Are fireproof safes really fireproof?

valuables inside a fireproof safe after fire

Wildfires are unpredictable and happen mostly during fire season especially if you are in the western part of the United States. Although, in general, fire accidents can occur at any given moment wherever you may be. And since a fire can spread so fast, people won’t have enough time to store their valuables and important documents in a safe location which can be a burden during the recovery period. This is mainly why security experts are highly encouraging people to have fire protection safe.

fireproof safes fire accidents

Common Complaints of Fireproof Safes

However, there have been many instances where people complained that the fire protection safes they bought did not serve their purpose. To be specific, a resident from Malibu shared how her valuables were all burnt down after the Woolsey Fire back in October 2019. Such instances have raised questions if fireproof safes are really fireproof.

UL rated fireproof safe

Malibu Fire Chief Sam Digiovanna stated in an interview in National Broadcasting Company (NBC) Los Angeles that there’s no such thing that is completely fireproof. He added that “Whatever you have inside in that safe, the longer it is exposed to heat, the more damaged or destroyed it’s gonna become.” This means these safes are only fire resistant within a specific time frame and temperature.

How Fireproof are Fireproof Safes?

protection layers fireproof safes

Fire resistant safes are provided with an additional layer of insulation between the sheets of steel and the door itself is made up of a bigger layer of insulation to protect the lock. But this is not to say that fire safes won’t eventually be completely destroyed after being exposed to heat for several hours. In fact, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a leading organization in product safety testing and certification, has released a list of ratings along with how long it can withstand fire and how high the temperature could be.

fireproof safe third-party certification company

Here are the ratings UL has provided:

●     UL – can withstand fire for up to 30 minutes, given the temperature does not exceed

1550° Fahrenheit or 843° Celsius

●     UL1 – can withstand fire for up to 60 minutes, given the temperature does not exceed

1700° Fahrenheit or 927° Celsius

●     UL2 – can withstand fire for up to 2 hours, given the temperature does not exceed

1850° Fahrenheit or 1010° Celsius

●     UL3 – can withstand fire for up to 4 hours, given the temperature does not exceed

2000° Fahrenheit or 1093° Celsius

UL fire rating fireproof safe

These ratings are important especially if you’re looking into buying a fire resistant safe. Because these were commonly neglected by those who claimed that the fireproof safes they bought were fake. To avoid being misled, take the time to read what the rating is on the product. According to SentrySafe, one of the many companies who produce fire resistant safes, they have clearly included both in the product packaging and their website how long models can withstand fire exposure and under what certain temperatures.

Conclusion

good fireproof safe

If you want to buy a fireproof safe and make sure it’ll do its job, prioritize checking the labels. You will either find what rating it has or find that it has no rating at all which tells you that it is a fake fireproof safe. So, fireproof safes can be fire-resistant but at a given time and temperature.