Fire Resistant Gun Safe

What makes a Good Fire Resistant Gun Safe?

A number of things….

First, the “safe” part of the “fire resistant gun safe” has to be large enough to safely store your firearms and whatever else you would like to keep secure in your safe, i.e., medicine, jewelry, ammo or whatever.

Types of Safe Locks

In picking a safe, the other factor you need to consider other than size is type of locking mechanism they have on it. Home safe locks could be electronic codes, combination lock, key locks or even biometric fingerprint locks.

They all have their advantages but lately the biometric fingerprint lock is becoming more popular and prevalent. The first reason this is so is because the price of the highly technological biometrics is dropping and becoming very affordable. Secondly, a fingerprint lock opens by simply touching your finger to the scanner pad. If your finger print is enrolled in its memory it will find it and give you access to the safe contents. All of this can be don in a second or two. This ease and quickness is not possible with the other lock types.

fire resistant gun safe

First Alert Fire Resistant Gun Safe

Fire Resistant Gun Safe Basics

The second thing that makes a good fire resistant safe is that it will withstand a fire without getting hot enough inside the safe to destroy the contents – whether the contents be paper documents, guns or other valuables.

The walls of a good fire resistant safe will actually be a sandwich of differing materials. In most cases, there will be heavy steel on the outside and inside. Between these two layers you will have a variety of materials that can naturally stop the flow of heat and fire. There are quite a variety of these materials on the market and many are used quite frequently in the building of kilns or furnaces since the temperatures inside these can easily exceed 3000 F.

Obviously different manufacturers of fire resistant safes will use differing construction in their safes. Each tries to have their own unique combination of materials that give their safe a high fire rating while keeping the price, for the consumer, down.

Fire Resistant Testing

The third thing that is needed in a good fire resistant safe is for it to be tested by an outside and independent laboratory. Manufacturers may run their own tests but they need to be careful so they don’t bias the results. To get a way from this, independent labs are known to do testing in a consistent and defined manner and will not bias the results. The most popular independent lab for this testing is Underwriter’s Laboratories.

You mostly likely have seen their UL Tested stamp on many things. There are defined procedures for doing these fire resistant tests, and depending on how the safe survives, will be given a rating. One example is a UL Class 350 One Hour Rating. What this test means is that the outside of the fire safe is heated to 1700 degrees and the inside of the safe will not exceed 350 degrees after one hour. Any safe passing this test should be more than adequate since most fires are not as hot as 1700 F and most fires won’t last one hour.

So, in actuality, you should look for safes which have passed the UL Tests, not simply been tested per those standards. And remember, the higher the rating, the better the safe offers in its protection, i.e. a 1700 rating is better than a 1300 rating which is better than an 1100 rating. (again it should be obvious that the higher the rating the higher the cost.)

So the Bottom Line on a Fire Resistant Gun Safe

What makes a good fire resistant safe is that it is large enough to hold and protect what you need protected and that it withstands a typical home fire. Exceeding these two requirements too much really adds to the cost and may provide things that you really don’t need. Knowing this, it is your decision on if you really want a simple fire resistant gun safe or not.

Fire Proof Gun Safe

What do you look for in a fire proof gun safe?

Well first of all do you need a fire proof gun safe? I guess this is up to you. A good fire proof safe will protect your gun and any other valuables stored inside it through a fire. You need to decide if it is worth spending, perhaps, a good bit of money, to protect a simple (and maybe cheap) handgun or two. Now if you have expensive guns and other important valuables that need protecting from fire than yes definitely you want a fire proof gun safe.

What kind of fire will my fire proof gun safe be protected from –

… you may ask? Statistics show that a typical home fire will usually get to be about 700 or 800 degrees F and will usually only last for 20 to 30 minutes before the fire department arrives and puts it out. Therefore any safe which has a rating that exceeds this should be more than adequate. There are safes on the markets in which will protect its contents from higher temperatures than those listed above and can protect them for hours. Obviously you will pay dearly for these so make sure you know what you are getting.

How do I know what this rating is?

The best way is to look for an Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) testing stamp of approval. In fact it should really say the safe passed the UL testing and not simply that it was tested per the standard. UL is a well known and established, non profit laboratory which will test things and give unbiased results and conclusions. You can trust them.

Fire proof gun safe

First Alert Fire Proof Safe

What about safe construction?

Well this is hard to tell by simply looking. You’d have to read about it on the manufacturer’s web site or brochure. One thing to check is how thick the wall is. Generally the thicker the wall the more fire protection. Manufacturers use a variety of materials to fire proof their safe, but probably all you need to know is the fire rating discussed above. If the fire rating is sufficient for you, than the wall construction should also be adequate.

