If you are out looking for a gun safe, you are likely to find that there are a number of categories and factors that to determine the quality of the safes. Many are fairly self-explanatory, but one that may be a little more difficult to figure out is the fire rating for these products.
The truth is that when most of us are thinking of purchasing a product like this what we are looking for is a safe that will protect your firearms and other valuable items from getting burned. That is safe offers this capability makes it seem like it would be a good purchase. However, there is a lot that goes into choosing a fireproof safe than just knowing that it is capable of doing.
The Reality First
Before diving too deeply into this, it is important to establish right away that no safe is 100% fireproof. While there are options available that do a sensational job, the truth is that excessive temperatures generated by some fires or prolonged fires our something that is safe is not going to be able to protect from.
This is important, because it also leads into an understanding of how these safes work. Knowing that there are safes that give you a longer amount of protection time as well as protect against higher temperatures are important factors to consider when making your purchase. This helps you to protect those valuables for an extended period of time.
What Are Fire Ratings?
With that being said, you want to know how a rating works and what it tells you about the capability of the safe. What you are going to find is that there are two factors that are used to determine the rating of safe. The first of these is temperature. The temperature rating is determined by the maximum temperature that the safe is able to withstand without items inside burning are being destroyed.
You may find that some safes only accommodate temperatures up to 350°F. However, many of the better safes will give you temperature ratings of up to 800°F, some as much as 1200°F. You may even find in some more expensive options that you can have a temperature rating of 1680°F.
Obviously, the higher the temperature the safe is able to stand, the more likely it is that your weapon is going to be protected. However, what is important to understand is that the average temperature generated during a house fire is somewhere around 1100°F. Most range somewhere between 600°F and 1200°F, meaning that if you have a safe whose temperature rating falls in this area, then your valuables are likely to be protected.
The temperature rating is dependent upon how long the safe can handle a certain temperature before items are likely to be damaged. You may find that a safe receives a rating of 30 minutes at 1200°F. That means that you can be fairly confident that a fire that has generated this temperature for 30° in your home will not damage the contents of your safe.
What this tells you is that you should never believe that any safe is going to protect your valuables in perpetuity. There is a certain point, either in temperature or in time, where your safe is no longer going to be affected.