Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent governing body that certifies global companies on safety and quality standards. UL rates safes on a variety of metrics, one of which is fire resistance. This is done by enclosing the safe within a large furnace and testing the insulation strength of the safe against its external environment. These furnaces reach temperatures in excess of 1700ºF, external to the safe. If the interior of the safe stays below 350ºF for more than one hour under these conditions, it earns a UL Class 350 1-hour fire rating. These ratings can further extend to a two-hour, and a three-hour rating.
A fire-rated safe is important, especially when it comes to gun safes. Of course, if you’re locking something up in a safe, that item is clearly important to you, and such valuable possessions should not be damaged or destroyed in the event of a natural disaster.
But when it comes to firearms and their ammo, excessive heat, such as that of a house fire, is extremely damaging. Even comparatively lower temperatures, like those seen in hot climates can burn off lubrication, expand certain parts of the weapon, or break down adhesives, and taken together these effects will decrease the weapon’s accuracy, or even render it nonfunctional. An unpredictable weapon becomes far more dangerous.
In fires, however, the temperature reaches much higher, on average about 1,100ºF, and this can cause a more immediate threat. When ammo reaches upwards of 400ºF, it then risks “cooking off” the propellant inside the cartridge. Though this won’t propel the bullet in the same rapid manner as when a firing pin strikes the primer, it’s an unstable and unpredictable reaction that could easily cause further damage to your property, and even possibly fatal injuries.
To keep you, your family, and your personal property working properly and out of harm’s way, you’re highly advised to keep your guns and ammunition in a fire-rated gun safe.
When shopping for gun or other safes, turn a critical eye to whether or not a safe has been independently rated or simply “tested.” American Security safes are built to meet or exceed UL standards and also independently tested and rated by Intertek laboratories to ensure quality performance. And that’s why American Security can offer the best gun safe warranty in the business.
Under-Bed Home Defense Gun Safes
One major reason that many gun-owners keep a firearm in the house is to defend their home from would-be intruders. In this use-case, it makes sense to use an under-bed gun safe for a handful of different reasons.
Consider what may happen in the event of a home invasion. Though most burglaries tend to take place during the day, when you’re likely out of the house, night-time break-ins still happen. At night, people are more likely to be at home and in bed. If someone breaks into your home while you’re actually there, the typical scenario would be that household occupants are woken by an unexpected noise, which they then investigate. In that scenario, ideally your gun should be close at hand. The worst scenario during a break-in is to be unarmed and searching some other part of your house for a gun while you suspect a stranger is nearby.
Another reason an under-bed gun safe is a wise idea, is that it’s out of the way. For many, a gun collection can be a point of pride, but some people don’t want to flaunt the fact that they have one, and they only reveal it when the situation calls for it. In those cases, under the bed is a perfect spot that, while convenient, isn’t immediately visible, and it’s less likely to be located by an unauthorized person or opportunistic burglar.
A final point to consider with under-bed gun safes is the practical matter of storage space. Many people keep gun safes in their closets — a valid option — but what if you prefer to use that space for something else? Though under-bed storage options exist, less people tend to regularly make use of those, so the open real estate that likely sits unoccupied here makes for a convenient spot to place a small gun-safe, which won’t see particularly frequent use.