So, you have bought a gun safe. It can keep your firearms safe from your kids, unauthorized persons, and even intruders. All points considered, it has a rock-solid construction with a state-of-the-art locking mechanism, and it even looks cool in the corner of your basement.
But is your safe truly fireproof? Can it survive in extreme heat for a reasonable while?
With some manufacturers marketing fireproof safes with unregulated fire ratings, you can’t trust everything you see on advertisements. Some products are hyped with nothing but marketing gimmicks.
If you are searching for the best fireproof gun safe that is thoroughly tested and verified to be fire-resistant, this post is for you.
Hop on in and check out the top 9 fire-resistant safes in the market. These models have outstanding fire protection features and excellent customer ratings.
9 Best Fireproof Gun Safe Reviews
Firearms are not cheap assets. It is crucial to protect them and other valuables in your safe from not only thieves, unauthorized persons, and humidity, but also fire.
We did in-depth research to unveil these 9 models with just the right wall thickness, locking mechanism, and fireproof properties. The units differ in size and price, so you can find one that suits your needs and budget.
Dive right in!
1. SentrySafe SFW123DSB: Best Fireproof & Waterproof Gun Safe
If you have taken the time to do a basic search of the best gun safes, there is a high chance you have bumped into numerous products from SentrySafe.
This is a leading brand that has a history of using the most tech-forward innovations to produce top-quality yet affordable vaults. The SFW123DSB model is one of the best fireproof and waterproof safes at the price range.
Opening the safe is easy-peasy as long as you have the right code for the combination lock. Unlike most safes, this one comes with only one combination that is set by SentrySafe. You cannot change your combination without consulting the company. Fortunately, you can use the override keys as a backup.
Prying the unit open will take using more than just regular hand tools. It features four 1-inch locking bolts for extra strength and a pry-resistant hinge bar.
This is a heavy-duty safe that weighs a whopping 93 pounds. It’s made of thick steel, so even though it looks huge and intimidating, the interiors are much smaller, measuring about 13.8-inches H x 12.6-inches W x 11.9-inches L.
All the same, you get 1.23 Cubic Feet of storage space. This is plenty of room to store your guns, documents, and other valuables.
In terms of its waterproof capabilities, this vault can protect its contents for 24 hours when submerged in 8 inches of water. It also has fireproof capabilities and can offer 1-hour protection under 1700˚F (927˚C) of heat.
- Dependable dual combination lock (override key included)
- Heavy and unwieldy safe – hard for a thief to carry
- Solid steel construction with ample pre-resistant features
- 1-hour protection under 1700˚F of heat
- Top-quality water-resistant seal
- A range of accessories included such as interior shelves, key rack, and door pocket
- Excellent value for the money
- No pre-drilled mounting holes
2. First Alert 2096DF: Small Fireproof Gun Safe
In case you would rather get a bigger and heavier safe, then perhaps the First Alert 2096DF is a better alternative to investing in the SentrySafe SFW123DSB.
This is also a solid steel vault that weighs 145 pounds. Lifting it from the ground is not a joke because it’s both heavy and unwieldy. Fortunately, it has wheels and a removable handle for convenient transportation.
With 2.1 cubic feet of interior space, you can store your handguns, jewelry, spare keys, cash, and various other valuables. Just like the SentrySafe, this unit can withstand up to 1700°F for about an hour.
It also has a reliable waterproof seal, making it one of the few safes in the class that provide dependable protection against theft, water, and fire.
I’m sure you are wondering why this steel safe has a plastic casting. The plastic allows the vault to float during a flood so that you can find it easily.
Features such as the pry-resistant concealed hinges make it hard to use blunt force to open the safe, and also reinforce the waterproof seal to keep your contents dry for longer.
This is a digital vault that is easy to program with a 3-8 digit code. The door has 6 locking bolts for enhanced security, so if you forget your passcode and get locked out, it’s easier to use your 2 override keys than to attempt cracking the door open.
