Gun safes


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hometheaterman
July 30, 2009, 06:06 PM
So what's a good brand of gun safes to look at? I'm hoping for one that's a decent price and will last a lifetime. How is the Winchester one they sell at Sams Club? Is it a good choice?

Also how long are they actually fireproof? Is the rating on them usually correct?

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hometheaterman
July 30, 2009, 06:14 PM
http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=399617 This is one I was looking at. How is it? I thought the one I saw in the store was slightly smaller but it may not have been.

Winston_Smith
July 30, 2009, 07:08 PM
It depends what that value is of the stuff you plan to put in it.

I don't expect you to provide a number, but you should write it down then compare that to the cost of the safe you are looking at.

The safe in the link you provided is only designed to hold out forced entry with a screw driver and hammer for 5 minutes (I would guess that the fire protection is on par with the burglary protection).

hometheaterman
July 30, 2009, 09:01 PM
So what kind of safes would you guys recommend?

mr.scott
July 30, 2009, 09:34 PM
That safe is fine. It's rated for:
# 59"H X 28"W X 22" D* 12/24 Convertible Interior
# Fire Rating - 1 hour at 1200F
# Burglary Resistant
# 3-Way Active Bolt Work
# 12 each - 1.25" Diameter Locking Bolts
# 5-Spoke Vault Handle
# Electronic Lock
# Powder Paint Finish


# Drill Resistant Hard Plate - 60-61 Rc
# Auxiliary Spring - Loaded Relocker
# Insulated Door - 1.5" thick
# Insulated Body - 1.375" thick


I don't know where Winston Smith got his numbers. Maybe because it doesn't say Browning on the door.

DagoRed
July 30, 2009, 09:51 PM
I have been looking at Sturdy brand gun safes. They tend to get good reviews from what I have read.

Winston_Smith
July 30, 2009, 09:51 PM
I don't know where Winston Smith got his numbers.

That is what an RSC rating means.

http://www.klsecurity.com/ul_fire_rating.htm

If you search for RSC on this forum you will find a lot of info.

An RSC with "Browning" on the door is still an RSC, just better looking.

Logos
July 30, 2009, 10:03 PM
Home fires are so very rare. I've never had one......nobody I know has ever had one.

It could happen, but I don't see it as likely enough that I'd spring for an extremely expensive safe because of it.

Since a lot of safes are not a LOT more effective than steel cabinets in defeating good tools (not many more minutes of delay for the thief) I'd rather stay with steel cabinets and spend the money I save on other layers of security protection like better locks, alarms, etc.

There is quite a lot of money saved, as the safes are extremely expensive.

M57
July 30, 2009, 10:24 PM
The main thing is to make sure it says,
MADE IN USA!
Too many chinese made crap safes out there and be carefull some safe companies like Liberty have USA made safes and China made safes. Mine is a Cannon, they are not cheap, but neither are the things in it.

Logos
July 30, 2009, 10:28 PM
Yes, if you are gonna go the whole way and invest in a safe......make sure it's the best quality.

kanewpadle
July 30, 2009, 10:30 PM
The main thing is to make sure it says,
MADE IN USA!
Too many chinese made crap safes out there and be carefull some safe companies like Liberty have USA made safes and China made safes. Mine is a Cannon, they are not cheap, but neither are the things in it.
Very true. I have opened and or repaired Sentry safes and others like them.

There way to many good gunsafes to list but here are a few but not in any perticular order.

Digital combinations are nice but more unreliable that the tradition combination lock. Most manufacturers use S&G or Lagard.

Liberty
National Security
Fort Knox
Cannon
Amsec
Treadlock

sniknah
July 30, 2009, 10:39 PM
American Security BF 6030...NUFF SAID !

M57
July 30, 2009, 10:45 PM
Good point kanewpadle about the locks, I like the traditional combo locks seems like a lot less hassle I think eventually you will have problems with the electronic ones, I've heard "dial combo locks take to long in a emergency" my thought is if you have to open your safe to get a gun to defend yourself it's too late anyway. They are made to store personal belongings and guns, just not all of them:D!

hometheaterman
July 30, 2009, 10:48 PM
So Cannon safes are good? One of them was what I was looking at but I just wasn't sure as I wasn't familiar with the name of them. I think I'd like to have a traditional lock but it seems as if most I find are the digital ones.

hometheaterman
July 30, 2009, 10:51 PM
What about this one? http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=424732

The biggest downside I'm seeing to it is it says only fireproof for up to 30 minutes. That's a lot less than the hour of the Winchester.

