The Eastern Security Rating System

Just like any other product, safes are not all created equal. Every manufacturer produces different levels of safes, spanning from their entry level to their most secure. That’s not to say that one manufacturer’s top-of-the-line is equivalent to another manufacturer’s, nor that their entry level models are the same security. There are drastically different standards on thickness of steel, door construction, weld quality, and locking system quality. To help the consumer with this convolution, we created the Eastern Security Rating System.

The Eastern Security Rating System has been developed over several years and several revisions to help offer an apple to apple comparison of security and features across manufacturers. Body Steel (type and thickness), Door Steel (type and thickness), Door and Door Frame Design, Boltwork Design and Quality, Lock Protection, Relockers, Amount of Fire Retardant, and overall quality of construction are all taken into consideration and graded. These grades are then averaged into a 1 to 10 score that we then assign to each model.

What does this mean for you?

  • You can easily see how different two safes are in their security value.
  • You can determine what security range is appropriate for you and shop by security level.
  • You can quickly weed out the models that are irrelevant to your shopping


Eastern Security Rating Quick-Guide:

Levels 10+: Occupied by safes with UL TL ratings at 15 or higher. These safe manufacturers have paid to have their TL models tested by Underwriters Laboratories. TL 15-30, x 3, x 6, TRTL, etc are high security for residential and commercial use.

Most models in Levels 10-1 all carry the broad UL “RSC” rating.

Levels 10-8: These levels are occupied by models that use superior materials such as Stainless Steel and/or AR500 ballistic rated steel in their construction. Stainless steel offers heat disbursement not found in normal, mild steel, and prevents torches from localizing enough heat to penetrate the steel, and increases the time that it takes to cut through the steel using cutting tools. AR500 (AR = Abrasion Resistant) Ballistic Rated Steel is three times harder than mild steel, and substantially increases the cutting time necessary to penetrate the safe.

Levels 7-6: These safes are typically secured with ¼” – 3/16” (7 Gauge) mild steel in their safe body, and typically have at least 3/8” of total steel in their door. They are constructed with an excellent quality of build. Their locking systems and door frames are made of a suitable construction that does not bend or flex with tools.

Levels 5-4: These safe are typically secured with 3/16” (7 Gauge) to 10 Gauge mild steel in their safe body, and typically have at least a ¼” of total steel in their door. They are constructed with a high quality of build and their security should offer a strong deterrent to attacks with cutting tools.

Levels 3-2: These safes are typically secured with 11 Gauge to 12 Gauge mild steel in their safe bodies. These safe maintain a good resistance to hand tool attacks and curious hands.

Level 1: These safes will likely provide resistance to curious, casual hands. They typically are constructed of 12 gauge to 14 gauge mild steel, and maintain under 1 hour of fire rating and little or no locking bolt protection on the top and bottom of the door.

**Note It is important to match the correct security around the value you are working to keep out of the wrong hands. Safes are similar to an insurance policy: You hope they are never tested, but it’s important to have adequate protection if they are. We have often helped new customers purchase their second, better safe after their first safe did not provide the protection needed to keep possessions from being taken. Not all safes are created equal, nor are they all made to protect the same valuables. All safes can be breached given the right time and tools, and the level of protection is a deterrent built to outlast the hands that may become determined to breach it.