A safe needs to be, well, safe. The lock needs to be complex enough so your average burglar isn’t going to steal your precious goods. Modern safes have some complex locks. Gone are the days when a burglar just needed to twist the lock and use a stethoscope to find out what’s inside.
However, one also needs to think of Mother Nature when getting a good safe. With a cheap safe, a house fire may be all it takes for your precious belongings to go bye-bye. Luckily, there are fireproof safes that can keep your most precious items intact should the worst happen. Let’s look at some of them.
- Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best fireproof safe
- What About the Cheapies? Our Best Products Under $X
- Are Safes Fireproof?
- What Else to Look for in a Fireproof Safe
- Verdict: Your Best fireproof safe
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best fireproof safe
When searching for the best fireproof safe, there were several factors we considered. First, we looked at whether or not the safe was actually fireproof. When you search “fireproof safe” on Amazon, you do get some results, but not all of them are fireproof.
We also looked at other features. How secure was the lock? Did it use a dial lock or a digital keypad? Was the safe also waterproof? Finally, we looked at the sentiment of the buyers. What did they think about the safe? What was the average overall score?
The best value is reserved for an item that is in that perfect center – not too pricey, but not too expensive, either. It delivers on what the average person needs in a safe: a secure place to store their precious documents, belongings, and other goods. Something that can resist the elements. We think the SentrySafe delivers on all accounts.
First, let’s discuss fire protection. All fireproof safes have limits. You can’t toss a safe into the sun and expect it to survive. Okay, that’s hyperbolic, but even during your average house fire, the blaze is going to eat away at the safe a little. Luckily, this one is strong. It can handle 1 hour of fires up to 1,700 F. or 926 C. For your average house fire, that should be enough.
Of course, fire is one thing. Being waterproof is another. If you plan on storing your safe in a rainy area, especially if you store it in the basement, you need a waterproof safe. With cheaper safes, water can seep in, destroying your goods. This safe is 24 hour waterproof up to 8 inches. For your average flood, it can withstand it fairly well.
What about the lock? With this safe, you can choose between a digital keypad or a traditional dial combination safe. It has four locking bolts, a bar that is pry resistant, and it locks your goods safe and secure.
You can choose interior lighting or shelves as well. There is a Sentry Safe for your needs. With units that use electricity, AA batteries are required.
Reviews of this safe, both the digital and combination safe, have been quite positive. Most people say that it’s a sturdy home safe that can keep their goods secure, and it’s good for the price.
There were some negative reviews, but they were in the minority. Some people got safes that didn’t open, or defective units, which can always happen. This is rare, but the vocal minority can make it seem like an everyday occurrence. One reviewer said customer service didn’t respond, and another said customer service wanted to charge the person for recovering their combination, but a comment from customer service seemed to contradict that.
If you’re looking for a 1-hour fireproof safe, this one is overall worth checking out. It may be the first one you should look at.
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When it comes to the best fireproof safes, the best one for the highest budget is going to be one that is the most fireproof. The first one could handle fires for one hour. While a one hour fire safe is usually good (the average house fire time is about 20 minutes, after all) there are some cases where you may want to double that. Maybe you have a bigger house, or you just want more peace of mind and want to make sure your safe can handle the flames.
That’s when you go with this. This is a 2 hour fire safe. For most people, that’s enough. This safe can burn for much more than one hour and can handle temperatures up to 1850 F. or 1010 C. It has 2 steel layers, keeping your goods safe. It also has an adjustable shelf, user codes you can reprogram, and keypad locks.
Reviews have been mostly positive. There aren’t too many to observe. The positive reviews say that it’s a secure safe, and having more than 1 hour of fire resistance gives them some peace of mind. To them, it’s worth spending more on fireproof safes that have a higher fire rating. While one needs to have a safe that’s around 30 minutes in regards to fire rating, most won’t mind a little more wiggle room.
Negative reviews mostly center around duds that couldn’t open, or some people saying it’s not as secure as they’d like. With home safes, none are going to be foolproof. Most people can’t afford the safes they have at banks. However, if you’re looking for the safe with the highest fire rating, this one is for you.
Sometimes, you need a safe you can bring with you. Whether you’re on a business trip and need to keep some important documents safe or you just want something smaller for the home, a safe box can keep your goods handy.
This box uses a traditional lock and key to keep your goods safe. At 20 pounds, it’s lightweight enough for travel as well. Of course, you’re here to learn how fire-safe it is.