- User-friendly digital lock (override keys included)
- Reliable waterproof seal
- UL fire rating of 350°F -1 hour
- Heavy-duty, 145-pound vault offers adequate protection against thieves
- Spacious interiors for storing more valuables (2.1 cubic feet)
- Batteries included
- Poorly written manual (especially the section showing how to program the digital lock code)
3. Steelwater Extreme Duty 45: Best Fireproof Long Gun Safe
If you need a fireproof safe for long guns, the Steelwater Extreme Duty 45 is ideal for you. It is a majestic 1250 lbs vault with interior shelves that can hold as much as 75lbs. Roughly, you can store up to 40 long guns and still have plenty of room left for your handguns, ammo, and magazines.
The extremely sturdy body is made of 9 gauge steel. Hence, you are assured that even a determined burglar will have to break a sweat to pry the safe open. A gear drive bolt system featuring 20 solid steel locking bolts makes the door virtually pry-resistant.
This, coupled with the ¼” steel plate covering the whole backside of the door, ensures that even drilling the vault can bear little success.
Here’s the deal, in the improbable scenario where a thief successfully breaks the lock, the relocking system would kick in. Think of it as an additional security feature that relocks the safe if someone tampers with the lock or manages to remove it. How cool!
Moreover, this is one of the best fire rated gun safes in the market. It features 4 layers of fireboard that serve as a fire barrier to offer reliable protection for about 2 hours at 1875°F of heat.
Better still, the door seal expands when the temperatures increase because of a house fire. This effectively seals the door to keep out smoke and water.
Apart from having good-looking exteriors with an alluring black matte finish, this safe also brags of posh interiors that are fully carpeted to prevent rattling and damage of your valuables.
There are three sections, with 7 shelves in total where you can set up gun racks. In case you only have long guns, just remove the trays to free up more space for your rifles.
- Easy to use dial-combination lock
- 45 gun capacity
- UL rated to resist 1875°F of heat for 2 hours
- Pre-drilled holes for easy mounting
- Heavy-duty pry-resistant construction (9 gauge steel)
- A range of advanced security features including 20 steel bolts (½” diameter)
- 3 compartments with removable shelves for easy customization
- Fully carpeted interiors and LED lighting
- Free dehumidifier and door organizer kit among other extras included
- Available in a range of sizes
- DOJ approved
- The weight of the safe (1250 lbs.) makes installation a nightmare
4. Stack-On SS-22-MB-E SS22 Gun Safe
It’s hard to go wrong if you choose to invest in a gun safe from Stack-On. This is a brand renowned for the high quality of its products, and the SS-22-MB-E SS22 model is not an exception. The heavy-duty 54 inches tall unit can hold 22 guns and still provide plenty of space for your ammo.
From our tests, we can affirm that the electronic lock works pretty well, and it’s even approved by the California DOJ. There are 1-inch steel live-action locking bolts and about 6 locking points that firmly shut the door and make it pry-resistant.
Moreover, this unit features concealed hinges as well as steel deadbolts on the sides for enhanced safety.
The operational lights automatically turn on to provide enhanced visibility when dialing in the combination code and the lock also features an incorrect entry and low battery indicator. Once you have keyed in the right combination, the door opens smoothly and widely to provide easy access to your valuables.
Customization is made possible with the adjustable shelves, and you may even opt to invest in a door organizer to accommodate extra items. Something else that truly stands out is the fully carpeted interiors that give the vault a professional look and also protect your valuables from getting scratched.
You understand that you cannot operate the keypad if the batteries die, right? In such a case, you can use the two override keys that come with the package. According to user reviews, the batteries last long, so you don’t have to worry about replacing them frequently.
