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Why Use A Home Fireproof Safe?

SentrySafe SFW123CU Combination Fire SafeWhy Use A Fireproof Safe?

I suppose it’s only natural to think of a home safe as something that the super wealthy may need. It probably conjures up images of diamond necklaces and dogeared wads of cash being stuffed into large metal boxes with 6 inch thick doors and multiple locking mechanisms.

However, the fact is that all of us have items which, whilst not necessarily that valuable in the financial sense, are precious to us. We also have items which, whether we realize it or not, are very important and which should be kept safe and secure at all times.

For example, your household insurance policy. If you were unlucky enough to have a fire at home, that would most likely be one of the first things that you wanted to lay your hands on in the aftermath.

Other items might include family passports, life insurance documents, saved computer data, college diplomas and general business documents.

SentrySafe HD4100CG Fire-Safe Waterproof FileHow Do Fireproof Safes Work?

There are different designs available, but generally speaking, fireproof safes have a double walled construction. The walls are made of steel and the cavity between the two layers will be filled with a fire retardant material. Alum and gypsum are two commonly used materials.

The edges of the door are designed to provide an air tight seal in order to keep external fire or super heated air from entering into the safe and damaging the contents.

The fire retardant materials often give off vapor when heated, it’s part of the normal operation of the safe and helps to regulate the internal temperature. However, it does mean that the internal pressure will rise during a fire, so special pressure relief vents are normally incorporated.

One thing to note, as mentioned previously, the fire retardant materials used can produce vapor during a fire. It’s a good idea to keep your valuable papers, memory sticks etc. in a water resistant container when you store them. A zip-lock baggy will normally do the trick.

Paragon 7800 Electronic Fire Proof SafeChoosing A Fireproof Safe

Obviously you will want to consider where you’re going to store it and how much space you have. There are different designs available. Some bolt to the floor, some can be mounted in walls, others can be as simple as file boxes which you can tuck away in a corner – or even a desk drawer for the smaller ones.

Space aside, the main consideration will be what you want to store in them. Most fireproof safes will have a time rating – say half an hour or an hour at a temperature of 1,550 Fahrenheit. However, the internal temperature will vary between different designs.

If you will be storing only paper documents, you need to go for a safe which keeps the internal temperature below 350 degrees Fahrenheit during a fire. However, if you want to store digital media as well, then the internal temperature needs to be limited to 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

One final consideration, you will want to ensure that your safe is also waterproof. Fires can often lead to burst mains pipes, and if the fire is severe enough to warrant a visit by firefighters, water deluge is also a possibility.

Here’s a short video which features a report – including a rather robust test – from NBC. It’s interesting to note that after the test was completed, some of the firefighters declared their intention to get a fireproof safe. That’s definitely a vote of confidence I think!




  • Leo says:

    I always believed in the utilization of a rock sturdy safe to safe keep your important documents at home, such as the bank passbook, passport, home deeds etc.

    However it did not occur to me about getting a fireproof safe. I presumed that most safes are fireproof and i did not realize there were so many specifications. I really appreciate your tip in choosing the fire proof safe, if I had never read your article, I wouldn’t know that digital media and paper documents had different tolerance in terms of temperature!

    • admin says:

      Hi Leo,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      It’s definitely a good idea to keep your important documents secure – and most “ordinary” safes will offer a certain amount of fire protection. However, a specially designed fireproof safe is definitely the best choice if you want to be absolutely secure.

  • Riaz Shah says:

    Hey Jim,
    I’ve always thought that a sturdy safe is enough to hold even a bomb explosion but after reading your review, I realised that even those tiny gaps can cause flammable items within the safe to catch fire.

    I would hate to have a crisis where all my documents burn, i couldn’t imagine how panicked I will be. If you can afford insurance, you should invest on a safe too I guess. Awesome review man, keep up the good work!

    • admin says:

      Hi Riaz,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. A good sturdy safe is a wise investment – and there’s no reason why it can’t be fireproof as well!

  • Karen says:

    This is a terrific review for fireproof safes and very informative. Purchasing a fireproof safe has been on my list of things to get for the house for years, but after reading this and watching the video…I’ll be ordering one this week.
    Are the safes you highlight in your review the ones that KSL recommends?
    It’s also good to keep wills, trust agreements, passbooks, stock certificates, certificates of deposit, rare coins and cash in your safe.

    • admin says:

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for stopping by. The video was pretty impressive wasn’t it? I don’t know the exact models tested by KSL, but the ones referenced in this post are all independently tested and certified.

  • Frank says:

    I really thought you post was very informative. You spoke of issues and concerns regarding the selection of a personal safe for our home. I liked the video you presented as well.

    I suppose that you have signed up as an amazon affiliate and that is why you are showing the different selections available on amazon.

    It is also good that your images connect to a site that enables the customer to purchase the item. I have seen several other sites that do not do that.

    I am also impressed that you answer all your comments as that will create more trust and customer loyalty. I do have one question. In one of the training classes it was suggested that we create another user on our sites we would be able to use instead of the “admin” name the thought being that this also makes us seem more personal and trustworthy. Just a suggestion, certainly your choice.

    Great job, wishing you much success.

  • Chanan says:

    It is truly wonderful to have an awareness of how helpful a fireproof safe is at home. This article can help people realize to give it a try and prove to themselves that they need it especially to keep their valuables safe and sound even after a possible fire. Information on how it works and also adds an input for the homeowners so that they will be able to know where to keep it and how to operate it so that they could be comfortable at using it. Choosing a fireproof safe is also an important matter and I find it really a good idea to include it in this article. This guides the homeowners in choosing for one that they could keep in their homes.

    I think it would also be great if you include some suggestions on the best performing fireproof safe so that the homeowners will have a definite idea of what the appropriate specs should be, and if it is available in the market.

    • admin says:

      Hi Chanan,

      Thanks for stopping by – and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I think that there are a number of fireproof safes which could work for any homeowner – and the final selection will depend on their needs, space, wall mounted, floor mounted, in a desk drawer etc.

  • Shaun says:

    Fire is something that you don’t think is ever going to happen to you until it does. I’ve known some people who had all of their belongings burnt to the ground and even though the insurance came through, there are some things that you just can’t recreate or it is extremely annoying and painful to do it. I think every household should have a fireproof safe like that. I know I plan to very soon as a new homeowner.

    • admin says:

      Good point Shaun, even when the insurance does pay out, there are some things that you won’t be able to replace to your satisfaction. Those are the ones that should be in your safe!

  • Gabriela says:

    I guess I never really considered how important it is to have a safe that is fireproof. And just like you said, I always used to think of safes as something only rich people have, filled with money and expensive jewelry… but it actually is a good idea for everyone to have. WOW I just looked at the prices and they aren’t even bad! I would’ve thought I was going to be looking at at least $300.

    • admin says:

      Hi Gabriela,

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes, the prices are surprisingly low, aren’t they? They are certainly quite a bit cheaper than you might expect. All things considered, it’s a wise investment to get yourself a fireproof safe.

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