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Old 06-12-2012, 04:58 PM
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alor alor is offline
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Default A Guide to Buying a Safe for Your Silver and Gold

A Guide to Buying a Safe for Your Silver and Gold

http://www.24hgold.com/english/print...ewarticle=True

Quote:


Recently at a local social event, I met a locksmith, and we started talking shop on the topic of securing assets with locks and the what’s what in the safe world. After a brief but very interesting conversation, I felt inspired to do a little research about the wide world of safes. What I learned was both fun and fascinating.



Two Ways Safes Are Rated



The ratings for safes are separated into two categories, performance ratings and general construction ratings, which were established decades ago and reflect widely accepted manufacturing standards. Construction ratings, while still useful, are less popular since there is only an implied level of security versus a tested level of security.



General Construction Ratings



Construction ratings stem from simple assessments of a safe’s physical build characteristics.



B rating



Any locked box. The assumption is that these boxes are better than a locked drawer but not all that secure from a determined individual with a large flathead screw driver and a hammer.



B/C rating



A general rating for safe with a 1/4” of metal in the walls of the cabinet and 1/2” of metal in the door.



C rating



This is defined as a cabinet’s having a minimum thickness of 1/2” of steel in the walls, a minimum thickness of 1” of steel in the door and “a lock.”



Performance Ratings



Underwriter’s Laboratory, a global leader in certifying, testing and inspecting products, gets to have far too much fun with the testing and rating of safes, utilizing teams with skill sets ranging from brute strength to mechanical genius.



UL equips these characters with the blueprints of the safe, a supply of high-end portable tools, torches, explosives, a stopwatch and a desire to get into the tested safe as fast as possible, all as part of the process of certifying safes. Only safes that meet UL’s minimum build specifications qualify for testing by the organization.



The first take away revelation was that most safes are opened in less than fifteen minutes. Very few safes survive the testing process to the thirty minute mark, and even less survive to the one hour mark. This doesn’t mean that an average person can get a safe open that quickly; it simply serves as a benchmark for the fastest time top professionals can open it. Most of UL’s testing stops after 30 minutes, and no testing goes beyond 60 minutes. At that time, a safe receives a Tools-60 rating, a Torch-60 rating or an Explosives-60 rating. Most rating are Tool rating with the addition of a torch or explosives rating.



The second lesson relevant to performance testing was that the backbone of all security assumptions for safes is that when someone starts the process of getting into a safe, he/she has only a limited amount of time to complete the task before getting caught.



Decoding UL Performance Ratings



Prefixes indicate what attack method UL used:



TL means that the attack used tools



TR means that the attack used a torch



TX means that the attack used explosives



Suffixes indicate how long the safe survived during attack testing:



- 15 means that the safe survived up to the 15 minute mark while under attack



- 30 means that the safe survived up to the 30 minute mark while under attack



- 60 means that the safe survived up to the 60 minute mark, at which point the testing stopped



Examples of UL ratings include:



TL-15



Two members of the UL team could not get into the safe in under fifteen minutes of continuous work time using their prescribed list of high power portable tools.



TRTL-30



Two members of the UL team could not get into the safe in under thirty minutes of continuous work time using their tools or a prescribed portable torch



TXTL-60



Two members of the UL team could not get into the safe in under an hour using tools and dynamite.



These ratings give the consumer an understanding of what it takes to get into big steel and concrete boxes. These numbers are extremely useful to consumers because many safe manufacturers do a fantastic job of looking and feeling secure, heavy and sturdy while doing a horrible job of actually being “safe.” Many gun safes, for example, are notoriously bad in this regard. The manufacturer builds a beautiful stout looking box, fills the doors and walls full of low-grade plaster or concrete and turns these products loose on the consumer market, touting them as high quality products. Unfortunately, the reality of these safes is that the average highly motivated 17 year old male with tools from somewhere in the neighborhood can probably get into most of these “safes.”



A Special U.L. Rating: Residential Security Containers



The minimum performance rating of U.L. rated safes is the “U.L. Residential Security Container rating.” This rating means that it took the UL testers at least five minutes to get into the container using a large screw driver and a hammer.



UL’s Build Specifications



Here is a description of the basic minimum build specifications for all UL ratings (with the exception of the residential security container):



• The safe must have a UL Group II, Group IIM, Group I or Group IR combination lock (described below).



