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Fire Protection Ratings

Fire protection ratings are given based on the amount of time a safe can withstand a fire at a certain temperature while keeping items inside of the safe untouched.

Most safes will give you anywhere from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours of fire resistance for your firearms and valuables. The main goal is to keep the inside temperature of your safe low for as long as possible. The longer time ratings will ensure the contents of your safe will be exposed to less heat for a longer period of time.

No gun safe is completely fireproof. However, some offer more fire resistance than others. The trick is knowing what to look for while shopping for your safe.

Here’s what you should know about gun safes and fire-resistance.

Some Gun Safes are More Fire-Resistant

There are safe manufacturers that focus solely on security. Then there are those focusing on fire resistance. There are other safe manufacturers that focus on both security and fire resistance.

Unfortunately, it is not always that simple to pick out what safes are more fire-resistant than others unless you “take a look under the hood,” so to speak. The materials used and how they are used can determine how well a safe will withstand a house fire.

 There are three ingredients that go into building a safe to protect the contents it holds including firearms, valuables, and important documents.

  • Heat-activated, high-quality expanding door seals to keep smoke, heat, and fire out
  • High-quality steel that is 12-gauge or thicker
  • Interlocking layers of UL-rated fireboard (not sheetrock) that covers all bare metal surfaces without gaps

How a Safe is Fire-Tested Matters

The type of fire testing for a gun safe model gives a good idea about how well it will stand up to a fire.

These standards give a more accurate representation of what happens to temperatures inside a typical home during the first 10 minutes of a fire.

 

Could a Gun Safe Survive a House Fire?

There is no guarantee any gun safe will survive a house fire. Where you keep your safe also plays a part in whether it can survive a fire.

Keeping your safe out of areas in your home more likely to catch on fire helps. Avoid putting your safe in your garage, kitchen, or in rooms directly next to, above, or below those areas.

We have seen catastrophic wildfires over the past couple of years that incinerate homes and vehicles in a matter of minutes. These fast-moving fires with high temperatures reduce the possibility of anything surviving.

 

You don’t want to think about the possibility of your home going up in flames. But home fires happen all the time.

How much fire protection do I need?

When trying to determine how much safe fire protection you need, you need to consider your risks for a fire:

  • Do you live in a fire-prone area where wildfires seem to occur on a frequent basis?
  • Do you live in a rural area where, if you’re away, it might take hours before a home fire is discovered?
  • Do you live in an older home that does not have the benefits of improved, flame-retardant building materials?
  • Is your home heated with a fireplace or wood-burning stove?

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