How Sturdy Fireproofs Safes
Quick video of the amount of effort and fire insulation that goes into a fire lined Sturdy Safe.
- Made up the rating and never had it tested.
- Took their safe to a facility that was not UL and request them to eliminate testing with cool down time and point of no return (which UL will not do) in order to make the safe test well.
- To make your search for a UL Fire Rated RSC (residential security safe) easier, know there is not one that currently exists on the market that is a long gun safe.
- Having a UL RSC rating does not mean the safe is also UL Fire Rated.
- Having a UL Fire Rating on the fire insulator being used does not mean the safe itself is UL Fire Rated. If this was the case, we would say our safe was UL Fire Rated for 2300 degrees indefinitely, and steel melts before then.
- If a realistic fire rating is important to you, it's best you find a UL Fire rated safe (they tend to be a lot smaller in size and quite a bit of money).
Sturdy Fire Safes use UL tested intumescent fire calking, that is then covered by a custom fit boiler gasket. This boiler gasket is designed for high temp ovens and kilns. The LCI Firestop Sealant is designed to prevent the spread of fire, smoke, toxic fumes, and moisture for up to 3 hours and expanding to eight times it's normal capacity. It's doubled the size of average fire gaskets for 2x the coverage and protection. A custom fit fire gasket is important for a fireproof safe because clearance between the door and the door seat of any safe body on the market cannot be made to fit exactly the same every time, and you need to keep the smoke out immediately. Basically, a one sized gasket like the commonly used Palusol cannot fit all safes perfectly, without needing to be heated up first to fill the gaps. Little information is available online about Palusol, but here is some more information an independent did on how Palusol door seals perform in garages.
WHY IT'S OPTIONAL:
Pictures Of A Non Fire Lined Sturdy Safe In A Partial Burn Down
Fire resistant insulation is not for everyone. The benefit with Sturdy Safe is if you don't need it, you don't need to pay for it. If you are working with a strict budget, it's far better to get our safe uninsulated then settle on a thinner steeled safe lined with sheetrock that won’t help you much in the way of fire or security. At least you would be gaining the security with our thick steel. If your insurance covers everything inside the safe anyway, and you would be happy to get replacement items, then you may not want the fire liner option. Other reasons include: if you are located within a five mile radius of the fire department and have a quick response time, if the safe will be placed in a low burn zone area such as an encased brick area, and if you have a sprinkler system over the safe. For our customers with smaller objects that need fire protection but do not want to pay the costly fee of our insulator, we recommend they get a UL rated fire box to place inside the safe or make their own ceramic lined fire box. The box will perform better than stated because the safe will be protecting it from the radiant heat. The pictures above show we have actually had one of our non fire lined safes successfully go through an accidental, partial burn down (the safe was in the worst part of the fire) with a response time of 13 minutes. It still wouldn't perform as well as our insulated safe, but it goes to show you, the thick steel and size (the larger, the better it will perform) does offer slight fire resistance. Read more about this unlined Sturdy Safe that survived a house fire.
HOW WE TESTED OUR FIRE SAFES:
Some safe companies test their fire proof safes in controlled testing furnaces, which perform like oversized house ovens, yet get a lot hotter than your normal oven. These safe companies eliminate 2 important factors when testing their gun safes to get those ratings: Point Of No Return, and Cool Down Time. Read more about how Sturdy Safe vs. other gun safe companies test for fire ratings.
WHY MOST FIRE SAFE INSULATORS DON'T WORK GOOD ENOUGH:
Sheetrock / Fire Board
Regardless of their fire ratings, they will not perform as claimed. One must understand how safe manufacturers test safes for fire to understand how testing facilities come up with those inaccurate fire ratings. UL will tell you not to bother testing safes for fire resistance lined with fire board. Read more about Fire Board being a terrible gun safe insulator.
2300 Degree Ceramic
Even though this material is the best fire insulator, the problem lies in the manufacturer not giving you enough of it. Some do as little as lining just the top of the safe due to its high cost. See the difference between Sturdy Safe's ceramic application vs. other gun safes ceramic application.
Cement and "Light Cement"
UL actually gives decent fire and security ratings to safes lined with real cement (like in certain high security TL safes). The problem with real cement liners is the cost of the safe itself as well as their extreme weights. Don't get real cement liners confused with light weight dry "cement" composite fire insulation.
STURDY SAFES IN MULTIPLE ACCIDENTAL BURNS:
In 2017 there were two Sturdy Safes involved in a 100% complete burn down. A volunteer fire department reported to the blaze but couldn't get any water to the house. No long gun safes currently on the market are designed to survive a burn down like this. Watch the video for the complete story.