This home safe can take up to 1550 F. or 830 C for about half an hour. In addition, it’s 72 hour waterproof, meaning you have enough time to rescue it in a flood.
Besides that, it’s decently affordable. We would put it in the best low-cost category, but it’s not a traditional home safe with fire protection.
Most people say this is a powerful waterproof and fireproof safe to keep their precious documents safe and secure. The criticisms mostly center around people getting lemons or the locking mechanism having some problems, but they were in the minority. Overall, if you’re looking for a travel box to give you some peace of mind, this is for you.
#4: AmazonBasics Fire Resistant Safe (Best Low Cost)
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AmazonBasics always delivers with cheaper, yet quality goods, and their safe is no exception. When searching for an AmazonBasics Fire Resistant safe, you have to be mindful, as some of their safes aren’t fire resistant.
This is a secure safe, using a digital keypad locking mechanism and a backup key if you need it. With its 14-gauge construction, it should give you some peace of mind. It also has an adjustable storage space, allowing you to organize your goods. In addition, this safe is available in various sizes at different prices.
Being a budget safe, its fire rating is a little poor. The name of it says it all. It’s fire-resistant, not fully fireproof. It can take 1,200 F., or 648 C, for about 20 minutes. Some house fires can be quick, but in the event of a fire that lasts a long time, you may need to worry a little. Also, this is not a waterproof safe.
Reviews have been good, but it is rated a little bit lower. Some reviewers say it’s a tough safe for the price, giving you decent fire protection for what money you spend on it. Being a cheaper product, some reviewers criticized it for its cheapness, with one person showcasing them opening the safe with a BIC pen. It’s unknown if that person just got a lemon.
However, if you need a fire resistant home safe on a budget, this one may work for you.
A fireproof bag is a lot more portable than a box, all while keeping your goods as safe as possible. This is good if you’re traveling or you want someplace flexible to store your belongings. For example, it’s much easier to put a bag in a crawl space than a regular safe.
This safe is waterproof and fireproof. With its fire rating, it can apparently withstand temperatures up to 2000 F. or 1093 C. For how long, we are not sure, but that’s quite impressive.
It’s a decently large bag, and it seals itself through its tough zipper. While it’s not the most advanced locking system in the world, the bag does have a lock included. It’s a combination lock, and while it’s not pry resistant or anything, it still offers some form of protection.
For those who want to bring the bag on the road, this bag does include a strap to make it easier to carry. This is a great bag for travel, allowing you to put your cash, your passport, or any other important goods inside. It’s one of the best fireproof bag safes around.
What About the Cheapies? Our Best Products Under $X
If you don’t have much money at all, you’re not going to be able to get a fireproof safe. House safes, fireproof or otherwise, can cost quite a bit of money. However, you can get fire resistant or fireproof containers to store your important documents or other goodies. These include…
#1 Best Under $150: First Alert
Okay, there is one home safe that’s a cheapie. That is the First Alert safe. Despite being cheap, it’s actually quite strong. It’s able to handle temperatures around 1700 F., and it can last for an hour. The First Alert is nothing fancy; it is your typical dial home safe. However, if you’re in a pinch, the First Alert home safe is worth checking out.
#2 Best Under $30: SentrySafe 0500 Fireproof Box with Key Lock, 0.15 Cubic Feet
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If you’re looking for a simple, fireproof box, this one is the way to go. It can handle 30 minutes of temperatures above 1550 F., and it can keep most small documents safe from fires. This fire resistant box is protected through a traditional key lock box. While this isn’t the most elaborate lock system out there, it’s still enough protection for most people.
Also, this box is quite portable. It’s only 11 pounds, meaning that most people can carry it around with no problem at all.
With such a small amount of cubic feet to work with, it can’t carry the bigger goods, but it’s good enough when traveling.
#3 Best Under $20: COLCASE Fireproof Document Bag
If you’re looking for a cheap, fireproof container for your goodies, this one doesn’t cost too much at all.
We wouldn’t say it’s a true safe, as it does not have a lock. However, since it’s a thin bag, you can hide it in various spaces in your home. You can also use this fire resistant bag by putting it in your safe to offer your valuables more protection.
It can handle temperatures up to 1000 F. or 550 C. In addition, it’s big enough to fit most precious goods and documents. It’s also resistant to water as well. If you’re looking for a water and fire resistant container, you can’t go wrong with this one.
