Real-world fireproof safes don’t exist. This does not mean there are no fireproof gun safes. It is possible to convert a non-fireproof gun safe into a fireproof one by making some changes. The fireproofing would only last a short while.
Safes can be determined to be fireproof or fire-resistant based on government standards. The longevity of the fire and the heat the item can withstand before it causes any damage determines its fire rating.
It is impossible to be “fireproof.” During the fire protection period, only a limited amount of protection is available.
The majority of quality safes are rated for either 1/2 hour or 1 hour. In other words, they will tolerate the rated fire for the rated period of time in a typical house fire—all of this without a discernible effect on the contents.
In order to get to the contents, you may need to cut the container open afterward. A cheaper safe can also be lined with multiple layers of sheetrock (plasterboard) if you don’t wish to pay the premium for a higher quality safe.
Fire ratings are achieved in this way by safe manufacturers. Here are some caveats:
- It is more important to use layers of sheetrock rather than a single layer if you want a safe that lasts a long time.
- A smaller interior will result from more layers.
There are two mechanisms by which sheetrock retards heat transfer:
- Water evaporating from the trapped moisture in gypsum (although it appears dry, it contains absorbed water. Note the difference between adsorbed and absorbed water)
- After moisture has desorption and evaporation, low coefficient of heat transfer (after the moisture has desorption and evaporation)
When the safe cools down, condensation may be present because water plays a significant role in the process. You should remove the contents of the safe after a fire as soon as possible because neither guns nor documents do well at high moisture.
Fireproof Safe Types
I will briefly describe below the types of fireproof safes that can eventually be built on your own.
- Fireboard Safes
A fireboard safe’s primary advantage is its fire resistance, which is of high value. Additionally, they are lightweight, making them easy to transport frequently.
Insulating board panels are made from fire-prone boards, as the name implies. These boards should be placed into the safe’s structure spaces as part of the final assembly phase.
- Reinforced Fireboard Safes
It is possible to produce reinforced fireboard safes with a thick steel layer on the exterior for increased theft protection. A stronger safe is a result of it. Additionally, thicker steel can produce heat more quickly from the outside than thinner steel, which can imply the safe provides much less protection from fire.
- Composite Safes
A composite safe is a type of safe that contains a particular cement-like material that is fire-prone. These types of safes are made durable by pouring a polymer into the storage containers.
Manufacturers often use fire-resistant materials mixed with gypsum in their safes, which can be found in many manufacturers.
What Are The Benefits Of Fireproofing A Gun Safe?
Gun safes aren’t the easiest thing to fireproof. There is no such thing as a completely fireproof gun safe.
Keeping the fire at bay for as long as possible is all you need to do. Fireproof gun safes must also include other safety measures in addition to flame retardant insulation.
- Safety Of Valuables
It goes without saying that a bedside gun safe isn’t just for securing firearms and ammo, but it’s for a lot more. Besides money, documents, and passports, it may also be necessary to preserve other valuables.
If you fail to keep your property safe from fire, all of these important things could be destroyed. The insurance company may compensate you if you purchase new firearms and pistol gun safes. However, there is nothing you can do to replace those important family documents or memories destroyed in a fire.
- Keeping Firearms Safe
Keeping your firearms safe is the most important part. For safety reasons, all safety measures must be followed. There are other security options besides obtaining a gun safe. In just a few minutes, your gun safe could be damaged by a fire. In order for firearms to be protected from fire, your car gun safe should be fireproof.
Steps For Fireproofing A Gun Safe
It can be difficult to guarantee your gun safe is fireproof, considering how difficult it can be to prepare it for heat or fire.
If you have flammable items inside your safe, such as furniture, wooden floors, and curtains, then the blaze of heat will penetrate the safe.
There is no guarantee that the heat will not damage your gun-safe contents, but you can take steps to prevent it.
A gun safe’s heatproofing depends on its insulation. Insulation is covered in different ways by different people. However, some people prefer it to be inside the safe so they can access the safe from it.
In order to fit within a safe, you may want to purchase a couple of thick sheets of heatproofing insulator material. The insulator material in the safe protects the contents from cracks and burns when the metal heats up.
When you fireproof a gun safe, you need to take safety precautions because the safe contains sensitive information. However, following these tips will help you fireproof your gun safe:
1. Make Sure Your Gun Safe Is Fireproof
If you want to keep your firearms and ammunition safe from fire, you should safely invest in a fireproof gun safe.
Before you purchase a fireproof gun safe, you should consider a few things. This item should have a high fire rating and be very durable during a fire.
At 1400 degrees F or more, it should be able to keep fires out for at least 30 minutes to four hours if possible. We’re not talking about getting a fireproof gun safe; we’re talking about fireproofing one. Be sure to read the entire article.
