Home Burglary Prevention Tips - Gun Safe Burglary Ratings
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Home Burglary Prevention Tips - Gun Safe Burglary Ratings

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Home burglaries are a distressing reality that can shatter your sense of security. While often occurring when your home is unoccupied, they can also occur when you are in the home. Typically burglars are looking for easy access points (such as unlocked doors or windows), but persistent thieves have also been known to break windows and ram through doors with any number of objects. 

Are Home Burglaries on the Rise?

The statistics are deceiving. According to a Pew Research Center article, ‘What the data says about crime in the U.S.’ published on April 24, 2024, “Most violent and property crimes in the U.S. are not reported to police, and most of the crimes that are reported are not solved.”

Furthermore, states most with the most populated cities aren’t reporting crime statistics to the FBI. Take New York for example. According to Statista, New York reported just 24.2% of their crimes. California reported 49.4% and Washington reported 88.3%. So while there may appear to be a dip in burglaries, that data isn’t something we can trust at face value. 

What we can tell you is — we’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of individuals buying a burglary prevention safe after neighbors suffered home robberies. Communities such as Mercer Island and Bellevue appear to be particularly targeted. 

In fact, we’ve had nearly a dozen customers on Mercer Island reference multiple burglaries near their home and as of March 2024, there were just nine reported. 

How Are Burglars Breaking In?

According to a survey of convicted burglars serving prison sentences conducted by NBC New York, unlocked doors and windows were the most common way burglars entered a home. Survey results showed that 42% entered through an open window and 39% through an unlocked door. 

While locking your doors and windows can certainly help, recent local reports show that burglars aren’t afraid to take more drastic measures. 

Most violent and property crimes in the U.S. are not reported to police, and most of the crimes that are reported are not solved. KIRO 7 reported on April 29, 2024 that criminals used vehicles to smash into garage doors during broad daylight in an attempt to break in. We have seen a similar approach at a home Enumclaw of a long-time customer. 

What is a Gun Safe Burglary Rating?

Gun safe burglary ratings (also known as burglary safe Construction Ratings) were established by insurance companies to categorize the level of protection a safe will provide. For gun safes and home safes, burglary ratings include:

  • B Class: A resistive classification that features a locking box with a steel door less than 1-inch thick and a steel body less than 1/2 -inch thick. 
  • C Class: A slightly stronger resistive classification that features a locking box with a steel door at least 1-inch thick and a steel body at least ½-inch thick. 
  • UL RSC (Residential Security Container) Level 1: The door must also successfully resist a 5-minute attack from one technique such as prying, drilling, punching, chiseling, and lock tampering by one UL technician. 
  • UL RSC (Residential Security Container) Level 2: The door must successfully resist a 10-minute attack from two techniques such as prying, drilling, punching, chiseling, and lock tampering by one UL technician. 
  • UL RSC (Residential Security Container) Level 3: The door must withstand a 10-minute attack from two technicians using any range of techniques, such as prying, drilling, punching, chiseling, and lock tampering. 

NOTE: All attack times are based on actual amount of time a technician is attacking a safe. If a technician pauses to replace a broken tool, drink water, or use the restroom, the timer is paused. 

For the best burglary safe, you’ll want to consider a commercial safe. Commercial safes are available in five different ratings. The following is listed from least secure to most secure:

What is the Underwriters Laboratory & Why Does an Underwriters Laboratory Rating Matter?

Founded in 1894, Underwriters Laboratory (UL) promotes safe living and working environments with the establishment of dependable safety ratings. An independent third-party testing agency, they provide the most well-respected safety ratings throughout the world. 

Will a Home Burglary Safe Protect My Valuables?

We’re not going to sugar coat things. No safe is impenetrable. With enough time, tools, and expertise, any safe can be broken into. The more layers of protection you have, the harder it will be for a burglar to steal your valuables. 

Storing your valuables in a home safe or gun safe will significantly reduce the chance of them being stolen. Even when thieves have had a substantial amount of time to work on a safe, high-end gun safes have stood their ground — like this Superior Master 40 which was attacked while the homeowner was away and this Liberty Presidential 50

In both instances, these safes have a UL® Security Rating. 

Top Burglary Resistant Gun Safes & Home Safes

While we believe that any safe is better than no safe, the following are our top picks for those interested in residential burglary protection:

We base our recommendations on the amount of value being stored.

$10,000-$15,000 in value (or less): Liberty Colonial Series

The Liberty Colonial series is a solid U.S built option that offers 75 minutes of fire protection and locking bars on all 4 sides of the door. 

$50,000 in value (or less): Superior Master Series

The next step up in security and fire protection is our best selling, above average safe — the Superior Master series. It features a thicker gauge body, plate steel double step door, and 90 minutes of fire protection. This is the safe we typically start our friends and family out with. This level eliminates most smash and grab thieves, while giving you a fighting chance in a serious home fire. 

$100,000 in value (or less): American Security BF Series

If you’re protecting irreplaceable valuables and desire a higher security burglary and fire rated gun safe, the American Security BF series is the appropriate series to consider. Built with 2 layers of steel and 2 inches of poured insulation, the BF boasts a solid ½ inch plate steel door (⅜ inch on 2 models) and a 2 hour fire rating. We’d recommend storing $100,000 or less in value in the BF Series. 

American Security also offers the BFII series for the customer looking for the next step up in security. With an upgraded 5/16 inch thick inner steel liner and a commercial grade TL-15 internal mechanism, the BFII is the safe that created the UL Level II RSC Burglary Classification. 

$150,000 in value: TL Rated Commercial Safe

If you’re storing more than $150,000 in value we would recommend investing in a TL rated safe.

Additional Home Burglary Prevention Tips

Out of Sight - Out of Mind

Keep valuables stored in a discrete location where burglars are less likely to look. This same principle applies to where you install your gun safe. By installing your gun safe in a hidden location, you help reduce the chance that a burglar even knows it’s there! 

Have an Alarm System with Video Cameras

Research suggests that homes without a security system — especially video cameras — are 300% more likely to be the victim of a burglary. Even installing a dummy system can provide a layer of protection.

Use Quick Access Safes for Home Defense Weapons

Worried about break-ins while you’re home? Consider storing your home defense weapon in a quick access safe. These safes allow you to quickly and easily access your home defense weapon.


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