What Do You Want in a Safe?

Up to this point, the highlights of a fire proof gun safe have been covered. From here on you need to look at it from the safe standpoint. What do you want in a gun safe, and then what are your options for a gun safe which offers the fire protection you need? Remember not all gun safes are fire proof. In fact you may have some trouble in finding what you want in a fire proof gun safe. For instance you may want a portable safe to carry or easily move around. However, to get this in a fire proof model may be difficult.

Some of your bigger choices in a gun safe are the type of lock you will have on it. It can be a key lock, combination, electronic or fingerprint lock. Fingerprint or biometric gun safes are becoming very popular since they offer super quick and easy opening. Simply touch the pad and you are in. No fumbling for keys or trying to remember codes or combinations.

Another thing to consider is the size of the safe. You need to know how much, or what, you are going to store in it and then get one accordingly.

The Bottom Line on a Fire Proof Gun Safe

…. is that it is an excellent investment. A fire proof gun safe will keep your fire arms or valuables secure from unauthorized people and safe from that accidental fire which we hope will never come.

Electronic Gun Safe

What is an Electronic Gun Safe?

An electronic gun safe is simply a small safe (large enough to store a hand gun or two) which has an electronic lock on it.

What is an Electronic Lock?

An electronic lock is the “generic” term for any kind of lock that is electronic. A good simple example of an electronic lock would be the pad on your ATM or the keypad at your local grocery store that is used if you use a debit or credit card.

So to gain access to an electronic gun safe would you would simply enter your access code. Depending on the manufacturer, the number of digits in your code will vary. It could be 5 to 7 or more digits.

One of the Nice Things about Electronic Gun Safe Locks is

…. that since it is electronic, it can offer some very good benefits. One of these is that more than one code can be entered. This means multiple people can all have their own codes and access to the contents.

Another benefit is that the electronic lock can be programmed that if the wrong code is entered too many times it will lock out everyone.

Electronic locks can also be programmed to record time stamps, or in other words, when someone (and who) opened the lock. Safe access can also be programmed such that the safe can only be opened certain times of the day.

Electronic locks can run on batteries and/or electric so preparations need to be made for that. When the batteries are removed, you won’t lose what is in its memory.

Electronic Gun Safe lock

Electronic Lock

The Same Safe

Other than the electronic lock on these safes, an electronic gun safe is basically the same as any other safe, or gun safe, whether it has a combination lock on it or a key or even a fingerprint lock. In fact, some safe manufacturers offer you the choice of any lock you want and some few safes even come with two types of lock on for extra security.

Electronic gun safes come in a variety of sizes from small portable ones, which hold one hand gun, on up to large safes capable of holding multiple rifles or shotguns plus much more.

Fire Proof Electronic Gun Safe or Not??

If a fire proof gun safe is what you want, you’ll have to look a little harder. Not all gun safes are fire proof. A fire proof electronic gun safe does exist but is not as prevalent as the non-fire proof safes.

Biometric Gun Safe

Biometric Gun Safe

A biometric gun safe is the same as a fingerprint gun safe, and that is, simply a safe that is used to hold a gun (or more), and, has a biometric lock.

Biometric gun safes have been designed and marketed for the simple reason that 1.) gun owners need to keep their firearms secure and safe from strangers or young ones and 2.) gun owners need quick access in times of an emergency., i.e., someone may be breaking into their homes.

The Technology of a Biometric Gun Safe and How It Works

A biometric gun safe (sometimes referred to as a fingerprint gun safe) has a lock that is based on biometric technology. Biometrics is defined as the science of measuring, analyzing and studying biological data. This bio data is typically related to humans and in most cases refers to fingerprints, voice, retina scans, facial patterns or maybe even DNA.

Out of all the biometric technology that exists today, fingerprint biometrics is probably the most prevalent and widely used technology. This development has led to miniaturization and fine tuning of the essentials such that reliable and dependable biometric fingerprint locks can be made and sold at reasonable costs for the everyday home owner.

The surface of the skin on our finger tips is made up of ridges and valleys. A biometric scanner will “read” our finger prints and then take that information and encode it into some kind of digital information that is then stored and used to identify a finger print.

Any authorized person touching the bio lock will get access to the contents. Now what makes an enrolled person? Any person who has his/her finger prints scanned and entered into the bio lock system.

Fingerprint Storage

On a biometric gun safe, scanning and enrolling a person is pretty straightforward. The safe manuals describe the steps necessary to capture this finger print data and only takes only a minute or two to do.

The number of finger prints that can be stored in these small home safes varies by manufacturer. Some allow 15 while others allow 30 or 50 and some even more.

