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Tips for Buying a Safe: Stealth UL28

Watch as Youtuber Bosnianbill from Locklab talks about his research when buying a new gun safe and what to look for. He ends up buying the Stealth UL28.

Buying a Safe Tips: Video Summary

FBI statistics show the rise of home burglary and having a safe in your home to protect your valuables just makes sense. This video explains how to become aware of local crimes, how crime and disaster impact homeowners, and in-depth tips on how to buy a home safe that fits your needs. 

Home Crime Statistics and Awareness Steps to Take

FBI Crime Facts

  • FBI statistics showed that burglary in 2020 is up 42 percent over the same period in 2019. 
  • 88 percent of the crimes of the burglaries were against residential homes.
  • Average loss was twenty eight hundred dollars.
  • Top five stolen items includes cash, jewelry, laptop computers, iPads, iPhones, electronics of all types and medications.

Crime Awareness Tip

Check for recent local crimes in your area, this example takes a looked at home break ins within two miles of a specific address. You can usually find this information by typing "local crimes near me" or "local crimes near (your city)" in your internet search bar. 

Protect Your Home and Valuables: Crime on the rise


Top 3 Homeowner Losses According to American Insurance Association

  1. Fire
  2. Burglary
  3. Water damage, water damage not only like failed some pumps, leaking washers, things like that, but also water damage done by fire departments high pressure hoses to extinguish a fire. 

The American Insurance Association (AIA) is an insurance industry trade association representing about 300 insurance companies that provide property insurance and/or casualty insurance in the United States.

Tips to Protect Your Home and Valuables  

  • Do local crime activity research
  • Decide which items you want to protect from burglary, fire and water
  • Buy a safe or more than one safe!  



Buying a Safe Tips: Video Summary

1. Make Sure the Safe has a Rating by the Underwriters Laboratory

"Since the insurance association said that fire was the biggest threat, I decided to tackle that area first. In my research, I found out that the Underwriters Laboratory, which is a certifying agency for a lot of electrical appliances, at least here in the United States, they also have ratings for security containers."  

Underwriters Laboratories conducts original scientific research and releases information and reports for the benefit of public safety.
"Some safes do not have a UL certification at all. Many of them did. And the way that the readings work are, for example, there'll be a sticker on the right, on the inside of the door, usually on the frame, and it will say something like 16, 80 for 90 minutes. What that means is you can take that container when it's closed and you can expose it to 180 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes before the internal temperature will get up to 350 degrees, which is a critical temperature. That's a temperature which paper starts to ignite. So if it says 30 minute rating for 100, obviously you can expose it to 100 degrees for 30 minutes before the internal temperature gets up to 350. Now, paper just means normal parchment type paper doesn't mean currency. Not that I have a lot of currency, but if you do, currency's been heated, treated against heat so it can get up to 451 degrees before it starts to ignite. I don't want to take that kind of risk. The bottom line here is that if I wanted it to last a long time against very high temperatures, it was going to cost me a lot of money." 


Learn more about Underwriters Laboratory Safe Testing


 2. Call Your Local Experts (Fire Dept.)

"I called up the Fairfax County Fire Department and they were very kind enough to punch in my address."

"There's a fire hydrant located one house away, just one house away, which told them that they'd be able to pull up, hook up. And no matter how engaged the fire was, it was fully engaged or just getting started for sure. They'd be able to have it out within about 15 or 20 minutes, probably with a lot of damage to my house from water. But they would be able to do it. The response time again, they're not too far away was between 10 and 15 minutes outside. So he recommended that I find a safe rated somewhere around 30 minutes at a 1000."


3. Consider Break-in Time: Residential Security Containers (RSC) Report

The Residential Security Container Standard report helps customers and  manufacturers to choose what level of security best suits their product and protection needs. 

"I wanted to look into Break ins. How long would it take to break in? And Underwriter's Laboratory ratings for that."

"I was surprised that many of the containers and I'm going to call them cabinets that I saw in the big box stores were again unrated. You could usually tell those, or at least I could, because they were very light gauge metal, usually 16 to 18, gauge very thin, almost like a like a school locker kind of thing. They all weighed less than 200 pounds."

"So I guess you get what you pay for. Those were totally unrelated. And I felt like, you know, with a screwdriver, I could probably break into a lot of those."

