The 10 Best Fireproof Safes in 2020 [Ultimate Guide]
Chances are you have valuables that would be difficult to replace, including jewelry, precious metals, passport, and birth certificate. Sometime you would keep money in your home for some reason. Would your vital belongings be safe in the event of a fire at home?
Want to know exactly what documents have to be protected from fire? Check out our guide of 10 things that must be in your fireproof safe.
The National Fire Protection Association reveals that the US fire departments responded to an estimated 1,318,500 fires with an estimated $25.6 billion in direct property loss in a year.
A fire can ultimately damage everything you’ve worked for, but there’s very little you can do once it starts. This is where fire safes come in. A fireproof safe keeps your valuables secure around the clock, whether you’re around or not. So, how to choose the best fireproof safe for you?
First, you should note that while safes may be labeled fireproof, they will burn if subjected to high temperatures for an extended period. Fireproof safes have rated duration of fire resistance, which usually from an hour to past two hours with top quality hardware.
You want to look at the safe’s fire-resistance rating to know how protective it is. Beyond that, you’ll want to consider its size both in the inside and outside dimensions. Then you may also want to look at the other special features it may offer.
Searching for the right safe is sometimes a difficult task. If you search the internet, you’ll find several sites proclaiming to be knowledgeable about best fire safe for documents, highest rated fireproof safes, best fireproof safe for the money, good fireproof safe, best fireproof money safe, etc.
They will tell you what you’re supposed to know about buying a fireproof safe and offer opinions but have no firsthand knowledge in the safe business. Searching further might lead you to conflicting information.
You may be thinking about why our information and options are better than the others. When it comes to fireproof safes, we have seen and experienced ourselves, the good and bad. We are true professionals in the fireproof safes who are committed to giving you only the most critical considerations as you search for a fireproof safe to satisfy your needs.
Let’s take a look at the best fireproof safes on the market.
1. SentrySafe SFW205GQC
SentrySafe is one of the leaders in the home safe industry, and this model gets the top mark as the best fire safe for documents. It offers 2.05 cubic feet of storage inside, so it’s designed to hold a large number of your valuables. It comes with either a digital keypad or a dial combination lock and in a variety of other sizes to suit several spaces.
A secondary lock that requires a key is added for extra security. An interior light is a welcome addition to help you see the safe’s contents when opened. It’s certified to keep your essential documents and other valued items safe for up to 1 hour at temperatures up to 1700 degrees.
The fireproof safe can withstand up to 15 feet of fall, and it’s waterproof too. However, in the event you choose to bolt this best fire safe for documents, its waterproof feature will be lost as you need to drill holes in it for the bolts.
- UL Classified to endure 1 hour at 1700°F
- Dual locking mechanisms; one is either a digital keypad or a dial combination and a key.
- Can be dropped from as high as 15 feet and still keep your valuables safe.
- ETL Verified for 24 hours of protection in water up to 8 inches deep, which is useful in the event of flooding.
- Weighs 125 pounds, cannot be easily stolen away from your property.
- Runs on 6 high-end AA alkaline batteries.
2. Steelwater AMSWD-530 2 Hour Fireproof
- 2-Hour fire-rated at 1850°F (1010°C) 2- Layers of Steel (steel door and inner walls)
- Sturdy construction and too heavy for the burglar to carry
- Spacious interior
- Combination can’t be changed
3. Honeywell 1104 Fireproof Safe
The Honeywell 1104 fireproof safe is UL certified to keep important items safe during a fire for up to 1 hour in conditions as hot as 1,700 °F. Its fire-resistant and waterproof chests make it a good fireproof safe for legal documents and letters, as well as CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives, and more. The fireproof safe is spacious enough that you don’t need to fold letter-and legal-size papers. The size that takes up around the same amount of floor space as a mini-fridge is worth it because the Honeywell 1104 offers your important stuff a better chance of surviving a disaster.
- Molded chests protect sensitive documents and digital media from fire and water damage
- 1-hour UL Fire protection rating for up to 1700°F
- Spacious interior for documents
- It needs to be opened for 30 minutes each week to air it so as the paper contents don’t get damaged with moisture buildup
4. Phoenix Datacare 2-Hour Key Lock Fireproof Safe
The Phoenix Datacare is one of the highest-rated fireproof safes, providing everything you want in a safe. It may not be large enough to store rifles, but you can store just about anything else. It is our runner up in our best fireproof money safe category. The fireproof safe can survive a drop from 30 feet and also waterproof. The safe does not require batteries to run. While nothing flashy about this safe, it does its job exceptionally well.
Its interior that measures 19.5″H x 15.5″W x 16″ D is also spacious enough for your magnetic media. It’s protected by the safe’s commercial fire rating of 125 2-hour, which keeps your media safe up to 125 degrees of internal temperature for as long as 2 hours. It features both humidity and temperature control, which, other than money, protects your memory cards, film, hard drives, smartphones, laptops, iPads, data cartridges, backup tapes, and any other magnetic media.
