SentrySafe HD4100 Fireproof Safe
Last updated date: May 8, 2019
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We looked at the top 1 Fireproof Safes and dug through the reviews from 2 of the most popular review sites including SafeMonk, Authority Safes and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Fireproof Safe you should buy.
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An Overview On Fireproof Safes
- Before you buy a fire-resistant safe, it’s essential to first determine whether it will, in fact, hold up during a fire. The basic requirement to qualify as a fire-resistant safe is 20 minutes at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. But obviously, the longer the resistance and the higher the temperature, the better. The SentrySafe Fireproof Safe promises fireproofing for one hour at 1700 degrees Fahrenheit. The Honeywell Fire Water & Fire Proof Filing Chest With Cart is UL rated for 30 minutes of fire exposure at up to 1550 degrees Fahrenheit. With the AmazonBasics Fire Resistant Safe, you’ll get 20 minutes of resistance at 1200 degrees.
- The Honeywell Steel Security Safe Box With Key Lock is a safe box, not a fireproof safe. However, it does feature fire-resistant features that can help. It isn’t UL rated for fire, though, primarily because a small box isn’t capable of surviving a fire like a large safe. But it is built with a layer of fire-resistant insulation in between the double walls. This gives it more fire protection than basic security boxes, likely surviving a fire as long as 20 minutes without damage to internal contents.
- Flame and smoke damage aren’t the only concerns you’ll have after a home fire. The process of extinguishing the fire itself can damage your belongings due to the chemicals used in the process. Although the items in the safe may be protected from dry, powdery types of extinguishing agents, liquid and water can seep into safes that aren’t protected against it, and those substances can easily damage the items inside. The seal on the Honeywell Fire Water & Fire Proof Filing Chest With Cart has been verified to endure up to 24 hours submerged in water up to 39 inches, making it a good choice for fire or flood. This is done through two side safety latches on the lid to keep everything sealed tight.
- The SentrySafe Fireproof Safe also has waterproof features, with the ability to remain watertight for 24 hours in up to 8 inches of water. However, the insulation inside the safe on this one can build up condensation inside. This safe is also made to optionally be bolted to the floor. Unfortunately, doing that can affect the waterproofing features of this safe.
- If you’re serious about protecting your documents, it’s important to look at build. The AmazonBasics Fire Resistant Safe has a 14-gauge steel body and 0.75-inch bolts to keep things secure, but the door doesn’t always shut tight enough. The Honeywell Fire Water & Fire Proof Filing Chest With Cart also has steel construction, but the lid latches don’t feel as sturdy as with other models. The SentrySafe Fireproof Safe features a heavy-duty solid steel exterior. But the plastic components on the nonprotective parts of the safe feel a little cheap, and the shelf inside seems flimsy.
- The Honeywell Steel Security Safe Box With Key Lock is extra sturdy for a small security box. Not only does it feature double steel wall construction with fire-resistant insulation, but it also has a padded bottom to protect your items.
- The Honeywell Fire Water & Fire Proof Filing Chest With Cart builds in pneumatic hinges that keep the lid from slamming.
- Once you’ve worked out fire and water-resistance levels, you’ll also want to make sure your safe actually secures your items. The AmazonBasics Fire Resistant Safe uses an electronic keypad, as well as an emergency key if you ever forget your code. This keypad does feel a little flimsy, making it questionable that the safe could never be infiltrated. There’s also no battery indicator on the keypad, which means it could easily run out and you wouldn’t know it. That makes it doubly important to keep your backup key where you can find it.
- The SentrySafe Fireproof Safe lets you pick the locking option you want. You can choose a dial combination or a digital keypad. There is also a secondary locking key, letting you disable the primary lock, This prevents even those who know the combination from opening it. There is no emergency key with this model, and the locking mechanism can fail with months or years of neglect, so you may want to open it occasionally to keep things working.
