What is the best fire safe?
There is no safe that protects everything. Even bank vaults can have their contents stolen. The average home safe only keeps valuables in place on a small scale. If the safe is exposed to flooding or flames, your items may be destroyed. If you’re most worried about a fire breaking out, buy a safe.
The best all-purpose fire safe is the Amazon Basics Fire Resistant Security Safe. You will need a more expensive safe to protect against extreme fires, but your items will be protected against average accidents.
What to know before buying a fire safe
Type of lock
Fire safes use one or a combination of lock types.
- Mechanical the locks use keys to access the safe. These are insecure as anyone with the key or sufficient lock picking skills can take your items.
- Coded locks generally use numeric keypads, although a few still use mechanical dials. This is the most common type of lock.
- Advanced locks use methods such as fingerprint or retina scanning to unlock. These are ultra-secure but just as expensive.
Size and storage capacity
Fire safes come in all shapes, sizes and storage capacities. Size and capacity rarely align due to various construction aspects including wall thickness. Think about what you need to store and how much space you have to store your safe before you buy.
What to Look for in a Quality Fire Safe
The degree of protection of a safe against flame is indicated in a mixture of three aspects: time and external and internal temperatures. Some safes only list one or two of these aspects in the product description. The aspects given are usually close estimates. Every fire is different, so your items may be in good condition in less or more condition than stated.
- Time: Most safes offer 20 to 30 minutes of protection. Better safes can protect for one to two hours.
- Outside temperature : Most safes are designed to withstand outside temperatures of 1,000 to 1,500 degrees. The best safes can withstand up to 2,000 degrees. For perspective, burning buildings can reach up to 2,000 degrees.
- Internal temperature: During a fire, most safes maintain internal temperatures of 350 to 150 degrees. The best safes maintain internal temperatures of 100 degrees or less. For perspective: paper documents burn at 350 degrees, digital storage devices start to degrade at 245 degrees, and magnetic storage devices and film start to degrade at 125 degrees.
The best fire safes are submitted by the manufacturer to independent laboratories for testing. The most recognized lab is Underwriters Laboratories – UL certified safes are the best of the best.
Well-rounded fire safes also offer degrees of water resistance or waterproofing. Look for this aspect in the product description. Fair warning, these safes are generally more expensive.
How much you can expect to spend on a fire safe
Basic fire safes with minimal usable protection typically cost $200 or less. Safes with the highest protection ratings start around $500 and reach highs of over $1,000. The average safe costs between $200 and $500.
Fire Safety FAQs
Is there a way to access my safe if I forget its combination?
A. Most safes have a few methods to find the entry if the primary entry method is forgotten or lost. Coded safes usually have an additional mechanical lock that an included key can open; this method certainly adds a point of vulnerability. Most safes also have override codes, and you’ll need to contact the manufacturer and provide proof of ownership to receive it. Avoid these issues by choosing an easy-to-remember sequence, not sequential numbers or a birthday.
Is it a bad idea to buy a wheeled safe?
A. Not necessarily. Like any other safe, rolling options have pros and cons. They’re easy to move from place to place as needed (even if you want to move from room to room in your home), but they’re just as easy to remove from your possession.
What is the best fire safe to buy?
Superior fire safe
Amazon Basics Fire-Resistant Security Safe
What do you want to know: This is more than capable of protecting against average risks.
What you will love: It is made of steel for high durability. It includes an emergency key in case of forgotten password. It has an internal shelf. A bolting kit to secure it to the ground is included. It is available with 0.83, 1.24 or 2.1 cubic feet of storage.
What you should consider: It only resists fire for about 20 minutes. Water easily pierces its loose sealing door. The keyboard is plastic and will wear out over time.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Top safe fire for the money
Honeywell Fire Resistant Steel Security Safe
What do you want to know: This is virtually free but only offers minimal protection.
What you will love: It includes two keys. It has a foam padded floor for fragile items. It has flame retardant insulation. It offers 0.17 cubic feet of storage. It is small and light enough to be moved around as needed and easily hidden. Its hinge is hidden for protection.
What you should consider: It offers no water resistance. It only resists the heat of the fire. It will not protect items if they are in direct contact with a flame.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon, Home Depot and Staples
Worth checking out
BUYaSafe Fireproof Electronic Wall Safe
What do you want to know: This pickaxe offers great resistance and embeds itself in the wall.
What you will love: It protects against fire for up to 30 minutes. The keypad is flush against the safe to hide behind objects and has a hidden mechanical lock if the password is forgotten. It includes two keys. It has 0.75 cubic feet of storage.
What you should consider: It is one of the most expensive safes. The walls must be 8 inches deep for the safe to line up. It can be installed in thinner walls but will grow outward.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.
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