#4 Best Under $15: Fireproof 2192°F
Finally, if you’re looking for the cheapest fireproof bag around, this is one for you. It’s a fireproof, waterproof bag that is available in medium or large. While it doesn’t have any unique feature going for it, it’s a simple, safe way to carry your precious documents when you’re traveling and it can give your goods extra protection at home.
Are Safes Fireproof?
The point of a safe is to keep your valuables and delicate documents secure. Not just secure from robbers, but from the elements as well.
However, not all safes are fireproof. While this article about the best fireproof safes, every safe on this list is fireproof or at least fire resistant. However, if you decide to go shopping on your own, you may discover that not all safes have this feature.
Also, there are several factors you need to consider, such as…
Fire Resistant or Fireproof?
Some safes may not say they are fireproof, but instead claim they are resistant to fire. This means that they can take some flames, but during a housefire, they may not hold up. A fire resistant safe can be a temporary way to store your goods, but if you’re afraid of your belongings burning in a fire, you may want to look for a more fireproof safe.
Can They Handle Your Electronics?
Some people use fireproof safes to store electronics that may contain sensitive information. From flash drives to CDs, some people prefer to save their sensitive info through physical media. A fireproof safe may prevent your documents from burning up, but they may have an issue with electronics. Even if the documents are not burning up, even the best fireproof safes can heat up from the inside. Because of that, it could damage your electronics.
Make sure that the fireproof safe you purchase can keep cool under heat. They may use a fire seal, which prevents smoke from coming inside and keeps the area cooler.
Another thing to consider when buying a safe that is fireproof is its fire rating. The better the rating, the safer your goods will be. A rating that is 1 hour or more can help protect your goods.
Every fireproof safe has an estimated temperature tolerance and duration. Fireproof does not mean that fire won’t hurt it at all; after so long, the fire is going to damage the safe. A good rule of thumb is to get a fireproof safe that’s at least 1,000 F. or 537 C in temperature resistance, with a duration that’s around 30 minutes or so. Preferably, 1 hour if your budget can handle that. In the event of a fire, you don’t know how long it’s going to last, or how hot it can get. Fires are unpredictable, and so are the factors surrounding them.
What Else to Look for in a Fireproof Safe
Now, let’s talk about what else to look for when you’re purchasing a safe.
First, you need to consider how much space you need in a safe. Buying a safe that is too big for what you need can end up taking unneeded space. On the other hand, it’s not good to cram everything in the safe, or find out that you need more space for your precious documents and goods.
Some safes have storage shelves and other methods to organize your goods. However, at the end of the day, the measurements are the most important. You need to measure the safe beforehand. Gather your precious documents, jewelry, and other belongings, and measure them. Also, measure the space where you want to store the safe. For example, if you are going to store your home safe in the closet, you need to make sure it fits in the closet.
Most safes will give you an interior and exterior measurement. They tend to use cubic feet, so keep that in mind.
Types of Safe Lock
Another thing to consider when buying a home safe is what kind of lock they use. Nowadays, you have various types of lock that keep your home safe secure. You have the traditional dial, the keypad, or the key lock. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.
When you think of a safe lock, what may come in mind first and foremost is the dial. You twist it using a certain combination of moves to unlock it. It’s one of the oldest home safe locks, and it still works fairly well for home security.
These locks are long-lasting and are cheap. You don’t have to worry about your home security being breached because of a faulty dial lock. Because they don’t use electricity, they are more waterproof.
Some dial locks you can also secure with a key. This adds even more security.
Of course, there are some disadvantages. If you want a different combination, you may need to hire a locksmith. This can be a little inconvenient. Also, these locks take a bit to work. You have to turn them carefully. If a burglar is breaking in and you have a gun in the safe, you may not have time to turn the dials. Plus, people who have hand issues such as arthritis may want to look elsewhere.
This is an electronic lock that uses a keypad. Having your own password you can customize with ease is a staple for security nowadays. We have it on our computers, phones, etc, so why not our safes? With this type of home security safe lock, you can easily change it. It’s also quick, too. Just press the keys, and you’re good to go.
They are a little bit more expensive than dial locks, but modern electronic locks aren’t too expensive. One downside is that they do need batteries. While you only have to change them every year or so, it’s still an added inconvenience.
