Why shouldn't you store a gun in a fire safe?


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S4Lee
February 9, 2008, 08:27 PM
I recently bought a 1.2 cubic foot fire safe rated for 2 hrs to store my handgun and a few documents. After lugging it (150lbs.) up 3 flights of stairs so I could put it in the bedroom closet, I opened the box, and in the instructions it specifically says not to store firearms in there, but I can't find any reason why not (other than humidity issues, which are being discussed on other threads and I'll cover with some silica packs).

So, is there a legitimate reason to not store a gun in a fireproof safe?

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siglite
February 9, 2008, 08:31 PM
IIRC it has to do with the way the concrete in those things attracts moisture or something. But, I'm not 100% certain on that.

Additionally, the locks aren't anything that can't be bypassed with a big screwdriver. If it's a good one, you might need a hammer and a screwdriver.

Threecard
February 9, 2008, 08:36 PM
Yep. Liability. Companies have been sued by people because safes like this will not contain a round if the gun should "accidentally" go off. Some people think it's smart to fire a round at the safe to see if it will penetrate...which it will...and are dumb enough to have it pointed toward their TV or a person or what have you...when they pulled the trigger.

Somehow, some people, including lawyers, think that if it's a safe, that implies to a reasonable person that it's "safe" to put a gun in it and a round won't exit the box if the gun "accidentally" goes off. Very much along the lines of having to put "caution, contents are hot" on a cup of coffee.

Spyvie
February 9, 2008, 08:36 PM
I had a safe something like the one you described, purchased at Home Depot. The safe used both a key and a combo dial. I lost the key. It only took me about 10 minutes with an angle grinder and a crowbar to get it open.

Not very secure, that may be one reason.

chrlefxtrt
February 9, 2008, 08:39 PM
instructions it specifically says not to store firearms in there

This sounds like nothing more than lawyer speak. The company most likely put this in the manual to remove themselves from any liability in the event ammunition "cooked" off during a fire. My uncle has a fire proof gun safe. I doubt there is much of a fundamental difference in the construction of his safe and yours. It is always wise to store your ammunition seperately. My uncle has a safe next to his gun safe that he stores his ammunition in (more likely a space issue than a safety one). I'm no expert on the matter at hand so it wouldn't hurt to do some more research. Good luck!

Jeff F
February 9, 2008, 09:00 PM
Ammo cook off inside a safe or any other container like a army ammo box or even the magazine of a loaded weapon is not that big of a deal. The brass cartridge case will kind of explode but you wont have bullets flying around with very much force. Now if you have a loaded chamber in a weapon and it cooks off it will act just like if you had pulled the trigger and exit the barrel. If you are going to keep it in the safe don't keep one in the chamber.

ClickClickD'oh
February 9, 2008, 09:08 PM
Fire safes..

I have one. It has a label etched into it that specifically says, "Caution: Not for storage of flammable materials."

Well ***. If it's not flammable I wouldn't need to store it in a fire safe now would I?

It's all because of the lawyes.

a1abdj
February 9, 2008, 10:30 PM
Believe it or not, there is a good reason. Whether or not the manufacturer is covering their behind or yours is up for debate.

There is a big difference in the way a document safe is designed when compared to a gun safe. The insulation in a document safe, especially the inexpensive imports, contains a lot of moisture. This moisture is designed to steam the inside of the safe in the event of a fire. Gun safes use insulations that contain much less moisture (typically drywall).

This insulation is so wet, that it can even rust through the steel lining of the safe. In many cases, you will find that these "safes" are built out of more plastic than steel.

You can not control this moisture. No dry rod or silica gel will work, as it is working against the safe's natural design. Trying to "dry out" a document safe of this type of insulation is similar to trying to dry out a swimming pool full of water.

These safes are also not CA DOJ approved for firearms storage due to their lack of security. As mentioned above, most inexpensive document safes are not much more than a fire box with a privacy latch.

Buying security devices is something that should be done at a place that specializes in such devices. These things can be explained prior to purchase.

I have one. It has a label etched into it that specifically says, "Caution: Not for storage of flammable materials."

Well ***. If it's not flammable I wouldn't need to store it in a fire safe now would I?


That is funny.

I would assume they mean flammable items that could be explosive if heated. They make special containers for the storage of those items as well.

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