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Safe Door Seals - Should an RF6528 have em

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by guggep, Mar 28, 2013.

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  1. guggep

    guggep Member

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    Hi All,

    I received my Amsec RF6528 today. What a beast. I did notice one thing that seemed strange to me though. There was some play in the door when closed (not flex). Upon inspection I realized that it did not have a door seal. It was just concrete/metal -> concrete/metal. There was no seal to prevent heat intrusion. The play I was detecting seemed to be the gap that I would assume was normally occupied by the seal.

    I attempted a call to my dealer and Amsec but missed em by a few minutes. The Amsec recording says they are closed until Monday.

    Can the experts or anyone who has one of these comment on if they are supposed to come with the seals or not.

    Thanks in Advance
     
  2. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Guggep;

    I can't speak to AMSEC's build specs for that model, but I'm surprised to hear that the unit came without seals installed.

    900F
     
  3. Abear

    Abear Member

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    The RF6528 has a two hour 1850 degree fire rating. I can't imagine no seal, sounds like a QC issue? I know all the Mfg's are super busy. I am considering the exact same safe. I am sure it is a beast that has to be seen to be appreciated, any other opinion or facts about your new safe would be greatly appreciated. Did you leave it on the pallet? I assume it is in your garage or similar or concrete ground floor. Any delivery issues?
     
  4. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    No seal. Most of the commercial safes with burglary ratings don't have them.
     
  5. Torian

    Torian Member

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    I thought I read somewhere that certain safes only have seals that activate in extreme heat.

    Not familiar with your model though. What did she run?
     
  6. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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  7. guggep

    guggep Member

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    Abear,

    The safe is very nice and is extremely heavy. Do not attempt to self deliver/install. Hire professionals. I had the safe placed ground floor on a concrete slab. It still took 3 guys with specialized equipment & powered movers quite a while to get it where I wanted without destroying the house. They did a good job and were worh every $$ I paid for them.

    The garage would have been much easier placement, but I worried about temperature fluctuations & condensation.
     
  8. guggep

    guggep Member

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    Torian,

    The RF is not inexpensive, but does provide TL rated security. I worked with my local Authorized Dealer to obtain very good pricing. I shopped around quite a bit before purchasing.
     
  9. guggep

    guggep Member

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    Interesting - Page 2 of the Amsec 2013 Gun Safe Catalog does state:
    "All of our HS, BF, SF,FV, and TF series safes come with a Palusol Intumescent Door Seal..."
     
  10. heeler

    heeler Member

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    Any chance your safe is a left over 2012 model?
    They have a sticker on the inner door that shows the quarter of the year it was built.
    All that being said the latest Amsec catalogue I have is a 2011 and it mentions the seals on all of the gun safes models except the HS models.
    Since the Amvualt model is the same safe minus the gun racks I was looking at the interior on Amsecs online downloadable catalogue and there is no seal showing in the picture.
    So,it's my belief that it's not there and is not needed on these high grade safes.
     
  11. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Fella's;

    I'll argue that in a home, with the possibility of loss due to fire, that the seals are needed. The gasses produced by a typical home fire can be extremely harmful to stamp collections, photographic emulsions, scope lens coatings, and coin collections.

    900F
     
  12. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    I would agree, but......

    I think it depends on how the fire is devloping, and where the safe is located. You can have fires away from the safes where the gasses are getting into/around the safes. Since the fire is not near the safe, it is not getting hot enough for the seals to swell.

    I suspect this is why we see some of the gun safes after fires, that do not have severe fire damage, still have contents that look as if they had been sitting on the ocean floor for a month.

    Safes are already at some advantage, in that it is not easy for air to circulate through them as it is. I would say that a proper door shape is probably a better first defense than a seal itself. A tight fitting door, seal or no seal, is also going to perform better than a door that has a 1/4" gap around it.

    I'll have to look through my collection to see if I have photos of any of these non-sealed, high security safes that have been through a fire.
     
  13. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    A1abdj;

    Thank you for pointing that out. I can now see that I was influenced more by the Graffunders than by applying the thought to the broad market. For those not aware of it, the Graffunder safes have very tight fitting doors to begin with; you can't get a credit card in the crack between the door plate and the frame. Like an old Volkswagon, the doors air-piston as they shut.

    Nonetheless, Graffunder now incorporates two seals set at 90 degrees to each other at the door/frame junction. They are, of course, of an intumescent material & do swell under heat. But they are triple-lipped, much like some windshield wiper blades, and also provide a mechanical seal regardless of the heat factor.

    900F
     
  14. guggep

    guggep Member

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    As CB pointed out safe contents can be damaged by heat intrusion & smoke damage. This worries me alot as the RF (at least mine) has easily a 1/8" gap and allows unrestricted air infiltration.

    I went down to my AD on Friday and asked them about it. Their website does say that the RF has door seals, but they were not sure. Thus, they fired off an email to AMSEC and hope for an answer on Monday.

    As good of an insulator as the composite is, I dont see how the safe could keep contents under 350 against the 1850 degree temps its rated for with that air gap.

    I will likely place a call into AMSEC on Monday just to follow up on the AD's email. Hopefully I can get Inside Sales to get me in touch with an Engineer.

