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Terminologies & Definitions

If you've been reading our blogs or browsing our product pages and found yourself confused by some of the terms you've seen, no worries! To help you get a handle on all the terms we're throwing at you, we've compiled a glossary with definitions and helpful links. You might want to bookmark this page for future reference!


Terminologies and Definitions

Amalgamate Composites

Used in safes because they are lightweight and have the lowest cost-to-performance ratio as well as being scratch resistant.

Anti Pry Bars

Bars on safes that will prevent the door from being pried open. It increases the security 300% from pry attacks.

Attachment Hardware

A wide array of attachment hardware is available for a safe to either bolt down to anchor into concrete floors, walls and/or ceilings. The most common bolts are 12-gauge (0.105 inch) diameter steel hardened "C" or zinc plated finish, while the anchor attachments are made of hardened steel with zinc plating.

Barrel Holder

A barrel holder in a gun safe can be a barrel that a gun or rifles are stored in, but it can also be an area for storing other items that will not affect the internal temperature of the safe.

Biometric Lock

It is lock that uses some unique physical characteristic, such as fingerprints, to identify or verify the identity of an individual attempting to access a secured area.

Bolt Down

It refers to the method of securing a safe to its base or floor. For additional security, some safes have bolt holes that will accommodate an anchor bolt for bolting it to the floor (or foundation) in addition to the bolts provided for anchoring it to the wall behind it.


This is made of brass and can be very hard to drill through using hand power tools. To have a successful attack on a safe boltwork, a diamond-tipped or carbide bit is required for drilling into safes made of stronger steel.

B-Rated Safe

It is a safe constructed with a safe body at least ¼-inch thick steel (total), and a door at least ½-inch thick. There’s no testing associated with this rating, and only these bare minimums are required.

C-Rated Safe

It is essentially a safe with half-inch-thick steel walls and a one-inch-thick door with a lock on it. The safe must resist specific safecracking power tools for at least 15 minutes.

Cam Locking System

Used for a safe door, it is most commonly used due to the inherent simplicity and effectiveness of cam locks. It comes equipped on many UL-rated fireproof safes.

Combination / Dial Lock

It is type of locking device in which a sequence of number is used to open the lock. A lock of this type is opened by rotating the dial clockwise to the first numeral, counterclockwise to the second, and so on in an alternating fashion until the last numeral is reached.

Cash Drop Safe Cash

 A commonly used type of safe for restaurants or businesses is a cash drop safe. A cash drop safe is a small, locking compartment built inside of a wall that uses an automatic door to dispense money as customers shop or eat at your place of business.


Used by businesses to count their money that they take in and also counts the money kept in drop safes overnight.

Clutch Drive System

Designed to prevent the hand wheel from moving when you are operating it. The clutch is a strong, spring-loaded button that prevents the handle from turning even if the boltwork becomes jammed or seized

Coin-Operated Hotel Room Safes

Operated by inserting a coin into a slot, which releases the door from its locked position while it reels in any spare change left inside once you close the safe door.

Construction Safes

Made of steel plate and/or a composite steel, with no fire insulation or fire barrier between the walls and floor/roof. It is designed to keep contents protected from unauthorized entry, but does not protect against fire damage.

Data Fire Safe

A data fire safe rating means that the data storage media inside of a safe has been fireproofed by either a thermal coating or screwed-in relocking mechanisms. The relocker part of this rating means that relocking mechanisms are built into the safe to ensure that all external and internal doors can be relocked, thus ensuring that no damage will occur in case of a partial or complete fire.

Depository Safe

A short-term cash protection system used by businesses to protect deposits from theft. Also known as a drop safe or dropbox, the safe includes a hopper.


Used for gun safes to remove moisture from the air to prevent rust.

Diamond Embedded Armor Plate

It provides extra security protection for a safe's lockwork by covering it with heavy-duty diamond-embedded steel. UL testing has proven that this steel stops drill bits and most saw blades from penetrating the lockwork of nearly all UL rated safes including those used to protect guns and valuables such as UL RSC Burglar Rated Safes.

Disposable Safe

A cheap but effective safe that can be bought for quick temporary storage.

Door Hinges

Designed to bear the weight of a door and to perform under mechanical stresses that are applied while the safe door is being opened or closed.

Dry Light Insulation

Best described as dry insect and moisture repellent. It is designed to keep the inside of a safe dry, but does not prove any protection from fire or other extreme heat conditions.

Flame Retardant

Refers to the ability of a material to resist combustion when exposed to high heat. This is tested by placing an object (usually made of the material) inside a container with combustible materials, then subjecting it to temperatures from 1600° F and up for several hours.

Fire Proof Rating

Based on the time that it takes for an unprotected item to be destroyed by fire. The rating system startSteel gauge is described as the thickness of the steel in thousands of an inch. 

Electronic Lock

An electronic lock uses an access code to open a safe door, and push buttons with a digital numbers that must be pressed in order to open a safe door.

Gauge for Steel

Steel gauge is described as the thickness of the steel in thousands of an inch. The higher the gauge, the thinner the steel is and less resistant to mechanical attacks.

