This is one of the least expensive home safes that is rated for burglar resistance as well as resistance to fire, water, impact and explosion. The Residential Security Container (RSC) rating from UL means that the safe resists entry with ordinary tools for at least five minutes. The Gardall FB-1212 safe is also rated by the UL to keep internal temperatures at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or lower in fires as hot as 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit for up to one hour. The least expensive version (*Est. $640) comes with a UL Group II rated combination (S&G) lock; a digital electronic lock is an optional extra (*Est. $150). Both versions include a backup "independent glass re-locking system" that comes into play if the main lock is broken into.
The exterior of the Gardall FB-1212 safe is 17.75 inches high, 17.75 inches wide and 20.5 inches deep (with the lock and vault handle adding another two inches to the depth). The interior is small, though -- only about a 12-inch cube -- because of the 3-inch-thick steel safe body and 2-inch-thick door (important factors for resisting break-ins). Similar but larger models (with two shelves instead of one) are available at a higher cost. If you don't intend to store valuables at your home, the less expensive SentrySafe MSW3110 (*Est. $150) provides similar fire and water resistance, and because it can be bolted down, some deterrence to less-professional or less-determined thieves.
At EverySafe.com, a retail site that publishes owner-written ratings and reviews of home safes, we found only one review of the Gardall FB-1212. However, there are a dozen or so reviews of the two larger (and pricier) models in the same series. All three safes in this series share the same construction and certifications; the manufacturer's site shows the specifications and the certification labels.
At the time of our report, we found just one owner-written review at this retail site. The reviewer is enthusiastic, praising the safe's construction and ease of handling -- but notes that the combination lock can be a bit tricky to learn to use.
Review: Gardall - FB-1212, Contributors to EverySafe.com
The specifications here cover the Gardall FB-1212 safe plus two similar but larger models. No owner-written ratings or reviews are published here, but the certification and construction details are helpful.
Review: UL 1-hour Fire / Burglary Safes, Editors of Gardall.com
About 10 owners rate and review the similar but larger Gardall FB 2714 home safe (*Est. $1,225) here, giving it an overall rating of 4.8 on a 5-point scale. Owners praise the security and construction of the safe but note that its bulk and weight make it tricky to bolt down.
Review: Gardall - FB-2714 / FB-2013, Contributors to EverySafe.com