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.