Fire resistant safes are sturdy devices that provide secure storage for valuables. Usually constructed with some type of metal alloy, the safes are treated to resist any damage that could occur due to a fire in the home or office. Some models are large, somewhat like the size of a bank vault, while others are small enough to fit easily on a closet shelf and be removed from the space when and as necessary.
It is important to keep in mind that fire resistant safes are not the same as fireproof safes. Fire resistant simply means that the device will withstand heat up to a certain temperature before beginning to break down. A fireproof safe will remain intact during the worst blaze. With both types, the interior of the safes may reach a high temperature, which could cause damage to documents and some other types of valuables.
However, it is important to note that there are several classes of fire resistant safes, with the ratings based on the temperatures that the safe can withstand while still protecting paper items stored within the device. Fire resistant safes with a rating known as Class A can withstand extremely high temperatures and still protect documents as well as paper money from singeing. Class B safes offer high heat protection that is sufficient for most home situations, and will easily protect non-paper items.
High-end fire resistant safes are also ideal when storing non-paper items that could be damaged by exposure to extreme heat. For example, Class A safes are capable of protecting items like handguns or personal jewelry with relative ease. Class B safes are sufficient to protect coins and similar types of metal objects in many instances, up to a period of one to two hours of exposure to the heat.
There are fire resistant safes constructed for just about any situation. For home use, there are small safes that can easily be recessed into a wall, slid under a bed, or set on a closet shelf. Safes of this size are fine for keeping copies of household papers such as deeds or cash, while offering the convenience of being able to remove the safes from the home quickly in the event of an emergency. Floor models are also available for storage of larger items, but are much more difficult to move. Large fire resistant safes that are capable of storing large quantities of valuables are also available, although they can often be quite expensive.
Before purchasing any safe, it is a good idea to determine what you need in terms of both size and protection capability. By comparing prices on fire resistant safes at local outlets as well as online, you can usually find what you need at a competitive price. Keep in mind that while fire resistant safes are excellent for protecting documents, many manufacturers do recommend homeowners make copies of all documents kept in the safe, and store them in a bank safe deposit box or other secure location outside the home.