M57
July 30, 2009, 11:24 PM
Take your time as this is not something you will want to be buying and upgrading every couple years, spend the extra money now and get a good quality made one that will give you many many years of reliable service and piece of mind. My safe is in my house so I went for the nice finish and fancy pinstripe as I want it to look nice in the house, but if you are going to put it in the basement or out of sight you can save some cash by going with a less expensive finish. Try Gander Mtn and Cabelas, the internet is great but I like to look, touch, open, close etc. Look around before making any decisions and buy the right safe that fits your needs one time.

kanewpadle
July 31, 2009, 12:27 AM
What about this one? http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=424732

The biggest downside I'm seeing to it is it says only fireproof for up to 30 minutes. That's a lot less than the hour of the Winchester.
Usually 30 minutes is enough. How long would it take the fire dept to get to your house? If you live to far from them then get a one hour rated safe.

kanewpadle
July 31, 2009, 12:29 AM
Also keep in mind when you buy a name brand such as Winchester, Remington, Browning etc...... You usually paying more. Not always. But sometimes. Someone else makes these safes for them.

gym
August 23, 2009, 12:00 PM
I would suggest a safe that is anchored to a cement floor, if possible. I have seen the largest safes placed on dollies and rolled out in a few minutes. Having had several types over the years in business and at home, The inexpensive "hopper" type resisted 2 burglaries in the basement of one of my businesses. It could have been "drilled" but most times unless it is a pro, they don't have the proper tools. The tilt and roll method is pretty common, as most "moving men" can attest to. If you rolled it in, someone can roll it out.

CB900F
August 23, 2009, 08:07 PM
Fella's;

There is a "great divide" in the firearms storage world. RSC's and true safes. Everything mentioned herein so far is an RSC, or Residential Security Container. As far as I know, there are only three true safes available in the home firearms storage arena. They are: 1. The very top end AMSEC units, not the BF line. 2. Brown. 3. Graffunder.

For what it's worth, I regard the AMSEC BF's as the best of the RSC's on the market today. Particularly when you do a cost/value evaluation. If you're in the sub-$1000.00 category, pick what's got the features you need at the least price. There's no substantial protective difference between any of them.

I'm a locksmith & in the business of selling safes.

900F

WVMountainBoy
August 23, 2009, 08:41 PM
Location of the safe can often be more important than the actual toughness of the safe. Concealment is great, making it anchored even better. Put it someplace that it would be hard or impossible to use a tool to produce leverage on the door (think narrow corridor with only enough room for door to open)

Mr. Bojangles
August 24, 2009, 03:48 AM
+1 for "Made in USA." Just remember to bolt it to the floor to prevent schmos from carting the whole thing off.

Acera
August 24, 2009, 03:26 PM
Remember there is a difference between real safes and RSCs.

Check out this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2EyFNCAX3s

Not trying to promote one safe over another.

Just making a point about safes vs. RSC. Look at the UL label to be sure.

Morrell
August 24, 2009, 08:26 PM
Just to point something out... that youtube video for Liberty Safes... Those are RSCs as well... even their mighty Lincoln series. Watch the video.. read the UL label shown at 3:15. Given that you seem to make a difference between real safes and RSCs, what is a real safe? Not anything made by Liberty because even they say their product is a RSC.

heeler
August 25, 2009, 09:11 AM
Frankly I get more than a little tired of reading that it only takes a screw driver and hammer to get into a RSC.
Try it sometimes guys before saying such things.
Now a stout pry bar and sledge hammer..You bet you will get in.
Although it may or may not take more than the set in stone belief of "5 minutes".
And not all RSC's are created equal.
Try prying your way into a RSC with a 3/16th body with a reasonably thick 1/4,3/8,or 1/2 inch plate steel door.
Like I say some RSC's are considerably better than others.
Any safe including a TL-30 jewlery safe can eventually be breached but it wont be easy and neither will a LOT of RSC's that Cecil Crackhead or Mickey Meth comes across while pillaging your home.

winston smith
August 26, 2009, 01:24 PM
You have little chance of a fire and less chance of a theft. Get one anyway.

