Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by TTv2, Apr 22, 2022.
Is it worth spending the money on a safe that's easier to move but isn't fire resistant?
IIRC mines a one hour .. meaning two layers of 5/8 type X
Many fully-involved structure fires will easily leave the fire temperature ratings of RSC well behind.
Against that is the fact that most multifamily dwellings are required to be protected with fire sprinklers, which not only reduces risk of spread, but lower the likelihood o a fully-involved fire, too.
And, you are generally not allowed to bolt things down in rental properties, so there is a logic for using Stak-On or similar sorts of security containers.
Keeping the weight down to 200 to 400 pounds is probably better just for getting up stairs and into cramped apartments, too. There's a logic for using things like "bedvault" too--as out of sight is out of mind, which can be important where maintenance people might need to get access to your apartment.
Now, in a rent house, I might be more inclined to investing in a 600-800# safe.
That is not to say they were not salvageable. Refinishing was required for anything that was not heated beyond its heat tolerances. Most of them were unsalvageable entirely though.
My advice is to buy a cheap "safe" and install your lock mechanism of choice if it does not come with one you want. IOW, for me, a 16-20 gun size safe is fine but these usually come with the craptastic Elocks. I replace it out with a mechanical.
Sized the\ way you want it and as heavy as you want but try to keep the cost as low as possible. Any criminal can get into a modern day gun "safe'" (RSC) and any fire can destroy its contents. A safe is better than a cabinet but only by a little.
There is caveats to this of course. I personally THINK the biggest baddest safe that Liberty, Browning, etc. have available will generally serve you well and can be pretty fire retardant if placed in a basement or the garage. The 4-6000 lb weight will keep them from being stolen or moved and at that level, they are fairly pry tool resistant as well as cutting tool. It would take a lot of muscle, noise, gas, and abrasive blades for a Stihl TS800 to get into one but it could be and has been done.
One thing I'm thinking about is that with weight being a factor, I'm thinking it's better to have 2 or 3 smaller safes as opposed to just one big safe. I could start with a non fireproof safe and get a second with fire resistance later. Also, this would make breaking into a second safe require twice as much work for anyone trying.
Thoughts? Better to have several small safes vs one big one?
This is probably especially true for OP, being in rental property. Apartments, and rent houses, often have smaller closets and room dimensions. So, more, smaller, might be "more discrete" than one large & big.
From your experience as a dealer, what might you recommend to an apartment dweller who might need to have to navigate narrow doorways and weight-limited upper stories (and no bolting down)?
In a home fire your safe is going to end up in the basement under a huge pile of embers that will be very hot (conservatively 600°C) for days (no matter what floor the safe *was* on). No amount of insulation is going to keep that heat out of the safe for even a couple of hours.
If you have a basement.
This makes sense, if the fire is big enough and floors, walls, etc. collapse it's going to be in contact with the safe for a long time and likely the heat will exceed the rating for much of that time. At that point whatever limited fire resistance a safe has is useless.
Seems like lighter cabinets and non fire resistant safes are in fact the way to go.
I'm not a dealer, I only manufacture and sell my own brand of quick access handgun safes. As far as living in an apartment I would buy a Zanotti Armor modular safe and bolt it to the wall studs. Sheetrock is an easy fix when you move. It doesn't have any "fireproofing" other than relatively thick steel for a modular safe, but again I believe most fireproofing on RSC's is a gimmick and provides very little real protection. Use a small fireproof coument box inside if you just have to have some important papers you want to keep at home. To do it right on fire resistance, you need to look at something like an AMSEC BFII series RSC and they are heavy to move and too pricey for most, especially at today's steel prices.
The other benefit of bringing in a modular safe in an apartment complex besides just being easier to move in tight places or up stairs is that any of your neighbors that see you bring it in will just think you bought a piece of Ikea furniture.
Sure, if you never have a fire. If one should ever occur, at that point being fire resistant would be more important than difficulty of unauthorized access.
Your dice, your roll.
This is kinda what I mean when I say only to trust the test from a reputable certified testing facility and not the manufacturer. Too many unknowns and variables when each manufacturer makes their own test and how trustworthy are the results?
Can you point me to what the NIST procedure is for testing a safe? As far as I know, this test is meant for testing structures and construction materials, not safes specifically.
Also, when you see those certified labels, who certified them, the manufacturer?
I've had a non-fireproof safe for about 30 years. So far it has been adequate. But then I've never had a fire.
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