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What are Fireproof & Fire Resistant Safes & Do I Need One?

Fire Resistant Safes & Gun Safes  

We all know the value of using safes to protect our guns and valuables from theft, unauthorized access but also from fire.

Each year, fire departments respond to hundreds of thousands of home fires. While, these numbers don't compare with the million plus burglaries each year, it posses a great enough risk to invest is a fire proof/resistant safe to protect your guns and valuables; as well as provide you with peace of mind.

For this reason, Fireproof Safes are something many people with guns & valuables are very interested in. Guns, documents & valuables can be irreplaceable, expensive and potentially dangerous. They deserve to be stored in a safe and appropriate location, like a fireproof safe.


Fire protection is an essential component of any safe and serious to provide maximum security.

Three essential criteria to consider when buying a fire safe:

  • Manufacturing Materials: There are three preferred types of fire protection used today. 
  1. The most common is fire-board or gypsum board.  This water dense material is generally layered and adheres to the interior of the safes steel body It diffuses heat through moisture providing a cooling effect.
  2. Dry Light fire protection, similar to concrete, is poured between the two steel plates that make up the safes constructed. This provides exceptional fire protection similar to concrete blocks.
  3. Some safes use ceramic thermal blankets. This material has low thermal conductivity, is thermal shock resistant and has low heat storage capacity.
    • Fire Rating & Certification: Most safes don't have an official fire certification label because manufacturers typically conduct 'in-house' fire testing. As a result, fire safe ratings can be very diverse. However, all safes are tested to maintain an internal temperature at or below 350 degrees. For, example, manufacturers of fire safes may rate a safe at 1200 degrees for 2 hours. This means that the internal temperature doesn't exceed 350 degrees for up to 2 hours; with the external temperature remaining at or below 1200 degrees.  

      However, some manufacturers do have their safes tested for fire-resistance by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). UL is an independent organization that tests and certifies products for safety.
    • Proximity to the Fire Department: This is a very important consideration in selecting your safe. The response time in urban environments can much quicker than in rural environments. For urban environments, a 30 minute fire rating would likely be enough. However, in a more rural location a 2 hour rated safe may be necessary; the higher the fire rating the better.

    Fireproof vs Fire Resistant:

    The term, 'Fireproof' is a bit misleading. Given enough time and heat, nothing is absolutely Fireproof. That said, Fire Resistant safe are available and provide excellent security.

    What to look for?

    • Fire Safe
    • Fire Proof
    • Fire Resistant

    So, when manufacturers of high quality safes are labeled fire resistant or fireproof the differences are applied by the manufacturers marketing strategies. There are no national standards that manufacturers must measure their product's against.

    The average home fire in America have a life span of about 30 minutes before being extinguished. Many safe are labeled as "fireproof" if the contents of the safe remain undamaged by the heat for that amount of time.

    We recommend selecting a safe that has a Fire Rated time greater that the amount of time the fire department is likely to take to extinguish the fire.



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