You may ask why would I need 50 fingerprints in my memory. I don’t want 50 people to have access to my gun safe. Yes that is true. We don’t want a lot of people to have access. However, it is wise to store your fingerprint multiple times. This allows you some leeway when the scanner is reading your finger. Theoretically, your finger needs to be in the exact same position every time it is scanned. We all know this is not possible and finger reading systems are a little forgiving. But just in case, if you have your fingerprints stored in varying positions, you do not need to worry about having it in the same position each and every time. You may also want to add more than one fingerprint and maybe even add some from each hand. So the more you have available, the more you can do.

Fingerprint Lock Reliably

How reliable are these fingerprint locks? Very! Obviously they are not fool proof and make errors but according to statistics published by the manufacturers they are very reliable.

As you have seen on TV, fingerprint locks can be broken into. But, on those shows there are a lot of things happening that won’t happen at home, i.e., it is out in the public some where, where people can have access to it and “play” around with it and try different things with it. With a home biometric gun safe, the safe will be at home away from everyone, such that if a burglar ever broke intro your home, he/she couldn’t possible come up with the where withal to break into in such a short period of time.

Biometric Gun Safe

LockState LS-SC1000

Other Potential Problems and What To Do

Other problems the biometric lock might have is that it could either open the safe for some unauthorized person or not open it for you or an another authorized person. The probability of this happening are referred to as False Acceptance Rate and False Rejection Rate, respectively. Anything less than 1% (i.e., one time in 100) is considered very good and acceptable. One reason why one might get a high rejection rate is because of the sensitivity of the scanner. If it is too sensitive, it will reject more than it should. However, with these home safes, the sensitivity is cut down so this doesn’t happen.

So what do you do if your biometric gun safe won’t open? Most safe manufacturers include a back up key to be used the first time you open the safe and then anytime you have a problem with it and it won’t recognize your finger print. The key should not be used as the main point of entry.

The Bottom Line of a Biometric Gun Safe

...is that it is very reliable. They are quick and easy to open. You don’t have to remember any codes or combinations and you don’t have to fumble around for any keys. These things are hard enough to do when you are panicked. Think of how much harder it would be to do this in the dark – which is most likely when you would need to do something like this.

For more information, check around this review site and read about the different manufacturers and what they have to offer. There is much to learn about a biometric gun safe and it is quite interesting.

What Is Important in A Home Security Safe?

Home Security Safes-Biometric Gun Safes

Home Security Safes - 3 Things To Look For and Know Before Buying

Home security safes, as the name suggests, are for the typical homeowner who wants to protect valuable or important papers, precious jewelry, firearms, or other miscellaneous valuables.

Home security safes are not only good for safely storing valuables out of site, but if the right safe is purchased, it will also protect these valuables from fire. This is an important point because not all home safes are fire proof. One needs to clearly read or learn about any safe that is about to be purchased to insure it is truly fire proof. If it is truly a fire proof safe, it should have an Underwriters Laboratories rating stating the specifics of its fire proof capabilities.

Now having said that, if one is concerned about keeping valuables safe from flooding – that is a whole new game. Not all safes are waterproof just like not all safes are fire proof. Again due diligence on your future safe purchase is important.

Home security safes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. It just depends on what you want to store in them. Safes can be small, being just big enough to hold a few hand guns or jewelry, or big enough to hold a number of large firearms like rifles or shot guns.

Smaller safes are small enough to carry around. Therefore if one of them is purchased, it will have to be mounted to a wall, a shelf or tethered to something immovable. They can also be hidden in the wall, closet or floor.

The larger safes are too big to hide or simply carry off so they can safely set out in the open.

The type of lock on your home safe also will vary. There are still the “old fashioned” combination dials which you spin right and left to gain access. Then there are electronic safe locks. These have an electronic key pad in which you enter, say a 2 to 9 digit pass code. Then lastly, you have a biometric lock (sometimes called a fingerprint lock) in which you simply touch your finger to the pad and the safe will open.

So the bottom line of a home security safe, is, you need to know the answers to the following three questions before buying. After that is done, your possibilities will be greatly narrowed down.

1. Decide on the size of the safe you want. This will be dependent on what you want to store in it.
2. Decide what “protections” you want in a home safe. Do you want it to be fire proof or water proof? If so, you need to read the specifics of each type.
3. Decide the type of lock you would like – electronic keypad, fingerprint or biometric or combination dial.

After these decisions are made you can start researching the different types of home security safes. The only other recommendation is that you stay with the better known brands. There are a lot of cheap, not so safe, safes on the markets, so buyer beware!

Fire Proof Gun Safe

Biomtric gun safes are not necessarily fire proof

What is a Fire Proof Gun Safe?
Fire proof gun safes are just that – safes designed to protect your gun (or other articles) from a fire. Fire proof gun safes are very similar to other safes but are built, specifically, to withstand fires.