    Worst case I will get some 1/8" x 1" 2300 degree ceramic ribbon gasket and apply it with some 3M CP 25WB on the body/door contact zone (paralell to the door) similar to what sturdy does. I could also lay in some 1/4" x 1 PVC encapsulated palusol on the safe body (perpendicular to the door).

    For what the RF costs I really should not have to spend an extra $100 on door seals. I hope that AMSEC will step up here.
     
  15. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    This is the closest I could come up with.

    It's a composite burglary/fire safe. Non stepped door. No fire seal.

    [​IMG]

    Came out of this:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. guggep

    guggep Member

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    Thanks a1abdj

    Although that was obviously a very hot fire, the picture does have me worried as I can see the smoke & hot air penetration around the door.
     
  17. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    Keep in mind that a regular fire test is only testing for temperature. Most safes with fire ratings will also have some moisture content, which will create steam (and positive pressure) within the safe itself.

    I'm not saying that door seals can't be helpful, or don't do a better job of protecting the contents of a safe. But they may not have anything to do with temperature, which is really all of these test are telling us anyway.

    The other thing that I always like to point out is that internal temperature that's being tested for. In most cases, the magic number is 350 degrees. That heat can still cause damage. Fire safes are not designed to keep the contents in pristine condition, but rather keep paperwork in readable condition.
     
  18. Lagarto

    Lagarto Member

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    Intumescence

    "All of our HS, BF, SF,FV, and TF series safes come with a Palusol Intumescent Door Seal..."


    Intumescent door seals are activated by heat. They swell and keep the steam from the insulation from escaping from inside and the heat from penetrating as fast as it normally would. A 2 hour unit would definitely have to have them in order to pass a 2 hour UL test.

    Please realize that any thing that will be ruined by water will not fair well in a fire proof safe that survives a fire such as one in a1abdj's post.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
  19. guggep

    guggep Member

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    My unit definitely does not have the seals. That is what I will be taking up with AMSEC on Monday.
     
  20. heeler

    heeler Member

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    guggep,I certainly hope you post your results of your inquiry with Amsec.
    I have a number of Amsec product catalogues dating back to 2007 and every picture I have seen that shows the interior of the TL rated safes do not show any sort of seal on the Amvault series.
    However,looking at my 2011 catalogue there is a picture of the HS7943 and the HS6743,which are both TL-15 rated, and the picture clearly shows a Palusol seal on it's door.
    The RF model is in gloss black so I cant tell if it shows one or not.
    That being said even using my strong magnifying glass I cannot see the silicon seal on the door jamb of the safe such as the one my BF model has in conjunction to it's Palusol seal on the door edge.
     
  21. guggep

    guggep Member

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    Hi Heeler,

    The edge of the RF door is actually curved - its an arc of maybe 15 degrees. Not even an angle but an arc.

    To seal the RF to my satisfaction will require a gasket on the frame of the safe where it contacts the door (paralell to the door) like what Sturdy does, and A fire/smoke seal similar to what graffunder uses could also go on the door edge or better yet on the frame/body perpendicular to the door.

    I will be calling AMSEC first thing on Monday to find out more.
     
  22. jim357

    jim357 Member

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    I have the same safe and had the same issue and questions. The safe seller told me that none of them (the RF model gun safe or the Amvaults, a commercial jewelers safe) had the seal, but I had trouble believing him. I spend quite a lot of time on the phone with AMSEC and finally spoke to someone who really knew the issue and was able to answer my question. He answered my questions and I felt that he knew exactly what he was talking about. To make a long story, that I have mostly forgotten, short this safe does not need it. AMSEC does not put it on any of these safes, yours and mine were not missed, none of them have it and work fine without it. Looking at many of the AMSEC catalogs, I see that the folks who write the catalogs are a bit fast and loose with what is in the catalog. I later met a fellow who used to work for AMSEC and he confirmed that this is the case. I feel fine with mine not having it. I feel confident that you will get the information you need and be fine with your safe. I feel that it is one of the best safes you can get. Jim
     
  23. guggep

    guggep Member

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    AMSEC Responses

    Hi Team,

    AMSEC Customer Service indicated that door seals are not needed due to the water content of the composite which releases water vapor during a fire creating internal pressure. They said that so much water is release during a hot fire that the contents would be all wet especially at the bottom. They implied that tightly sealing the safe could result in popping the door. They really didnt have much of an answer about smoke intrusion other than the positive pressure from the water vapor keeping it out.

    My AD called me this afternoon after they heard back from AMSEC Inside Sales that the specialized shape of the door edge creates an effect which combined with the composit negates the need for door seals.

    I still have my doubts so I am going to keep pushing to see if I can manage to get an Actual Engineer on the phone. If I can get one on the phone I will ask (among other things) about partially sealing the door - Top & sides against smoke while leaving the bottom to breath.
     
  24. heeler

    heeler Member

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    Well at least you got an answer,sort of.
    I still find it somewhat peculiar that the HS TL-15 models in the Amsec photo's clearly show a Palusol seal near the door edge.
    But the TL-15 gun safes and the Amvault type gun safe are two different birds and the doors are different.
     
  25. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Guggep;

    So you get your wood gun stocks steamed? Wonderful!

    900F
     
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