Gun Safes & Fire Ratings
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.