• To ensure that the safe be difficult to move, it must be either heavy or immobile. UL requires that it either weigh 750 pounds or more, or have the ability to anchor to the floor and a set of instructions about how to secure it there.



• The body walls of the safe’s cabinet and door must be made of a material equivalent to at least 1” open hearth-steel with a minimum tensile strength of 50,000 psi.



• Walls must be fastened in a manner equivalent to a continuous 1/4” penetrating weld with a minimum tensile strength of 50,000 psi.



A Word about Locking Mechanisms



Whether on a high quality safe with a high UL rating or on a low-cost, low-quality safe, the locking mechanisms you will find fall into one of three categories: electronic, mechanical or hybrid. Just as with the safes themselves, there is no such thing as an impenetrable lock; some just take more time than others to spring.



UL Ratings for Mechanical Dial Locks



As with other characteristics of safes, Underwriters Laboratory has standardized the certification system for different locks. There are four UL categories for mechanical dial locks; Group IR, Group I, Group 2M and Group II. The vast majority of the safes have a group II locking mechanism.



The ratings take into account the fact that safecrackers or burglars can X-ray simple mechanical locks to get a view of their inner workings, making the locks easier to open. Some newer locks use materials that do not show up on X-rays, making those locks harder to crack.



Here are descriptions of UL safe locking mechanism ratings in ascending order:



• Group II: This mechanism can, in the hands of a skilled professional, be opened in less than twenty minutes.



• Group 2M: These locks provide a moderate degree of difficulty and have passed the two man-hour manipulation test.



• Group I: These mechanisms take at least 20 man-hours to open but, if X-rayed, can be opened in a shorter period of time.



• Group IR: These locks have the same requirements as Group I locks and also can fend off being X-rayed or other radiological attacks within reason.



UL Ratings for Electronic Keypad Locks



In recent years, electronic locks have become extremely popular versus their mechanical counter parts in the domestic safe market and have some definite advantages. To start with, it takes a fraction of the time to open the lock and get into the safe, which promotes daily use of the safe. It also takes more sophisticated tooling to manipulate a basic electronic lock. Most have a lockout time period of five to fifteen minutes each time three wrong combinations are tried. In addition, some locks can handle multiple combinations and maintain a log of when the safe was opened and which combination was used to open it.





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Finally, remember that the most secure safe is the one no one knows exists.

cut...


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Old 25-12-2012, 12:22 AM
actius362436 actius362436 is offline
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Hmmm, so what manner of storage do most members use?

I've got a lot of people going in and out of my house, so
a visible safe is not ideal for regular usage. My mum once asked
our cleaner lady (typical nosy auntie type of lady) to clean out my
wardrobe, so keeping secret stash there is a no-no to me now.

And if I were to sew PMs into the bottom of my mattress (in an unlikely
scenario), I'm afraid some "kind soul" will throw it away to replace
it with a new mattress.
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Old 15-11-2013, 03:48 PM
Smaug Smaug is offline
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Well, what we did was to get two safes. One, in a more or less more visible location with some currency inside.

And another in a more secure, hidden location.

As to the grade? For me, it matters less than how difficult it is to find.
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Old 15-11-2013, 09:31 PM
actius362436 actius362436 is offline
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I did some reading around online and some people mentioned diversification. So the rabbit has more than 1 escape hole and we should hv more hidey storage "holes" around?
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Old 15-11-2013, 09:40 PM
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daniel.yrh daniel.yrh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by actius362436 View Post
I did some reading around online and some people mentioned diversification. So the rabbit has more than 1 escape hole and we should hv more hidey storage "holes" around?
If you do that then make sure you remember to come out with clues and hidden codes, so that you won't forget your stash when you move house.

Do refer to the movies National Treasure 1 and 2 for tips
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Old 17-11-2013, 12:35 PM
actius362436 actius362436 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel.yrh View Post
If you do that then make sure you remember to come out with clues and hidden codes, so that you won't forget your stash when you move house.

Do refer to the movies National Treasure 1 and 2 for tips
I googled National Treasure. Conclusions: I would give up buying a safe in exchange for buying a table/drawers with hidden compartments.

Anyone knows where to get one?
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