What is a TL-30 Safe?

What is a TL-30 Safe?


A TL-30 Safe is certified by Underwriters Laboratory to withstand a tool attack for 30 minutes on the door or front face. It is specifically designed to secure high-value items from burglars, eliminating smash-and-grab robberies and reducing theft.

What is the Underwriters Laboratory?

Underwriters Laboratory (UL) is an unbiased and independent third-party testing agency. It was founded in 1894 with the express purpose of promoting safe living and working environments by providing dependable safety ratings for products.

The UL first began testing safes for burglary resistance in 1923. Today, it has five commercial burglary ratings that indicate the safe’s security level (listed from least to most secure):

What does TL-30 Stand For?

TL stands for ‘Tool Latency.’ The TL-30 rating indicates that the safe’s door and front panel withstood a tool attack by UL’s engineers for 30 minutes. In order for the engineers to be successful, they must either:

  1. Open the Door
  2. Create a 6-inch Hole

If the engineers are unable to achieve either of these two goals, the safe is awarded a TL-30 rating. We cover how the test work and how the test is timed in more detail in the section titled, ‘TL-30 Safe Performance Testing Requirements & Procedures’ below. 

Putting a cash drawer in a commercial safe

How Does the Underwriters Laboratory Testing Work?

In order for a safe to even be tested by UL engineers, it must meet strict construction requirements.

TL-30 Safe Construction Requirements

  • UL listed combination lock that is rated Group 2M, 1 or 1R. Alternatively, the safe could have a Type 1 Electronic lock.
  • Minimum weight of 750 lbs. or include instructions for anchoring the safe in one of three ways:
    • In a larger safe
    • To concrete blocks
    • On the premises where the safe will be used, such as bolting it to a concrete floor
  • Body walls of material must be equivalent to at least 1-inch open hearth steel with a minimum tensile strength of 50,000 P.S.I.
  • Walls must be fastened in a manner equivalent to a continuous ¼-inch penetration weld of open hearth steel with a minimum tensile strength of 50,000 P.S.I.
  • One hole ¼-inch or less, to accommodate electrical conductors arranged to have no direct view of the door or locking mechanism.

TL-30 Safe Performance Testing Requirements & Procedures

The UL engineer testing team is provided the full blueprints of the safe in advance. Additionally, prior to conducting any test, the team fully disassembles the safe to identify any weak points and potential flaws.

During the test, engineers use any combination of manual and electronic tools to gain access to the safe’s interior. These tools include:

  • Common Hand Tools
  • Picking Tools (such as a pick ax)
  • Mechanical or Portable Electronic Tools (such drills and power saws)
  • Sledgehammers
  • Grinders (such as angle grinders)

During a TL-30 safe test, engineers have 30 minutes to open the door or create a six-inch hole. While the test is being conducted, the clock is only running while the engineers are actively attacking the safe. The clock is stopped whenever they are changing tools, such as replacing a tool bit or selecting a different sledgehammer. 

commercial safes in stock at NW Safe

Why Get a TL-30 Safe?

With crime in the Seattle area on the rise and legislation is helping to further legalize lawlessness (such as theft, drug dealing, and other felonies), securing your valuables has never been more important. Both businesses and individuals with high-value items can reduce their risk by installing a commercial safe with a UL listing. 

The irony is, while legislation is being passed to keep criminals out of jail, the issue with retail crime has become so dire that a special task force was wormed. The first of its kind in Washington State — the Organized Retail Crime Theft Task Force was formed to specifically fight “multi-jurisdictional crimes that endanger employees and cause significant economic harm to our state.”

According to an analysis conducted by the Washington Retail Association, the increase in retail theft accounted for $2.7 billion lost in stolen products in 2021. 

Who Benefits from a Commercial TL-30 Safe?

TL-30 safes are designed for both businesses and homeowners who have high-value items they want to protect. These items could include:

  • Cash
  • Jewelry
  • Pharmaceutical drugs
  • Cannabis
  • Precious Metals
  • Proprietary Documentation
  • High-Value Collectables

Generally speaking, businesses that benefit the most from a TL-30 safe include:

  • Jewelry Stores
  • Cannabis Dispensaries
  • Pawn Shops
  • Banks & Credit Unions
  • Tech Companies
  • Grocery Store 
  • Government Agencies

What is the Weight of a TL-30 Safe?

In order to receive a TL-30 rating, a safe must weigh at least 750 pounds or have the ability to be anchored in one of the following three ways:

  1. In a larger safe
  2. To concrete blocks
  3. On the premises where the safe will be used, such as to a concrete floor

Among the selection of TL-30 safes that we carry and recommend at NW Safe, the weights range from 758 pounds with the American Security’s AmVault TL-30 CF1814 all the way to American Security’s AmVault TL-30 CF7236 that weighs 4,426 pounds.

Do You Have TL-30 Safes for Sale?

Yes. We sell a large selection of TL-30 safes, which are in-stock and available for delivery by our professional delivery and installation team. Our selection of safes with a TL-30 rating are exclusively built by American Security (aka AMSEC). 

These American-made safes feature 2-hour fire ratings and are available in several different sizes and configurations — including a double-door depository safe that can be used to help simply cash management. (Learn more about depository safes.)

Top TL-30 Safes

Do You Sell ISM TL30 Bullion Series?

Yes. We sell ISM TL30 Bullion Series commercial safes. We are one of the few US retailers approved to import and sell ISM safes from Israel. ISM is the industry leader in ultra-secure commercial safes. 

Can You Get a Light Weight TL-30 Safe?

We do not carry or recommend any TL-30 safes that are less than 750 pounds. When it comes to safes, you get what you pay for. That being said, we recognize that not every space accommodates a commercial rated safe. 

TL-30 Safe Alternatives (Lighter-Weight Security Safes)

What to Consider When Shopping for a Commercial Safe?

There are a wide variety of places to buy a safe. In the Spokane area alone, there are more than 10 different shops selling gun safes — some of which also sell commercial safes. That being said, we recommend you consider the following things when choosing where to purchase your commercial safe:

Does the shop offer full-service delivery and installation? 

Many of the shops that sell safes only offer curbside delivery. This leaves you scratching your head trying to figure out how to safely move a 1,000+ pound safe and bolt it to the ground. At NW Safe our experienced delivery and installation team offers a white glove service that includes installing your safe and providing a detailed orientation about how the safe works. 

Does the shop have TL-30 safes in stock?

It’s no secret that supply chain issues have been severely hampering everyone’s ability to get products. At NW Safe, our long history of top-rated customer service allows us to maintain incredible relationships with manufacturers, helping to ensure we receive a steady supply. 

Furthermore, we almost always deliver safes directly from both our Enumclaw and Spokane locations. This means we almost never drop-ship a safe from a manufacturer. When you purchase a safe, it’s one we have in stock and ready to deliver. 

Additional Tips:

Commercial Burglary Prevention Tips for Retail Businesses

Extensive damage and theft can cost business owners thousands of dollars. While there's no store, home or safe that's completely burglar proof, there are steps you can take to make your business more secure.

Does My Business Need a Commercial Safe?

While the security needs of businesses can range widely, one thing’s consistent — you don’t want your cash, valuables, and important documents falling into the wrong hands.TL and TRTL commercial safes provide businesses the maximum in security and protection for their assets.

Best Business Safes for Jewelry Stores

How safe are your physical assets? Get the highest level of protection with a TL and TLTR — an essential security precaution for businesses like jewelry stores.

What to Know About Gun Safes with Combination Locks

Does My Shotgun Fit in a ShotLock

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