Statistically speaking, you're more likely to experience a property-damaging fire than burglary, which is why Safe and Vault Store offers a wide selection of fireproof safes. If you live in a high crime area, you have the option of a high-security safe. If you want to cover all contingencies, combination burglar / fire safes are available. For the average homeowner, however, fire is a greater threat than theft.
In the United States in 2015, over $14 billion worth of valuables were lost in house fires, with almost 100,000 houses burning down across the country. And with the threat of wildfire likely to continue increasing in the West, there isn’t a better time to invest in fire safety. Unlike a typical burglar safe, most fire safes are much smaller, and often locked with a relatively simple combination lock, to provide some resistance to theft while still maintaining easy access for valuables and important paperwork.
Once the threat of burning has passed, firefighting itself also poses a risk for documents, with the sprinklers and fire hoses flooding the room and soaking its contents. Our fire safes also protect against this, with water-resistant and waterproof chest safes designed to protect against both fire and flooding to keep your most important papers intact and readable after the disaster.
Fireproof Safe Considerations
The primary purpose of a fireproof safe is to protect important paper documents, such as passports, birth certificates, and legal papers. Because they are not designed to protect against theft, fireproof safes are not appropriate storage options for expensive items such as jewelry.
If you plan on storing electronic media in a fireproof safe, be sure the safe is designed to protect electronics. Unless the safe's description specifically states it protects electronic media, flash drives and other electronics won't survive a fire.
Understanding Fireproof Safe Ratings
Fireproof safes are, more accurately, fire resistant. Fire ratings reveal how long the safe protects paper contents from a specific temperature over a set period of time, such as 30 minutes at 1,500 degrees. A safe's fire rating will be clearly displayed on the safe's door.
Fire ratings range from 30 minutes to 2 hours. We recommend a rating of at least 60 minutes for optimum protection. In addition, look for fire ratings that are K.I.S (Korean) or U.L. (United States) certified. These two companies have some of the strictest fire ratings in the world, and their certifications ensure you'll receive a durable and fire resistant safe.
Fireproof / Waterproof Safes
Despite an old saying, it's most effective to fight fire with water. Paper, unfortunately, is as vulnerable to water damage as it is to fire. To truly protect your sensitive documents, you need a fireproof / waterproof safe.
Waterproof safes are often sold on their ability to withstand floods and total immersion. In most situations, however, a water resistant safe protects against water used to fight fires, so ideally you need a combination fireproof / waterproof safe.
A waterproof safe should be independently certified as water resistant for a certain number of hours and to a certain depth. While it's unlikely a home safe will spend hours underwater, it can happen during floods, and waterproof certification at such depths is a good indication the safe will survive being doused during a fire.
To discover which type of safe best suits your needs, call one of our helpful, qualified staff at 1-800-207-2259 today!