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The Ultimate Home Fireproof Safes Buying Guide

Introduction

You've probably never imagined what it would be like to lose all the possessions that you've worked so hard for. Family heirlooms, your grandmother's jewelry, a unique copy of soccer, or even business documents along with all your possessions can disappear in a matter of minutes. It sounds like the worst nightmare, yet these nightmares are being experienced by people all over the country. According to the data, there are 358,500 fires in the US every year, which amounts to 982 fires a day. 50% of fires start in the kitchen.

House in the fire

The solution which protects your possessions is safe, especially fireproof. Fireproof safes are made out of special materials that will keep your valuables safe even when exposed to fire. There's no such thing as a completely fireproof safe, but some safes can keep their contents intact for up to 180 minutes at 1700 degrees Fahrenheit and still be able to be opened after the fire. Fireproof safes are ideal for protecting important documents and other valuables from fires in your home or office, especially if you live in an area with a high risk of wildfires or house fires caused by faulty appliances like stoves and ovens.

In this guide, we would like to help you explain the main features of safes, and bring closer to why it is important to have safes at home. We will show you a few tips about safe, which help you make a decision about safe for you. Let’s get started!

 


Plan the size of your safe

The first step in finding the right safe is determining how much space you have and how much stuff you want to keep in the safe. In the beginning, start thinking about what kind of stuff you want to put into a safe. Money, guns, documents, or jewelry? Maybe all of them. The decision will determine which size of safe you should choose, smaller or bigger. The safe for only paper is not big, but a gun safe could be much bigger, especially if you have additional accessories for guns. If we could give you one piece of advice about the size of your safe, it would be to buy the biggest safe you can afford. Customers often tell us that they are too small and fill up too quickly. The bigger the home safe, the better.

If you're looking for a portable safe to store your valuables and documents, this is less of a struggle, but if you want something that can be hidden or bolted down for added security, planning is key. If there's any chance of this becoming an issue, measure the dimensions of everywhere you'd like to place it before making a purchase.

For example: if there aren't many places in your home where it would fit without being too obvious (or too inconvenient) then avoid safes with bulky profiles and go with something more streamlined. You can always place it out of sight after installation by putting some furniture overtop or hanging pictures on top; even though no one will see the actual safe itself unless they're looking really hard at your walls, they'll still notice if there's a gaping hole where something should have been when they walk into their rooms! 

Find here some ides of :

Documents & Cash Safes

Smaller size safes

Gun Safes

safe chart with measure tape

Location and accessibility

Your safe location is just as important as its size and strength. A good place to start is in a room that does not have a door, but can be easily accessed by you. It might seem like a closet might be a good choice, however please be aware that according to scientific data, the fire temperature in the closet might be the highest in the whole house! This is because fabrics of your clothes will burn in much higher temperatures than wood. Therefore, if you put your safe in the closet it will be exposed to a higher burning temperature in case of fire.  You should also consider how accessible the safe will be from different parts of the house, especially in a fire or burglary situation. If it takes too long for you to get to your safe because it's located upstairs and down the hall from where you usually are, then there may be no point in having home safe at all, since time is of the essence during an emergency situation! Our advice is, do not keep safe in the kitchen. The kitchen is the place where the fire starts most often. Even if you have a fireproof safe, when fire bagging in the kitchen, the safe will start burning at the same time. If the safe is in a different room, it gives you more time to rescue your money, guns, or documents. The second tip, fire is the second-greatest threat at home. The safest place to install a safe is in the corner where two exterior walls intersect. This is the safest place to locate a heavy safe. In a two-story home, the best option might be to put the safe on the first floor. It is also advisable to place it close to a sprinkler system if one is installed.

Safety should always come first when choosing an area to put your keypad fireproof safe, so make sure it's near an exit and preferably near wherever valuables are stored, so they're easier for you to access if needed during an emergency situation!