The best safes are ones that accomodate your guns, and a few accessories/ammo.

Sturdy safes are made of thicker than average steel; Liberty safes are widely available, etc.

Browning has the best interiors; esp. if you have many rifles you want easy access to. Their Medalion model is my favorite, but I own a Liberty; it was easier to get.

CB900F
August 26, 2009, 01:39 PM
Fella's;

Now here's a recent quote: "Frankly I get more than a little tired of reading that it only takes a screw driver and hammer to get into a RSC.
Try it sometimes guys before saying such things."

Actually Heeler, it's Underwriter Laboratories that says that. And they do it, repeatedly. They have a website, I'd suggest going to it if you're sceptical, wade through the verbiage, and then decide if you know better than they do.

It's their standard, not mine, I just pass on the information.

900F

heeler
August 27, 2009, 08:00 AM
CB900f,I never said i know better than the UL Techs but i do know they are saying that an RSC can hold out to these minimums they have established within a certain parameter using certain hand tools.
Perhaps they do get into the lowest of the low RSC using a screw driver and hammer in under 5 minutes guy but not only am I sceptical of it on a very large number of RSC's I have let us say a bit of experience with steel and demolition and it is not so easy to get through it using an 18 inch screw driver and three pound hammer.
What too many are doing here is lumping a low class RSC into the same performance class of high end RSC and saying they are the same and the magical number of "5 minutes" has become the absolute of certain people.
I mean it's as if no matter how the safe is built if it has RSC stamped on it it's just going to roll over to that screw driver and hammer in 5 minutes or less and that just is not so.
It is extremely doubtful that you are going to take the above mentioned tools and get inside a locked RSC such as the Amsec BF,or a 3/16th of an inch bodied gun safe with at least a 1/4 inch plate steel door made by most other manufacturers.
In fact in the infamous you tube film of those two guys prying their way into that limp Liberty safe in a minute and half have every advantage going for them.
Namely the safe is laying on it's back and these guys are using huge multi foot long pry bars and even that low class RSC that has absolutely no plate steel in it's door would have been a much harder job with an 18 inch screw driver and a three pound hammer to enter into it in the famed "5 minutes".
Maybe you could do it.
Maybe.

Acera
August 27, 2009, 10:15 AM
heeler, I think you are missing something. You might have this backward.

UL makes the determination based on testing, not what the mfg. says.

Most manufacturers call their product safes, it is UL that certifies what it really is with their testing program, and some get the RSC label instead.

Check out their website, they try to be as unbiased and realistic as possible with their testing methods.


So even a high end RSC, is still a RSC because it failed to meet the standards to be considered a safe. (Ease of break in is one criteria) It may appear to your observation to be tough, but that is what the products manufacturer wants you to believe so you buy their product.

I looked at a number of these things yesterday, and it is hard to tell them apart from a casual glance, but the UL label is the best way to be sure. A few of the RSCs were priced higher than comparable sized safes, it depends on the maker.

heeler
August 27, 2009, 10:45 AM
I am not missing anything.
And i understand the UL testing.
All i am trying to point out is that even though an RSC is not a true safe i am wise enough to know that it is extremely unlikely that using a screw driver of 18 inches in length and a 3 pound hammer you are going to get into a higher end rsc designated unit in five minutes.
In other words there are many gun safes that fall under the terminolgy of RSC but far exceeds that standard.
But it does not fall into the category of true safe because it lacks a 1/16th of an inch less wall thickness or perhaps close to that in door thickness.

I tell you what.
I would LOVE to see someone break into an Amsec BF,Ft.Knox Titan,Browning Platinum,Sturdy Safe with it's 7 gauge body and 5/16th door etc. using the defined tools above and do it in "5 minutes".
Yea these are RSC's but they far exceed a 12 gauge gun safe with a 12 gauge door.
But again i do acknoledge they are not true safes but they are one Hell of a lot better than your typical low end RSC gun safe.
Let's use some common sense here.
These types of gun safes are not wet paper bags.

