Most businesses have a safe to protect money, paperwork, and other valuables at the workplace. Before buying a safe, you should have a basic understanding of the ratings of safes and locks. Safes are rated for their burglary protection and their fire protection. Locks are rated based on the amount of resistance it will provide against someone trying to break into it.
Understanding Safe Ratings
Generally speaking, there are two types of safes: burglary safes and fire safes. Construction classification rates the burglar protection using the specifications of the material of the safe. Most safes either have a B or C rating with a B rating being the one with better protection. The safes also get classified for their fire protection (test performance rating) by a professional company to ensure its quality. United Laboratories (UL) is one of the most trusted and well-known companies.
What type of rating do I need?
The rating you need depends on what you plan to store in your safe. Data/media safes keep the inside temperature below 135 degrees and humidity under 85%. These can keep your media items safe. These include things like hard drives, CDs, flash drives, cassette drives, and SD cards. Paper (i.e. money) burns at 451 degrees, but you want something stronger to protect your cash and important paperwork. For cash, you want a composite-fire safe, burglar-safe safe or a high-security UL or TL rated fire safe. It should also have a 1 to 2-hour fire rating.
Understanding Locks and Lock Ratings
Types of Locks
Safes come with either dial locks, electronic locks, or redundant locks. You can pick your own combination and easily change your combination with an electronic lock. They're also easier to use and come with a large list of extra features that dial locks don't have. Unfortunately, they cost more and people can figure out the combination from ware on the keypad. Dial locks are cheaper and last longer than electronic locks. Many people prefer the subtle delicacies of the dial lock and when you forget the combination all you have to do is call for commercial lock repair. Redundant locks offer both options so you have the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Combination locks have four different classifications:
- Group 2- low resistance
- Group 2M- medium resistance
- Group 1- high resistance
- Group 1R- highest resistance
Electronic locks have three different classifications:
- Type I- medium resistance
- Type II- high resistance
- Type IF- highest UL classification of resistance
To have a UL rating, the lock must have at least one million different combinations. To learn more, contact a company like Hicks Safes & Locks Inc.