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Top 6 Features of a Well-Made Gun Safe

Top features of a well-made gun safe
Nearly every safe manufacturer and safe dealer understand the construction elements that make a well-made and secure gun safe. It is often difficult for the manufacturers and dealers to choose the models needed to display, catalog or place on a website that represents their inventory at every price point, or within their customers' budgets.
The top features that a consumer should examine when making a gun safe purchase are as follows:
#1. Size: What are you storing in the gun safe? Are you storing handguns and pistols? Are you storing an extensive rifle collection? Will other family members require access to the gun safe to store such items as jewelry, insurance documents, passports, coins, cash, etc...? You need to carefully examine your current needs, including all items that need to be stored... then add at least 25% more space for your future needs. The most often heard comment from safe purchasers within one year of buying a gun safe is... "I love my safe, but it is too small."  Be sure to carefully measure the space where you would like to place your safe. Be sure that you place the safe in a location that you have quick access to your firearms. An intruder will NOT wait for you to run down to your basement or out to your garage to access your weapons.
#2. Weight: This is a very important factor in determing how secure your stored valuables will be. First, every gun safe MUST be bolted down securely to the floor. If gun safes under 500 lbs and are not bolted down it is likely the intruders will just pick up and remove the safe to a place where they have the time, tools and a quiet place to break into the safe. For safes over 500 lbs... If they are not bolted down they usually can be tipped over and placed on the back of the safe. It will be easier for the burglar to force the door open with a pry bar if the safe does NOT have steel that is at least 12 gauge in thickness...AND... if they do not have an adequate quantity of locking bolts (at least 12 locking bolts for a safe that is 60" tall). THE HEAVIER THE SAFE, THE BETTER. Heavier, when referring to safes, generally is a result of either the steel thickness and the type of insulation found within the safe. Thicker steel and better insulation make for a more expensive safe. Buy the best safe you can find within the high dollar end of your budget. You will not be sorry you did. 
#3. Fire Rating and Fire Resistance: Please note that the average home fire burns at approximately 1100 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes before being extinguished. Be sure to take into consideration how far your home is located from your local fire department. Also consider the number of stories in your home and whether the home is made with wood or cement block. The less wood to fuel a fire, the shorter the burn time. We believe that the minimum fire rating to be considered for a gun safe should be 60 minutes at 1200 deegrees Fahrenheit.
#4. Burglary rating: If you intend to have a large firearms collection and other valued possessions stored in your safe you must be aware of the safe's burglary rating for insurance purposes. The burglary ratings are as follows:
  • Option #1: MERIK Gun Safes and Rifle Safes 

MERIK Gun Safes and Rifle Safes are built to exceed U.L. (Underwriters Laboratories) RSC (Residential Security Container) Standards. 

Merik Matrix Gun and Rifle Safe

U.L. RSC Rating requires the Safe Door to successfully resist entry for a net working time of 5 minutes when attacked against rigorous prying, drilling, punching, chiseling, and tampering attacks by UL technicians.

Estimated INSURABLE contents value*:

    • With an alarm system: $10,000
    • Without an alarm system: $5,000 

 

U.L. TL-30 Rating requires the "Vault Door" to successfully resist attack, using common mechanical and electrical hand tools, carbide drills and pressure applying devices or mechanisms and any combination of these means, for a net working time of 30 Minutes.

Estimated INSURABLE contents value*:

    • With an alarm system: $375,000
    • Without an alarm system: $195,000   

 

U.L. TL-30x6 Rating requires the "Vault Door and all 6 Sides of the Body" to successfully resist attack, using common mechanical and electrical hand tools, carbide drills and pressure applying devices or mechanisms and any combination of these means, for a net working time of 30 Minutes. 

Estimated INSURABLE contents value*:

    • With an alarm system: $500,000
    • Without an alarm system: $275,000 

 

U.L. TRTL-30x6 Rating requires the "Vault Door and all 6 Sides of the Body" to successfully resists attack, using torches, common mechanical and electrical hand tools, carbide drills and pressure applying devices or mechanisms and any combination of these means, for a net working time of 30 Minutes. 

Estimated INSURABLE contents value*:

    • With an alarm system: $1,000,000
    • Without an alarm system: $500,000

*NOTE: Total Insurable Contents Value is the estimated value of the contents (property) stored within a safe or vault often covered in an insurance policy. It is the maximum dollar amount that an insurance company will pay out if an asset(s) that the insurance company has insured is deemed lost due to theft or fire. You should always ask your insurance broker for guidance on content value and insurability before buying a safe, and for recommendations that may result in reductions in your insurance premiums by having an (Underwriter Laboratories) U.L. Listed TL-30 Vault, a TL-30x6 Vault, or a TRTL-30x6 Vault. Insurable Contents Value applies to MERIK U.L. rated Safes. 

 #5. Lock: There are two lock options for gun and rifle safe that are not meant to be portable. The first option is the Mechanical Dial Lock. This type of entry usually requires about 2 to 3 minutes to open the dial and unlock the door. It is considered to be extremely reliable and has been available for decades. The second option is the Electronic Lock. It is significantly faster to use (it only takes a few seconds to enter your combination code) ...and it is relatively easy for the owner to change the entry code him/herself. 

#6. Steel Inner Liner: More Steel + Fire Protection = Peace of Mind

Two of the most important elements in gun safe construction are steel and fire protection. MERIK constructs most of their gun safes with an outer steel body, a proprietary fire-resistant cement wall fill, and an inner steel security liner. The inner steel liner provides a secondary barrier to further prevent attempted forced entry.

  • The inner steel security liner is not an option. It is included in most MERIK gun safes.
  • The inner steel liner is the same thickness as the outer steel body. 
  • The inner steel liner creates a "Safe within a Safe."
MERIK has developed a unique line of gun safe models. There are traditional styles and more modern styles. There are models with varied steel thicknesses and inner liners to suite most any budget. What is most important is that the safe buyer will get the best safe at whatever their space, design or budget dictates. 

 

Feel free to contact a MERIK representative at 561-334-3778. We are here to assist you.