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Fire Resistant Safe is not so Safe For Valuables

Thick Fire Resistant Safe Door
Photo: Garbo's

I was just out with my father in-law who had just purchased a brand new Chrysler 300 in Houston and he was in town, while here he wanted to get another key as a backup. We were informed that those Chrysler keys needed to be programed and were not just some old key you could buy at any ole hardware store. We were sent to a local locksmith I know, Garbo’s. They have the keys with that new high-tech electronic gizmo that only starts that car and only that car. As I got bored waiting on my father in-law I was distracted by those shiny new gun safes Garbo’s has in their store. Still bored I started messing with them and asking all the other employees all about these new safes, like in case of a fire could I run to my safe get inside and close the door and be safe because it is “fire-proof” after all, right?

Two of Garbos Safes
Photo: Garbo's

That’s when Miss Garbo taught me the difference between “fire proof” and “fire resistant”. There is a huge difference, while she informed me that they could order me a fire proof one, the fact is that all of the safes in their store were only fire resistant up to 1290 degrees for 90 minutes. Then she show me a picture of someones valuables that were completely fried by a recent range fire that destroyed their house. The owner thought that when he purchased a “fire proof” safe it meant fire proof, right? That is exactly what I thought, because I own the same kind of gun safe that she showed me pictures of where everything was burnt to a crisp.

Burnt Firearms from Faulty Vault
Photo: G. Garbo

I share all this information with you so you don’t make the same mistake this homeowner made, the same exact mistake I made too, only my valuables didn’t get fried. When buying something that you think is going to protect your guns and other valuables make sure you get exactly what you think you’re getting, because finding out after the fact the it’s not what the kid at the big store told you it could or in this case, cold not do. Placement is also very important, locating it on an outside wall will help cut down on the amount of time your safe will be exposed to the high heat temperatures most house fires produce. Also make sure that if it’s rated for something, research it thoroughly, double check and get a U.L. rating on it. U.L. short for Underwriters Laboratories has a very useful and easy to navigate website that can answer most questions you might have as you research vaults.

Big White Garbos Safe
Photo: Garbo's

Waiting for a fire to find out that all your important papers like life and home insurance went up in flames just because the safe wasn’t really safe seems a little crazy to me. I didn’t get any sleep after learning all about safe safety. So I’ll move it to an outside wall and as soon as I can afford another one I’m getting a more fire resistant safe, because the one I’ve got now can keep the typical house burglar out of my important papers and what my few precious valuables (that are really only valuable to me and my wife). All this worrying just because a fellow west Texan lost all his precious belongings due to a cheap and a west Teas grass fire.

American Security Safe Door
Photo: Garbo's

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