Ever pondered how a home safe or gun safe gets its fire rating? During your search for a safe, it is not coincidental for you to probably have seen a variety of ratings and been curious about what they meant. This article is all about giving you closure on such mysteries as well as some qualities you should consider when purchasing a gun safe.
Fortification from the ill-fated event of a fire
A lot of homes and gun safes on the current market today are layered with a fireboard very similar in appearance to drywall. This fireboard can be ¼ to 5/8 of an inch thick! It is composed of an amount of moisture in it such that when it is heated during a fire, the moisture is automatically released. This process maintains the cool temperatures of the interior for a longer period of time. The more the layers of fireboard, the longer the interior stays cool.
Other safes, on the other hand, have composite material sandwiched in between two steel layers. This composite material can be likened to a type of concrete, with the main difference being the fact that the composite material is a bit lighter in weight. The material takes up the role of insulating and keeps heat from probing into the interior of the safe in case of an inferno.
Another type of insulator installed in safes is the K-wool. The product is in the form of a blanket. It is commonly used to insulate pipes because it can easily be wrapped around curved surfaces. This product is however not recommended for gun safes as it specially designed for piper insulation. Pipes do not require insulation up to the temperature of a home or gun safe.
The best types of gun safes are those that are tested and certified independently. They are placed in optimal fire tests as well as via placing them in furnaces to test their endurance. Thermal couplings are strategically placed in the furnace and connected to an external computer. The furnace temperatures are then set to minimum and then maintained for test duration. Temperatures are then raised to maximum and analysis made. Since the tests are performed solely by the manufacturer, they may tend to be biased, and the rating could be made based on guesses.
When storing a gun, it is a wise idea to get the best fire rating you can afford. The expenses of a fire-rated safe can at times be an obstacle but getting the best comes at a cost!
With fire being an eminent threat, a gun safe is a vital component of your household. When purchasing a gun safe, there are questions you should ask yourself;
What material is used in the construction of the safe?
While all house safe have some form of insulation, gun safes have unique insulation properties. The build quality of a gun safe is the most important thing to consider before purchasing a gun safe. Most gun safes are made of steel. Steel is however not fire resistant. Safes with concrete linings, on the other hand, are highly recommended. Fire seals are also an added advantage. They ensure that smoke and heat cannot easily get into the gun safe. This keeps your guns safer if there is a fire.
How many layers is the safe made of?
Gypsum is the universally used material in home safes. When heated to 263F, it releases water vapor automatically. The vapor then cools the safe’s interior. The interior temperature of the safe remains at 200F-300F range until the moisture is scorched out of the gypsum. In addition, multiple layers of gypsum provide longer and higher ratings. Furthermore, the safe should be covered fully with fire insulation, no room for naked metal or hinge pocket cutouts.
Are all the vulnerable spots protected with this fire protection?
Doors are the most vulnerable spots of a gun safe. So it is wise to consider the type of door seals the product offers. The best type of seal is a Palusol seal. It is capable of expanding up to 7 times its size when temperatures reach 212 degrees! This property makes it possible for them to seal off both heat and smoke.
How is the safe rated? How was it tested?
When paying for a gun safe, fire ratings are more often than not overlooked. In fact, the fire rating should probably be one of the most important things you consider. The more gypsum a gun safe is made of, the higher the fire rating. It is fundamental to carry out some research on fire rating of a gun safe prior to purchasing it. The best gun safes are rigorously tested in ASME certified facilities. When it comes to the rating, be sure to weigh reports from independent laboratories against unverified factory testing.
Gun safes are quite expensive. Fires, on the other hand, are untimely disasters. Ensuring that your gun safe comes with a warranty is vital in ensuring that all your hard-earned money does not go to waste!
What really are the ideal fire safes for your gun?
The ideal fire safes are those constructed with inner and outer steel plates enclosing a poured fire insulating material thus creating a seamless fire barrier. These safes offer superior fire protection.
Guns are very dangerous when not handled appropriately. They should at all times be kept out of reach of children. So why not kill two birds using the same stone? Purchasing a fireproof gun safe is an awesome investment, not only will you be ensuring the safety of your loved ones, but you will also be assured that your gun is safe. If you are a gun fanatic, then a gun safe should be a vital component for your home. The name gun safe might indicate that only guns are to be stored, this is however not the case, other important documents can as well be stored in a gun safe.