In this modern era, people often use their houses as depositories for all sorts of valuables. These include important papers, photos, heirlooms, and other precious items that are sensitive to heat damage. Fireproof safes provide a protective element that will keep these valuables safe from spontaneous combustion.
When you’re looking to buy a safe, one of the questions that come up is whether you need a fireproof safe or not. Whether you’re buying your first safe or replacing an old one, it makes sense to understand a little more about fireproof safes and their benefits.
I would like to highlight some factors you can consider in order to narrow down your research for the best fire proof safes for your needs. But first, let’s have a look at the most popular options on the market.
Our recommended fireproof safes
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Things to consider when looking for a fireproof safe:
A fireproof safe is one of the most valuable things you can have in your home or office. This is essential in keeping your valuables secure from much harm. Analysis shows that about 75% of home damages are as a result of fire and other destructive incidents. While only 5% of the same damage are attributed to natural disasters. Therefore, investing in a fireproof safe is by far an excellent choice.
When you are looking for a high-quality fireproof safe to keep your valuable things safe, you should be aware of a few things before deciding on what to buy. With all the options that may seem overwhelming, we give you a step-by-step guide how to choose and get the most of these appliances.
First and foremost, the safe is an instrument of security. The document it holds is safe and there is protection from fire, floods or any other property-based criminals. Most safes are designed with a special shell that can withstand high temperatures. This is why this product has the power to protect your documents in the case of a fire burning. Also, it has features like self-locking mechanisms and pry-proof hinges that help in keeping away those who want to steal important things from you or get access to them by any dangerous way. The safes today come with a special locking feature that can be set using several combinations to provide security in the best possible manner in order to avoid theft attempts.
Size and Capacity
A fireproof safe is an important thing to have in your home or office; while it can be tempting to forgo buying one and store important documents and other valuables in fire-prone places like your locked office cabinet, fireproof safes can quickly become your fallback option in case of an emergency. In fact, the only thing you really need to consider when you’re looking to buy a fireproof safe is whether you’ll be able to lift it once it’s full.
There are many factors that can determine what is the best size for a fireproof safe for your needs, but the most important are the items you are looking to store and your budget. As a rule, the larger the safe the more items you can store in it. However, large safes can be difficult to move and they take up a lot of space.
If you live in a small home or an apartment, you might not have space for such a large safe. What size safe do I need? To start with, think about what you plan to keep in your safe. Will it house jewelry and important documents or perhaps just larger items too?
All around the world, there are different fireproof safes in use. While they are all insulated against heat, not all of them are equally resistant to fire. In fact, there are different locking mechanisms used in these safes. Understanding the variety of locking mechanisms can help you significantly increase your chances of buying a reliable and efficient fireproof safe.
A fire resistant safe is a safe that is designed to protect its contents from damage caused by external heat sources only. Fire resistant safes are available in different sizes and are designed to protect documents and other valuables such as money, jewelry, guns, electronic equipment, and other important accessories.
UL and Fire Ratings
Classification is used to indicate the extent and duration of protection provided by a safe or vault installed in a building. It is also useful when selecting a fire-resistant model for your application. When you’re choosing your fire-resistant safe or fire-resistant cabinet, it’s useful to understand how they are rated. This will give you a better idea of what types of items can be stored in them and for how long.
A UL rating signifies your product has been tested for safety by a trusted, independent third party. Each product is tested for specific standards that are determined by the intended industry. In addition, the UL rating system has been expanded to include the environmental impact on products, and how they will affect the environment in the long term.
A fire-rated safe is tested to determine whether it can resist varying furnace temperatures for a specific period of time. Most safes have fire‐rating times of 30, 60, or 90 minutes. Safe temperatures are determined by local building codes and national standards, and the ratings are based on the degree of insulation and size of the safe. Safe ratings range from B‐1 for a paper safe to UL Class 350 for a 0‐hour safe.
Do Fireproof Safes Really Work?
Safes are a popular choice for protecting valuables from theft and fire. But how reliable are safes at protecting your valuables? There are many factors to consider when thinking about fire protection capabilities. One of the most important factors is insulation. The thicker the insulation, the longer your valuables will remain at a safe temperature. Some safe manufacturers even claim that their safes can survive fires for several hours, and some even claim they can withstand an hour of direct flame.
With an average temperature of 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit, you can expect a fire to blacken and deform metal within seconds. The level of insulation used in most fireproof safes protects the contents for much longer than that. In general, the higher the temperature a safe can withstand, the more expensive it will be. Double-check the fire rating of your model to have a clear understanding of its performance.
What Are Fireproof Safes Made of?
You should definitely make sure that it is constructed of steel or a metal alloy and that it is lined with a fire resistant material such as concrete paper. The insulation inside also has to be solid. A thicker insulation will decrease the amount of time it takes the interior temperature to reach over 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Constructed of high-strength steel and lined with fire-resistant material, it can take hours for a safe to reach an extreme temperature inside. The thicker the insulation inside the safe, the longer contents are protected from heat. The exterior fireproof coating cannot be ignored either. It can help resist damage from flames and radiant heat.
Some safes advertise they are fireproof or fire-resistant. Are they the same thing? Although “fireproof” and “fire-resistant” are used interchangeably in the safety industry, they actually mean two different things. The Department of Homeland Security defines fireproof as “not having the property of combustibility or being unaffected by heat.” With a fireproof safe, temperatures inside can reach up to 1,800 degrees for 30 minutes without the safe being compromised. Fire resistance, on the other hand, means the safe can withstand temperatures up to 1,500 degrees for one hour without the interior being compromised.
Where to Put a Fireproof Safe?
Fire-rated safes are a better investment than non-rated safes; however, having a safe incorrectly installed will increase your chances of losing irreplaceable belongings and valuable papers. It is critical to protect your valuables from being destroyed by fire and water. Your first instinct may be to simply place your safe in the closet, but this probably won’t do.
If the safe is too heavy to move after it is installed, be sure to consider whether moving the safe will be practical in the event of a fire. In an apartment or condo, be sure to check with your building manager or landlord to determine what fire safety requirements your building has. This will help you determine if it is necessary to install a fire extinguisher in the area where the safe will be placed. In addition, check with your insurance carrier to determine if additional safety measures such as sprinklers are required.
What is the minimum fire rating to protect paper and money?
If you have paper records that need protecting for the long term, or any valuable items like cash or guns, you should consider a fireproof safe. Burglar fire safes (some referred to as security fire safes) are also a good choice for protecting papers, as they use thicker steel and heavier doors reinforced with special fire-resistant lattice material.
A fire-proof safe with a 1 hour fire protection rating is reasonably secure from paper burning up in the event of a fire. Anything over 1 hour is considered a burglar fire safe, but 1 hour is all you need to protect your documents. Whether you’re protecting yourself from burglars or fires, a fireproof safe is a must-have.