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View Full Version : Tradeoff: Interior space vs. Fire protection


esskay
01-11-2007, 1:14 AM
Question for the forum:

If you have some limitations on the exterior size of a safe, how would you trade off interior space vs. fire protection?

In other words, keeping the exterior size of safe constant, you can either get it with fire protection and lose interior space (i.e. fewer guns will fit!) ... or get it without fire protection and gain additional space (more Guns guns guns!!).

Assume the cost of adding fire protection is not an issue here. What trade off would you make?

Oh, assume also that you live 10 blocks from a fire station! :p

Appreciate people's thoughts! Thanks.

Wulf
01-11-2007, 7:04 AM
That's really all up to you. But I can tell you that I get a significant sense of security from the fact that my safe's firelined, and bolted to the slab on an exterrior wall.

There's one other thing to consider. If you're a business owner you can use your fire safe as a storage location for documents and computer archives nessary to your ongoing concern which makes the safe a deduction. There have also been guys that have snaked a firewire cable into their fire safe and put a back up HDD in there connected to their network doing automatic backups.

Scarecrow Repair
01-11-2007, 9:01 AM
There have also been guys that have snaked a firewire cable into their fire safe and put a back up HDD in there connected to their network doing automatic backups.
This most probably is NOT protected from the heat of a fire. Almost every safe I have seen brags about keeping the contents to 350F or so for half an hour, an hour, whatever. Solder flows at 360F. That HDD will not survive a fire.

I have only heard of two exceptions. One is the safe I have, Hall's, which has no holes to the outside. They claim to keep contents below 140F for an hour, precisely because it is hermetically sealed.

The other brand I have forgotten, but they also claimed to be hermetically sealed.

350F is fine for paper. It is deadly for electronnics.

socalsteve
01-11-2007, 12:24 PM
Ditto in order to save computer tapes and such you need a media safe - the ones I have seen have a second door behind the first and the fireproofing is much thicker I think they are rated at approx. 140 degrees vs. 350 degrees - you lose a lot more interior space.

To the original question - I JUST made this decision for myself.

Trade-off between innner space with & without firelining given that I did not want the exterior to be above a certain size (footprint).

My first consideration was Sturdy Safe because with their firelining you don't lose as much as with some other firelings - but with most firelined safes you get a thin outer metal skin. If you go to a TL rated safe that is firelined you lose a lot of interior space.

My decision was to get a TL 30 safe with no fireproofing

It has 1 inch thick steel plate on all 6 sides - no fireproofing but I am building a closet around it and I can fire line the exterior if I want - which at this point I don't know how to do but I am sure I could figure out a way to slow the heat buildup.

Plus, I live about 1.5 miles from a fire station and the avg. time from receiving a call for a fire to extinguishing it in my area is 23 minutes. I do not have to worry about brush fires or the kind of fire that just burned down those houses in Malibu. A total burn down would mean a serious SHTF end of gov't for weeks situation.

There are advantages and disadvantages to not having the fire lining - in a sustained fire my contents are at risk but this safe weighs 3,700+ lbs so I don't need to bolt it down.

I am going to put a smaller fire lined safe inside it to hold important papers and small articles.

My safe size interior is 68 h x 34 w x 27 d so I can fit a small fireproof safe inside and I am buidling my shelves on the bottom - the longest guns I am storing are 48" so I have 20 inches at the bottom for a small safe and shelves.

In a fire the top heats up first - the top of my safe will have rifle and shotgun barrels in it - this also gives me additional time = protection in a fire. Most gun safes put your most flamable stuff in shelves at the top!

I still have to wait another week for it to be deliverred! A long week!

surprised
01-12-2007, 12:31 AM
To the original question - I JUST made this decision for myself.

Trade-off between innner space with & without firelining given that I did not want the exterior to be above a certain size (footprint).

I have similar constraints, but have not finalized my decision. I am far more concerned about burglary-resistance and space than fire. First, because I live in the middle of town, with a fire station less than half a mile away, and no forests. Second, because I don't have anything that is irreplaceable (collector pieces).

So I am inclined to forgo the fire-resistance, and put money into thicker metal plates.

My decision was to get a TL 30 safe with no fireproofing[...]
It has 1 inch thick steel plate on all 6 sides
Wow! Sounds like TL-30x6. You mentioned it was used, in the other thread. Are more available?

odysseus
01-12-2007, 1:47 AM
We have some high-rollers in the house! TL-30x6 safes large enough to store a collection of guns or rifles is down right BIG money. And then installing this into ones home? We got some ballers in 'da house.:D

socalsteve
01-12-2007, 12:29 PM
I didn't see any more avaiable at this size and price.

I got it for $3099 + tax + moving but I figure I'll have it forever so I spent the extra money.

In reality 2 of the Winchester safes from Sam's club would probably be OK and this is most likely overkill but its already done.

They did have a Japanese Fire resistant office safe - looks sort of like the colbalt fire resistant office safes (google cobalt safes - or try ebay).

It was close to this size but because of the fire resistance you lost a lot of interior space + it doesn't have 1 inch steel plate sides - still for most homes its probably enough. It was $2500 and had double doors and two drawers built in the bottom. I think it was inside 63 h x 34 w x 17.5 d and approx. 1400 lbs. It was my second choice.

odysseus
01-12-2007, 2:09 PM
What's the brand? You have me curious now. That seems like quite a good deal from what I have seen TL 30x6 safes priced at. This is a high-security safe and has a lot of features to them for the rating. It's a jeweler's type of safe.

surprised
01-12-2007, 4:13 PM
I didn't see any more avaiable at this size and price.
I got it for $3099 + tax + moving but I figure I'll have it forever so I spent the extra money.


Excellent deal! That's the nature of used safes - they can be gotten at a good price, if you are at the right place at the right time. And it should last forever...

socalsteve
01-12-2007, 4:39 PM
I think it is a "Major"?

It won't be deliverred for another week. But, it was advertised as a TL-30 jewlers safe and does have a bunch of not to good looking metal shelves inside.

I tried to load 2 pictures of it - I don't think I got it right but here goes.

Nope didn't work - I've got to figure out how to load the picture form my PC to these msg's.

edited to add: It was not advertised as a TL-30x6 just TL-30?

surprised
01-12-2007, 6:28 PM
edited to add: It was not advertised as a TL-30x6 just TL-30?
So it is probably a TL-30. Because all six sides have the same thickness, I assumed that if the door is rated TL30, then the sides would as well. But maybe it doesn't work that way.

Satex
01-12-2007, 8:25 PM
Back to your original question, I think fire protection is important - very important and I would forgo a bit of volume for added fire protections. But that is just me.