- Large, heavy-duty steel safe with a 22 gun capacity
- Backlit keypad for easy dialing of your combination code
- Reliable two-way locking system with six locking points
- Advanced security features for enhanced safety
- Fully carpeted interiors with 4 adjustable shelves for easy customization
- DOJ approved
- Excellent value for the money
- Heavy and challenging to move to a different location (244 pounds)
5. Mesa Safe Company MBF6032E
One thing that makes the MESA’s MBF Series Gun Safes better than the competition is that they feature a 100% steel construction. All the body parts are made from high strength 12 gauge steel, which drastically reduces the chances of a break-in.
The electronic lock with a spring-loaded, relocking system further reduces the odds of a successful burglary attack, making this one of the most secure gun safes in the price range.
Moreover, there is a drill-resistant hard plate that protects the lock in case a thief is equipped with tough hand tools. With the strong hinges and 3 x 1″ deadbolts, it will take more than just blunt force and ordinary means to pry open the safe.
By looking at the rugged and intimidating looks of this 670-pound vault, you can bet that no intruder will attempt to carry it away. All the same, four anchor holes allow you to bolt down the unit on the floor.
If need be, you can add an extra level of security protocol and program a time delay to deter intruders by slowing them down.
Down to the juicy part, this is also a fire-resistant vault. It can withstand about 1750 degrees Fahrenheit for a whole hour. With such capability, you can focus on your safety during a fire and rest assured that the contents of your safe will be “safe.”
With a whole 13 cubic feet of storage, you have plenty of room to store 30 rifles. You can even make use of the adjustable shelves to increase the storage capacity to about 14.4 cubic feet. Just like all other safes on our list, this one too has fully carpeted interiors.
- Outstanding exterior aesthetics with decorative brass spoke handle
- Impressive anti-burglary features
- This fireproof safe can withstand 1750 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour
- Huge storage capacity
- Fully carpeted interiors
- Adjustable shelves for stress-free customization
- 100% 12 gauge steel construction
- Reliable electronic lock with 2 override keys included
6. Steelwater Extreme Duty 39 Long Gun Safe
There are more than a few solid reasons why we had to include the Steelwater 39 on our list. Apart from being huge enough to house 24-39 long guns, this heavy-duty safe can withstand 1,875 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour, making it one of the best fireproof gun safes in the class.
Furthermore, it comes with a combination lock that operates smoothly and gives you the option to set the dial at 0 to activate the anti-tampering mechanism. As a Steelwater gun safe standard feature, there is a drill resistant hard plate that protects the lock, relock mechanism, and gear drives in case of an intrusion.
For better protection, the safe features larger than average lock bolts, not to mention that its body construction is made from 9 gauge steel. As for the door, its 5-inch thickness makes it pretty resistant to blunt force and burglaries.
Like the floor, ceiling, jambs, and walls, the door also features a multilayered fireboard for outstanding fire resistance. This is one of the few safes that live up to its fireproof hype. As soon as the seal gets heated, it expands to 8 times its standard size to keep your valuables safe and even lock out the smoke.
Unfortunately, the massive capacity of the unit doesn’t work for everyone. Unless you are a true gun fanatic, the capacity of the vault is overkill.
The fully carpeted interiors are also equipped with shelves, allowing you to store not just rifles but also guns, ammo, magazines, cash, jewelry, and lots of other valuables.
- Huge storage capacity
- Adjustable shelves allow effortless customization
- Heavy-duty construction with top-notch components
- Burglary resistant with excellent security features
- Fireproof for 2 hours under 1875°F
- Made from heavy-duty components
- Pre-drilled mounting holes
- Rechargeable dehumidifier included
- DOJ approved
- In case you want to reset the combination, you have to contact Steelwater for assistance
7. SentrySafe QAP1BE: Best Fireproof Biometric Gun Safe
Owning a gun gives you the means to protect yourself and the people you love in case of danger. However, having a lethal weapon also requires you to abide by the gun laws in your state, and by extension, ensure that your firearm does not put innocent people in harm’s way.
If you need a small, portable gun safe with a 1-gun capacity, Sentrysafe’s QAP1BE model is for you.