- The Honeywell Fire Water & Fire Proof Filing Chest With Cart uses only a key, eliminating the keypad option altogether. Also, if you accidentally lower the lid with the mechanism in the wrong position, you could potentially damage the lock. Honeywell Steel Security Safe Box With Key Lock also only offers a keyed lock option.
- Fireproof and fire-resistant safes can vary in price, but you’ll also find that the cost matches the protection they provide. The Honeywell Steel Security Safe Box With Key Lock is the least expensive, at less than $40. But it is just a small safe box, which means you can only squeeze a few small items inside. The SentrySafe Fireproof Safe is the most expensive, selling in the $200 range. Meanwhile, the AmazonBasics Fire Resistant Safe can be found for less than $150. The Honeywell Fire Water & Fire Proof Filing Chest With Cart retails for less than $100. The SentrySafe Fireproof Safe is available in multiple sizes, with different prices attached to each. The largest size sells for more than $300.
- One important consideration is size. The largest is the SentrySafe Fireproof Safe, which offers sizes as large as 2.05 cubic feet. The version that sells in the $200 range is 1.23 cubic feet. The AmazonBasics Fire Resistant Safe offers 1.2 cubic feet of storage. The Honeywell Steel Security Safe Box With Key Lock is only 0.17 cubic feet in size, which means letter-size documents will need to be folded to fit inside.
- In addition to interior size, it’s important to look at any shelving. The AmazonBasics Fire Resistant Safe and SentrySafe Fireproof Safe have an adjustable shelf that makes it easy to customize your storage to what you need. The Honeywell Fire Water & Fire Proof Filing Chest With Cart is designed like a chest, so you’ll just pile your items inside.
DYWM Fun Fact
Although experts recommend keeping a fire extinguisher in your house, there are different types of fires. For that reason, it’s recommended you make sure your extinguisher is rated for the types of fire you’re most likely to have. A Class A fire, for instance, includes flammable plastics and wood, while a Class F fire is caused by cooking oils or fats. In a Class F fire, you’ll experience more damage due to the heat generated. It’s also important that you check your fire extinguisher periodically since there will be an expiration date on it. Following a fire, a specialized cleaning service can help with the cleanup, helping restore property affected by fire, smoke and water damage.
The Fireproof Safe Buying Guide
There are more than 350,000 home structure fires each year in the U.S., on average, with an estimated $6.5 billion in direct property damage. Furniture and appliances can be replaced, as can your house. But what about the documents, photos and other priceless valuables inside? If your entire house burned down today, what would you wish you had saved?
A fireproof safe can house those valuables, protecting them if the worst happens. Hard-to-replace items like marriage and birth certificates, family photos and passports can rest comfortably inside, resisting the smoke and fire that surround it. Many fireproof safes also build in waterproofing, which keeps your document safe if water is used during the extinguishing process. It may have the added bonus of protecting your items if your home floods due to an appliance leak or natural disaster.
Not all fireproof safes are equal, though. You’ll need to check the rating of any safe you’re considering to make sure it will keep your documents unharmed. A safe that can withstand a full hour of temperatures up to 1700 degrees Fahrenheit is rated higher than a safe that can only withstand 20 minutes at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. However, in many instances, water damage may be more of a concern than fire damage. So you should also factor in how long your safe can withstand water, and up to what depth.
Chances are, your safe will never have to hold up against water or fire damage. You will, however, enjoy the benefits of your items being secure in a safe. If someone breaks into your home, or you have an untrustworthy visitor, your valuables will be protected with the right choice. You can choose between a digital keypad, a dial combination or a key, with each option having its own benefits. A digital keypad will require a battery, while a dial combination isn’t quite as easy to operate. A key is something you’ll have to store in a place that can’t be easily found by an intruder.
Whatever option you choose, make sure you have a backup in case your first way in fails. If you forget the combination or the battery in your keypad dies, do you have a backup key? For safes that open only by key, you’ll need a copy in a safe place in case you lose the first one. Some safes also have a locking mechanism that lets you secure the safe if you want even the people who have the combination to not be able to get in.