Acera
August 27, 2009, 11:30 AM
If they were good, they would not have gotten the RSC label.

If they could not be broken into within the parameters of the test, they would not have gotten the RSC label.

Believe what you want, the testing is there.


The RSC label is not a good thing, it means second tier, or worse:banghead:

a1abdj
August 27, 2009, 11:32 AM
Although not common, I know guys that can get into any safe using a standard group 2 lock (almost every gun safe made, and the vast majority of other safes on the commercial market) in less than 5 minutes using no tools.

heeler
August 27, 2009, 11:36 AM
Acera do you believe that every UL rated gun safe could only survive the minumum 5 minutes??
I cant believe someone would think a 12 gauge RSC gun safe with a 12 gauge door is the equal of a like labled RSC that is built with a 3/16th body and a 3/8 or 1/2 plate door.
And that no matter what these premium made RSC's can only hold back some Chinese made 18 inch screw driver and hammer for mere minutes.

A1,true enough but these kind of people are not likely to be coming to our homes to break in in the first place.
Since we are getting close to straining gnats i might as well mention i can get into a lot of steel made vessels with explosives in less than a few seconds.
But that's not what we are talking about exactly .
We are talking about garage quality hand tools that these creeps use when they are pillaging your home and come across your gun safe.
I would feel much better with a tl-30 rated safe than an RSC branded unit but would feel good if my lowly RSC was a premium unit rather than your typical sub 1K 12 gauge gun safe.
Again not all RSC are the same as some far exceed the RSC designation but cannot be called real safe because of their steel minimums.

Acera
August 27, 2009, 11:42 AM
No heeler, I do believe that every RSC labeled cabinet can be broken into with the simple tools and limited time frame set forth in their testing procedure.

I also believe that a UL listed safe of meets or exceeds the standards set forth to be called a safe by the UL, which by default is tougher than those standards for a RSC.


I cant believe someone would think a 12 gauge RSC gun safe with a 12 gauge door is the equal of a like labled RSC that is built with a 3/16th body and a 3/8 or 1/2 plate door.

If that RSC was tested and labeled, then it failed the testing. Might not have been as quick, but within the time constraints.

heeler
August 27, 2009, 11:53 AM
Are you saying it eventually failed or are you saying it failed in under five minutes?
My understanding is the safe has to hold out for a minimum of five minutes using a defined set of tools which some are the three pound hammer and pry tool not exceeding 18 inches.
I dont think you are getting into one of the premium gun safes i mentioned with those two hand tools in five minutes are anything close to that.

Power tools,sledge hammers and the such well yea.

stchman
August 27, 2009, 12:53 PM
I would like to see someone break into that safe in 5 minutes with only a screwdriver and a hammer.

While I am sure that safe is not the greatest on earth, but it will stop an average thief.

Get it and bolt it to a concrete floor.

Winston_Smith
August 27, 2009, 06:15 PM
I would like to see someone break into that safe in 5 minutes with only a screwdriver and a hammer.

Buy a "fire proof safe" from Walmart and give it a try. The small ones are under $100.

Sheepdog1968
August 27, 2009, 07:05 PM
In my area, Stack-On's seem to have a good blend of price ($500) and capacity (16 rifles). My biggest concern is to be avoid being shot by my own firearms. As best I can tell from how it's built, that is unlikely to happen. I have insurance that can replace that conetents in the safe.

jim357
August 27, 2009, 07:41 PM
As far as getting into the safe by manipulating the lock - a few years ago I had the chance to purchase a very nice safe, but it was locked and the combination was unknown. I live in los angeles and must have called 50 safe places and only one of them said that he may be able to open it this way. He said that he would try it with no guarantee. All of the rest wanted to drill holes in the safe. I passed on the purchase. I think these fellows are very few and far between. By the way, I have a friend who now has a safe without the combination and if one of these fellows is in Los Angeles and willing to open it without drilling any holes, I have a customer for him.

Also as far as the RSC rating. As I understand it the safe is not given this rating because it failed a higher rating. The manufacturer applies for this rating. There are also some safes, I can never spell the name but it is something like Graff(something) that has no UL rating at all. But it looks like a good safe.

