All gun safes are designed to keep firearms secure, but not all gun safes are designed to be fireproof. You have to weigh the extra price vs the benefits of getting a fireproof safe rather than a traditional safe.
A gun safe does not need to be fireproof in order to protect it’s contents from theft. However fireproof guns safes tend to be worth the extra cost because of the added water and fire protection the offer. There may also be some insurance benefits to having a fireproof safe versus a regular safe.
There are pros and cons to purchasing this level of protection in your gun safe. Read on to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of a fireproof gun safe.
You would think that a fireproof gun safe would outweigh any potential drawbacks of including the feature since it protects against environmental factors as well as theft.
This chart below shows that there are an equal number of pros to cons when it comes to purchasing a fireproof gun safe:
|Pros of a Fireproof Gun Safe||Cons of a Fireproof Gun Safe|
|Protects firearms||High cost|
|Safe storage for other valuables||Extra weight|
|Potential insurance benefits||Poor security|
|Better safe quality||Prone to interior condensation|
|Psychological security||Needs replacement after a fire|
So if the pros of a fireproof gun safe don’t outweigh the cons, how do you decide whether to purchase one or not? We’ll go over the pros and cons in more detail below.
The primary advantage of purchasing a fireproof gun safe is that it’ll keep your firearms and ammo protected in the case of a fire.
In some cases, your gun collection can represent thousands of dollars worth of financial investment. Once scorched by fire, most guns will be rendered useless.
Along with protecting guns from fire, a fireproof gun safe is capable of protecting more fragile materials from a fire, such as the following:
- Important documents
- Zip drives
- Jewelry and antique coins
- Literary manuscripts
A gun safe that isn’t fireproof may be able to protect against thieves, but any money or papers placed in it will likely combust and burn in the event of a house fire.
For a safe that protects all your valuables, not just your guns, a fireproof safe is a better option.
While it varies from policy to policy, some homeowner’s insurance policies will allow you to deduct a discount on your policy premiums for having a fireproof safe for valuables.
If you’re considering a fireproof gun safe, check with your insurance policy holder to see if there are any potential financial benefits to installing a fireproof safe that you can take advantage of.
Any gun safe will give you some peace of mind when it comes to protecting your firearms. A fireproof gun safe can protect all of your valuables effectively from both theft and disaster.
Nobody wants to plan for the worst case scenario like a break-in or an electrical fire.
However, knowing that your most valuable belongings are protected in a fireproof gun safe in your home can give you a real sense of security.
If you purchase a fireproof gun safe, you can expect to pay several hundred dollars more for your gun safe than you would if you purchased a non-fireproof model.
Fireproof safes are made of steel that contains materials such as drywall, concrete, or fiberglass will. These materials are not combustible and will not burn even in the heart of a house fire. (Source: USA Safe and Vaults)
It’s important if you purchase a fireproof gun safe that you purchase a modern gun safe rather than a used antique safe.
This is because older fireproof gun safes may contain asbestos, a material known for its cancer-causing properties.
Fireproof gun safes contain extra layers of construction that are designed to help protect them from fire.
Unfortunately, these added layers also cause a fireproof gun safe to be heavier than one that isn’t fireproofed. In general, this can make fireproof gun safes more difficult to move and install.
The biggest difference in construction between fireproof gun safes and regular gun safes is that fireproof gun safes spend more effort in fireproofing than security.
In contrast, gun safes that aren’t designed around fireproofing tend to put more engineering energy into making sure the gun safe can’t be broken into.
The materials used in fireproof gun safes like drywall and fiberglass are not as sturdy against break-ins compared to gun safes with solid walls that don’t contain these lighter materials.
A major disadvantage to consider in fireproof gun safes compared to regular gun safes is that these safes tend to be more prone to condensation.
Condensation leads to high humidity inside the gun safe, which in turn can lead to rusting and corrosion.
These are some of the ways that guns have to be protected against condensation in a fireproof gun safe (Source: NRA Family):
- Guns must be disassembled, cleaned, and oiled regularly
- The gun safe needs a dehumidifier installed
- The humidity and temperature levels in the gun safe need to be monitored
Even though these are maintenance methods that will have to be performed regardless of which type of gun safe you buy, you have to be more conscious of condensation in a fireproof safe.
A fireproof gun safe may protect your firearms and valuables in the event of a fire, but a drawback of the fireproof safe is that it will have to be replaced if it’s ever in a fire.
This is because the fireproof materials in the safe will not prevent it from warping due to high temperatures. This warping damage will negate the safe’s fireproofing effects in future fires.
If your gun safe is involved in a fire, it’ll need to be replaced. But that rule applies whether your gun safe is fireproof or not, so it’s a disadvantage either way you decide to go.
While they may cost more and be more hassle to install and maintain, it’s often worth it to invest in a fireproof safe if you’re willing to invest in a dehumidifier and a good locking system, too.
Guns in any kind of gun safe will need regular maintenance to stay in good working order, so take the extra protection provided by fireproofing if you can afford it.