Theft and unauthorized access are but some of the threats your valuables face on a regular basis. Statistically you are far more likely to fall victim to fire than theft so, if you wish to obtain the highest degree of protection possible the safe you select should be resistant to fire as well as break in. But selection a fireproof safe is not as simple as picking one that costs more than the others. When comparing fireproof safes there are a few key features you want to consider.
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Fire rating –when considering a safes ability to withstand a fire it is important to select one which is fire rates, not just fire resistant. By being doing this you can be assured the design has been specifically tested in terms of maximum temperature and duration. The average house fire burns at approximately 1100 degrees for 20-30 minutes. When selecting a safe these two numbers should be considered a minimum level of protection. Most rated safe will have been tested by the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL), although a number of third parties also conduct similar testing.
Interior temperature- the safe’s ability to withstand fire is but one level of protection, it is also important to consider how well it protects against rises in interior temperatures. Protection of documents, files, passports etc. will require internal temperatures of less than 350 degrees. If you will be looking to protect electronics (CD’s, memory sticks etc.) you will need an internal temperature of no more than 125 degrees.
Waterproof- If you do fall victim to a fire chances the fire department will respond. However, once the fire department arrives and attempts to put the fire out you will face an additional threat – the very water they use to safe your home. Having a safe which is both fire and water resistant will provide a higher level of protection from both threats. The seals and tight fitting doors necessary to achieve waterproofing also provide a higher level of temperature protection as well as protection against smoke damage.
Whether you have a home business and need to keep cash & records safe or simply want family valuable to survive a disaster this safe is up to the task. The heavy duty, solid steel continuous weld construction and pry resistant hinges make entry vertically impossible, and at 91 pounds it will be difficult to walk off. Worried of fire? Don’t be – this safe is dual certified by both the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Edison Testing Laboratories (ETL) for both fire resistance and protection against water – one full hour at temperatures of up to 1700 degrees and as much as 24 hours in 8 inches of water. Plus it is also ETL tested to survive a 2 story drop without opening and as being capable of protecting digital media as well. Not only can this safe provide lots of protection, it can also protect a lot of stuff. With over 1.23 cubic feet of storage, a removable shelf you will find this safe capable of housing everything from cash or valuables to important documents. Plus there are also accessories such as key hooks, small item tray and door pocket available for additional customizing.
- Mechanical combination lock & key back up for ease of use.
- Dual certified fire and water resistance.
- Almost completely impervious to pry attempts.
- 1 year warranty.
- Very heavy, good for security but not well suited for apartments.
- Emergency key must be storied in second safe place.
First Alert 2092DF
If you want to protect your valuables, documents and electronics from theft, fire or water this safe needs to be at the top of your list. Although constructed of steel the entire outer surface is covered in a durable composite material, which is what helps provide such a high degree of protection at a fraction of the cost. There are no edges to pry or joints to exploit. Not only is the safe fire resistant for up to 1 hour at temperatures as high as 1700 degrees it is also rated to keep interior temperatures below 350 degree- making it ideal for storage of electronics, documents or other items damaged by heat alone. But there is yet another advantage to the composite construction – it is completely waterproof. Not only will this safe keep water out, but thanks to the doors seals, it will also float. With a capacity of 1.31 cubic feet you will have plenty of room for all your valuable and the adjustable shelf allows for storage of big and small items. When it is time to access your items you will be happy to see the safe is equipped with an easy to use programmable electronic keypad lock as well as two back up keys.
- High level of fire and water protection.
- Easy to use electronic keypad lock.
- Smooth, professional appearance.
- Rated to protect electronics from fire, water and heat damage.
- Has not been drop test rated.
- Some have complained the electronic lock is easy to use but difficult to program.
The Steelwater 450 is one of the best small fireproof safes for the price. Thanks to a double layer of fire resistant fiber lining it is rated to withstand temperatures up to 1850 degrees for up to two full hours! Solid steel construction, two 1 ¼” chrome plated locking bolts with hinge side locking channels and pre-drilled mounting holes makes this safe as secure against burglars as fire. The exterior mounted hinges are designed to defeat pry attempts and also allows the door to swing a full 180 degrees for easy access. A mechanical combination dial insures hassle free access with no dependence on a power source and the accompanying chrome plated three spoke handle provides a large, easy to use means of controlling the heavy door. Finally, the re-locking system with bolt detent both engages the locks when the door is closed and resistant to drill attacks.
- Very high fire rating.
- Adjustable shelves allow for personal configuration and easy storage of small items or documents.
- Heavy weight makes it difficult for thieves to carry.
- Large, wide opening door makes for easy access.
- Combination dial is slow to operate.
- Automatic locking feature not suited for those who enter repeatedly throughout short periods.
Sentry Safe H4300
If you are searching for a means of protecting small valuable and electronics from both fire and water the H4300 is worth a look. With exterior dimensions of only 13 3/32” x 15 7/16” x 14 11/16” this safe is well suited for small files, passports and important individual documents but is best suited for CD’s, DVD’s, USB drives and similar electronic devices. Underwriter Laboratories rated it for ½ hour of protection at temperatures of up to 1550 degrees and it is also verified waterproof. In other words your items will be safe from both the fire and the water used to put it out. Although this safe is excellent in protecting from environmental hazards its small size and light weight (only 39.2 pounds) it is most secure if hidden and mounted to a solid surface such as inside a closet. The unit is operated via a simple key lock and two keys are provided with each purchase.
- Specifically designed to be fire and waterproof.
- Excellent protection for electronic devices.
- Mechanical lock requires no power source.
- Small & light means less secure.
- Only one means of entry provided.