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When I was shopping for a safe I looked into that fire rating thing. The fact is, the struff they use to make the insides fireproof is nothing but ORDINARY DRYWALL!!!! So paying big $$$ for a fireproof rating doesn't make a lot of sense to me. You can install drywall yourself for a lot less and get the same protection.
That is exactly what my buddy recommended doing, building a drywall enclosure around the safe to add to the rating. Most ratings seem to be 30 minutes or so at 1200 degrees.

I'm told that placement of the safe is important as temps are generally higher the further up in a structure and can go well in excess of 1200 degrees. Basements seem to be the "coolest" location. I can also imagine a safe falling through two floors of burnt structure. I'd hate to subject a firefighter to that.

Q
 

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That's actually an interesting idea! Of course, like anything, there's a bit more to it. I mean there's drywall and there's drywall. For example, garages are supposed to be separated from the rest of a house with 5/8" type X Gypsum Wall Board, not just ordinary 1/2" GWB. National Gypsum has a ton of reference materials:

All about 5/8" type X GWB:
http://www.nationalgypsum.com/resources/safetyinformation/

List documents for various types of assemblies:
http://www.nationalgypsum.com/resources/firesound/

Wood frame walls in particular:
http://www.nationalgypsum.com/resources/firesound/goldd.pdf

Wood frame floors/ceilings in particular:
http://www.nationalgypsum.com/resources/firesound/golds.pdf

You can go down the list and pick an assembly that dials in anywhere from minutes to hours of fire resistance.
 

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Disclaimer ... I don't own a safe, I am not a fireman, I have never had a house fire.

Now, when I was in the market for a safe about 6 months ago, I was told by at least 3 sales guys that I can recall, that a fire rating of 30 min at 1200 is pretty much all you need. Unless you live in an extremely large house, most fires are over in 30 minutes and a rating like that means a fire at full tilt for 30 minutes. The fire won't burn that long at that temp without other fuel sources around the safe. Now if you have a natural gas line running right next to your safe, then that's a whole another discussion.

As for fire and ammo. I can say that I have seen a fire on a trailer (I was working one day in the country and stumbled on this fire) and when some guys were trying to approach the trailer before the firemen arrived, they heard cracks and booms which scared them away. It turned out the the owner have several hundred rounds of various ammo in the trailer. The fire was put out and essentially just gutted the place. I have personally seen the exterior. There are no bullet holes. None. The firemen said that there is not enough pressure to hurt someone if the rounds discharge in a fire. There is more danger of getting seriously hurt from the flames than the exploding ammo. Now, he did say if you are holding the ammo, it would hurt you hand, but it would be unlikely to get seriously hurt like loosing a finger.

Long post, but in recap ... I would not worry about the extended fire protection unless you have an extremely large home or have other fuel sources close to the safe location. Also if you have an extremely valuable gun collection. (If this is the case, I would guess your concern for saving money on a safe would be crazy) You have money to burn, so a cheap safe is not on a list to buy.

Use that money saved on fire protection to buy a larger safe. Like other suggestions earlier in this thread ... you are going to fill the safe so buy a larger safe than you need today and grow into it.
 

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Very well said ispeed!!!! I just did a real simple mod to my gun safe that I find infinitely more practical than fire protection. My wife bought me one of those battery-operated lightbulbs that uses 4 AA batteries. The inside of my safe is as dark as a cavern. I just attached some velcro loops to the back of the lightbulb base, and stuck it on the inside carpeting of the gun safe. It works GREAT! I can actually see what's inside and it looks really cool when lit up. Here's something similar to what I have:

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1342623





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Very well said ispeed!!!! I just did a real simple mod to my gun safe that I find infinitely more practical than fire protection. My wife bought me one of those battery-operated lightbulbs that uses 4 AA batteries. The inside of my safe is as dark as a cavern. I just attached some velcro loops to the back of the lightbulb base, and stuck it on the inside carpeting of the gun safe. It works GREAT! I can actually see what's inside and it looks really cool when lit up. Here's something similar to what I have:

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1342623

Dep, you were reading my mind. I'm off to Ace after work. Thanks!

