The Gun Storage Industry Today
In the gun safe industry, there is a major focus on safety and security. There is no doubt that securing your firearms is an incredibly important responsibility, but does the traditional gun safe offer your firearms a realistic level security from realistic threats? In most cases, the answer is “no”, unfortunately.
To understand why this is the case, it’s critical to understand what level of security gun safes use. The vast majority of gun safes on the market are listed as a Residential Security Container (RSC). This is something the gun safe industry promotes in their marketing, touting it as a high level of security — but what exactly is an RSC? How does it protect your valuables?
Exploring the Questions
To get the RSC certification the safe has to pass a test performed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). The purpose of the test is to open the safe with a 4″ in diameter or greater hole. The test uses hand tools that must be shorter than 18″ and weigh less than 3 pounds. The testers have 5 minutes to open the safe, and if they fail then the safe can be labeled as a Residential Security Container.
5 minute protection from these tools
The problem with this is simple. Thieves use power tools and have more than 5 minutes. The truth is that thieves open safes in a few minutes, using a circular saw, a grinder with a cutoff wheel, or a variety of other common tools. You can still use an RSC to protect your firearms, but it’s important to understand the actual level of security.
Finding an Answer to the Problem
So what’s the answer to this threat? Stealth is always your biggest ally, no one can break into what they can’t find. The gun safe industry advertises safes as beautiful family heirlooms with images of a big safe in the den next to a fireplace and lazy-boy chair. Displaying your safe for all to see is in-congruent with basic security protocols. Safes should be hidden and always be bolted down.
To learn more about the failures of this industry, watch Tom’s shot show presentation
Be sure to also check the tolerance between your door and frame. Most manufacturers have large gaps between the door and frame, which make it easy for thieves to pry it open. This is most likely why the manufacturers add an unnecessary amount of bolts to compensate. However, the additional bolts added don’t provide any greater level of security.
What is the best safe? Always choose a safe that is doubled walled with a cement or composite filling between the steel layers. The combination of steel and concrete will defeat most power tools, and give you the best level of home security. A professional thief can break into most safes. What you are paying for is time. The RSC standard gets you 1-3 minutes access from a pro. A good double-walled, filled safe gets you hours or a day.
Understanding the Label
Above all, understand that the RSC certification is at best an arbitrary safety standard created in a time when there were not 24 volt high power tools available. The standard is simply outdated. While an RSC could protect your valuables from a casual smash and grab, it will not hold up against modern power tools or the determined thief.
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