Monday, December 21, 2009

Alternate Testing for UL Rating

Testing for Safes and Digital Storage
Historically the Underwriters Laboratories, know collectively as UL, has been the world leader in the testing of fireproof safes, fire files and other products that require independent third party verification. While most consumers are familiar with the U.L. label on products there are other testing facilities that perform fire endurance tests.

ETL or Intertek is a very highly regarded testing laboratory for both fire and water endurance or resistance. ETL provides a full range of Product Testing, Certification and Inspection for benchmark setting, performance standards and more.

Another alternate testing for ul ratings is the Western Fire Center in Kelso, Washington. The fire experts at WFC specialize in fire testing, materials testing, materials properties, ICAL, calorimeter, fire investigation as well as fire litigation.

Omega Point Labs or OPL is another division of Intertek. OPL has the capability of testing to industry requirements, ASTM standards (fire curves) to quickly determine surface burning characteristics of products around the world.

Fire Safe Rating

burglary theft TL
There are a variety of fireproof safes on the market today that carry a wide range of fire ratings. Most business class safes carry the UL 1 hour fire rating (as well as 2 hour and 3 hour).

UL or Underwriters Laboratories is the world's foremost expert in independent fire testing and rated products and the trusted testing facility to know your safe is built to the best possible classification.

1 Hour Fire Rating vs 2 Hour Rating on a Safe
The UL system for fire protection means that a safe with a UL 350 1 hour rating will protect the contents (paper only) for up to one hour at 1700 degrees F. The 2 hour rated safe (UL 350) will protect it's contents (paper only) for up to two hours at 1700 degrees F.

The safe with the best highest fire rating would carry the UL 3 hour rating. Keep in mind this rating is for protection from fire, not necessarily designed for burglary.

Additional Safe Ratings

There are other types of safe ratings that pertain to security, burglary, fire and a combination of both. This includes media or data safes with UL 125 ratings, TL-15 safes up to TRTL x 6 as well as products that carry both UL rated stamps of approval.

In our next series of blogs we'll cover each rating in more depth.

Have Questions? Call Toll Free 1-866-867-0306

Thursday, December 17, 2009

NSA Approved Safes

gsa container

Storage of documents, data and evidence requires a specialty security safe know as a GSA Approved container. These safes, cabinets and file cabinets are engineered to specific requirements set forth by the Dept. of Defense.

Throughout the course of history there have been several classifications of these safes that have been refined to meet specific criteria for security. Currently there are two (2) types of gsa containers including Class 5 and Class 6. The Class 6 safes are generally used for the storage of documents, external hard drives and laptops (in a powered off or non operational mode). Class 5 containers are used for the same materials as well as evidence, ammunition, cash, narcotics and weapons.

These safes also have specialized locks that are available in both digital electronic and mechanical combination depending upon the spec. More information is available on the GSA or NSA approved list in # FF-L-2740.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Two Person Integrity Safes (TPI)

dual control access lock
Access control and preserving the integrity of the contents in a safe are a top consideration for many large companies. A powerful feature on the X-09 lock is two person integrity. This lock is the standard on many GSA Approved Safes and containers. The Class 6 safes (2 drawer, 4 drawer and 5 drawer, etc) for the storage of up to classified and top secret documents and materials have this lock standard.

The X-09 is a digital electronic dial combination lock that allows for TPI (Two Person Integrity). All GSA Approved containers that come standard with the X-09 electromechanical lock meet the federal specification #FF-L-2740. Other safes with TPI are the dual lock field safe which can be designated for two person integrity - whereby two individuals each have a combination to one lock. Other methods may apply.

For more information please visit

Monday, December 14, 2009

Electronic Handgun Safes

Pistol Firearm Safe
Inside look at the GunVault Mini Deluxe

For handgun owners that are looking for an electronic safe that offers both security and safety, the GunVault line of pistol or handgun safes is a best buy. In this post we take a closer look at the GV1000C Deluxe, this safe offers lightning fast access to your weapon or sidearm of choice and includes several features that we will detail below.