This is a compact digital vault that stands as one of the best bedside gun safes. It provides quick entry by dialing a combination code or merely using the fingerprint scanner.
Just choose whichever method that you find most convenient during a particular situation. Moreover, the package comes with two backup keys for added convenience.
The structural integrity of the vault is out of the question. Apart from having a 12 gauge steel construction, this unit also brags of a pry-resistant door for enhanced security. It weighs 12 pounds and comes with pre-drilled holes for easy mounting.
Although the housing material is durable and looks pretty rugged, this is not a waterproof safe. We also noticed a small gap in the locking mechanism’s housing that may be the cause of water leaking into the interiors in case of flooding.
On the bright side, the safe can withstand the high temperatures of a house fire for a reasonable while. The seal expands, ensuring that heat and smoke don’t damage the contents inside.
- Solid 12 gauge steel construction
- Pry-resistant door
- Multiple access modes (override key included)
- The biometric scanner allows rapid, single-handed access
- Allows programming the keypad to ensure zero audible feedback
- Compression gas strut allows smooth and silent opening of the door
- Serves as an excellent nightstand gun safe
- Lightweight and portable (can be used when traveling)
- The minor gap in the locking mechanism deprives the safe of being waterproof
8. Steelwater Heavy Duty 20 Long Gun Safe
For good reasons, we could not resist listing yet another product from Steelwater. The Heavy Duty 20 is perfect for anyone with a fetish for safes from the brand but feels that the Extreme Duty 39 or 45 models are overkill.
Like these two other vaults, this unit is fireproof, and drill proof to ensure that the safety of your firearms is uncompromised.
This safe is designed to protect your valuables for an hour when subjected to temperatures up to 1550 degrees Fahrenheit. It keeps the internal temperatures lower than 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and this means that your essential paper documents will also be safe.
One of the features that make the safe excel in being fireproof is the heat-responsive foam that lines up the door to create a secure seal. It expands up to eight times its thickness when subjected to heat, and this provides unrivaled protection from house fires.
Our research shows that the fire protection of Steelwater safes tends to get better when you choose heavier-duty models like Extreme Duty 45.
Even though this is not the heaviest safe in the market, it is still not portable and weighs 453 pounds. The weight is a result of the heavy-duty 12 gauge construction that also provides unparalleled protection from burglaries.
You can store 12-16 long guns, and the adjustable and removable interior shelves can be detached from the unit to accommodate up to 20 rifles. To access your weapons, you need to key in a combination code or use the double bitted key to bypass the keypad.
- Up to 1 hour of fire protection at 1550°F
- Solid 12 gauge steel construction
- Outstanding exterior aesthetics with fully upholstered and LED-lit interiors
- Excellent security features, including a large drill/ballistic resistant hard plate
- Pre-drilled anchor holes for stress-free mounting
- Double bitted override key included
- Reprogrammable user codes
- Accessories such as shelves and door organizer included
- Heavy and bulky safe (the weight poses challenges during installation)
9. Barska Fireproof Fire Vault Rifle Gun Keypad Lock Safe
If 19.9 cubic feet of storage is what you are looking for in a rifle safe, here is a highly recommended model. Barska is a well-established brand with a wide selection of quick-access safes with outstanding safety and fireproof properties.
This model in specific is a fire-resistant unit that can hold 45 rifles and a whole array of other shooting accessories and personal valuables.
Irrespective of the items you choose to store in the vault, you can rest assured they are safe from intruders. The all-steel construction with 6 solid-steel locking bolts makes certain that prying into the unit is nearly impossible.
To further enhance safety, the lockout mode is triggered when an incorrect code is entered multiple times.
You can access your vault’s contents in a moment’s notice as long as you enter the right code in the electronic keypad. Alternatively, you can use the backup keys. Thanks to the key code memory, changing to a different combination is super easy and fast.