I also understand that UL does not say what is a safe and what is not a safe. UL will test for a fee and give or not give a rating. These ratings run from RSC to TXTL-60X6. To call this box an rsc or RSC is confusing. RSC is a UL rating for a safe and a safe is, according to the discionary, a metal box with a lock. There is a write up on the internet that mixes up RSC with rsc with safe and is very unclear. I guess that I am uncomfortable with saying that such and such metal box is not a real safe it is a rsc. To me that is mixing apples and oranges.

heeler
August 28, 2009, 08:10 AM
Winston...Yes those cheapo fire safes from Walmart are very easy to get into.
However I was not speaking of those units but rather a far more robust premium RSC such as thje Amec BF series as well as many others that are built out of 3/16 of an inch steel bodies with plate steel doors.
Which was my point to begin with which was not all RSC's are built the same as some are far more secure than others.

Perhaps one day when i win the lottery i can buy some of these units and fly some of you guys out to try and break into them with a screw driver and hammer.
Should be a lot of fun seeing a bunch of guys wear themselves completely out.

a1abdj
August 28, 2009, 09:28 AM
My understanding is the safe has to hold out for a minimum of five minutes using a defined set of tools which some are the three pound hammer and pry tool not exceeding 18 inches.

I dont think you are getting into one of the premium gun safes i mentioned with those two hand tools in five minutes are anything close to that.


You are correct. The test is a minimum set of standards, and any safe that survives 5 minutes is awarded the label regardless of how long it would actually take to open it.

The RSC label is actually a reincarnation of an older set of standards called tamper ratings. although the tamper rating system used longer periods of time. If you run across one of these safes, the tag may say something along the lines of T-20, which was a test four times as long as the RSC test.

Perhaps one day when i win the lottery i can buy some of these units and fly some of you guys out to try and break into them with a screw driver and hammer.
Should be a lot of fun seeing a bunch of guys wear themselves completely out.

This is exactly my issue with the RSC label. You are correct in that most of these safes will keep somebody with a small hammer and long screwdriver out for a very long time. They will also keep out people with spoons and rubber bands, but they don't actually test the safe against burglars using spoons and rubber bands.

The truth of the matter is that burglars don't use spoons and rubber bands when trying to break into safes. They also don't use small hammers and screwdrivers.

heeler
August 28, 2009, 11:35 AM
My experience with home breakins,a fact that has happened to me three times in 30 years at the very same house has been they use some sort of prying device to get your door open.
In fact one of the burglaries occurred in 1985 and the smucks left behind on my ransacked dresser drawer a ten inch long wrecking bar that they used to pry open my front door.
These kind of guys dont come prepared for something like a reasonably stout gun safe...The problem is once they know about it you have to worry are they coming back.

lebowski
August 28, 2009, 12:14 PM
No heeler, I do believe that every RSC labeled cabinet can be broken into with the simple tools and limited time frame set forth in their testing procedure.

I also believe that a UL listed safe of meets or exceeds the standards set forth to be called a safe by the UL, which by default is tougher than those standards for a RSC.




If that RSC was tested and labeled, then it failed the testing. Might not have been as quick, but within the time constraints.


I think you are misunderstanding the definition of an RSC. If it lasts more than 5 minutes, it's an RSC, then the test stops. UL doesn't distinguish anything greater until you get all the way up to TL-15, which is a big difference from the test for an RSC. Heeler's point was that the term "RSC" covers a very wide range, and not all RSCs are necessarily equal just because they carry the same RSC designation.

My understanding is that under general industry lingo a "safe" is something made of .25" or thicker plate steel body and .5" or thicker plate steel door.

The liberty centurian featured in the video you posted earlier is not a safe, hence your video does not illustrate the difference between a safe and an RSC, as you claimed.

stchman
August 28, 2009, 12:24 PM
Lets get the $100 safes aside. The OP was not talking about a gun locker.

Do you think you could break into a $500 gun safe in 5 minutes with a screwdriver and hammer only?

Uncle Mike
August 31, 2009, 04:29 PM
Well, whatever you say...my opinion...Do not own a Liberty safe. I have had two, both Presidential and both where pieces of poopy, and Liberty's customer service sux.

