Last updated date: May 13, 2019
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We looked at the top Fireproof Safes and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Fireproof Safe you should buy.
Update as May 27, 2021:
Checkout The Best Fireproof Safe for a detailed review of all the top fireproof safes.
In our analysis of 31 expert reviews, the SentrySafe X055 placed 10th when we looked at the top 12 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
The SentrySafe X055 Security Safe is built with solid steel construction, a pry-resistant door, and two live-locking bolts to keep your valuables secure. This safe includes a carpeted interior to keep your important valuables protected from damage during storage. The X055 is also a California DOJ Certified gun safe.
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An Overview On Fireproof Safes
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.
The Fireproof Safe Buying Guide
- 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. With other models, 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 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. Some models have a 14-gauge steel body and 0.75-inch bolts to keep things secure, but their doors don’t always shut tight enough. The SentrySafe Fireproof Safe features a heavy-duty solid steel exterior. But the plastic components on the non-protective parts of the safe don’t feel as sturdy as others.
- 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.
- Once you’ve worked out fire and water-resistance levels, you’ll also want to make sure your safe actually secures your items. Look for a unit that uses an electronic keypad, as well as an emergency key if you ever forget your code. Keep in mind that if there’s no battery indicator on the keypad, the battery 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.
- 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.
- One important consideration is size. The largest is the SentrySafe Fireproof Safe, which offers sizes as large as 2.05 cubic feet. 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 SentrySafe Fireproof Safe has an adjustable shelf that makes it easy to customize your storage to what you need.
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