A Fireproof wall safe is something most people would really like until you start looking at costs.
A professionally installed safe built to withstand anything including an explosion like the one shown to the left would be great wouldn’t it?
but realistically unless you are rich a built in super safe is just not a possibility.
So what do you do, just give up on the idea and hope you will never need it?
I believe that fireproof safes are a good investment and that there are affordable solutions for your particular need.
Why would You Need a Fireproof Wall Safe?
It would be nice to go back in time to 50 years ago to an era where people left their doors open, left their keys in the care and didn’t worry about someone thefts is yours. People were more honest then, I think, or at least the thieves lived by a code of conduct. In any case we have to be realistic. Crime is everywhere.
- Federal Government Statistics in from 2017 alone report that 21 people out of a 1000 are victimized by home burglaries. And 2017 was lower than previous years reported. Don’t know what 2018 will be like but home burglaries are a problem in today’s world. Add to this thought that seemingly low number does not include unreported burglaries.
- According to safewise.com in 2018 a burglary took place every 18 seconds in the United States. That adds up to 4800 burglaries every day.
- According to Nationwide Insurance “on average a home burglary results in a dollar loss of about $1,600”. No wonder so many people are reconsidering ways to protect their home and property.
- Sure your home may never be burglarized but if it is you will just be one of the many who are victims of crime. And when you become a victim of theft you regret taking steps to protect the things that cannot be replaced.
Why wait to protect your important papers, policies, photos and valuables just because you don’t know where to go to get a fireproof safe?
Initially I really wanted a Fireproof wall safe –
My thinking is that it would help you protect the things that cannot be replaced and the fact that a wall safe added extra protection because it would be installed in the wall keeping thieves from gaining access to it; unable to just pick it up and carry it a way with all your valuables.
But, any good fireproof safe can offer the same degree of protection as a wall safe for two reasons–
- Good quality Fireproof safes are built with an inner thermal material similar to concrete this with the added weight of a steel inner and outer wall that make them very heavy. That means most cannot be just carried away to bust open later.
- Good Quality safes are made so that you can bolt them to the floor or wall adding the same protection as a wall safe.
What Do You Need to Protect With a Fireproof Safe
Legal zoom has some great insight to what you must keep in a fireproof safe.
- “Current insurance policies”
- “Passports and original birth certificates”
- “A list of your family doctors” and prescriptions with all contact information.
- Digital copies of your family photos and hard drive backups for your computer. **Be aware that DVD’s and computer disks can not handle temperatures above 125 degrees F without melting so a fire safe may not protect them.**
- Safety deposit keys and important papers related to bank accounts, investments and retirement plans.
- Information on any debt includes loans, due dates and contact information.
- Original Social Security cards.
- A copy of your will and any important legal documents.
Other things that you can store in your safe – any valuables that you don’t normally use including firearms.
- Firearms especially will cause you trouble if they are stolen and used in the act of a crime.
- Even though you are a law-abiding firearms owner you can be charged in some states just for not storing it safely.
- Who wants to think about something that they owned ruined someone else life. Protect it and safe yourself the grief.
Solutions – What Do You need to Look for in a Fireproof Safe.
Understanding Fire Ratings – A safe fire rating is its “ability to last through a fire and keep an internal temperature (inside the safe) of the industry standard of less than 350°” (deansafe.com). Safes are rated at 30, 60, 75, 90, and 120 minutes.
According to the Livesafe Foundation – “Most house fires burn at an average of 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit”. “Industry representatives indicate that in a house fire, a room will burn for about 20 minutes” (https://fire9prevention.wordpress.com/). So choose wisely when you decide which safe to purchase. Higher ratings = higher costs + better protection.
What size safe do you really need? A simple way to figure this out is to put everything you want to protect in a pile and measure it. Write down the height (Ht) width (W) and depth (D)This should give you an idea of how big your safe should be. Look for a safe that has at least the same dimensions as the items you want to protect.
Is the safe waterproof? Water is used to fight fires and they use a lot of it! Make sure that the safe you have chosen is waterproof. It would be terrible for your documents to survive the high temperatures of the fire only to be ruined with the water that they used to put out the fire.
What kind of security does the safe offer? This is important, you want the safe to be as burglar proof as possible. On the average most thieves spend less than 10 minutes in your home, they want to get in and out fast. And, the first place they go to search is typically the bedroom. The type of security your safe offers is just as important as its fire rating.
UL Rated RSC (Residential Security Container) Burglary Safes – These are safes that have passed UL testing that “resist at least 5 minutes of attack using tools such as: hammers, chisels, adjustable wrenches, pry bars, punches and screwdrivers.”
Why Not Use A Gun Safe To Protect Your Valuables?
There is a difference between a gun safe and a fireproof safe for your valuable. I didn’t know this at first but generally gun safes are not fireproofed.
Where fireproof rated burglary safes are made with steel inner and outer walls with a composite between, the typical gun safe is made with an outer steel shell lined on the inside with drywall, and no inner steel. “Drywall is a poor insulator compared to the poured-in composite” used in fireproof burglary safes.
Before you buy check out the diffences–
The Safe House – The Safe House, has been in business for over 25 years. They sell safes and know all about what to look for in a safe and what to know before you purchase a safe. Check out their list of 10 things to know before buying a safe. It will give your great insight and help you make a quality decision before you buy.
Buying A Fireproof Safe is a Wise Decison
Sure I wanted a wall safe when I started investigating possible solutions. But in reality I just needed a good quality fireproof safe and a fireproof burglary safe is a worthwhile investment.
Before you make a buying decision–
- Figure out how what size you need. Then buy something just a little bigger.
- Shop around always making sure the safe you pick is fire rated for at least 1 hour.
- Make sure it is a waterproof safe – you wouldn’t want your contents to survive a fire only to be destroyed by the water used to put out the fire.
- Choose the type of lock you want that fits your particular need.
- Make sure it is a UL rated RSC burglary safe.
My needs are not that much and my money is not that much either so I shopped at Amazon yes they are my favorite choice.
My favorite is the Steelwater AMSWEL-530 2-Hour Fireproof Home and Document Safe.
- It has the advantage of a 2-hour fire rating over the 1-hour minimum for best choice fire rating. (2 Hour fire rated at 1850°F)
- It can be bolted to the wall for increased burglary protection.
- It has a lifetime fire and burglary warranty from Steelwater, that includes a 1-year in home repair if needed.
- It offers 0.99 cubic foot of storage on the inside – enough for me.
- Plus the price will not break my bank.
It has been an interesting journey trying to find the perfect fireproof safe for my needs. Hope this article helps you in your search.
If you have any questions or input please ask and I will get back to you asap.