laboratory (U.L.) label for fire or burglary resistance. Beware comparisons like, "It's equivalent to ... ", or "It's just as good as ...".

4. How much protection will a safe provide me? We use the following benchmarks from U.L. and Jewelers Insurance Underwriters as a guideline for customers considering safes with both burglar and fire resistance. A retail jeweler (the highest risk target) could get insurance coverage for $100,000 of inventory in a "C" rated safe; $250,000 in a TL15 rated safe; $350,000 in a TL30 rated safe, and $1 Million in a TRTL30x6 rated safe. A check cashing business can get insurance for $20,000 with a "B" rated safe with an RSC label.

5. If burglary is a concern the U.L. Residential Security Container (RSC) label is the minimum requirement for your home use. Safes earn this label if a U.L. professional safe cracker using a hammer and 18" screwdriver is unable to open the door of the safe in less than 5 minutes! It is logical to assume that a freestanding safe that does not have the RSC label could be opened in less than 5 minutes with a screwdriver and hammer. How safe is that?

6. If insurance is an issue, get your insurance company to tell you your required and recommended safe ratings before you start. This will save time and help determine costs.

7. Ask questions . . . don't be confused by "safe" terminology . . . if the dealer can't clearly explain why a particular safe is appropriate for your needs, don't buy from that dealer . . . . If a dealer answers all your questions to your satisfaction, and you want to have after sale support when you need it, let the dealer make a fair profit on the sale so he can stay in business . . . win / win works every time!

from...
http://www.maximumsecurity.com/askmax2.htm


And if you live in California there is this...

What are California safe storage requirements?
Proposed legislation in CA indicates beginning January 1, 2002 anyone purchasing a firearm in the State of California (Senate Bill #130) must purchase a gun safe that meets the following specifications: - Shall be able to fully contain firearms and provide secure storage. - Shall have a locking system consisting of at minimum a mechanical or electronic combination lock with at least 10,000 possible combinations. At minimum three number, letter or symbol combination. - Lock must be protected by a case-hardened, drill resistant steel plate. - Bolt-work of at least 3 steel live locking bolts, at least ½ inch in diameter. - Exterior walls of at minimum 12-gauge for single wall safes (3mm). - Doors shall be constructed of a minimum of one layer of 7-gauge steel plate (4.5mm), reinforced construction, or at least two layers of a minimum 12-gauge steel compound construction. - Door hinges shall be protected to prevent the removal of doors. Or - A safe that is listed as an UL Residential Security Container.

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