I have seen some shoddy fabrication before but these took the prize!

The one safe was 3/8" out of square, diagonal across the outside. When I questioned Liberty about this, they said it was within tolerance!

The number two safe...yup, out of square again, 1/4" this time so as to have the door drag terribly upon opening or closing. The fire-seal strip would be torn out everytime you opened the door.

Called Liberty...we will send a guy to look at it...guy arrives, says he'll fix it, he beats on one of the door hinges for a while... no change...he will make a report...have not heard for him or that sorry a33 Liberty company yet.

Next try... our corporate lawyer!

Oh yea... safe number two also looks like a square dance took place on the side of it while the paint was still wet!

chiselchst
September 1, 2009, 07:11 AM
IMHO,

Anyone who dues their due deligence, will select a Sturdy Safe. Especialy those that desire fire resistance.

Many have "fire prevention" designed in (fireboard), and some have real fire retardard materials.

I've done my research, and Sturdy Safe was my obvious choice. And their priced reasonably too...

a1abdj
September 1, 2009, 10:58 AM
Anyone who dues their due deligence, will select a Sturdy Safe. Especialy those that desire fire resistance.

Many have "fire prevention" designed in (fireboard), and some have real fire retardard materials.


I say this will all due respect, but in order to do your due diligence, you must look outside the realm of gun safes.

Those who desire true fire resistance purchase safes that have been tested by UL or similar foreign agencies. Safes meeting these testing standards have been around for many, many years. Long before somebody even came up with the idea for a gun safe. None of these safes (that I'm aware of) use the same materials used by Sturdy.

For hundreds of years, safes have used "concrete" types of fill in order to achieve their fire ratings (real ratings, not those from independents). There are only two gun safe companies who build gun safes in the same fashion, and Sturdy isn't one of them.

The problem in the gun safe business is that everybody wants to use insulations designed for every use other than a safe. These insulations may have heat resistant properties, but are engineered for other uses. If these insulations were so great for the use in safes, they would surely be used on the commercial safe market.

CB900F
September 1, 2009, 07:31 PM
Fella's;

Take the above to the bank, it's good currency.

900F

chiselchst
September 1, 2009, 07:53 PM
a1abdj For hundreds of years, safes have used "concrete" types of fill in order to achieve their fire ratings (real ratings, not those from independents). There are only two gun safe companies who build gun safes in the same fashion, and Sturdy isn't one of them.

You're right. And my due diligence was only research online. I don't have any practical experience. I'd like to have a cement lined or professional grade fire-safe, but both the price & weight would not allow it.

I know many folks are happy with a fiber-board or fire resistant sheetrock type fire protection, but I do not like those. According to Sturdy, they have actually tested thier safes working with the FD arson squad, installing their safes prior to intentional home full burn downs to develop the fire protection. I also like their simplicity, and no frills.

FWIW, I work in a large refinery, and we use ceramic wool on a lot of very hot equipment. And I like tha fact it can't break and settle in the safe without a person knowing it happened.

Thanks...

chiselchst
September 1, 2009, 09:39 PM
OP Asked: Also how long are they actually fireproof? Is the rating on them usually correct?

I understand there are some ratings not as accurate as others? Can someone please clarify? It's lines like these that add to the confusion:
It is important to note that products which are "tested to UL standards" have not necessarily met or exceeded those standards, and may have actually failed the test.

OP:
I think the safe you mentioned has 2-sheetrock type X layers, not the best at fire protection? Thoughts?

dodgensince74
September 2, 2009, 03:51 PM
I for one believe that any $600 to $1000 safe is better then having your guns in a plastic case in your closet or under your bed, and also much more secure then a pretty stained wood with a glass front gun cabinet sitting in the family room for all to see. A burglar that wants to get into your safe is going to do so, maybe not the first time but maybe the second time when he comes back with different tools and/or friends. Like I was told many times for as long as I can remember "a locked door or gate is only meant to keep the honest person honest", a true thief will not be hampered by any lock. JMO

Maverick223
September 2, 2009, 08:57 PM
I recently purchased a Diamond Back RSC and am pretty satisfied with the construction. It is imported but quality and value are good. Amongst others it can be purchased from a1abdj under his "Eagle" line. :)

CB900F
September 2, 2009, 09:45 PM
Fella's;

Thermal protection is not rocket science. If you put more of, and denser, material between the heat source and what you want to protect, you get better protection. On the one hand we have sheet metal and gypsum wall board. On the other we have plate steel and concrete.

