Do fireproof safes really work?


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There has been some controversies over the years on whether fireproof safes are effective or not.

It’s advisable to know whether the fireproof safes one is getting is actually fireproof or just a scam.

Since the main reason they are purchased is to safe guard important documents or appliances from getting damaged by fire. So if they are not actually fireproof, it depicts the idea in the first place.

This article was written to clear all controversies, doubts and to answer the question, “do fireproof safes really work?

6 First Alert 2030F 0.39 Cubic Feet Fire and Water Safe, Grey copy


What are Fireproof Safes?

When you hear the word “fireproof”, what comes to mind? Something that is strong enough to resist fire without getting destroyed. That’s basically what a fireproof safe is. Talking about its structure, a fireproof safe is created with a double wall.

In between those walls is a gap which is usually developed with materials resistant to fire. So when there is a fire, the temperature of the safe is cooled by this fire resistant materials.

Before we say a safe is fireproof, we have to consider a number of things such as:

  • The Type of the steel
  • Thickness of the steel
  • Shape of the door
  • Design of the door
  • Body structure

Through hours of research and surfing, I found out that there are three main types of fireproof safes out there. Let’s quickly look into it:

A. Composite Safes

One of the best fireproof safes since the beginning of 19th century. Its component and compartments made it one of the best in the market. Although it’s composition depends on the brand.

Some may include Alum, gypsum or any other fire resistant material. The composite safe consists of a thin steel wall which accounts for its strength. The reason why this fireproof safe is one of the best is because it is theft and thermal resistant.

B. Fire-board Safes

The fire-board safe is a simple fireproof safe, light and portable. Unlike the former, its fireproof material is a fire-board as implied in its name. It’s a great fireproof safe capable of withstanding fire without getting destroyed.

C. Reinforced Fire-board Safe

This is the third fireproof safe, similar to the former. The only difference is that it was developed with extra layers of fire-board to give it more strength and resistance to both fire and theft.

Also, unlike the former, it’s heavier and less portable. Its thickness makes it less fire resistant than the remaining two types of fireproof safes.

These are the three main fireproof safes which vary in size and composition.

11 First Alert 2087DF Waterproof 1 Hour Fire Safe with Digital Lock, 0.94 Cubic Foot, Gray

Are Fireproof Safes really effective?

Before purchasing a fireproof safe you have to consider what you’re going to be storing inside. Is it papers or digital media such as flash drives or hard disk? In the real sense, fireproof safes aren’t all fireproof.

Yes, they are capable of withstanding fire but it’s only a matter of time before they start to become less effective as a result of constant exposure to heat.

It’s very good to understand everything about a product before purchasing it. Do you know that there is only a slight difference between a normal safe and fireproof safe?

The difference is that fireproof safes are developed with insulating materials in specific components in the safe. It’s more or less like adding extra layers of fire resistant materials to a regular safe to make it a fireproof safe. Simple!

11 Viking Security Safe VS-52BLX Biometric Fingerprint Hidden Wall Safe

Water is different from Fire in so many ways. Although they are both dangerous and can cause destruction of life and property but you’ll agree with me that fire is worse. A fire doesn’t have to start before it is destructive.

According to my thorough research, fumes and heat can be as dangerous. That’s why I said the type of fireproof safe you’re getting should be dependent on the kinds of items you want to store in it.

Fumes alone have the ability to destroy or reduce the quality of the contents of your safe. They can affect your paper, clothings and appliances negatively if not careful. That’s why it’s advisable to place your fireproof safe in the home where fire may not affect it.

Also, digital media stored in a fireproof safe can be affected when exposed to fire. How? When there is a fire there’s always a development of electromagnetic waves. This electromagnetic waves is capable of destroying or corrupting the content of that media storage appliance.

That’s why it’s advisable to consider what you want to store before purchasing a safe. There are fireproof safes designed specifically to store paper documents (such as passports, marriage certificate, birth certificate…), digital media tools (such as USBs, flash drives…) as well as magnetic media (such as video and audio tapes).

However, answering the main question of the day which is “do fireproof safes really work?” It all depends on the composition of the fireproof safe. So before we can conclude that a fireproof safe is fireproof and can withstand or resist fire, it has to be:

Made with good quality materials

This is the first factor that makes a fireproof safe really fireproof. What I mean by quality material is the materials that are actually fire resistant, durable and capable of serving its duty for a fairly long time. That’s quality!

An All-round Safe with A Strong Lock System

A good fireproof safe has to be good all-round, talking about its structure, resistance to fire and also antitheft.

Designed with an extra Intumescent Seal

This is very important component of a good fireproof safe. It helps protect the safe from getting heated up by fire. It works in such a way that it protects the materials in the safe by swelling when there is a fire.

UL Tested

This is the last but not the least important factor. A good fireproof safe has to be “UL tested.” To ascertain whether a fireproof safe is UL tested or not, check the label on the safe. If it says only “UL tested”, it’s most likely a fake. Choose a safe that’s labeled in any of two ways below:

a. Fire resistance fireproof safes tested by UL

Label Style
Classified By
Underwriters Laboratories
Fire Resistance

b. Fire and impact fireproof safes tested by UL

Label Style
Classified By
Underwriters Laboratories
Fire and Impact Resistance



We’ve said a lot about fireproof safes in this article. If we’re going to answer the question, “do fireproof safes really work?” the answer is Yes. However, you have to consider some certain essential factors to ensure that it’s really fireproof. I hope this article has helped cleared doubts and answered the question.

Source: Safetyhub

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Hello, my name is Lisa Thompson and I’m the Founder of Safetyhub, your go-to resource for all things home security and home improvement. In this day and age, security should be your top priority, and that’s exactly why my dedicated team of writers and I offer reliable information pertaining to gun storage, home safes, and so much more. When I’m not running the blog, I enjoy gardening and homesteading. As an avid nature lover, I also love going on camping trips. Currently, I happily reside in the heart of Los Angeles.


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