Installation

If you already made a choice for the perfect size and location - Let’s talk installation. 

The first thing to consider is the delivery of a safe. Depending on which size you choose, the delivery could be different. Small safes are not a big problem, but let‚Äôs think about a scenario when you want a big safe. Pay attention to the type of delivery available. The standard delivery will most often deliver the safe to your curbside without bringing it inside the house. There are also options like ‚Äúwhite-glove‚ÄĚ delivery, which usually includes bringing it inside your home and placing it in the right place. This option is usually paid additionally, and the delivery company will come with the necessary equipment and bring the safes into your house. If you want the movers to bring your safe upstairs or downstairs, tell them ahead of time. Depending on the size of the safe, the delivery will need different equipment. Pay attention to whether the installation of the safe is offered by the seller, if not, then you should take care of your team to install the safe.

One of the frequent questions we tend to hear: Is it necessary to mount a safe to the floor, that's, even more important, especially for smaller safes - which are those that you really might want to bolt into the wall or the floor. On the other hand, if your safe weighs 500 pounds or more, there is a very low probability, that someone will move it either way - so there might not be any need for additional bolting. Depending on what kind of floor you have, the installation will not be the same. A concrete floor is good to make holes without any issues, only what you need to take care of is the size of the holes. When the holes will be too large, the bolts will not fill. With wooden floors, you need to be more careful. The wood is not as strong that the concrete floor. Pay attention to protecting the floor, before putting a safe. If your safe is up to 100 pounds, you can use glue like Pattex or Gripfill.

Another way of installation, you can consider, is an in-wall and in-floor hidden place for a burglary safe. Hidden place installation is always recommended because it helps to make sure that no one can see the hidden place where you keep your valuables, documents, and other important things from burglars and robbers as well as from children who might be curious about what's inside this box in their home! But what differences are between in-wall and in-floor safes? Protect and conceal your most prized possessions with in-floor and in-wall safes. These safes are located in highly concealed areas, from floors to walls, that prevent forced entry and theft. Floor safes offer cash ratings to protect belongings, documents, and cash. They can be cemented or bolted down into a lowered floor area. In-wall Safes can be hidden behind furnishings and can be bolted to wall studs.


Fire Ratings & Certification

Now you know what size and location you pick, so the next question is do I need a fireproof safe? Yes, of course. A fireproof safe will protect you not even from thieves, but from fire. You are probably wondering what is the difference between a fireproof safe and an ordinary safe. 

Most fireproof safes contain three surfaces of material: 

  1. An outer mild steel skin.
  2. A middle core of fireproof material.
  3. An inner layer of felt or carpet-type material protects the contents.

The material must be non-combustible and not conduct heat. Steel is non-combustible, but conducts heat well. Therefore, heat shields and insulation are often placed between the inner and outer skin. 

The isolation material could be used as gypsum perlite, vermiculite, diatomaceous earth, Portland cement, wood chips, mica, or perlite. Gypsum, vermiculite, and perlite are commonly used in home and office safes. 

Now let's focus on the fire-resistant codes. When deciding on a fireproof safe for your home, be sure to check what is fire protection rating. Some safes are made to protect paper contents from fire, while others are more suited to protecting data or diskettes. If you’re storing valuable documents or media like photos and movies, you should choose a safe with a high fire protection rating. These ratings are given in minutes and show how long the safe can withstand flames without its contents being damaged.

Fire ratings typically range from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the type of contents the safe has been designed to protect: paper (P), data (D), or diskettes (DIS). Of the three, the paper has the highest temperature tolerance and can withstand up to 177 ¬įC (350 ¬įF).¬†

Many manufacturers now build their safes to meet international fire resistance standards and submit them for testing to independent laboratories. There is a vast range of fire tests to which a safe can be subjected. Although there are many similarities between different tests, some are more stringent and more renowned than others and may require drop/shock tests and tests to determine if the safe may explode if subjected to rapid, extreme heating (explosion hazard or explosive testing). If a safe passes the test in an independent lab, it is usually issued with a certificate. Safes that have been certified in this way carry the best assurance of fire-resistant ability. We present to you one of the most popular certificates in the US.