Sometimes, your safety depends on how discreetly you can access your firearm. In such instances, you simply need to use the silent access feature that allows you to mute beeping notification.
It’s also crucial to mention that there is a low battery indicator on the electronic keypad lock that helps to reduce the risk of your vault being inaccessible during the most inconvenient of moments.
Apart from offering excellent anti-burglary features, this safe is also fireproof. It can withstand 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit of heat for about an hour. This is a CA DOJ Approved model with a verified UL rating, so you can trust in its ability to provide the advertised protection.
- Easy to program user code
- Huge capacity (up to 45 rifles)
- Solid steel construction with a host of anti-burglary features
- 1-hour of fire protection at 1200°F
- 9V battery included (low battery indicator on the keypad lock)
- Removable shelves and door organizer for easy customization
- Moving a 667-pound safe during installation is laborious
Gun Safe Fire Rating – Explained
If you desperately want to protect the contents of your safe from the risk of fire, there are specific questions you should ask yourself before purchasing any unit.
These questions include–
- What is used to provide fire protection? Is it composite or wallboard material?
- How thick is the fire protection layer?
- What level of protection is offered? Are the walls, internal hinges, floors, ceiling, and door jambs protected?
- Is the specific safe tested and rated by an accredited body?
For you to understand the level of protection offered, there are a few facts you should know. First, guns are vulnerable to damage when exposed to temperature levels above 500°F. On the other hand, papers start charring when the temperatures are about 405°F.
The best fire resistant safes often come with a UL rating. UL is the abbreviation for Underwriters Laboratories, a standardized examination that focuses on evaluating the level of fire resistance of gun safes.
There are three classes of the UL rating.
- UL Rating Class 350
Gun safes that retain internal temperature levels lower than 350°F have a 350 UL rating. This means that the safe can protect guns as well as paper documents for a specified duration.
- UL Rating Class 150
Safes with this kind of rating can maintain the inside temperatures below 150°F. Such safes can protect guns, paper, and other delicate records such as photos and computer discs.
- UL Rating Class 125
When a safe has a class 125 UL rating, it means that in case of a fire, guns, papers, photos, computer discs, and other valuables that can withstand at least 150°F will survive.
UL rating tests can be conducted within 100 hours or more. Based on the outcomes, a safe can be approved for a specific period ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours or more. For instance, a UL rating of “350°F-1 hour” means the interiors of a safe will not exceed 350°F for at least an hour.
Usually, units are approved for a specific rating after considering a range of aspects including–
- Wall Thickness and Rigidity: Thicker walls take longer to warp and distort when exposed to extreme heat
- Quality of the Seals: Their ability to expand and keep the heat out when exposed to extreme temperatures exceeding 300°F
- Insulation Quality: What insulation is used and the number of layers installed
- Insulation Coverage: Are all areas insulated, including bare metal and hinge pocket cutouts?
Fireproof Gun Safe Buying Guide – Things to Consider
Finding the right fireproof gun safe is easier said than done. For some homeowners, the need to protect their valuables from theft is just as pressing as their need to ensure reliable protection from fire.
Let’s have a look at some of the critical aspects to consider before purchase.
First things first, a gun safe is only as valuable as its ability to have enough capacity to hold your guns. Consider the number of weapons you have, their size, and the dimensions of other stuff you want to store.
To get it right, forget the exterior dimensions and focus on the interior space of the safe. Also, take note of a unit’s ability to accommodate accessories that can help save space and store more items.
Simply because a safe has the best fire-resistance rating does not mean you will get equally reliable protection against burglary. If you are going to spend money on a unit, you may also want to ensure that your valuables are not an easy target for burglars.
In most cases, determined thieves use all manner of tools to pry open a safe’s door. Its ability to survive different attack methods will depend on the quality of its locking mechanism and the toughness of the locking bolts and hinges.
Here’s the deal, safes with thick steel constructions are harder to pry open. Even skilled thieves have to break a sweat if they decide to torch, drill, or saw through the unit.