Fire Proof Ratings
When looking for a fire proof gun safe, the fire rating is the most important thing to consider (or know) before buying a safe.

Fire proof safes are rated at how long the inside of a safe will remain below 350 F. The temperature outside the safe could be 1700 or 1800 degrees F but the inside of the safe would be 350 degrees or less. (This temperature is usually satisfactory for most articles – see below for more information on this)

The next part of the rating is how long the inside of the safe can maintain that 350 or lower temperature. Safes are rated to last 30 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hours or 2 two hours (maybe some longer).

In other words a 2 hour 350 rating would mean that the inside of the safe will be at a 350 or lower temperatures for 2 hours.

(Some safes have a 125 F rating. These are sometimes referred to as media safes because they are made to keep important papers safe)

The important thing to remember is that your gun fire safe has an UL Listed label showing that is has been officially tested to these UL standards.

Which should you get?

It depends. If you consider the extremes, if you live in a city, typically most house fires are extinguished in less than one hour. However, if you live in the country, a house fire may last longer than an hour.

Secondly, the higher the fire rating, the smaller the internal physical dimensions of your safe. Also, the price will be higher.

The bottom line is that only you can make that decision. You have to weigh your options and decide what you want to store in it and then make the choice.

If you are looking for a fire proof gun safe, you also need to look at the type of locking mechanism. These vary from keys to combination to electronic locks.

Lastly, when looking for a fire proof gun safe it is best to stick with the reputable manufacturers. The more reputable manufacturers use thicker steels and use actual fireboard (similar to linings of high temperature kilns or furnaces) instead of other cheaper grades of who knows what kind of fiber board.

If you follow this last recommendation you won’t be buying a safe at your local, big box store or home improvement store. Generally speaking these safes, sold at these places, simply are not as good as the type you really need.

Fire Proof Gun Safe Manufacturers
Reputable manufacturers of fire proof gun safes are Ft. Knox, Browning, Bighorn, Cannon and Sentry.

Simply put, before purchasing a safe, do a little research on the net and check out all the major players. Maybe you even have a local security or hunting/fishing outlet that carries some of the more reputable brands where you could visit and check out.

A safe is a major investment, so make a good choice now and you won’t be sorry later.

Fingerprint Gun Safes

Fingerprint Gun Safe Reviews

What is a Fingerprint Gun Safe?
Fingerprint gun safes, are just that, gun safes that require a fingerprint to open. No keys to carry or combinations to remember. Another name for fingerprint gun safes is biometric gun safes since fingerprints are a unique trait to each individual -- which is where biometrics come from.

Fingerprint Gun Safe Features
Fingerprint gun safes allow you quick access, in a second or two or less. You also have the option of programming more than one fingerprint into the system. This allows you to have other members of your family have access to the gun or valuables stored in safe. The number of fingerprints that can be programmed into the system varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. This number could be anywhere from 10 to hundred(s).

The electronics of the locks are powered by a battery with some offering an AC adaptor backup in case the battery dies. Most battery powered last up to a year and some come with a flash memory to temporary store the information in case there is a total power failure.

Hand gun safes come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They can be small, holding one or two pistols, to larger ones which are meant to be wall mounted or free standing. Many gun safes are usually of the smaller type. They come in different finishes and depending on the size – different weights. Portable gun safes can be portable, tethered to something or mounted to something.

What If There Is A Problem Opening My Safe?
You may wonder what happens if the safe doesn’t recognize your fingerprint. Well, the first thing is that this rarely happens. Biometric lock systems have been developed to the extent that failure rates (either of allowing an unauthorized person to enter or keeping you out) are between 0.0001% to 0.1% (with some increasing to 1.0%)

However, if you are ever locked out of your gun safe there usually is a ‘backdoor’ entry. Some use keys, a hidden code or special combination. (the type of “backdoor” will depend on the type of gun safe you have) The bottom line is that it is best to check with the manufacturer to see how to handle an unopening failure before purchasing one of these pistol safes.

Lastly one final important note. Fingerprint gun safes are generally not fire proof or water proof. If they are, they will be identified as such (and you will pay more for them). So, if you want your gun safe to be fire or water proof you specifically have to order one of these.

Fingerprint Gun Safe Manufacturers
That just about summarizes the important points of fingerprint gun safes. If you want more information or want to purchase one, you should visit the manufacturers’ web site. Major players in the fingerprint gun safe market are Gunvault, LockSAF, Barska, Sequiam, and BioMETRX. Many other sites sell these brands too, so you can visit some fingerprint gun safe sites and they will offer you selections from multiple manufacturers

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