UL 72 Class 350 safes are heated to 177¬į C (350 ¬įF) for 30, 60, or 120 minutes (or longer if the safe is rated for extension time). The still-hot furnaces cool naturally. During this time, temperatures within the safe cannot rise above 177 ¬įC, which is the temperature at which paper will char or combust. These safes meet UL 72 requirements for protecting paper from fire damage.

NT FIRE 017- 60 Data: The safe is heated in a furnace to a temperature of 945 ¬įC (1733 ¬įF) over one hour. During this time, the internal temperature of the safe may not increase by more than 50¬į C (122¬į F). This product is designed to protect computer media such as USB memory sticks, CDs, and DVDs.

The NT FIRE 017-120 Diskette is heated to, 1049 ¬įC (1920 ¬įF) over two hours. The internal temperature of the safe may not increase by more than 30¬į C (86¬į F) during this time. Safes in this category provide protection for sensitive computer media such as floppy disks.

Here you can read all the details about " Fireproof Safes Classification & Explanation "

Here you can check out excellent fireproof safes grouped in:

Small Fire Resistant

Large Fire resistant


Waterproof Safes

After fireproof, the second feature is waterproof. Waterproof safes are a good option for storing documents and other valuables, but does it mean that fireproof safes are not waterproof? The answer is, that depends. Of course, it would be the perfect solution to have both protection. So if you're looking to protect items like important paperwork, photos, and electronics or external hard drives in addition to your firearms, it's best to invest in both a waterproof safe and a fire safe. We explain why.

You may wonder what makes a safe waterproof. The waterproof product contains an independent, closed-cell foam gasket. When the lid is closed, it forms a strong pressure barrier between the water outside the safe and the valuables inside. During a fire, the barrier swells up. Otherwise, most safes have holes-vents on the hinge, airflow from the handle, andan opening spring orsupport mechanism. There are alsosteam vents on thelocking or bolt device itself. The holes are essential for properventilation. Those features make it hard to combine waterproof with fireproof resistance in the same safe. If you want to buy a safe which will protect you from floods, we recommended focusing only on a waterproof safe.


Lock Types

There are three most popular types of locks you can choose for your safe: combination, electronic and biometric. But let’s consider which lock will be good for you during daily duties and when you will notice the fire.

Combination lockshave numbers ranging from 00 to 99 on the dial. When you open a safe with a combination lock, you turn the dial to align all the digits next to each other in sequence (for example, ‚Äú10-22-33-44‚ÄĚ). This type of lock is usually used for small safes that need only be accessed occasionally by homeowners because it's easy to forget your combination if too much time passes between uses.¬†Some combination locks also support the use of a key. In that case you would be able to¬†open them either by turning the dials to the correct position or by inserting and turning a key.

dial safe lock

Keyed padlocks don't contain dials. They offer superior protection compared to combination lock as it can not be opened unless you have a key.

Electronic lockswork based on 4-6 digit combination on an electronic keypad. Once you enter the code it triggers the mechanism, handles turn and you can open the door of the safe. Electronic locks are easy to operate with: keypad offend has a light which makes it more accessible in dark and offers quicker access in comparison to combination locks. With combination locks spinning a dial takes longer. Even if you get the combo right on the first try, it takes longer to unlock the safe this way than with an electronic lock

electronic safe lock

Biometric locks are locks that use your unique biological characteristics to open. For example, the lock might scan a fingerprint or a retinal pattern. The benefits of biometric locks are that you don't need to remember a code or key, you can keep track of who has access to a room and revoke access if someone leaves the company, and it's fast: no more waiting for keys or cards in an office or home building. Biometric safes can only be opened by someone who has registered their fingerprint with the system. Offen more than one fingerprint cam be registered. Most biometric safes may have a "failsafe" key: A backup keycard is known as failsafe keycards. These keycards are created ahead of time and kept safe. Failsafe keycards are for accessing the safe if there is a power outage or a system failure.

