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Safe Classifications and What They Mean

Please keep in mind that for the most part your safe is the last line of defense in protecting your valuables.

For the Pawn industry there are a number of safe options which are suitable depending on the amount and type of inventory which you are trying to protect. The Underwriters Laboratory classifies safes from a TL-15 to a TXTL 60. The Pawn industry standards suggests a TL-15 safe as a minimum to be utilized, however, as the value of the safe contents increases, the quality of the safe being used to protect that property should also increase.

There are a number of situations which we have come across where the shop owner thought that a T-20 was providing similar protection as a TL-15. This is probably due to the fact that the number 20 is higher than 15. The difference in these two safes is substantial. T-20’s are fire safes used to protect documents from fire and are not acceptable for the storage of cash, jewelry or other high end valuables. T-20’s walls are comprised of cement or composite material, asbestos, etc, sandwiched between two pieces of thin steel sheets, which prevents the items inside from burning during a fire. Even though their walls and doors appear thick they do not offer very much protection from someone trying to cut or drill into the safe with common mechanical tools.

Finding the right safe depends on many variables; including how and where it will be used. Commercial safes have different requirements than residential safes, and even within different industries the uses and applications will vary. A TL-15 safe means that the device is tool resistant for up to fifteen minutes. This classification requires one inch of solid steel construction on each of the five sides and an inch and half of solid steel for the safe’s door. This type of constructions slows the process of the burglar trying to access your valuables for the allotted time. The higher the TL classification, the longer it takes someone to break into the safe. Below is a list of acceptable safes for your industry:

  • TL-15 (Tool Resistive up to 15 minutes)
  • TL-30 (Tool Resistive up to 30 Minutes)
  • TRTL 30 (Torch and Tool Resistive up to 30 Minutes)
  • TRTL 30x6 (Torch and Tool Resistive up to 30 Minutes on all 6 sides of the safe)
  • TXTL (Torch, Explosives and Tool-Resistive)

Again, it is extremely important to understand that the above safe classifications provide a higher grade protection than a T-20 (Class B safe). Please keep in mind that just because the safe is big and heavy doesn’t mean it provides the burglary protection you need, so be prepared to purchase accordingly.

Lastly, it is essential to remember that safes are a method of risk mitigation for your business. In the event something were to happen, it is important to feel comfortable in knowing that you have done everything in your power to protect your customer’s assets as well as your own.