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What Goes into Determining the Amount of Safe Fire Protection?

  • 2 min read

It is not enough to say that the gun safes you build provide a certain amount of protection from fire. You need to be able to back up that claim with how you determined those amounts. At Liberty Safe, we use a superior standard in how we determine safe fire protection that not all other manufacturers follow.

Three Main Characteristics Needed for Reliable Safe Fire Protection

The most reliable safes for fire protection have three main construction characteristics. They:

  • Are made with strong steel that is at least 12 gauge or thicker
  • Have multiple, interlocking layers of UL-rated fireboard
  • Feature expanding door seals to keep out fire, heat and smoke

An easy way to identify whether a safe is made of thick steel and multiple layers of fireboard is the how heavy the safe is and how thick its walls are. But you should always check to be certain that the manufacturer uses UL-rated fireboard instead of regular sheetrock that does not provide as much fire protection.

The layers of fireboard inside the safe must completely cover all bare metal surfaces, including door jambs and interior hinge components. Any gaps within fireboard coverage can allow heat to seep in and raise the interior temperature within the safe to damaging temperatures above 350 degrees.

Liberty uses heat-activated, expanding Palusol seals on all our full-size gun safes. Our upscale models, like the Presidential and Magnum feature expanding Palusol v-seals for extra safe fire protection.

Tried and True Fire-Testing Standards

Liberty Safe bases its fire-testing standards on information gained from NIST full-scale home fire testing. That testing has shown without a doubt that the temperatures in a home fire quickly escalate during the first 10 minutes, as the fire flares up and spreads. This serves as proof for our reason to test our safes’ fire protection by ramping up the furnaces where testing occurs to 1200 degrees within the first 10 minutes of our fire tests.

Not all safe manufacturers do this. Instead, they ramp up to 1200 degrees after 20-30 minutes to prove that their safes will hold up longer in a fire.

Calculating what BTUs a safe can withstand is also a consideration that should be addressed when determining safe fire protection. This is a more accurate and scientific way to measure heat from a fire. Liberty Safe takes the extra step of calculating and including each safe’s BTU tolerance on its fire-rating label that you will find on the inside of every full-size gun safe we make.

There are a lot of safes on the market claiming they provide superior safe fire protection. But Liberty has more testimonials from real-life customers whose safes have survived some of the most devastating wildfires in our country.