I don't have a problem making up my mind as to which provides the better insulation.

900F

Maverick223
September 3, 2009, 12:44 AM
Drywall is a very good insulator, but the cemetitious material (not really concrete but similar) is superior...it is nearly identical to the material used for fire-resistant coatings on exposed steel structural members. It does not provide much (if any) structural integrity, but should be fairly hard on a steel drill bit. :)

CB900F
September 3, 2009, 08:59 AM
Fella's;

Gypsum wall board, take the paper off it & call it "fire rock", or dry wall sheet rock by any other name is a good flame barrier. However, it is not dense enough to be an effective heat sink. That's why you see so much interior space taken out of high-number fire rated RSC's by multiple layers of said gypsum. Since it's not very dense, it's got to be stacked deep. And that eats up a lot of the very valuable interior space you just paid for.

900F

a1abdj
September 3, 2009, 10:12 AM
If gypsum board is such a great flame barrier and insulator, why do buildings that are covered with it burn down?

I've never seen a concrete structure burn down to the ground. ;)

Maverick223
September 3, 2009, 11:38 AM
I've never seen a concrete structure burn down to the ground.I have seen many that have...and helped to design the repairs for a couple. One example is a reinforced concrete parking deck where a vehicle fire caused the concrete above to spall and eventually resulted in a failure and partial collapse. A better example is actually a modern steel building. Though they are steel framed they typically will employ shotcrete fireproofing (nearly identical to the insulator used in AmSec safes) on the steel structural members, many have burned to the ground. t is good stuff...but ironically a drywall covered wood structure will still last longer in a inferno...that is not to say that drywall is better than shotcrete because it isn't, just that it isn't a magical fireproof substance that can be destroyed by conflagration. The safest thing to do is to keep your combustibles in the safe. :D

chiselchst
September 4, 2009, 05:10 AM
Regarding drywall as a fire barrier, not only is it not a very good heat/fire barrier for a safe, but wouldn't there also be a concern that if the safe took any physical abuse or shock, the sheetrock could break & crumble, reducing it's already minimal effectiveness?

I realize the space where the sheetrock is packed is probably pretty tight, but I've heard claims it can still crumble if cracked or broken, and work it's way down leaving open areas?
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Mav223 Stated: I have seen many that have...and helped to design the repairs for a couple. One example is a reinforced concrete parking deck where a vehicle fire caused the concrete above to spall and eventually resulted in a failure and partial collapse.

But isn't the temperature and heat intensity substantially higher in a case such as you described, especially when hydrocarbons are involved (auto fire)? I work in a large refinery, and in 1989 we had a big fire (burned for ~3 days), which resulted in a Nationwide change requiring the use of Nomex coveralls for anyone entering a refinery plant. There were very thick piping systems (operating at 3,000 PSI and 1,000F) that were melted in to a mangled mess that looked like speghetti (a reactor also fell over). The heat was very intense to say the least. Point is, can the normal fuel source in a residential fire create such heat?

(FWIW, in the Bay Area, we recently had a gasoline tanker overturn & catch fire, totally destroying the concrete overpass above it. Totally destroyed. That fire must have been VERY Hot, LOL. Took several weeks to repair this major overpass...)
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In the refinery we I work, we have many steel structures (overhead pipeways) that have a fire protection coating on the steel structures(looks kind of like a soft stucco), I'm going to learn more about that stuff, just for my own education...

Maverick223
September 4, 2009, 12:38 PM
Point is, can the normal fuel source in a residential fire create such heat?Can't say...depends upon what you have in your house, but I would say that the average house fire is quite a bit less than that of a refinery or fuel tanker. Average house fire can reach upwards of 1400 F.