 "So I knew real quick I was looking for the RSC-5 Rating"

This UL rated ted container certifies the safe is capable of withstanding a one person wielding a hammer and or small crowbar for up to five minutes.

Learn More About Burglar Safe Ratings

Burglarized Safe Photos


 4. Choosing a Lock Mechanism For Your Safe

"What you were not looking for is a key lock. These are usually only found in the lowest quality of cabinets. And I don't think that anybody would even consider that."

"So we're looking for, at a minimum, a UL Rated Combination Lock. Now, one thing they don't advertise is something called a relocker, it's not in every safe. And so be sure to ask for it. It's basically a lock mechanism disabler, and it will only ever be triggered if someone does a physical assault on your safe. So someone attacks your vault door with, say, a hammer or pry bar or they tip your safe over violently and attempt to drag it away. The locker will detect that attempt and it will lock and disable the locking mechanism."

 "At that point, even if you have the right combination, you won't be able to open it. You'll need a locksmith to come in and disable the locker. But it's a great piece of insurance. Just be sure to ask and make sure you're safe has it."

 "You're also looking for some hard plate protection and a lot of criminals might try to punch a hole in the front door to access to locking bolt. Hard plate protection will slow them down for that great piece of thing. A lot to ask for. Make sure that you have it. They usually don't advertise that."

"Now there's two kinds of locking bolt. There's your fixed locking bolt and live locking bolt."

"Now a fixed locking bolt. When the door is open, you can generally see these on the hinge side of the door. They're bolts that stick out. And when you close the door, those big bolts neatly fold behind the frame. And so even if you cut off the hinge from the outside, that side of the door, still going to remain secure, held in place by those fixed locking bolts. So the more you have and the thicker they are, the better off you're going to be."

"Live locking bolts pop out when you turn the lock handle and they work just like a fixed. Soon as you turn them, they pop up and behind the frame and hold the door closed. So it'll greatly resist prying attacks if you have the right bolts."

"Most cabinets that I saw, though, and again, I'm calling them cabinets didn't have locking bolts. They had between zero and three locking bars, pretty pathetically thin metal. And you could easily pry those open almost with a screwdriver"

"The bolts should also be located on all four sides of your door, not just the hinge side and the lock side, also the top and the bottom. So make sure that you have that that way."

Dial Combination Locks vs Digital Electronic Locks


Pay Attention to The Safe Door Fit

"One of the things you want to pay attention to when you take a look at the door, construction is the fit between the door of the safe and the frame of the safe. Ideally, there will be just a little bit of jiggle when you try to shake the door. You really want a little bit of play in there just in case there's difference in expansion rates between that heavy steel door and that heavy steel frame."

"You might not detect any jiggling. And then when you open up the safe, you find some kind of silicone or rubber seal or even worse, weather-stripping to hold that door firmly. The problem with that, of course, is that in a fire that silicone or rubber foam will always melt. And when that melts, it's going to leave a nice wide gap for all kinds of contaminants to get in there for smoke, heat, and as well as water and steam when those firemen show up and start spraying everything down. So the cheaper manufacturers always seem to use silicone because it looks good and it leaves the consumer to believe that it's a good fit."

Well, we've come full circle. We're back where we started with the Stealth UL28 UL Rated Gun Safe - 28 Gun Capacity. What did I get for my money and why did I get this one?


  • Features:

    • 60 Minute Fire Rating
    • 12 Gauge Steel Door & Body
    • 12 Solid Steel Locking Bolts - 1.25" in Diameter
    • 4-Way Locking Bolt System
    • 8 Active & 4 Deadbolts on the Hinge Side
    • Electrical Outlet Kit
    • 3 Outlets and 2 USB Slots
    • 3-Spoke Black Turn Handle
    • Molle Door Panel Organizer with Accessories
    • Three Adjustable Shelves and Dual Gun Rack Included
    • Flat Black Finish
    • 4 Bolt Down Holes and Mounting Hardware Included


  • Specifications:

    • Outside Dimensions: 59.00" H x 28.00" W x 20.00" D
    • Add 1-5/8" for Handle and Electronic Lock
    • Inside Dimensions: 56.50" H x 25.50" W x 16.50" D
    • Internal Cubic Feet: 13.76
    • Weight: 529 Pounds
    • 28 Gun Capacity
    • UL RSC Burglar Rating
    • UL Approved Type 1 High Security Electronic Lock
    • 2 Year Warranty



How to Change the Combination on the NL UR-2020:


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