One of the most vital aspects to consider is the fire rating of a fireproof gun safe. The best safes will be rated by independent third parties who conduct rigorous tests to unveil how long a safe’s contents can be protected from certain temperature levels.
It is imperative to understand that the wall thickness plays a vital role in dictating the level of fire resistance offered. Thicker safes provide reliable protection for longer. They often have a higher fire resistance temperature and time.
If you are serious about protecting your safe’s contents from fire, don’t trust just any product with an unknown rating sticker.
There are different types of safes. Some are small, portable, and don’t offer mounting options, and you can even find units that can be slipped under the bed to save space. Then again, some safes are pre-drilled for easy installation.
If you like the idea of installing your safe for added security, choose a model that comes with pre-drilled holes as well as all the mounting hardware you need.
This may seem like a no brainer, although it’s imperative to note that your financial means will dictate the overall quality of the safe you can buy.
Take it from me; it’s not every day you hit the markets searching for a gun safe. The right unit can be a one-time investment that will save you from countless headaches and give you priceless peace of mind.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not implying that the best products cost a fortune. You need a reasonable budget to afford a unit that is so much more than just a metal cabinet where you can lock up your firearms.
To get it right, choose models whose pros outweigh the cons.
Advantage of Owning a Fireproof Gun Safe
Fireproof gun safes are worthy investments. Whether you use your unit solely for storing firearms or you also use it for storing your jewelry, photos, souvenirs, ammo, money, prescriptions, and essential documents, there are several benefits you will enjoy.
- Peace of Mind
The joy of knowing that your valuables are protected in case of a fire is priceless. Then again, the quality of construction of fireproof safes makes them challenging targets for burglars.
- A Range of Sizes, Shapes, and Designs
You can find a safe that is ideal for your unique needs. Simply consider the number of guns you own and the amount of space you have and choose from a range of safe sizes and shapes.
Moreover, it is possible to find a product that blends well with the interior décor theme of any room.
- Easy Installation/ Mounting Process
A good number of safes come with pre-drilled holes for easy mounting. The package also comes with all the mounting hardware to make the installation process easy and fast.
- Affordable and Durable
Safes can last a lifetime if an incident does not occur. In this case, even spending several hundred dollars on a purchase is worth it in the long haul.
The best part is that quality units are built to survive incidences. They are sturdy enough to provide service, even after a fire or burglary attempt.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Will paper money burn in a fireproof safe?
Paper money burns at 233°C or 451°F. This means that gun safes with at least 350 UL rating can protect your bucks from going up in flames. However, do note that protection is only offered for a limited amount of time—typically 30 min-1 hour.
- How long does the fireproof protection of a gun safe last?
This will all depend on the fire rating of a specific safe. Some models are fireproof for ½ an hour while others have top-quality insulation that keeps the interiors cool for 2 or more hours.
- Are fireproof bags effective?
Yes, they are. Even though they don’t offer as much protection as safes, they can protect your documents and even cash from getting damaged in small fires.
We recommend placing delicate valuables in fireproof bags before storing them in your fireproof safe. This offers an extra layer of protection.
- Can I put a gun safe in an unheated garage?
It is okay to install your gun safe in a garage as long as it is not exposed to extreme temperature variations. In case you are worried about your firearms melting under extreme heat, consider installing the safe in the basement or bedroom and use a top-quality gun safe dehumidifier.
- Where do burglars look first?
The best hiding point will depend on a lot of things, including the layout of your home. However, we can all agree that the worst spots are locations typically seen in movies and TV shows.
Consider installing your safe in an unpopular location, such as behind a heavy piece of furniture or bookshelf. Just make sure you will not have an overly hard time retrieving essential things, such as a gun to protect yourself.
When it comes to choosing the best fireproof gun safe, the functionality of a specific unit means everything. We have listed the top 9 models with hosts of features that enhance their functionality, and most importantly, their level of burglary and fire resistance.