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Can Safes Be Fire Resistant?

Here at Simply Safes, we often get asked if our safes are fire resistant.

Here is a helpful buying guide to help you through the myriad of choice, when buying a fireproof safe for the home or office.

It is worth bearing in mind at this stage, a good starting point is to choose from the three types of protection available:

  • Documents - paper is damaged at temperatures of 177℃ and above
  • Digital media - CDs, DVDs and USB memory sticks become corrupt around 65℃
  • Magnetic media - DAT, DLT, LTO, ZIP and film are damaged at 50℃ or above

Paper gets damaged at a higher temperature in a fire than the other two types of media. Magnetic media in comparison, gets damaged at the lowest temperature and subsequently these types of safes have much thicker walls and are heavier.

How are safes tested for fire?

Safes are tested in a very scientific way to ascertain the period of the time that items inside are protected for. The safe is placed inside a furnace, while it reaches the temperature for the test. Once the temperature for the test is reached, the timer is started. Usual testing periods of time are 60 minutes, 90 minutes and 120 minutes. Sensors are placed inside the safe to check what level the temperature reaches, the temperature that is being checked for will be dependant upon what type of media the test is for.

Some manufacturers will test the safe further by dropping it from a specified height to simulate it falling through the floor of a building.

Different testing laboratories will test safes for fire in slightly different ways and we elaborate on the different tests available below.

Fireproof Safes

Yale Fireproof Medium Fire Safe

Are fire resistant safes also waterproof?

It is more common for models that are sold in the USA to feature both water protection and fire resistant. These are products from Sentry Safe and Masterlock. You might see what look like seals on other models these are not waterproof. Please see our specific section on waterproof safes.

Will pearls be protected by fire?

Pearls are very unique and are made by living organisms. If you store pearls in a safe it would not be protected from fire as they damage at such a low temperature. They also do not favour the very dry environment inside of a fire safe. You might want to consult a jewellery specialist as to how best store them securely when not wearing them.

What happens if I place my fire safe on an upper floor?

In the event of a fire and your safe is on an upper floor it might be wise to consider a model that has been drop tested. This is where the safe is put through the normal fire test and then dropped from a specific height. The drop test simulates a fire safe falling through a floor to the floor below and remain intact to keep the contents protected.

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