It is well known that safes must abide by certain standards to indeed be considered ‘safe.’ Unfortunately the same standards are not always set for gun safes. The major regulatory body for certifying safes is UL, or Underwriters Laboratories.
This body is responsible for approving certain safes for commercial use. A rating by UL ensures that the safe has been passed rigorous testing to ensure the quality and protection offered by the safe. UL have some of the most trustworthy and reliable ratings of any regulatory body around the world. Their ratings are often cited as the most significant and they are highly regarded because of this where even the lowest class require a 1.5 inch door. So why is this important?
It is important because the vast majority of gun safes on the market lack a UL rating. The Californian DOJ has its own gun safe regulations and they their own standards for gun safes. However these ratings lack the testing and reliability of a UL rating.
This begs the question of why there is a lack of UL tested gun safes. A few of the reasons are listed below.
1. Testing is expensive.
An important point about UL testing is that it is far from cheap to conduct. The testing done is rigorous and not would it push most gun safes on the market beyond their capabilities, but it would also mean that the gun safe would need to be designed to fit the recommendations given. This adds additional costs beyond testing leaving many companies unable or unwilling to justify the cost required for this.
2. Gun safe manufactures are not safe manufactures.
It is great that many independent brands produce gun safes, and overtime this will surely result in better quality gun safes. However, the specialization has resulted in a gap between reliable and proven safe manufacturers with established brands and new ones. Newer brands are unwilling to put in the money and effort required to produce a quality gun safe beyond the minimum standards set by law, and whilst consumers are still purchasing these gun safes, this mindset is unlikely to change.
3. Many gun safes are of inferior quality.
A strong gun safe is something that is particularity important. The consequences of a gun safe being broken into can be greater than any safe. Unfortunately, there are still inferior gun safes on the market. Take a look at one gun safe being broken into in the video below.
Although not the best example in practice, it does show that there is a lack of reinforcement that mightn’t be seen with proper certification. A gun safe should have even further support to be considered safe and should be strong enough to resist breakage.
The lack of proper certification is certainly a worry for consumers. There is hope that in the future this will change, but for now it is important to do your own homework.
Make sure you do your research and pick a gun safe that is of high quality. Be sure to read our guide on finding a gun safe so that you can be sure that you are buying from a trusted brand.