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Firearms Accessories: Holsters, Safes, Lights & more If it locks up, carries, fits on to or cleans up your firearms, discuss it here.

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  #1  
Old 03-05-2005, 8:33 PM
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How important is fireproofing in a safe to you? I'm just not sold on it at the moment so I thought I'd ask for some opinions to see if there is something I'm not considering.
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Old 03-05-2005, 8:33 PM
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How important is fireproofing in a safe to you? I'm just not sold on it at the moment so I thought I'd ask for some opinions to see if there is something I'm not considering.
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Old 03-06-2005, 8:07 AM
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First off, NO safe is fireproof, they are at best fire rated. For the most part safes are rated at 1,200 degrees F for 30 minutes. Some of the more expensive safes are 1,500 degrees F at 30 minutes. These ratings are for OUTSIDE temperatures NOT inside.

The above would translate to about 300 to 350 degrees inside.
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Old 03-06-2005, 9:43 AM
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Yes I agree. I didn't mean to imply fireproofing made it "fireproof". Rather how important is a fire rating to you in a gun safe?

Since there are no standards for measuring fire ratings and most home fires would most likely exceed the fire ratings anyway I'm not sure the extra money is worth it. Safe salesmen always make a case for fire rated safes. I understand salesmanship and greater profit margins! I'm more interested in real world.
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Old 03-06-2005, 1:03 PM
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I went the fireproof route only because it added to the static weight of the safe.

When San Diego was ravaged by wildfires last year, I chose to empty the safe of all but a few items when we were forced to evacuate.
I wouldn't want to test any safe's claim to it's resistance to fire and heat.
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Old 03-06-2005, 1:37 PM
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That's a good point and I took the weight into account. I figure bolting it to the foundation is about as good as it's going to get as I have to go with a smaller safe, something like a Sentry 7/14 or Stack On 16 gun safe. Theses are only around 400 pounds. Still doing some shopping.
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Old 03-06-2005, 5:19 PM
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I've been led to believe that fire resistant safes work by giving off water vapor as steam to cool the interior of the safe? If this is true, wouldn't it have a deleterious effect on steel?
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Old 03-06-2005, 6:25 PM
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Yes most fire proofing is done with gypsum board and it's moisture rentention is what combats the fire. And yes moisture vapor isn't generally good for steel guns but the fire would be worse so it's sorta a lesser of two evils. I understand there are different insulations on the market that some safe manufacturers use. As I said earlier there isn't a standard for measurement or fire insulation. I guess if you expect a fire or have the budget for fire isulation then it's worth it. For 50 years I've never had a home fire or bugulary (knock on wood). I'm just looking for a secure place to consolidate my guns and provide some measure of safety.
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Old 03-07-2005, 5:23 PM
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Better safes have an Omega certification, not just a factory rating.

My Nat'l Security does (IIRC) 1650deg for 45+ min, which means the interior doesn't rise above 325deg F.

Prob my plastic guns are warped if it went on this long. Wood grips, etc. prob dried out too.

But my AR and FAL receivers, politically unreplaceable, will be fine

As it is, my townhouse has a sprinkler system. That will be one sprayed-down gunsafe as it's right under one and 'in view' of a 2nd sprinkler too.


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Old 03-07-2005, 5:25 PM
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Better safes have an Omega certification, not just a factory-specified rating.

Top-end safes can also have ceramic liners in addition to firerock liner.

My Nat'l Security does (IIRC) 1650deg for 45+ min, which means the interior doesn't rise above 325deg F.

Prob my plastic guns are warped if it went on this long. Wood grips, etc. prob dried out too.

But my AR and FAL receivers, politically unreplaceable, will be fine

As it is, my townhouse has a sprinkler system. That will be one sprayed-down gunsafe as it's right under one and 'in view' of a 2nd sprinkler too.


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Old 03-07-2005, 6:49 PM
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Like Bill said, the best safes have Omega ratings from independent lab testing, where their are specific testing methods so the safe maker cannot "cheat" the test and claim a higher number than what the safe can actually take. Fire protection was a secondary factor to security for me when I bought my parents a Liberty Safe.
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Old 03-13-2005, 12:13 PM
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Like Bill said...twice...

I have a safe made by a welder friend. It was my first one. Not insulated for fire what-so-ever. I keep some of my ammo, my .22 rifles and pellet guns in there as well as a couple of other misc. items.

I purchased a real-live gun safe with a fire rating.
I wanted the extra time in event of a fire, but also wanted the security of the big, heavy safe.
I had a place in my house I chose to put it for two reasons...
-It's out of the way in an area that offers concealment from casual view.
-It's in a part of the structure where I hope any fire or earthquake damage will be the least.
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:00 AM
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I bought fire-resistant safe at Fry's not too long ago. I keep some documents in it, along with ammunition. My first reason for having the safe was to protect everyone else from possible danger if ammo was heated during a fire. 2nd was to then protect vital documents. The safe is also set up in a way were it can be easily be hoisted out of the room and into the backyard. Which doesn't keep it safe from burglary, but that's not why I bought the safe.

Which I guess makes less sense.
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Old 03-14-2005, 7:05 AM
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Okay I think I'm going to go with a Cannon safe. Fire resistant and more features than I originally thought I'd be interested in. Everyone keeps saying buy bigger than you need so I guess thats the justifiction. Still researching but I like the warranty that Cannon offers.
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Old 03-14-2005, 9:09 AM
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Ralph,

Depends on how price sensitive you are, but the Canon safes I've seen are mostly only 12ga steel boxes. A few might be 11ga, dunno.

10ga is a little better and 3/16" better yet.
Take a look at Liberty Safe mid/upper models, National Security and Ft. Knox.


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Old 03-14-2005, 2:50 PM
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I got a Browning "16 Gun" safe.
I was trying to follow the, 'get a bigger safe than you think you'll need' philosophy...didn't work

Turns out I keep buying more guns!

I'm glad I had the safe my friend welded up for me.

I can see that I could easily use a safe twice the size of the safe I bought thinking it would be twice the size of any safe I would need!
Hope you followed that alright

Get a bigger safe than you can afford or think you need X2!

Seriously, you need to take a good look at the different size safes out there, even if you think, "Aww, I'll never own 32 guns!".
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Old 03-14-2005, 3:57 PM
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bwiese Iappreciate your comments. Bottom line is most safes out there are LOCKBOXES. Hell my csr door is thicker than all this stuff. I've done enough steetmetal fabrication to know me and my metal saw can make short work of 10ga and thinner metal.

Realistically I'm not looking for a box that can't be broken into but rather keeping the honest to semi-honest away from any accidents.

Originally I was looking at Stack On 7/14 convertable interior. Now leaning towards Cannon 60x30x24 #C23($900) still planning on a closet installation. It's alittle bigger, heavier, fire resistent, better lock etc.

My budget is $1K. I'll look into the others but I think they are more expensive.

I'm a pistol shooter and doubt my long gun collection will ever get much bigger than it is now.
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Old 04-16-2005, 4:31 PM
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Okay guys here's a follow up, BTW thanks for all the advise. I bought a safe larger than I needed and went with the fireproofing. After doing some research I purchased a Cannon safe from U.S.Safe Company at 951-461-6994.

Their service was very professional, delivery was super quick and reasonable. The owner has models listed on eBay all the time. The warranty is outstanding and the prices are competitive.

The Cannon safe at my range was flooded when the Chino dam over flowed. It has to be drilled out and cut open as the water damaged the lock. Cannon picked it up and is replacing the safe under warranty.

All I can tell you is if your shopping for a safe give U.S.Safe Company some consideration you should be happy with their product and service.
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