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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. heeler

    heeler Member

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    Perhaps they will get steamed and maybe not.
    If it's any comfort guggep,you are far more likely to become a burglary victim than a fire victim according to the statistics.
    And it's not likely Cecil Meth and his buddy Jimmy Crank are getting into that safe.
     
  2. guggep

    guggep Member

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    Official Answer From AMSEC

    Hi All,

    I have what I believe to be the official answer from AMSEC. Moderators please let me know if its within the rules of the forum to place this update up into the beginning of the thread so that its easy for others to find.

    I spoke with a contact at AMSEC Sales and asked to speak directly with a Design Engineer - not customer service but a real Engineer. While he did not let me speak directly to the Engineer my contact indicated he knew the exact right Engineer to ask (a 20 + year employee) and that he would relay my questions. He listened carefully and then went directly to the Engineer ASAP.

    The Engineer replied that the RF6528 does not need additional door seals to meet its given raiting. The water vapor released from the composite during a fire provides sufficient pressure & cooling to meet the requirement. The Engineer indicated that it releases a very large amount of water compared to safes constructed of other materials.

    That said, a door seal could be added to further improve the units performance against smoke and heat intrusion through the door spacing. It will not break the safe or pop the door. The Engineer indicated that I can seal the door with an intumescent seal strip on the safe body Paralell to the door edge up against the corner. Placing the strip on the body paralell to the door face would result in it getting crushed. AMSEC provided me a part number for the correct seal strip to use which I ordered through my local AD for a smalll cost. Anyone who has an RF and wants the part # can PM me for info.

    I will take some pictures once I receive and install the seal.
     
  3. heeler

    heeler Member

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    Most excellent.
    Congratulations on sticking with this and now for a minimal cost and very little labor you can have peace of mind too.
    I gave some real thought about this thread last night and was looking at various Amsec safes on the down loadable catalogue and again found it peculiar that all the gun safes have the seals as well as the TL15 rated gun safes and the imported CSC series and the smaller one hour UL rated BF units.
    But not the Amvault units or even the UL rated two hour fire safes have the seals.
    I am sure Amsec engineers know far more about this than I do or ever will but it does seem strange that the very best safes they offer in regards to fire and burglary protection do not.
    Look forward to your pictures.
    I have yet to see an RF safe in person.
     
  4. guggep

    guggep Member

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    Door Seals Have Been Installed on the RF6528

    After a good bit of work the door seals have been installed.

    BACKGROUND: I ordered 3 strips from AMSEC based on their recommendation. The strips are 77 3/4" Long x 9/16 wide x 1/8" tall. They are a spot on color match to the black interior walls and come with a self adhesive backing.

    PLACEMENT: Prior to installing I cut off several small pieces off of one of the strips to use for dry fitting. I quickly discovered that the location recommended by AMSEC was not going to work. It would not be effective. Due to the back angled door edges the cavity in the corner has a volume larger than would be filled by the expansion of the Palusol in the strip. It became obvious that the surface they recommended was correct but the strip location on that surface needed to be moved closer to the outer edge of the safe so that the gap between the strip and the door edge would be minimized. After several dry fits I determined that the best location was to have the inside edge of the strip 2" from the corner. And..... It almost worked.... Unfortunately the door is not perfectly symmetrical left to right (or top/bottom) and the angle is slightly less steep on the hinge side. This resulted in the strip contacting the door edge during closing. Not wanting to bind the door and have future mechanical issues, I re-located the hinge side strip so that its inner edge is 1.75" from the corner.

    RESULTS: What I have now is fire seal on all 4 sides with a gap ranging between 0 - 4 business cards on the Top, Left, and Right sides. The gap on the bottom edge is about 5. The seals are out near the outer edge so they should expand soon enough in a fire to minimize smoke intrusion. The bottom gap is bigger than I would have hoped for but its also down low where there is the least amount of heat & smoke.
     
  5. Abear

    Abear Member

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    Guggep: Did AMSEC provide you a part number on the seals, how much $$$?

    Thank you, thinking of purchasing the same safe and if I do I will upgrade like you recommend.
     
  6. guggep

    guggep Member

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    PM Sent to Abear
     
  7. guggep

    guggep Member

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    a1abdj - please post pics of amvault after fire

    Hi a1abdj,

    You recently posted some fantastic pictures (on a differnt forum) of an Amvault Composit safe (identical construction to an RF6528) that went throug a total burndown. You also had some closeups of the contents. Would it be possible for you to post into this thread as well. It would really round out this thread.

    The pictures showed how well the safe perfromed but maybe equally important how much extra protection was provided by an uninsulated metal storage box (inside the safe).

    Lesson learned - I have already purchased a fire resistant sentry box for use inside the safe and will use similar insulated containers or sealed ammo cans wherever possile. Also no bulk ammo or anything with lithium batteries allowed in the safe.
     
  8. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    Per the OP's request:

    It wasn't that long ago that the AMSEC RF6528, and its lack of a fire seal was being discussed. I had some photos of similar composite safes that had been involved in a fire, but none of an actual AMSEC. This is a safe that I sold to a customer new. They called me the other day while the house was still on fire, so in addition to the photos, I know the specific details.

    This safe was located in a walk out basement, in a utility room area where lawnmowers and ATVs were parked. The fire was caused by gasoline fumes ignited by the water heater. The owner was home at the time, and luckily, him and his family escaped without injury. The house and everything in it was a total loss. You can see the top of the safe in the middle of the photo:

    burnedamvault1_zpsa9eef0c2.jpg

    The safe has a factory 2 hour rating. The fire department had a hose on the area that the safe was in to attempt to keep it as cool as possible. The fire burned for 8 hours, and the safe sat for another 2 hours until they could get a chain around it and drug it out of the smoldering debris with a tractor.. This is what was left of it:

    burnedamvault2_zps5f373748.jpg

    As you can see, there was very minor damage to the contents. Not bad for a safe designed for 2 hours being exposed to 8 hours worth of heat. There was a bit of soot inside the safe, along with some minor water intrusion, likely from the fire hose. All of the important items inside the safe survived. The envelopes protected their contents from the soot, and all of the paperwork inside was in great shape. Paper money survived fine. Some jewelry and coins survived fine. Some of the plastic containers didn't do so well, and started to deform. Nothing melted. Note to those using plastic containers: Make sure they are microwave safe. The plastics on those containers require a much higher temperature before they begin to melt.

    burnedamvault4_zpsacd961c9.jpg

    burnedamvault5_zpsab2a5bec.jpg

    burnedamvault6_zpse0e2ac3b.jpg

    burnedamvault7_zpsf50ce71d.jpg

    Overall, in this case I do not think a door seal would have made much of a difference. The safe was exposed to heat for far longer than it was rated, and still peformed fairly well. Had the safe only been exposed for 2 hours, I suspect what little damage there was would have been less.
     
  9. bruzer

    bruzer Member

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    WOW, thanks for sharing pictures of the safe and contents after a fire. I hope my Data Safe never has to prove itself but I did get it for the fire rating.
    May God bless us all,
    Mike
     
  10. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks a1abdj for sharing those images.
     
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