One feature, which can be a good or bad thing, is that many electronic locks will go into lockdown mode should you enter the wrong password a few times. For a thief trying to guess your password, this can be good. However, if you mistyped the password or forgot, that can be bad for you.
The key is the ultimate home security device. It locks our doors, our cars, and so on. It makes sense that your safe would have a key lock.
One reason why the key is so popular is that it’s simple. You put the key in, turn it, and there you go. A good key safe will make it so that it’s hard to lockpick, too.
With a key lock, you can have your keys secure on your person, or you can put the key in a hidden spot. This leads to the downsides. If a thief finds your key, the home security the safe provides is gone. And, if you lose the key, the home safe can’t be opened unless you hire a professional.
Most modern phones have a biometric lock option. In simpler terms, this is your fingerprint. You set up your safe using your fingers, and you use several positions to make sure it recognizes you. Then, you can simply open the safe with your fingerprint.
This safe is secure and the fastest around. However, the technology is relatively new, so there are some safes that are a little unreliable. That’s why none of these safes in this article are biometric, but they are available. Look for a biometric safe that also has an emergency key or another way to unlock it.
Besides being fireproof, your home safe should ideally be waterproof, too. This especially applies if you put the safe in the basement. The best fireproof safes tend to have the best of both worlds, but before you purchase a home safe, verify it for yourself.
With a waterproof safe, it typically has a duration as well. A home safe can typically last 24 hours or more under water and can withstand depths of 8 inches. Try to find a fireproof safe that can survive 24 hours in water.
You also need to look for a safe that can’t be pried open so easily. Cheaper safes can be pried open using a crowbar or something similar, eliminating the home security aspect.
This is what keeps your safe from being opened. When you have precious documents and other items you need security for, the more locking bolts, the better. Three way locking bolts tend to work well, but you could always go for more.
Try Opening it On Your Own
With most home safes you order, you do have a 30-day return window. Before you put your precious documents and other goods in there, you do need to assure that it’s working properly and secure.
Obviously, you can’t burn your house down to test the fire security, and dropping it from a building is not a good way to test this, but try to open the safe using a lockpick or try to pry it open.
Think about your average burglar. Most will have some sort of lock knowledge, and while it may not be on the level of a world-class heister, you should test the security a little bit. Your documents will thank you for it later.
Buy From a Reputable Seller With a Good Return Policy
When you order a safe, there is always a chance that you may end up with a dud, or you may find that the safe doesn’t work well for you. It’s always important for you to order from a seller who will return or replace your safe without giving you any hassle.
Speaking of which, it’s also important to order from a seller who has decent customer service. Should you lose your password, customer service should be able to help you out.
Of course, customer service should not give your password outright or reset your password for you. There should be a verification process as well.
With that, these are the things you should look for before purchasing a home safe. Since you’re trying to keep your belongings as secure as possible, it’s worth weighing in your options before you make a purchase. Always do your research beforehand.
Verdict: Your Best fireproof safe
We’ve blazed through these hot safes, and we’re ready to summarize the best type of safe fireproof from the flames. Let’s look at the five again.
First, we have the SentrySafe SFW123EU. This is the best safe for most people. It can handle hot temperatures fairly well, has a good amount of cubic feet to store your precious documents, and has high reviews. It’s not too expensive, but not too cheap, either.
Second, there’s the Steelwater AMSWEL-530. This safe also has a lot of cubic feet of space, and it has the best fire protection for your home. It can handle up to 2 hours of fire, so even the longest housefire shouldn’t be enough to bring this safe down.
Third, we have the SentrySafe CHW20221. This is a box safe that is easily portable. When you’re traveling, or if you just want a lighter safe for the home, this will keep your documents and other goods safe. It’s waterproof, fireproof, and easy to use.
Fourth, there’s the AmazonBasics Fire Resistant Safe. This is a budget safe. While it’s not the highest security safe and not the most fire or waterproof, it still gives your precious documents enough security.
Finally, there’s the KeeQii Fireproof Bag. This bag is great for travel, especially if you want to meet the legal size for a carryon. It can also add more security to documents already in a safe. You can slip it into an obscure spot in your home as well. It’s cheap, and while it doesn’t have a complex lock, it can keep your documents away from the elements while adding a bit of security, too.
There you have it. Finding the right safe for the job can be a daunting task. While no home safe has perfect security, today’s fireproof safes are affordable, easy to lock, easy to keep your documents safe, and can withstand the elements. We hope you found the best safe for the job. Good luck.