Fireproof safes are a type of storage unit that is meant to protect your valuable items from fire.
However, they also protect your belongings from other dangers like mold, water, humidity, and other potential dangers like theft.
Fireproof safes are made of thick and durable material which is difficult to penetrate.
These materials also help in regulating the internal temperature and humidity and ensure that your valuable items, whether it be documents or jewelry, do not degrade.
House fires are extremely common in a lot of areas around the world, and having a fireproof safe will ensure that your important documents and other important items remain secure during any unexpected event.
Fireproof safes are also used to store guns and firearms so that any unauthorized access is prevented.
They are usually made of steel or iron to prevent the flames from melting the outer material of the safe and keeping its contents away from heat.
They have a seal on the gasket of the door to preserve the way heat enters the unit.
Fireproof safes come with various advanced features designed to suit your specific needs.
Before buying a fireproof safe, you will have to consider factors like theft protection, water protection, locking system, among others.
- 1 In Brief: Things to Consider While Buying Fireproof Safe
- 2 What to Consider When Buying a Fireproof Safe
- 3 Summary
What to Consider When Buying a Fireproof Safe
Here are the most important aspects you should consider –
1. Fire rating
Not all fireproof safes will offer protection against fire. It is important to check the specifications of the kind of protection the safe provides before buying one.
When trying to ensure fire protection you will need to find out how long can the safe protect your belongings when exposed to fire.
Generally, people should go for safes that provide a minimum of 30 minutes of protection from fire.
The higher the fire rating of the safe the better it is.
For example, a 350 F safe for 30 minutes will ensure the temperature of 350 F for 30 minutes after which the temperature will start rising.
A quick intro on fire rating means in a safe by following this link:
2. The internal temperature of the safe
Determining the internal temperature of the safe before buying one is extremely important.
This depends on the kind of items you intend to keep inside the safe.
For example, if you are planning to store important papers and documents then an internal temperature of 350 F is fine.
However, if you are planning to store items that cannot withstand much heat like a hard disk or a DVD, you should go for safes with lower internal temperatures.
There are three classifications when it comes to the internal temperature of the safe.
They are as follows – Class 350 (to keep documents and malleable items), Class 150 (to protect anything with magnetic tapes), and Class 125 (to protect low durability items like floppy disks).
Make sure that the safe you are looking for is certified by the relevant and independent testing authority.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is one such organization and certifies safes.
Duration refers to the amount of time that these safes can withstand a certain temperature before the safe is compromised.
Most house fires are combated between twenty minutes to two hours.
The duration range of the safes includes the following- 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, and 4 hours.
After the specified duration, the exterior of the safe starts getting compromised, followed by the interior and then the contents.
5. Theft protection
It is not necessary that all fireproof safes are equipped with a theft protection mechanism.
If you are planning to store your valuable items, it is important that the safe is not only fireproof but is also secure enough to prevent theft.
To ensure that the safe is secure against theft and robbery look at the security rating.
You should also determine the kind of locking mechanism the safe has, and if it comes equipped with a safety alar or fail-safe alarm.
6. Water protection
It is not enough to have a fireproof safe, the safe must be waterproof at least water-resistant waster resistant safe will ensure that your documents, papers, and other valuable items are not damaged due to exposure to water.
If there is any accidental seepage or leak of water, and the safe is not waterproof, it may end up damaging the items kept inside.
This is also important because, in case of putting out the fire, water seeps into the safe, it may still damage everything inside.
7. Size and capacity of the safe
Fireproof safes come in all sizes and capacities.
Of course, both small and big safes have their advantages, but depending upon what is better suited to your needs or what you want to put inside the safe, you can make your choice.
For example, if you intend on keeping items like documents or jewelry in the safe, then a small safe is better suited.
They are also easier to hide. But, they can be easily carried away as well if not bolted down or hidden properly.
Similarly, if you want to store guns and firearms or bigger items, a safe with more capacity is a better choice.
While they are not easy to hide, they make mostly be bolted down to the floor for added protection. They are also more difficult to be carried away in case of theft or robbery.
8. Locking mechanism
The most commonly used lock mechanism for safes is either a dial lock or an electronic lock.
Dial locks are difficult to crack or break and also do not require electricity to function. This is an added benefit.
They also tend to be more secure as it is difficult to operate a dial lock.
Electronic locks usually contain a keypad that is used to enter a code to open the safe.
Some people prefer this for its convenience but also if somebody else gets access to this code, it might be easier for them to break in.
There are also other kinds of locks like the ones with keys to open, or safes with bio-metric or fingerprint systems.
Watch this video to see how a safe combination or dial lock works:
The weight of the safe is also an important aspect to consider while buying a fireproof safe. Some safes are lighter and safes that are heavy.
If you are buying a lighter safe for your documents, you may be able to protect them from fire, but it will be extremely easy to lift the safe and steal its content.
On the other hand, if you have a heavy safe, even though it is smaller, it will be very difficult for anyone to lift and move it.
This will provide an extra layer of protection from not only fire but also theft. If you are looking for something to provide just against fire, going with a lighter safe makes more sense. 9
Fireproof safes are available in a wide range of prices.
If you are looking for something basic without any advanced technology, you should be able to find a decent fireproof safe under 100 USD.
If you are looking for something bigger and heavier, you might want to expand your budget to 1,000 USD.
Even a less expensive safe can come with various additional security features.
But how much you are willing to spend should be congruent with the kind of space you need inside the fireproof safe.
Before a safe qualifies as a fireproof safe, they go through several tests to determine the kind of protection it can provide.
Even then there are many incongruencies when it comes to buying the most well suited fireproof safe for your needs.
Focusing on the abovementioned features will narrow down your choices as well as help you in making a more informed decision while buying a fireproof safe.