- Can take up to a 30-foot fall
- Heavy-duty fireproof safe
- Withstand up to 2 hours of high-temperature exposure without much heat to the inside contents
- Double layers of insulation and protection from water
- Spacious internal
5. SentrySafe 0500 Fireproof Box with Key Lock
When you just need portable fireproof safe and cost under $50, the SentrySafe 0500 Fireproof Box is the best option on the market today. The 0500 is the best fire safe for documents at this price point. Weighs only 11 pounds with built-in carrying grip, this small fireproof box is easy to pick up and travel with. The interior measures 9.7 inches by 7.3 inches by 3.8 inches, making it a good fireproof safe for passports, birth certificates, extra money, Social Security documents, and other smaller items.
The SentrySafe 0500 Fireproof Box is UL Classified at 1550 degrees for 30 minutes, so it should hold up your small valuables safe during an average house fire. It features a flat key lock to prevent the lid from opening in case of a fire. However, you need to take note that this safe is not waterproof.
- Portable with built-in carrying grip and weighs only 11 pounds
- UL Classified 1/2 hour at 1550 degrees
- Won’t easily open in the event of fire
- Cost less than $50
- Not waterproof
- Small capacity
6. First Alert 2087F-BD
This fireproof and waterproof safe from First Alert has some fantastic features that make it one of our top contenders on our list. Its fireproof and waterproof features remain even after being secured to the floor, which is made possible by the company’s Ready-Seal technology that allows secure fastening of the safe to the floor. It can withstand temperatures of up to 1700 degrees Fahrenheit as long as 1 hour. It features a waterproof seal that keeps contents safe even when submerged in water. Its pry-proof hinges and four-door bolts are a welcome addition as anti-theft features. Spacious interior with dimensions 12.88 in. high x 10.38 in. wide x 12.25 in. deep.
- Ready-Seal safe secures valuables from fire, water, and theft even when bolted down
- Plenty of storage space for electronics, files, extra money, and more
- Pry-proof concealed hinges resist crowbar entry and deter thieves
- Combination lock comes preset and cannot be changed
7. SentrySafe SFW123GDC Fireproof Safe and Waterproof Safe
This is the third fireproof safe from SentrySafe in our list of best fireproof safes, and it deserves to be in one of our top 10. This armored steel fireproof safe has a total of 1.23 cubic feet of space with an internal locking drawer for smaller valuables, which keeps everything organized. It has a digital keypad that requires high-end alkaline batteries with an expiration date of 8-10 years from the current year, but the backup key slot allows you to open the safe without the keypad function.
It is one of the highest-rated fireproof safes for its intense temperature resistance of up to 1700 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 1 hour. It is also an ETL-verified waterproof safe that provides 24 hours of protection in water up to 8 inches deep.
- UL Classified to withstand 1 hour at 1700°F
- ETL Verified waterproof safe
- LED interior light to see clearly the inside
- Large interior
- Requires high-end alkaline batteries to run the digital component
- Door requires 14.75 in. of clearance to fully open
8. Stack-On PFS-1608
As the name implies, this good fireproof safe is the one you can easily stack. It is flat on top and bottom and sturdy enough to keep your vital documents safe. The modern digital combination keypad locking blots is a nice additional feature. It also comes with a key that you may also use to open the safe aside from the digital lock. It requires AA batteries that can be replaced without the need to open the box.
The welded steel of the safe can handle 1400 degrees for up to 30 minutes. The spacious interior, which measures 13.25 inches deep and 10 inches wide, is big enough for several documents. You can also store guns or extra cash, thanks to its removable shelf. You can also bolt the safe down. Without a doubt, this is one of the best fire safes for documents and other items that are not paper for casual home or apartment users.
- Versatile because it can fit in a lot of spaces with its small size
- Mid-priced but one of the best fire safe for documents
- Not one of the highest rated fireproof safes
- Not waterproof
- Challenging to clean with its padded shelf and carpeted interior
9. SureSeal by FireKing SS104-A
This is a portable safe, and relatively affordable choice for protecting vital documents, passports, and other small items, such as extra money. It comes with a carrying case for easy evacuation if need be. However, it is quite heavy for some at 56 pounds. It provides security to your valuables inside in the event of fire of up to 1 hour at temperatures up to 1700 degrees. Also, it is waterproof for the good of 2 hours and can float, making it easier to see in case of flooding. It holds letter and legal-size files flat.
- Easy to grab in the event you need to evacuate your home
- Floats and waterproof for two hours
- Holds letter and legal size files flat
- Not light at 56 pounds
10. AMSEC Fire Safe
This is a strong choice in best fireproof money safe category. One of the highest rated fireproof safes on the list, it’s certified to keep your valuables safe in case of fire up to 1850 degrees for up to 2 hours. Also, it can withstand a 30-foot drop. It offers a storage capacity of 1.2 cubic feet, spacious enough for your extra cash and documents.
