In today's modern world, more and more people own guns. Besides avid hunters and gun collectors, more people are purchasing them for a security measure in their own home. But with children about, guns need to be kept secure. Not only should guns be kept secure from tragic accidents and unauthorized use, but they should also be kept safe from damage from such sources as fire, after all, they are an investment. A fire proof gun safe is essential for any gun owner. Here are five questions to ask yourself before purchasing a safe.
1. Besides guns, what else do I want to store in my fire proof gun safe?
First you have to consider what type of fire arms you have (hunting rifles, shotguns, pistols), how many, besides other items you want to store in your safe. This will first help determine what size safe you need. Also, many safe companies offer a wide variety of interiors, so you can practically design your own. You can have gun stands and multiple shelves (fixed or roll out drawers) in different configurations to accommodate a variety of items.
2. How much fire protection do I need?
Besides the safe's size and interior configuration, the amount of fire protection you want in your fire proof gun safe can also be affected by the items in the safe. Paper chars at about 400Â°F, but media (computer discs, DVD's, film negatives etc.) begins to melt at 140Â°F. So if you plan to store media in your safe along with important documents and guns, you will need a safe with a stronger fire protection. You will want a safe with a UL 125 rating, meaning that the internal temperature will not go above 125Â° F. If there is not media, but only your fire arms and paper, a UL 350 rating will work.
3. How many hours of fire protection do I need?
Fire proof gun safes are rated for half, one, two and three hours of burn time. The average home fire burns for 15 - 30 minutes before being brought under control by the fire department. So a 1 hour safe is adequate for most fires. But you should also consider your home's building material (flammability), the size of your home and the distance your home is located from a fire department. A large home located 10 miles from town and is nestled in the woods with a shingle roof, will burn longer and hotter than a brick home located in a local down town neighborhood.
4. Do I need a high security lock?
The answer to this question may be related to the perceived value of the items from others that may be put in your safe, or perhaps you live in a high crime area. A combination lock is usually standard on a safe, but there are other options. Here are some of the types of locks you may come across while researching the best fire proof guns safe for you:
- Group 2 Combination Lock (standard)
- Group 1 Combination Lock (manipulation proof)
- Group 2 Combination Lock with Key Locking Dial
- Key Locking Handle
- Digital Combination Lock
5. Where will the safe go in my home and will my floor support the safe?
A large safe is very heavy, so if your safe is not going on the first floor, you may want to consider having an engineer of home inspector come and make sure that your floor will support a heavy safe. You may be O.K., or you may need to purchase a smaller fire proof gun safe than you originally intended.
Though there are many other considerations when purchasing a fire proof gun safe, this is a small list to get you started when you begin shopping for the best form of security to keep your fire arms safe. Oh yea, and realize that no safe is actually fire proof - only fire resistant!
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