Glass Relocker

Based on burying a piece of tempered glass. within the walls of a safe. It is attached, usually randomly, to one or. more spring-loaded bolts.

Gun Cabinet

A gun cabinet is different from a gun safe because it is usually a small, lightweight portable safe that can be hidden in a closet or elsewhere for immediate access to guns if an intruder breaks into your home.


Used in safes to reduce sound from mechanical or moving parts inside a safe, such as a door lock system.

Hopper "Rotary" Depository Safes

A quick and easy way to make larger drops. The hopper has a rotating tube within a tube design that makes “fishing” difficult. After placing your deposit in the hopper, with one turn of the handle the contents drop behind the secure locked safe door.

Intumescent Seals

Used on safes to protect their UL fire-rating and to seal off the inside of a safe that has been exposed to heat, smoke, and flames. When exposed to extreme temperatures, these seals harden like pottery and expand up to four times their normal size in an effort to prevent air from entering into the safe. Palusol is a popular brand.

LaGard Locks

Well know for their UL fire resistance. They are UL rated at class 350 for up to 30 minutes of fire protection per UL standard UL 748, and their UL burglary protection is UL RSC Class S&G Burglary.

Redundant Lock

A mechanism that incorporates electronic and mechanical locks and allows an owner to open a safe by using one of the locks. It means that in case of dead batteries or other issues with an electronic lock, the safe can be quickly unlocked with a mechanical one.


A mechanical device that fires spring-loaded bolts into the opening mechanism of the safe if triggered by an attack on the door of the safe.

Safety Relocker

A relocker system that is designed to be mechanically and electrically separated from the relocker trigger. In other words, if you turn off the relocker power supply, it will not relock itself for one minute (if using a time delay) allowing you plenty of time to get into the safe before relocking occurs.

Type I Relocker

Relocks the door when a time lock is set. It remains relocked until the release button is pushed. Type I is the standard relocker.

Type II Relocker

Relocks the door with a separate push key on combination safes or electronic locks.

Type III Relocker

Relocks the door when a time lock is set and remains relocked until the relocker released button is pushed.

RSC Rating (Residential Security Containers)

Safes are given its RSC rating primarily based on how long it takes to get into the safe. The three classifications are RSC1, RSC2, RSC3. An RSC1 is the most resistant to theft of damage from fire of any time lock relocker safe on the market.

RSC-I Burglary Rating

It requires the safe to withstand a 5-minute attack by one person using common hand tools like screwdrivers, drills, and hammers.

RSC-2 Burglary Rating

It requires the safe to withstand a 10-minute attack with two people instead of one, using more robust tools including picks, high-speed drills, and carbide bits.

RSC-3 Burglary Rating

They are like the RSC-II’s, RSC-III's include a wider range of tools with which to try to gain access.

"S" Rating

The "S" rating of safes refers to their security rating; it measures the ability of a safe door to resist prying and drilling.

Safe Room

The term safe room has two different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. It can refer to an electronically secured area inside a home where guns are stored, or it can mean a small fortified shelter that protects its inhabitants from intruders and extreme weather conditions such as tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.

Square Key Way

A "square" key way is the standard for most safes that use pre- drilled holes and bolts to secure the door into place. These key ways are made of hard metal or plastic, but allow the lock manufacturer more leeway when designing locks for their safes compared to those made of "hexagonal" key ways.

TL 15 Rating

The door successfully resist entry for a net working time of 15 minutes when attacked with common hand tools, picking tools, mechanical or portable electric tools, grinding points, carbide drills and pressure applying devices or mechanisms.

TL 30 Rating

Designed to offer a maximum six-sided body and door protection against attack by common mechanical and electrical hand tools and any combination of these means.

TL 30x6 Rating Extreme Protection

Designed to offer a maximum six-sided body and door protection against attack by common mechanical and electrical hand tools and any combination of these means.

TDR Safes (Torch and Drill Resistant)

Torch & Drill Resistant Safes are specifically designed and built with defense barriers to providing premium protection. Defiant against torch attacks, drills, grinders, and explosive force. TDR Safes are suitable for banks, jewelers, government agencies, and commercial applications where a high level of security is required.

UL Rated Safes

Ratings for Safes that provide the minimum time a safe can endure fires and against mechanical forced entries. This is not based on burglar protection tests, but instead on whether or not the safe can structurally withstand higher temperatures and different types of attacks that are required by UL to achieve its UL rating. UL Ratings vary from 60 minutes fire-resistive, which is UL's lowest possible rating to UL RSC Burglar Protection ratings of 60 hours. UL Fire Resistive Ratings are not Burglar UL rated because UL does not test for burglar attacks that have already been exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time.


Vaults are different from safes because it is an armored temperature-controlled storage area that can withstand explosions and fire.

Waterproof Safes

Needs to have a rubber seal that prevents water from leaking in

Waterproof "ETL" Verified safe

A high-quality model will have a mark like this – ETL Verified for X number of hours of protection in water up to X number of inches. Electrical Testing Laboratory (ETL) - a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.

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