If you are trying to store guns and valuable items in a gun safe, you may be curious to know if they can survive a fire and protect your belongings. It’s a scary thought to lose things you are trying to keep safe, so we’re here to help.
No gun safe is 100% fireproof. Frequently, gun safes may survive the fire but the contents are often not protected on the inside. The best thing to do is search for a gun safe with the highest fire ratings, but keep in mind these ratings are unregulated.
We’re going to show you everything you need to know about gun safes, fire ratings, and whether they will survive. We’ll also include some of the best brands for protecting your belongings.
Which Models Can Survive a Fire?
Oftentimes, most gun safes will physically survive a fire. Depending on how hot the fire gets, the safes are often charred, but the structure still stands.
Some safes are more likely to survive than others because of the fire rating. However, the fire rating depends on several factors that we’ll cover in a minute. For now, we’ve got a couple of safes with very good fire ratings.
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Liberty has the Presidential gun safe (source: Liberty Safes), not only can it protect against burglars but it has an incredibly good fire rating. It can last up to two hours at a whopping 1200 degrees. This protects the safe itself and hopefully as many of your belongings as well. It also does cost over $7500
They have some lower-rated ones that have less time in the heat or lower temps, but all the ones that can withstand long times in high heat will be very expensive. There is also still no guarantee the contents inside will be protected.
Here’s a cool video showing a gun safe surviving a house fire:
You can find Liberty Gun Safes Here on Amazon
These safes appear to be more than the Liberty ones and have a decent fire rating as well. These safes are going to be very heavy, so make sure you are aware of that before you buy.
They have listed their safety ratings (source: Champion Safes) on their website so you can go through and try to find the safe that you will feel most comfortable with. They are striving to make their safes as protective as possible for the consumer.
Looking at some of the ratings can be a little complex and hard to grasp, so if you need more technical information explained to you in regard to their fire ratings, you can reach out to their customer support.
First things first, be aware that this is not regulated by anyone and that it’s still important to do your research. This rating is based partially on the thickness of the steel used in the safe, but there is also a potentially surprising piece to this puzzle.
- In between the steel is sheets of drywall.
- Gypsum is used in drywall and is non-flammable naturally.
- Some of the drywall also has specialized ingredients inside of it in order to bump up the protection the safe can give you.
An alternative to drywall is concrete-based mixtures.
Because it’s not a very good heat conductor, it takes a while to heat up which can help protect your belongings inside the safe. These safes are very expensive and incredibly heavy.
So, you have two different options to choose from, drywall based ones are lighter and cheaper. They however may lack in the protection department. Concrete-based ones are more likely to protect the contents of the safe but come with a hefty price tag. You will have to decide what is worth it and what isn’t.
Will the Guns Inside Still be Functional?
This really depends on where the fire was and how hot it was. Guns will be at risk of being damaged at roughly 500 degrees. The longer a safe can keep the temperatures down, the more likely guns are to survive.
Even the best-rated safes will be unable to protect the guns if the fire lasts too long and is very hot. If you want the best outcome for your firearms, one of the best things is to put the safe out of the way where most fires happen.
Obviously, an electrical fire can happen almost anywhere in a home, but some places are safer than others.
This is the reason that fire safes are not guaranteeing your belongings inside will be safe. There are too many variables and factors in a fire for them to commit to that 100%. And any safe claiming they are fireproof is lying, at most, they can be resistant.
Will Cash Burn Inside a Safe in a House Fire?
It depends on how hot it gets inside the safe. Paper will start to crisp at 400 degrees and can ignite around 480 degrees. That is why you need a safe that can withstand higher heat for longer times.
The more time you can buy, the more likely your papers are to survive. This includes documents or cash. If you are more concerned about paper documents than guns, specific safes are small and designed to withstand a lot of heat while protecting your papers.
If that’s the main issue you worry about, it may be better to look into one of those smaller safes, you can even put them into your gun safe and hope it offers even more protection!
As you can see, the gun safes and fires can be a little complicated. The main takeaway is that nothing is 100% fireproof, only resistant to a certain point. There are a lot of factors in a house fire, such as heat and time so finding the best heat-resistant safe is your best bet for protecting your items.
The better the rating on these safes, the more expensive they get because of the materials that are used inside of them. The other thing is they will be heavy, especially with concrete-based composite safes. They have good ratings but will absolutely be a pain to move around.