gun safes in fires

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by 38 special, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. 38 special

    38 special New Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    In a thread about cartridge cook of temperatures, woolyworm gave a really well written and documented reply.
    I then got to wondering if anyone has had a house fire with a gun safe being affected. I was thinking if the interior temperature of the safe got to275 degrees and you had some 22 shells in there, they could go off and might gouge or otherwise ruin some fine wood rifle stocks that may not have been damaged otherwise because of 275 degree heat.But then,I'm not sure what temperature would damage gun stocks though.
    Does anyone know flashpoints or charring point or damage point for rubber,plastic,wood grips or wood rifle stocks,scopes,film negatives,paper,other substances that might be in a gun safe? What temperature would cause permanent damage to the materials? Has anyone had personal experience with this?
  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    I have been in the remains of two houses after fires in which there were gun safes in the house; all of the contents in both were in excellent condition. Ammo outside of the safe that was just stored in factory boxes did go off in the one fire. I don't think you have much to worry about if your firearms and other articles are inside a quality fireproof safe; if it does get too hot inside of the safe, you've got MUCH worse problems than you'll ever need anyways. Hopefully a detailed insurance policy will be there when needed.

    I'm wondering if you got in contact with a safe manufacturer, i have a feeling that they'd be able to answer your ?'s pretty quickly and accurately.

    My theory is that we can only try to protect ourselves and our property as best as we can, after that we'll just have to accept it for what it is, because S/// does happen!
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009

  3. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    Jul 28, 2008
    DAV, Deep in the Pineywoods of E. Texas!
    All gun safes are rated for fires by what they are made of, how long it is exposed to fire, and at what temps. Most use gypsum board (sheet rock) in any where from 1 to 4 layers. The more money you pay for your safe, the more layers. If the fire is really hot, and the safe is in it long enough, nothing will help! There is a new material out there being used by some companies, but I'm not that failure with it. I have read that it isn't really any better than gypsum board, but the manufactures that use it claim that it is better.
  4. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    As far as I know safes are fire tested at 1200F and it is a TIME factor that the rating is based on. These tests can be severly biased by manufacturers and testing agencies depending on were the temp probes are place - bottom being cooler of course.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  5. 3ME

    3ME New Member

    Feb 26, 2009
    Fire rating was a factor when I bought my gun safe. It is supposed to be rated at 1200° for 60 minutes. I would hope that if the house caught fire and the whole house fell in on top of the safe, the fire department could get it put out in an hour. What I don't know is if the average house fire gets hotter than 1200° and what the contents will look like. Will papers stored inside be charred or the finish of the guns ruined, or will everything come out ok?
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum I saw it on the must be right—-22 misfires Jul 4, 2016
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Ammo fires Jun 28, 2013
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Trying to find some Federal Gold Medal Ultra Match 22 rimfires. Jul 2, 2007