 Analyzing those types of locks, electronic and biometric, are faster access than combination locks. You don't have to remember a combination or special code; instead, you can be sure that you are the only person with access.

Here you can find all the safes sorted by lock types " Safes By Lock Types "

Jewelry Safes

Jewelry safes are designed to protect precious jewelry, watches, and other valuables. You may think a jewelry safe is smaller than a safe, but not quite. Depending on your needs and your bijouterie collection, you can also find large jewelry safes. The most important thing to consider when buying a jewelry safe is how you will use it and how often you will open. You may want to keep only expensive watches or rings.

jewerly safe

Safes, designed for jewelry, usually have special shelves and drawers that help to keep your jewels well organized. Most of the time, customers looking for smaller jewelry safes, but on the market, you can find bigger ones as well. Some people use jewelry safe not only for jewelry, but also to store other items like money or documents. Keep in mind, that the jewelry safes can be fireproof and waterproof too. If protection from fire and floods are a priority for you, you may consider buying a safe with those features.

With the jewelry safe, you don't have to worry about your jewelry being exposed, or getting damaged by water or direct sunlight. It will protect your valuables and keep them looking beautiful forever! It also provides a special jewelry safe that can you act as a burglary safe, so it's great for those of you with expensive things who want to protect themselves in case of a home break-in.

For example, if you live in an apartment complex with an on-site security guard, or you're just concerned about keeping valuables safe when you're away from home for long periods of time (elevators being notoriously easy places for pickpockets), then investing in this type of safe might be worth considering. On the other hand, if it's just peace of mind that matters most here‚ÄĒand maybe some added protection against fire damage‚ÄĒthen choosing one of our top picks should get the job done nicely while saving money overall.


Must-Have Accessories 

We would like to share with you the list of accessories, which are worth considering adding to your safe. The accessories depend on what you need and what are your expectations for safe.

  1. Lights, every safe inside is dark, so to see your collection and do not look for stuff for a long time, a good investment will be lights Pay attention, especially on the LED lights, which are good for a long lifespan, even for 30,000 hours of working. Other options are light for battery, adapter, or lights on the tape.
  2. Dehumidifiers-, the best storage conditions for safes are 30% to 50% humidity and 70 ¬įC room temperature to prevent rust and corrosion.A hygrometer will help you measure the correct humidity. When the humidity is too high, it could destroy your possessions, a gun could rust, money could be wet and jewelry could lose colors and safes could have mushrooms on the wall. To protect, consider a small packet of silica gel or mini dehumidifiers to be safe. Your choice should be depending on the size of the safe if you have a small safe you can use silica gel, but if you have a big one, a better option is dehumidifiers.
  3. Organizers-when you buy safe, you could need more organization for your possessions. For example, if you have a lot of jewelry, you will need smaller shelves. If you have more documents, you will need more shelves.  If you have a few long guns, you will need a standing organizer, which holds your guns, but when you have small guns, it is not a problem you can choose a gun holder with a smaller packet. The organizers are standing inside or at the door of the safe. You can also consider hanging shelves.

Conclusion

We hope that this guide helped you to better understand the different types of home fireproof safes available, and how they can help to protect your valuables. Our tips will make it easier to choose the correct safe, but remember that the safe should match you and your needs.  Bellow we presented you the list of the top runners from the Fireproof category.

Best home small safe, antiburglary & large fire resistant:
Hollon PM-1814C
Best Jewelry Fireproof safe:

Rhino CD3022GL
Barska AX13614

Best Gun Fireproof safes:

Barska FV-2000
Rhino AIW6042X

Office Fireproof Safes:

SoCal Bridgeman EV-2417

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