2. Gypsum Board
Safes are most commonly fireproofed by using gypsum boards (drywall), which are mounted between sheets of metal on the outside of the safe. A factor in the fire resistance of gypsum board is its inclusion of hydrates, which are released as steam or vapor when sufficient heat is applied.
Almost all gypsum board surfaces include hydrates, meaning the safe interior pressure is not high enough to reach the critical temperature of the gas inside.
It serves both as a fire-resistant safe and as a fire-limiter when a fire-resistant safe is exposed. The seal also protects against fire heat from the outside. The trick here is to keep humidity and temperature in balance over a specified time period.
3. Concrete Composite
The range of fire-resistant safes available today features a variety of more high-tech options in addition to gypsum frames. Filling voids in a fire-resistant safe with concrete-based composite material is becoming increasingly common.
Using tubing instead of gypsum or other common fireproofing methods offers a relatively unique solution to fireproofing. Material of this type is primarily meant to seal off the inside of a safe, transmit heat slowly, and keep the gun safe safe.
However, concrete composite safes are often much heavier and cost more, even though they are better standards. The most important thing to remember is to replace fireproof safes with new gypsum boards after being subjected to flames.
4. Find A Suitable Place
It isn’t the only solution to keep your guns safe from fire. Finding a suitable place to fireproof a gun safe is the most important step. Put your gun safe in a basement on a concrete or slab floor to prevent a fire from spreading from below. A gun safe should be kept away from other items for extra security.
It should only be kept in a secure and isolated location if you do not have a basement. Safes should never be placed on wooded floors or floors that are weaker and more easily vulnerable. When it comes to gun safes, it is not a good idea to put them on the upper floors since they can fall through the floor during fires of extreme levels.
5. Use Flame Retardant Insulation
Insulators help keep temperatures normal inside budget gun safes, especially when they are used inside. Make sure that the gun safe is well insulated so that temperature levels remain under control during a fire.
Inspect your insulation to make sure it fits perfectly within the safe. A hacksaw can be used to cut the insulation to glue to the gun safe’s wall.
However, the most important thing is to make sure the insulation is flame-resistant to avoid failure. The exterior part of the gun safe can be made from drywall, gypsum board, and 5/8 inches thick.
As a flame retardant insulator, the gypsum board is regarded as the best. A thick layer of drywall won’t keep the fire at bay for very long. The drywall you need can be found at any hardware store close to you.
Gun Safes Are As Good As The Money You Put Into Them
Your safe will have to cost a bit more if you want higher levels of fire protection. A better smoke and fire seal around the door means more fireboard, thicker steel, and more fireboard.
Our recommendation is to pay more for fire protection, not other features. You won’t regret paying for the upgraded protection should the unthinkable happen and you experience a house fire.
Safes Fire Testing: Pay Attention
You should also check out the way the company conducts their fire testing when you research fire-resistant safes, in addition to comparing the layers of fireboard and the steel thickness.
To ensure that all safe models offer the protection promised, companies at the forefront of fire safety test ALL of their models in a furnace. During a fire test, a safe should be heated up to 1200 degrees (the average temperature of a house fire) within 10 minutes and then kept at that temperature throughout.
In some companies, when the safe survives the test, they raise the furnace temperature to 1200 degrees for 30 or 40 minutes. That’s cheating in our opinion.
Is A Gun Safe An Appropriate Location For Storing Personal Documents In Case Of A Fire?
The answer to that is ‘No, they are not fireproof safes,’ and most safe manufacturers will not like that answer. In a fire that destroys a structure, they do nothing to protect the guns.
The doors are usually made of plate, with a frame that prevents most Sawzall attacks. There is some insulation in most of them. A couple of 1/2′ sheetrock sheets are often used in the top, side, and rear walls, with some scraps fitted in the door where the lock bars and such need to move around.
Fire can cause just as much damage as an earthquake. Shit melts in a house fire because it gets so hot. If there is enough oxygen in a room, aluminum runs like butter, and stuff catches fire.
Even an airtight safe or room smolders, and things still melt. It bursts into flame when it finally gets air. We’re not talking about bank vaults here. These lockboxes were designed to prevent casual thieves from taking your stuff.
Different safes have different fire ratings. At least one hour should be rated on a safe. So, if the fire reaches 1250 degrees F for one hour, the internal temperature will be below 350 degrees F.
I have a gun safe that is rated for one and a half hours. In addition to the first safe, a second safe with a 1/2 fire rating is used to store documents. Those documents should be protected for at least three hours by this system.
This gun safe weighs 1,000 pounds and is anchored to the ground. Document safes weigh 20 pounds. The document safe can’t be easily removed from the gun safe by placing it inside.