The UL Stamp of Approval | Choosing the Best Safe for your needs.
Understanding One of Your Safe’s most Important Seals of Approval:
Underwriters Laboratories and Their Ratings and Standards
There are many ways to judge how well made a product is. As a consumer, it is vital for you to find out as much as you can about a product before making a purchase. When reading a description, review or ad; you look for certain buzz-words and phrases and you also look for endorsements and promises; “this product has been tested to this level of pressure” and such; or you look for stamps and seals of groups that take products and test them for safety reasons and for commercial entities. There is an organization that provides safety certifications for a wide variety of products, including in the security field. That organization is Underwriters Laboratories and if you see one of their ratings on a safe, then you can be assured it will perform as promised. Here at K.L. Security, we want to make sure you understand how important is to have a UL fire rating on the products we sell.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent product safety certification organization that was established in 1894 and is headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois. They develop standards and test procedures for materials, products, tools, assemblies, components and equipments. These tests and standards are mostly concerned with product safety but UL also tests and evaluates business processes though a management system registration program and one of their subsidiaries tests drinking water and other products for environmental sustainability. UL has also developed tests for food safety and hazardous substances; all branching out from their core studies in electrical and fire safety. UL also periodically rechecks product designs they have already tested to make sure they’re still up to the organization’s standards.
They are one of the nationally recognized testing laboratories used by OSHA and UL conducts its tests in 95 laboratories for customers in 104 different countries around the world. There are over 22.4 billion UL marks on different products. Over 68, 798 manufacturers produce UL certified products and 86, 972 product evaluations have been performed by UL.
What are UL Ratings?
A rating is what UL gives a product after it has been subjected to a battery of tests. How much heat can it withstand and for how long? To what depth must a product sink and how long can it stay before it is no longer water resistant? The tests change for each type of product that is being examined. The main goal is to prove that the product meets UL requirements.
What UL Ratings apply to safes?
UL has been conducting tests on safes for more than 80 years and they have developed excellent techniques for examining every aspect of a safe’s security. Safes are rated for their resistance to attack by specific tools for a specific amount of time. There are dozens of these ratings; the ultimate safe rating is the TXTL60; which means a safe can withstand an hour’s attack that includes using eight ounces of nitroglycerin. UL also runs an impact test on safes; which they drop the safe from multiple heights after it’s been heated to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit to simulate damage by a burning structure. If the safe doesn’t pop open and the interior temperature hasn’t risen above 300 degrees, then it’s passed the test.
The tests for fire resistance are equally strenuous. A UL fire safe rating is based on temperature and the length of time that the contents of the safes are protected. A class 350 rating means that a safe will protect paper documents. A class 150 rating means that magnetic tapes and film will be protected. A class 125 will protect electronic media. 350, 150, 125 stand for the maximum temperature the interior of the safe is allowed to have without failing the test. The ratings also include a time limit that the safe withstood different required levels of heat. The times range from 30 minutes to four hours.
Here are two K.L. Security guides to UL fire safe ratings for more information on the testing processes and ratings system:
K.L. Security provides its customers with the best possible products and we know that UL seals on the products we sell help ensure the safety and confidence of our client base. If you see a UL seal on a product, then you know that it has been put their wringer and is a good choice for you or company.