The fire resistant coating that you refer to is likely a form of shotcrete that contains (depending upon manufacturer): Gypsum (primary constituent in drywall), mineral fibers, glass fibers, vermiculite, perlite, and portland cement. They are typically relatively soft and are a type of plaster not concrete. From looking at the AmSec specimen it seems that they use a portland cement based formula with increased entrained air. :)

stchman
September 4, 2009, 12:43 PM
I just purchased a RedHead 12/24 from Bass Pro. It was $750 with 10% off. It is VERY heavy and very thick. I am not saying a thief cannot get into it, it is going to take them quite a bit of time. I had a hell of a time getting it into the basement.

Overall I am satisfied with it, it has lots of room for guns and other valuables.

CB900F
September 4, 2009, 02:11 PM
Fella's;

Actually, our fire department here in Great Falls informs us that fully involved house fires will typically hit temperatures of 1600 to 2000 degrees f. They've also stated that depending on weather conditions, read wind, and fuels, the temps can easily exceed 2000 degrees fahrenheit.

900F

Maverick223
September 4, 2009, 02:39 PM
I'll buy it...depends upon what you have in your house...petroleum distillates (in carpet, fabrics, paint, plastics, electronics, et cetera) are becoming more common and will certainly add fuel to the fire. :)

Better Safe Than Sorry
October 18, 2009, 07:50 PM
Our safe was made in the late 1950’s. The door is 6 inches thick and it grips all the way around the whole door. Still, it is only rated T20 so anyone with the right tools can get into it in 20 minutes so they say. Actually it is rated 20 to 30 depending on the tools I guess. The key to a safe is to make it invisible to a thief. They can't open what they can't find. Time is critical for a thief on the run. The longer they pillage the greater the chance of being caught. The primary reason we have a safe is because of fire. The problem with safes is that they are on display for any thief to easily find. Curious, they want to know what is inside. We leave a list of what is inside ours just in case it is found. Our money is in a bank not a safe. Its mostly paper, collectibles, pictures, and things we would not want to lose in a fire. Our safe weighs a ton or more so its not going anywhere fast. Interestingly, it takes me four tries to get the doors to open and I know the combination. One of the reasons we bought our safe was because of the way the doors interlock all the way around when closed. It feels like it is loaded with cement or something really heavy. My point here is not to overlook some of the old safes that were built back in the 50's and 60's. They seem to have a lot more metal than the pretty new ones. Since ours was made invisible, the outside did not have to be pretty. The inside though is all lined with a think felt and looks really nice. We had a Liberty safe in our previous home and when I saw how easily they could be pried open, I just had to look elsewhere. One dealer we talked to had a room full of safes that were broken into so we could see which one's held up and why. It was a real education that we greatly appreciated. We chose an older safe because we thought it was made better than new safes made today. The best safe you can buy is one that can be made invisible. Trust me ours is truly invisible.

Keizer
October 18, 2009, 09:50 PM
If gypsum board is such a great flame barrier and insulator, why do buildings that are covered with it burn down?

Some house fires start inside the walls from electrical issues. Walls are framed with wood typically. The wood burns up, and the gypsum board crumbles since the support framework is no longer there.

a1abdj
October 18, 2009, 11:07 PM
Some house fires start inside the walls from electrical issues. Walls are framed with wood typically. The wood burns up, and the gypsum board crumbles since the support framework is no longer there.

I was being facetious :D

Still, it is only rated T20 so anyone with the right tools can get into it in 20 minutes so they say. Actually it is rated 20 to 30 depending on the tools I guess.


You're pretty close. Your safe does not have a tool rating like a burglary rated safe would have. The T stands for tamper. It is very similar to the rating modern day gun safes have. The RSC rating found on most gun safes is for a period of 5 minutes using small hand tools. Your tamper rating is for the same tools, but for a period of 20 minutes.

Interestingly, it takes me four tries to get the doors to open and I know the combination.

If you are 100% sure that you are dialing the combination properly, you may want to have that looked at. Some locks are more accurate than others with anywhere from +/- 1/2 a number up to +/- 2 numbers. Some older locks can wear to where the number you are dialing "shifts", which combined with the accuracy of the lock will make opening difficult.

This is easy to fix if this is the case. If the lock is worn too much, you can also usually retrofit to a modern lock without much of a hassle.

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