- 2-hour fire rating at 1850 degrees
- Large storage capacity
- Can survive a drop from a two-story burning building
- Not waterproof
- Heavy. You need help getting it in your house
- Expensive choice
How We Chose the Best Fireproof Safes
Quality. A well-built safe can keep your essential stuff safer and offer you peace of mind. All the models we included in our list are durable enough for many years to come. We did not consider those safes with pieces that quickly snapped off. The ability of fireproof safes to take the heat before becoming damaged is also being considered in our quality test. We also put a weight on the decision of our top list, the independent result of their waterproof rating, and drop test result.
Reviews. We do look for reviews from the customers about their experiences on particular fireproof safe after using it for several months, including its ease of use and unique features. We consider how easy a safe is both to set up and to use. Some are quite heavy that may require extra planning when it comes to setting them up. Some fireproof safes are not only fire-resistant, but also water-resistant, so we also look at the importance of this added security to customers and whether it does the job as expected. We also gather sources from various online publications to determine the best safes on the market today.
Brand. All the brands that make to our list of the best fireproof safes are the trusted and popular ones, but it does not mean that we also did not take into consideration other unknown and new brands. However, after careful considerations in several factors, such as quality, reviews, size, water and fireproof ratings, and locking structures, those big brands emerged as the worthy ones to be included in our top 10 list.
Price. When it comes to fireproof safes, we’re talking about high-grade steel and iron. Providing the best protection to your valuables may not be necessarily expensive, but higher price fireproof safes may offer more storage capacity, durability, special features, and security.
Features that are important in a fireproof safe
Size. The size and the available space in your home where you’re going to keep the safe is one of the deciding factors what size of safe you need. Also, the size of your safe should be compatible with the things you’re planning to keep inside.
Fireproof and water safes. Fires cost billions in direct property loss in a year, so fireproof safes are a must-have. Highest rated fireproof safes keep your valuables from danger in heat past 1000 degrees Fahrenheit for up to two hours. Some fireproof safes on our list also feature a waterproof rating that can help keep your valuables safe in case of submersion or humidity.
Locking. Every fireproof safe lock differently. Some use your fingerprint as the primary locking mechanism to protect your important belongings. Others include touch keypads that enable you to make multiple PINs for family members. A dual lock is another popular option, which requires both a key and a combination lock to open the safe. Whatever your preferred locking system, make sure to choose the one with a backup unlocking option.
Is a fireproof safe worth it?
Yes. Things that we cherish above other items such as hard cash, jewelry, IDs, passports, insurance policy, bank, and financial documents, hard drives and many other valuables, are likely to be damaged or lost in case of a fire accident. A good fireproof safe can protect your valuables in the event of a fire. The cost of your fireproof safes is likely much lower than the value of things you keep inside.
Does a fireproof safe really work?
Top fireproof safes are designed to keep the interior as cool as possible throughout the fire.
Will money burn in a fireproof safe?
No, if you use at least a UL Class 350 fireproof safes. The UL Class 350 model comes in 1-hour and 2-hour variations. Both designs can preserve paper assets when exposing to an external fire.
What is a fireproof safe?
Fireproof safes are designed to protect your most valuable possessions should fire strike.
What is the difference between fireproof and fire resistant?
Both fireproof and fire-resistant imply the same feature. Both serve to protect their contents from high temperatures. The difference between the two is that fireproof is usually associated with products that are more reliable and hold better against fire over a period of time. Fireproof is generally viewed as better than fire resistance as the latter is deemed to offer only a basic level of protection against fire. However, in reality, both fireproof and fire resistance can be used to describe the same thing, and technically, they’re interchangeable. There’s no 100 percent fire-resistant safes as any safe will burn eventually. So, when you encounter a product that is described as fireproof, it only implies that the product will offer better and longer protection against fire than entry-level ones. Your valuables inside will be safe only for a certain length of time and under certain heat conditions.
What are fireproof safes made of?
Most top fireproof safe brands contain three layers of protective materials: an outer mild steel skin, a middle core of fireproof material, and an inner layer of special material that can protect the contents.
What is UL 72?
UL is short for Underwriters Laboratory of America, which publishes a range of security and fire resistance standards for products sold not just in American but also in other parts of the world. Their fire tests are generally referred to as UL 72.
What Is ETL Verified?
The ETL in the ETL Verified mark originates with the Edison Testing Laboratory founded by inventor Thomas Edison. The ETL Verified mark serves to denote an elevated level of quality and reliability for a product, signaling to consumers that a product meets high standards. It also verifies marketing claims made for a product. Manufacturers pursue the ETL Verification mark to separate their products from competitors that cannot earn the mark or to match the mark of competitors.
Conclusion on Fireproof Safes
While a fireproof safe can’t protect all your valuables in your home, it can help protect the things that matter to you the most should fire strike. Before choosing the best fireproof money safe, best fire safe for documents, highest rated fireproof safes, or good fireproof safe for you, consider how many valuables you want to keep protected in case of a fire. Also, consider the available space for your safe and your personal circumstances in selecting the best one for you.