A fireproof waterproof safe brings peace of mind when you are in need of a secure place to store valuable, tangible items from the two most destructive forces on earth. Fire and water can destroy most mediums within moments. The loss of precious, irreplaceable photographs, important documents such as savings bonds, stock certificates, and paper money is not worth taking a chance with. Flood or fire may strike at any time; neither is something you can predict or expect to happen. If you are a firearms enthusiast or hold a weapon for safety purposes, you would certainly want to store your ammunition in a fireproof safe to prevent bullets from flying in the dreaded event of a fire. Clearly, it would be bad form to inadvertently shoot the firemen attempting to save your home and possessions.
There are numerous brands, styles, and options of today’s modern safe. The most important consideration is the verified rating established by Underwriters Laboratories, a non-profit safety testing organization that has been working for the public for more than a century, and ETL Semko (for waterproof only models). Both of these independent testing groups adhere to rigid laboratory controls to ensure a manufacturer’s stated specifications are accurate and true. To pass the strict standards for fire protection, a safe must withstand the model’s stated fire rating and waterproof designation.
Good fireproof waterproof safes are those in which whatever contents are planned to be put within remain intact during the specified time and temperature level. For example, a model designed for such items such as audio/video and computer media requires a safe with a fire rating of at least 1550 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of a 1/2-hour with an interior temperature no higher than 125 degrees and 80% humidity. The ETL endorsement certifies a unit is in compliance with a manufacturer’s waterproof specification. The model must be completely submerged with 2″ of water above its top for an hour, with no more than 0.5 grams (equivalent to 8 drops) of water reaching the interior.
There are many combinations of ratings on various units. Each is engineered for particular types of possessions you would want to keep in one. Guns, money, jewelry, birth/marriage/death certificates and even the family genealogy report that has been painstakingly researched and written by hand are items one might wish to put in a safe. The size of the model you need all depends on what and how much you want to put in it.
Safes come in a wide range of sizes. One small model, the Sentry Safe 0500 Fireproof Security Box, has 6.1″ x 12.2″ x 10.3″ exterior and 3.8″ x 9.7″ x 7.3″ interior dimensions and is appropriate for holding items such as passports, visas, social security cards and other small documents. Anything small you can think of would easily fit in this box. Although this and indeed other similar units of this size are not waterproof, when placed in a high area not likely to be affected by a lower level flood, this will work admirably at an extremely affordable price. The Sentry F3300 Waterproof Fire File Chest is another compact option which offers both fire and water protection but comes up a little more costly.
Medium-sized and larger safes with electronic touchpad, dial combinations, and tube locks are more expensive, but worth the cost for what they are bought to protect. The GM2459E Sentry Gun Safe with a 59″ x 25″ x 23″ exterior and a 58.7″ x 24.7″ x 18.4″ interior can hold/protect 24 rifles. These types of safes have three live-locking steel bolts, hardened steel plates, external hinges (although this detracts from this kind of safe for the reason mentioned below) and custom interior features. Hardware to bolt these large safes to the floor is a plus for added security. In terms of fire safety, it is ETL verified for 30 minutes fire protection at temperatures up to 1400° Fahrenheit.
There are not many cons to owning a safe other than the weight of the safe if you want to move it, and exterior hinges on a model bought specifically for safety. Popping the hinge pins can often be all too easy with common tools. Otherwise, losing the keys to a safe without a combination presents a problem that will require the expertise of a locksmith. Forgetting the combination and losing the keys on a large safe may require the skills of an explosives expert. That last sentence may not necessarily be true if you are able to contact the manufacturer and present them with the serial number to your safe and proof of ownership.
Honeywell, First Alert, or a Sentry fireproof waterproof safe are probably the most well known brands and can be found in almost all major chain stores. SentrySafe made its first safe in 1932 and the first-ever fireproof safe in 1955. Since that time, the innovations in fire and water safety technology has made peace of mind for consumers the number one priority for all manufacturers of a fireproof waterproof safe. Prices range from $20 to over $1,000 for typical safes bought for home use. There is sure to be one on today’s market to fit every need and price range. Online comparison-shopping is easily facilitated with simple search engine terms pointing you in the right direction.