Location of Batteries
Accessing the AA alkaline batteries on the GunVault isn't too difficult. If you have large hands though, you're going to need some assistance. The first step is to turn your electronic gun safe upside down. By doing so you can more easily access the battery compartment.

Battery Replacement
Gently pull the foam lining at the back of the GunVault, this will give you access to the battery compartment. Please do not tear the foam lining loose!

Simply remove the two fasteners that hold the compartment in place and gently remove the battery tray. Be careful that you do not pull the wires out of place!
Replacing the Batteries in the handgun safe

After you have removed the battery tray, install (8) eight Duracell AA batteries (recommended by GunVault) for best performance.
Replacement of Batteries

Once you have installed the new batteries simply replace the battery tray in the proper location and install the fastener nuts. Remember not to over tighten the fasteners.

Now you are ready to program your lock!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Electronic Lock Batteries

Replacing Digital Lock Battery
Electronic or digital locks are often standard on a variety of safes and fire file cabinets. Many of our clients choose these locks for security and access control - limiting who can see or view business documents, records and data. There are several pros and cons to electronic locks and we will discuss each of them below.

Convenience - electronic locks offer great convenience versus standard dial combination locks. For a business that requires entry into a safe or fire file several times during the day we recommend an electronic lock.
Quick-Change Combination - for the business that has a high turnover rate of employees (gas stations, retail stores) the combination can be easily changed to prevent theft.

Battery Powered - although this isn't really a con, it's just a fact...the majority of electronic locks are battery powered this leads to occasional maintenance. It's actually quite easy to replace a battery in a lock and generally involves removing the cover plate and installing a new 9 volt battery or several AA alkaline batteries.
Locksmiths Don't Like Working on them - to be as matter of fact as possible, the failure rate of electronic locks is much higher than standard dial combination locks.

When you take the time to look at the differences and compare the electronic lock to the combo lock it usually comes down to personal preference. If you have questions, we are always happy to help. Call Toll Free 1-866-867-0306 at any time!

Brands of Electronic Locks

S&G - Sargent and Greenleaf offers safe locks, electronic locks and biometric locking mechanisms

La Gard - The LaGard lock brand is a division of Kaba Mas and includes ComboGard, AuditGard, Smart Series locks and a variety of Group 2 or 2M (Group II) mechanical locks.

Kaba Mas - a world leading manufacturer and supplier of high-security electronic locking solutions, Kaba Mas makes the X-09 Lock, Auditcon, Gitcon, Unicon and Vindicator series for audit and access control.

Bolt Down Safes and Kits

burglary resistant theft security
More often than not our customers are interested in bolting down their safes. Whether this be a safe for home, business or automobile, the bolt down kit is a valuable piece of the security puzzle.

Most safes that have bolt down kits give the customer the ability to bolt to the floor or wall. There are special circumstances whereby a locksmith will need to assist (often the case with large commercial safes).

Our FireKing FB Series safes come standard with bolt down kits. Most depositories or drop safes also have bolt down kits that come standard. Our entire line of Hamilton safes can be customized to meet security needs and resistance to burglary or theft.

Our expert staff can help you with the planning and buying of a new safe. We specialize in UL Rated products that offer up to 3 hour fire ratings as well as burglary or TL Safes (tool attack resistant).

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Hurricane Window Protection

Standards and Coverings
Glass Requirements for Miami Dade County Hurricane Zone

Hurricane planning and protection are vital steps to improving safety and well being in areas prone to high winds and hurricanes. Specialty windows, frames and glass have been developed to meet the most stringent code requirements for hurricane force winds and flying debris.

Our Hamilton Safe windows are used in a variety of applications from banks, drive up or drive thru areas as well as homes, government and embassy buildings and more. These specialty and custom built windows reduce noise, improve safety and provide security against burglary, theft and intruders.

There are a variety of manufacturers and brands that supply specialty products, glass and windows for homes and businesses.

For more information and a detailed search of the Miami-Dade County Building Codes and Products please visit: