9 Myths about Gun Safe Fire Ratings

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This article is continued from the previous page… Click here to jump Back to the Beginning.

Myth:  After Theft, Fire is the biggest risk.

Let’s look at the table again.

StatisticBurglaryFireFloods and
Water Damage
Number per Year3,395,000 Total
(Attempted, Completed, & Not Reported)
381,000 House Fires730,000 Incidents
FrequencyEvery 9 secondsEvery 1:23 minutesEvery 44 seconds
Total Losses$4.6 Billion
(Reported to Police)
$7.2 Billion$9.1 Billion
SourceBJS 2011 and FBI 2011NFPA 2012FEMA 2012

You can see floods and water damage are actually more common than fires.  This fact is rarely mentioned by gun safe manufacturers, presumably because they don’t have anything to sell you which will help in a flood.  Most gun safes are intended to protect against theft and fire, but you should consider floods and water damage too, especially in figuring out where you put it.  This topic is covered in my later article on gun safe locations.

Even if your home is not at risk from rising rivers or seas, remember that anytime the fire department comes there will be water damage.  Years ago a neighbor had a kitchen fire which burned up the back side of the house.  Even though only a limited part of the house had actual fire damage, almost every room in the house had water damage.

Back to the Beginning

Myth:  The basement is the most protected area in a home fire.

There is some truth to this.  The basement is the most protected area in the initial stages of a home fire.  

Statistically fires are less likely to start in the basement than other rooms.  This is especially true if your dryer and washing machine are not in the basement.  The contents of the basement are generally in contact with the cool basement walls and floor.  The walls and floor are usually made from non-flammable cement or concrete and do not have fuel/heat sources under them (unless you have a basement fuel oil tank).  Heat rises and the upper stories will go up in flames long before the basement.

However, at some point if the fire gets big enough, the house will collapse.  The immediate risk in a collapse will be impact damage to a basement gun safe.  Thousands of pounds of debris, structural beams, appliances, etc. could fall on it.  Any impact which is great enough to upset the door seal will defeat the fire protection of the gun safe.  This is one of the reasons (safes themselves falling is the other one) why the UL 72 standard has a Fire and Impact Test.  

After the house collapses, the basement will be filled with a big pile of burning material.  Since the basement is basically a hole, oxygen supply will be limited resulting in lower temperatures, but often for a longer period of time.  Think the hot coals in a campfire fire pit.

Many people who had severe fires report that there was two to three feet of toxic water in the basement after the firemen left.  If your safe was placed in the basement, or fell through the floor from an upper story, it will be sitting in this water.  There isn’t a whole lot you can do to prevent this from happening, except put your safe in a different place.

Electricity cut by Fire Department

Electricity cut by Fire Department

Remember also that the electricity will be shut off in a severe fire, so that your sump pump won’t be working either.  Even if your basement isn’t full of fire fighting water, it may fill up with ground water before you can get to it.

If your home burns to the ground, the basement will likely be an unbelievable mess and a dangerous place to try to recover anything.  Just finding a gun safe in the rubble, let alone removing it, could be very time consuming and expensive, especially if your home had multiple stories.

I have never seen a “survived a fire” picture of a gun safe which fell into a basement.  You’ll notice that all “survived a fire” gun safe pictures are of gun safes mounted to slabs, or on floors that haven’t burned through.  If you intend to put a gun safe on an upper floor above a basement, or in a basement, gun safe fire protection may wind up being a useless expense.

I’ll cover all the options for Where to Put a Gun Safe later.

Back to the Beginning

Myth:  Ammunition is protected in my fireproof gun safe.

Storing flammable or explosive materials unnecessarily in a fire protection safe doesn’t make a lot of sense.  I have yet to see anyone with an opinion on this say that it’s a good idea to store ammo in the same gun safe as your guns and valuables.

According to Vincent DiMaio’s book Gunshot Wounds, .22 LR cartridges will detonate (“cook off”) repeatably at only 275 °F.  .38 Special rounds make it until 290 °F, and 12 Gauge shells cook off at around 390 °F.  Interestingly in these cook off experiments, the primers did not go off — it was the powder.

You’ll see below that the metals used in ammunition gather heat faster than other materials.  So, in a fire ammo will heat up faster than the other valuables in your gun safe.  A home fire carries a real risk of setting off the ammo inside your safe even before a 350 °F internal temperature is reached.  

Please don’t misunderstand that I’m saying an unchambered exploding round will propel a bullet with enough force to do a lot of damage.  That’s not going to happen.  The bullet is the heaviest part of the cartridge, and out in the open it’s not likely to go very far.   The shell casing on the other hand, will explode, sending shrapnel bouncing around your safe, damaging objects within 6″ to 12″.

Burned Up Pistol Box and Ammo, Not a Fireproof Gun Safe

Burned Up Pistol Box and Ammo.

The “smokeless” powders in modern cartridges are designed to burn efficiently and cleanly at high pressures without producing a lot of smoke.  However at low pressures, the powder produces much more smoke and noxious chemicals.  A round cooking off in a gun safe is such a low pressure situation.  I had trouble getting an accurate measurement of the burning temperature of powder under low pressure (i.e. not in a barrel), but it seems to be many thousands of degrees Fahrenheit.  

Once ignited, the cloud of burning gasses created by gunpowder expands to about 15 times it’s original volume.  Those hot gasses and chemicals will be trapped in your gun safe with the steam from the drywall fireproofing, and will probably do some damage.  This noxious smoke and chemicals will be trapped inside your gun safe and can damage your guns and/or other valuables inside.

Further, the rapidly expanding gasses from a exploding round will push air out of your gun safe.  When the gasses cool back down, they’ll contract and draw back in smoke and hot gasses from outside the gun safe.  Each exploding round will push out the good, cool air protecting your guns, and suck in bad hot air and smoke, reducing the benefit of a gun safe fire seal.

Having a $30 525-round box of .22 LR cook off and damage thousands of dollars worth of guns and valuables that would otherwise be saved, seems pretty “penny wise and pound foolish” to me.

Ammunition cartridges themselves won’t go off at the same time and don’t present a risk of causing the gun safe to explode.  On the other hand, a lot of gunpowder in an enclosed container like a gun safe is a recipe for a bomb.  So storing reloading powder in a gun safe is an especially bad idea.  Powder manufactures will advise you

Do not subject the storage cabinets to close confinement. Storage cabinets should be constructed of insulating materials and with a weak wall seams or joints to provide an easy means of self-venting.

Gun safes by design shouldn’t have “weak wall seams or joints”.  This makes them unattractive for the purpose of safely storing quantities of powder.

The same warning to keep ammunition out of a gun safe applies to other flammables.  Gun cleaning and lubrication supplies, aerosol cans, flammable oils, solvents, and other items are best kept outside of a gun safe which holds items you want to protect.

One final thought for anyone who stores loaded firearms in a gun safe:  think about what the chambered round(s) will do if it cooks off. A handgun round could pierce many of the flimsy small gun safes.  A bottle-necked rifle round will pierce the steel on most gun safes.  Anyone who has ever put in work hours at their gun range repairing downrange rifle damage will have a feel for what will happen.

A chambered round will probably be the last one to cook off, as the barrel will need to be heated.  At that point the whole house may be toast, but firefighters or family members may be close enough.  Loaded barrels with chambered rounds that could pierce the container should be pointed in a safe direction.  Or, don’t leave a round in the chamber.

Back to the Beginning

Myth:  My gun safe is waterproof.

A couple manufacturers have started claiming that their gun safes are waterproof.  Generally they claim that their safe will survive a flood in a certain depth of water for a certain number of hours.  Based on the performance of gun safe fire ratings, your doubts are very reasonable.

Some companies have claimed that an expanding door fire seal will make the safe waterproof.  Most better gun safes have expanding door fire seals, but they don’t claim that this will keep water out.  It won’t.  Neither will it help you in a flood if there hasn’t been a fire.  Nor will it help you if there is a fire, but the bottom expanding door seal hasn’t gotten hot enough to expand before water hit it.

Other manufacturers put a secondary seal on the door up to a certain height.  This is a reasonable idea.  Many true safes for years have included secondary door seals made from silicone or other high temperature materials.  Compared to gun safes, these true safes have dramatically tighter door gaps and tolerances with which to seal.  However, these manufacturers still don’t claim that the seals makes their safes waterproof.  This is even more reason to be suspicious of claims made by a manufacturer of cheap gun safes.

Any sort of breathable vent with a membrane like Gore-Tex will get destroyed in a fire.  The only way to truly make a gun safe waterproof is to fully seal it.  However, in a fire there will be massive temperature fluctuations of potentially thousands of degrees.

If a gun safe was totally sealed, there would be a huge buildup of pressure, like a boiler.  This is why all UL 72 tests requires an Explosion Test.  Similarly a “T&P” blow-off valve is required on your hot water heater — which has about the same volume as a gun safe.

So generally a break in the door seal is put somewhere.  For fire protection, safes are sealed as well as possible up top to prevent hot gasses and smoke from getting in.  Remember from the graph above how hot it can get just a couple feet off the ground.  This air will get sucked inside as soon as a fire hose hits the gun safe.  

In a flood you want the reverse location of the door seal gap, with maximum sealing at the bottom of the safe.  These two goals of sealing at the top in a fire, or bottom in a flood, are in conflict.

If you just want to have some protection from standing water, buy a quality gun safe and do some sealing of your own to your gun safe, which is discussed here.

The “waterproof” gun safes available are generally cheap models with poor burglary and fire protection, making water protection somewhat pointless.  You’d get better water protection by putting your guns in large Rubbermaid containers, and a thief would be less likely to find them than a “waterproof” gun safe.

Back to the Beginning

Myth:  If the inside of my gun safe stays below the rated 350 °F, my stuff will be safe.

It depends what you put inside your safe and where.  Don’t forget that people often put flammable materials inside their gun safes like ammunition, cleaning chemicals, aerosol, cleaning patches, etc..  Don’t do this in the same gun safe where you keep guns you’re trying to protect.

The industry has generally adopted the 350 °F internal temperature for gun safe fire ratings.  This specification was copied from UL 72 Class 350, which was designed to protect paper records well enough that they could still be read.  Paper begins to yellow at 300 °F, char at 350 °F, and will ignite at 450 °F.  Note that these tests were not designed to protect guns.

When a gun safe is in a fire, it will act like a big oven.  How much damage occurs will depend on:

  • the temperature inside the safe
  • the duration of that temperature
  • the temperatures at which your valuables are damaged/melt/burn
  • the specific heat capacity of your valuables
Gun Safe after Home Fire

Gun Safe after Home Fire.  The top of the gun safe gets the hottest, so what’s inside at the top will be the first to sustain damage.

Traditionally gun safes hold long guns barrel up.  This puts the stock, the part most vulnerable to heat, at the coolest part of the safe — this is good.  

Handguns on the other hand are generally stored on shelves in the upper part of the safe — this is bad.  If the bottom of the safe is 350 °F, the handguns at the top will probably be ruined.

The properties of wood are somewhat similar to paper.  But guns aren’t just made of wood and steel these days.  More and more guns have polymer frames and stocks.  Many of these polymers are nylon based, which has a melting point between 374 and 663 °F depending on the compound.  

As far as I can tell the Glock proprietary “Polymer 2” compound is based on nylon 6, which melts at 428 °F.  Smith & Wesson and Springfield pistol frames are made of Zytel, which has a melting point of 590 °F.  Wood solids begin to break down at about 575°F although the wood’s finish should be history before that.

Specific heat capacity or thermal capacity is a chemistry term for the amount of heat required to change the temperature of an object by one degree.  Some materials gather heat faster than others.  The higher the heat capacity of a substance, the more heat energy that is required to heat up the material.  Paper takes more energy to heat up than aluminum, steel, copper, gold, silver, or lead.  Thus the steel barrel of your rifle, aluminum scope tube, your wife’s jewelry, and any ammunition will heat up faster than your birth certificate, but slower than the wooden stock in the same safe.

MaterialSpecific Heat Capacity {J/Kg°K}
(Heat Needed for 1 Degree Temp. Rise)
Wood (oak)2000

If you’re relying on fast fire department response for fire protection, keep in mind that some of your valuables will heat up faster than others.  The lower the specific heat capacity, the faster it will heat up.  Notice that the lead, copper jackets, and brass casing of ammunition will heat up much faster than other materials in a fire.  This is yet another reason not to put ammo in the same gun safe as your guns.

Gun safes offer poor protection from fire heat and humidity, as the primary means of protection is the release of steam.  If you have valuables which you want to protect from fire, you should put them in a fire rated safe designed for that purpose.  

That means UL 72 Class 350 for paper documents, and Class 150 or 125 for sensitive media like family photos, 8 mm films, 35 mm slides and negatives, electronic disks, etc.. For an added layer of protection you can put that small fire rated safe in the bottom of your fire lined gun safe, although that may put it at higher risk of theft.

Back to the Beginning

What do you think?  Leave a comment below, your thoughts are welcome.

Now you may be thinking that you want better protection than an average gun safe but have a tight budget.

For cheap ways you can protecting your guns, read 100 Money-Saving Ways to Protect Your Guns, the next article in this series.


Now you may be thinking that you need better protection than an average gun safe but have a tight budget.

For cheap ways you can protecting your guns, read 100 Money-Saving Ways to Protect Your Guns, the next article in this series.

Pages: 1 2 3

What do you think? Leave a comment below, your thoughts are welcome.


  1. Excellent article, many good points I hadn’t thought of. I would like to point out that citing burglary vs fire incidences without knowing whether guns were stolen is meaningless. It is very possible that a home is burglarized but the guns inside even the cheapest Stack-On safe weren’t made off with, whereas if someone has a house fire, their guns are toast unless, and occasionally even if, they have the best safe money can buy.

    • Good point J. In most burglaries, no guns are taken. Guns are stolen in 4% of reported burglaries; then only 17% of stolen guns are recovered. There aren’t any statistics on what percentage of home fires result in damage to guns. So any comparison to burglaries is going to require lots of assumptions.

      One way to compare the two would be the average damage caused by each. The average loss per reported burglary (2,110,000 in 2012, FBI) is $2,200. The average loss per reported fire is about 9X higher at $19,000. So, you’re about 6X likely to have a reported burglary than a reported house fire, but on average a house fire does 9X more damage. Guns are stolen in about 4% of burglaries, but probably damaged in a higher percentage of fires as you pointed out. On the other hand they may not be completely damaged by a fire (need a new scope or stock), but when they’re stolen they’re completely gone.

      To add another wrinkle, there are no loss stats which include gun safes. For example, how many of the 4% of burglaries where guns were stolen involved defeating a gun safe? It’s really easy to get lost in statistics.

      Which risk (burglary or fire) gets someone’s attention probably has something to do with personality. The burglary/home fire comparison is similar to saying that motorcycles are involved in far fewer accidents, but motorcycle accidents are more deadly. Some people are more comfortable with a severe risk which is unlikely compared to a lower risk which happens all the time.

      Thanks for the great comment!

      • The point that he was trying to make was not that anyway, so not sure why you brought that up?

        The point he was trying to make was that water caused the most damage and was more frequent.

        So to say he was wrong in his statistics is not correct, because fire to theft was NOT what he was trying to compare.

        If he was comparing theft to fire, than your comment would be valid. But since he was really comparing flooding / water damage to both theft and fire, your comments regarding his statistics simply do not apply.

        With that said, it was still an interesting point on it’s own merit, but was no need to make it look as if he didn’t know what he was talking about.

        Statistics are always misleading and another variable left out was this. What percentage of homes burglarized were NOT because of a known gun safe in use?

        And was only 4% where guns taken because only 4% had guns to be taken, making it 100% positive that a house with guns will lose them?

        It’s VERY complicated, but his point was made regardless of the statistics, which was, be more worried about water then theft or fire.

        One thing that SHOULD have been talked about more was the smoke damage. Adding on that a simple gun sock or any protective material will prevent the smoke from destroying the finish, was a must but omitted 🙂

  2. I think your very first point in interesting. As you say, a fireproof safe might help. However, I think many people buy a fireproof safe with the idea that it is totally immune to fire. Thank you for going into the importance of fire ratings, as it is important to understand that the term “fireproof” is relative.

  3. Fantastic website!

    If the concrete is a good fire-proofer, would something like fire bricks inside a job site box help in a fire?

    • Interesting idea. The concrete in poured fire safe linings is mixed with other things that give it more fire resistance. The three physics principles behind its fire protection are Thermal Mass, Thermal Conductivity, and Latent Heat of Vaporization. This comment sums up some fire safe concrete additives. How would fire or refractory bricks stack up?
      – Thermal Mass: The fire bricks will certainly add some Thermal Mass to the walls of a job box. This means it will take longer to heat up the contents in a fire.
      – Thermal Conductivity: Fire bricks are made to insulate heat, which is a plus. However, if you just line the interior of a job box with fire bricks, there isn’t much stopping the air from transferring heat between the hot outer shell and the inside contents. True fire safes have a continuously welded liner, which helps separate the hot air and gasses in the fire lining from the inside.
      – Latent Heat of Vaporization: Fire bricks are made to withstand high temperatures without falling apart. Concrete fireproofing amalgamates use additives which contain some bonded water, like Vermiculite and Perilite. In a fire, these water molecules change phase to steam. In the process of changing to steam, the materials absorb heat (like an air conditioner evaporator) but are also destroyed. Fire bricks don’t offer this type of protection, otherwise they’d be single use only.
      – Door Seal: Job boxes do not have an intumescent fire seal (like Palusol). The lids aren’t usually designed for these types of seals. So a job box will not be able to seal out hot gasses very well in a fire.
      – On the plus side, job boxes are much lower to the ground than a typical vertical gun safe. Since there is a huge temperature difference from the floor to the ceiling in a fire, this could buy you some time.
      – Fire Insulation Thickness: The lid of a job box is the highest point, and would need the most protection. Practically, hanging fire bricks on the lid would take some work and make the lid much heavier. If you slam the lid, you won’t want one of the bricks cracking loose and damaging your guns.

      It’s hard to say how much protection the fire bricks would provide. Without a fire liner, it might be marginal. Some other low-cost options for gun fire protection include high temperature fiberglass insulation like Sturdy Safe uses, sheetrock/fiberglass-reinforced sheetrock, installing a sprinkler head, etc..

      All in all, it depends how much protection you’re looking for. It’s good to remember that fire protection will eat up room inside. Job boxes and gun safes fill up quickly. Many rifles with barrels over 22″, and assembled hunting-length shotguns, will have to go in a 48″ job box on a diagonal if fire proofing is added.

  4. Jennifer says

    I would like to give my appreciation for the insight provided in this article. For those not familiar with the regulations and standard guidelines that exist or rather do not exist this sheds light to the consumer in a very direct and informative manner. Thank you!

  5. Danny Dabney says

    Good article, the one thing I did want to note is the temperatures involved. I had a small business near town. I got a call 1 am of a fire. When I pulled up the fire was already out. The fire chief finished his calculations on the fire. A spark from the fuse box started the fire. But the fire smoltered for about an hour with temps above 900 degrees. The roof had little damage, the compressor exploded and that is what got the fire going. The compressor was 30 feet from the fire. I’d be wondering what my guns would have looked like in a safe. Gooday..

  6. FYI, you can go to the UL website and see what safes are UL 72 Listed and see where the manufacturer is located. http://www.ul.com

    Find: Resources: On-Line Certifications Directory at the bottom of the UL home page, right side of page. This will take you to the UL search page.

    Type in RYPH for the UL Category Code for the search of UL 72 Listed products.

  7. Great article, lots of good points……I bought a Griffin concrete gun safe a few years ago and I love it! I feel like I have the best of both worlds fire protection and burglar protection. Mike the owner is very knowledgeable about all types of safes so you will get a good education on safes just by stopping by. I truly feel like he has the best gun safe on the market. I watched his YouTube video before I went in to look at his safes and I had already made my mind that I had to have a griffin safe before I ever went in to his show room. If you are interested in a gun safe I would take a look at his videos you will be glad you did. http://www.griffinsafes.com/youtube-video.html

  8. I was thinking about putting some ammo in the bottom of my safe for a few reasons:
    1. I need a spacer as some of my long guns are too short to reach the barrel holders.
    2. Even though the safe is bolted down, added weight wouldn’t hurt anything.
    3. More theft protection. A couple of surplus cans filled to the brim is a few hundred dollars.

    This article has somewhat changed my mind. Although since I keep all my ammo in 30 and 50 cal boxes, I was thinking that the airtight seal and the metal of the can would contain any explosions. So now I’m on the verge.

  9. Good article, that offers plenty to consider. I will however give you one reason why some of us want to store ammo in a safe.

    Everyone’s specific needs will vary. In my household environment, I’m not overly worried about theft, nor keeping ammo out of the hands of children. My main concern IS that of a fire, and I’ll quickly point out that it has nothing to do with actually saving my ammo in a fire. Heck, I’ll have many more things to be concerned with, than replacing my ammo.

    In the event of a house fire, I want the firemen to fight the fire to their full ability, in hopes of saving as much of my possessions and house as possible. Yeah, we’ve got insurance, but everyone knows there will be plenty of out of pocket expense even with great fire insurance. Then there’s the irreplaceable items that you hope are never lost to a fire, many of which that don’t fit into household sized safe.

    Mind you, the severity of home fires varies widely. However, after talking with a number of firefighting professionals about this issue, I’m of the opinion that many firefighters are use to hearing ammo bake off in a fire. It does make them nervous. Some firefighters might back out of the fire. However, my impression is that most will continue to fight the fire. However, if there are larger amounts of ammo continuing to bake off, then I believe most firemen will pull back. This is realistic scenario that I don’t want to face; where I watch my house burn to the ground because firemen decided there were excessive risks to them from ammunition baking off. It’s an occurrence that does happen.

    Obviously, firemen will be especially watchful of a fires proximity to the garage, which they know will have plenty of gasoline, etc. If you’re at home during a fire, you may be asked about explosive materials located in your house, including guns/ammo. From my discussions with firemen, I’m fairly convinced that an answer of “YES” to the question of chambered rounds in guns that are within the proximity of a fire, will cause most fire departments to back away from a fire after everyone is safely out of the house.

    So with all that in mind, I decided to store my bulk quantities of ammo in a fire resistant safe that’s dedicated just to ammo. Obviously, this is for containment purposes. The added security benefits of a safe is just a slight bonus for me. However, it does help me keep all my ammo organized in one spot… and admittedly, that’s helpful to me.

    Depending on where a fire is located and how big it gets, hopefully a fire rated safe will significantly delay, or completely prevent ammo from baking off in a fire while the firemen do their job. If I get asked the question from firemen about explosive materials in the house, I can tell them my ammo is secured in a safe where if it does start to bake off, it’ll be contained. Likewise, I can tell them exactly where all the ammo is, and they can decide if they want to give the safe some additional attention with a hose.

    I just can’t imagine having to face myself and my family, telling them we lost everything when the Fire Dept let my house burn to the ground… just because my ammo stash started baking off, and drove them from the house. I’m sure the insurance company would be none to thrilled with that knowledge either.

    Lastly, for me, this means keeping my safe in the basement. It gets located in corner with concrete walls, away from potential fire sources (furnace, hot water heater, workshop). Certainly, I could also make a fire resistant container for storing ammo. For me however, the safe is a better option for several reasons which I won’t delve into, as this has already gotten to be a bit lengthy.

    • Hi Don,
      Thanks so much for your detailed comment! I tend to leave long web comments too; guess I’m not cut out for the twitter/texting generation.

      I absolutely agree with everything you said. After going back and rereading this section, I realized I hadn’t made the distinction here. Namely that the warning doesn’t apply to storing ammo in a different container than the items you’re trying to protect. I mentioned storing ammo in a separate Job Box or Decoy Safe in Money-Saving Ways to Protect Your Guns, but not here where people would be looking for it.

      Thanks for catching that, and helping other gun owners figure out how to protect their arms!

  10. G’day,

    This is something I have wondered about for some time. I eventually bought an old bank vault. It weighs 1 ton empty and has composite layers in the walls for security and possibly fire resistance.100mm thick walls with 130mm in the door. I am hoping it is fairly fire proof.
    Anyone have a rough idea how fire proof this might be?
    It is installed in the garage simply because it required a tractor to install it.

  11. Great article and I completely understand all the negative and possitive things about safes. However, despite all negative ones, I am planning to buy a fire resistant safe. As we say in Russia огнестойкий сейф является лучшим! Wich means they are really the best. 🙂 Just in case…

  12. Tedd Johnston says

    Champion claims to have several containers with UL 72 ratings, but I cannot find Champion listed in the UL database.


    • The UL 72 web database is unfortunately unreliable. Searches I’ve done for known UL 72 firesafes have returned cryptic entries, or none depending on the search term. It’s a nice thing if you can find a web database entry, but you can trust a UL placard on the door (from an established firm).

      Many manufacturers aren’t completely straightforward in their advertising and marketing. But forging an industry standard third-party safety certification is another matter altogether. I assume that could be potentially company-ending liability in the litigious US.

  13. The recent horrible wildfires in California have shown that if you live in such an areas your home may burn completely the ground, the fire may go on for hours, if not days, and that firefighters may only get to it after the fire has burned itself out. Is there any safe that withstand such an inferno?

  14. I live in CA and am concerned that one day I will be in a fire zone. Thoughts or recommendations on an underground safe? Maybe constructing a small concrete bunker in the garage for valuables? All of the reviews and blogs tell me that a fireproof safe will fail in a house fire due to time or temperature. Sounds like a waste?

    • You don’t have to live in a Urban Interface or wildland area to have a fire conflagration. Just a few that will aid are wind, lack of water and resources, and or close proximity to your neighbors home. I wouldn’t pick the garage for a fire safe but maybe a bunker, they usually have a higher and hotter fire load stored in them. For your “have to save” you may want to look at a ul fireproof media safe.

  15. Chuck Mullen says

    Jaime, do you have a specific recommendation on how to store ammunition in order to keep fire first responders safe? I have storage solutions for my guns, but would like to store ammunition separately, with an eye to fireman safety. Thanks for your great website, and any guidance you can provide.

  16. Lol. You lost me with your statistics. 3/4 of all reported burglaries are outside the home and in automobiles. I have had to cut open numerous gun safes and have been surprised at how well they work. Water from the firefighters cause more damage than the fire. Even cheap Walmart sentry safes tend to survive fires. The trick is in the time rating. Anything under a hour I have not seen survive.

  17. Very informative. Thank you

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