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"Once they get their arms full," he adds, "they're out of there." A 1.2 or 1.3 cubic-foot safe probably weighs about 100 pounds empty, making it a less attractive target than jewelry, cameras, small electronics, and other more portable items a burglar might spot.
For those kinds of treasures, a safe-deposit box at a bank probably offers more protection.
A TL-15 rated safe, for example, can withstand an attack of at least 15 minutes using common tools.
While most home safes don't carry a rating for burglary resistance, they do, as a practical matter, provide some protection. Mc Goey, a security consultant in Los Angeles, says that burglars generally go for what they can grab in one run through a house.
A fairly common home-safe capacity is 1.2 to 1.3 cubic feet, which should easily accommodate a foot-high stack of 8½- by 11-inch papers, for example.
Most home safes are designed to protect their contents from fire, theft, or both. We don't test safes here at Consumer Reports, but many are tested by independent organizations such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Intertek (which uses the ETL mark).