Q
 

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Well
I really wanted a good safe.... but I could not pass this one up @ 650
I figured by the time it is filled up I will have enough for a new one and use the small one for ammo and stuff like that
its the 23cf model (30x22x60)

http://www.libertysafe.com/Safe_Centurion23.lasso
 

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Well
I really wanted a good safe.... but I could not pass this one up @ 650
I figured by the time it is filled up I will have enough for a new one and use the small one for ammo and stuff like that
its the 23cf model (30x22x60)

http://www.libertysafe.com/Safe_Centurion23.lasso
You got it for $650? It's listed for a lot more there. Did you get it from a local dealer? (Liberty's one of the brands I've looked at at a local dealer here.)
 

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I don't know anything about this particular product. I just came across it while snooping around the internet. I like the idea of having a gun accessible without having to fumble around for a key or trying to remember a combination in an emergency.

http://www.discounthomeoffice.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=49_89&products_id=833&zenid=bcaaa6f5148c0b1476a571a99dd75a4d

Anybody got any experience with one of these?
Not with one of those, no, but with fingerprint locks, yes. This is my experience, and may not be the same for that hardware:

First, you gotta do it consistent. Swipe must be the same every time, within tolerance.

Second, ANYthing can screw with it. Been washing dishes or in the shower? Forget it. Wrinkly skin, y'know.

Third, hope the hardware's more consistent than the stuff we used in the Census. Very few units out of about 2000 in the Pittsburgh office were 100% reliable.

Fourth, bypass is relatively easy by using Silly Putty or Scotch tape to grab the owner's fingerprint.

I wouldn't tell you to stay away, but I would tell you that you've got just as much chance of fumbling these as a key or a combination lock. Maybe more.
 

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Thanks. I was thinking more of trying to keep a loaded gun away from a kid rather than using one to store a collection.

The reliability of the print reader could be a serious issue though. You don't want to be facing the bad guys holding nothing but your thumb.
 

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Thanks. I was thinking more of trying to keep a loaded gun away from a kid rather than using one to store a collection.

The reliability of the print reader could be a serious issue though. You don't want to be facing the bad guys holding nothing but your thumb.
My thumb, no. Your thumb, no.

Gunny Highway's thumb, now that's a different story.

 

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I just attached some velcro loops to the back of the lightbulb base, and stuck it on the inside carpeting of the gun safe. It works GREAT! I can actually see what's inside and it looks really cool when lit up....
Velcro! I've got smaller LED versions of those lights stuck on with two-sided poster tape and it's a PITA tearing them off to change batteries. It's the simple things... :)

Like everybody else we're about one safe short. After reading this thread I think we'll get a larger, lighter model instead a of heavier safe with hours of fire protection.

Milspec
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Because rooms have weak walls made of drywall that a sledge hammer can break through. And windows that can easily be broken. ;)
All true, although even the best safe is only a time-deterrent. If time is a consideration, and you have back-up security -- an alarm system connected to a monitoring agency, for example -- such a door would successfully keep the theives out of the room in the time that it would take the responding police to arrive.

Of course, if the theives break in and have all day to pick and choose among your possessions, they can go through the walls to get into your gun room -- and they can take a torch to your high-tech safe at the same time.
 

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LOL...those alarm companies make me laugh. I know who works there. They DON'T look like the guys on the TV commercials. And they aren't working out of state-of-the-art high tech facilities. It's Willy and Juan working out of a little room in a rented wharehouse. Watch "Armed and Dangerous" with John Candy and you'll get a better idea of what works at security palces.

And if thieves want something bad enough, NOTHING will stop them.



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Discussion Starter #60
All too true again, Deputy, but it's also not an absolute and may well depend on where you live, or on which security firm you hire, or even on the professionalism of the police department in your city. Case in point: We had a faulty latch on our French doors awhile back, and the wind (a real howler off the Pacific) blew the doggone thing open when no one was at home. I got a call at work from the security folks, raced home inside of 10 minutes, and arrived to find the house surrounded by well-armed LEOs -- five in all, IIRC. The cops were quick to arrive (they got there faster than I did, and I was motivated), thorough (they even checked inside the hot tub before they left), and thoroughly professional. The system worked just as advertised.

And yeah, I got the &#)#@) French doors fixed post haste.
 
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