How Long Should a Gun Safe Be Fireproof For?

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It’s always hard to say or determine how long should a gun safe be fireproof for? Unfortunately, gun safe manufacturers cannot provide 100% protection from fire, as many people expect their gun safe.

Claiming that a safe is entirely fireproof by a manufacturer is often a marketing tactic. You cannot say anything with certainty unless the gun safe is tested in controlled laboratory conditions simulating fire incidents.

This has lead manufacturers to use low-quality fireproofing materials that you can never rely upon. It makes it easy for them to increase their profit margin, but what should the consumers do in this situation?

There is no standard procedure for determining the exact time that a gun safe can be fireproof. Therefore, I have some alternative ways to assess the reliability of a fireproof gun safe. I suggest the user not rely on the fireproof rating the manufacturers themselves show, especially that. 

The fire ratings may fool you into thinking that the gun safe is more resistant to fire. However, fireproof gun safe reviews can become a source of useful guidance.

As a rule of thumb, your gun safe must have at least a one-hour fire rating. This fire rating is a significant concern as the safes, which have a rating lesser than one hour, often fails to save their contents in case of a fire. It means the house fire will start destroying whatever is stored in the safe after one hour. 

When a safe is rated fireproof for less than one hour, it is not adequately fireproof. Therefore it can threaten the safety of your valuables if a fire breaks out. Even if you are tight on a budget, choosing a cheaper gun safe with low-quality fire-resistant materials is not wise.

Do not forget to check the fire seal on the door of the gun safe. The presence of a good quality seal is essential for complete fire protection.

Why is Fire Protection Essential for a Gun Safe?

The guns can start melting when the surrounding temperature starts exceeding 500 degrees Fahrenheit. To protect your guns from getting damaged in the course of a fire event in your residential building, you must invest in a reliable, high-quality, fireproof gun safe.

Gun safe

A reliable fireproof gun safe will not exceed 350 degrees Fahrenheit in its internal temperature, even if it is engulfed in flames. 

Today as the competition is continuously increasing among the gun safe manufacturers, it is not difficult to find a reliable fireproof gun unit that is low cost. Don’t forget to check the fire reviews before you order. 

You need to invest more if you intend to store other valuable belongings sensitive to temperature in the gun safe other than guns. For example, if you intend a gun safe for your important documents, digital data, jewelry, or other valuables, your gun safe should be much tougher on resisting fire at high temperatures.

Can Fire Proof Material Used in Gun Safe Cause Rusting?

Do you ever wonder why the gun experts ask you to keep a moisture absorber inside a gun safe? Or why are so many dehumidifiers are available in the market that is intended for the gun safe?

It is normal to wonder why a clean, dry gun placed in a dry, relaxed environment will rust? 

Rifle with bullets around it on a table

Well, the answer is in the gun safe’. Various materials used to manufacture guns safe to make them fireproof can also attract atmospheric moisture towards your guns. This makes the gun safe a potential agent for causing corrosion.

And therefore, that is why I advise you to keep reliable dehumidifiers inside your gun safe. The particles used in the gun’s interior safe to make it resist fire are often moisture-locking. These chemicals may include Formaldehyde, Sulfur, Ferrous oxides, and Pyrite. You cannot avoid these chemicals. Otherwise, your gun safe will lose its fire resistance.

A ‘gun safe hygrometer’ can easily let you check the internal moisture level of the gun safe. Silica gel desiccant packs are becoming famous for gun-safe moisture control as they are real buy and reusable.

The Right Place for the Gun Safe

To prevent your belongings in case of a fire event, you should place your gun safe in a cool, dry place that is preferably covered, such as a closet. Placing it near electrical and fire devices, circuits and switches may increase the chances of its exposure to fire as these things are likely to catch fire.

The place should also be away from gas pipelines, kitchen, and washing areas to prevent undesirable moisture absorption. 

How to Choose the Best Gun Safe for Fire Protection

Are you going to buy a gun safe with fire protection? Wait, there are some essential fire protection considerations that you must not ignore when ordering a gun safe.

Handguns lined up on a table
  • The material used for fire protection? Is it composite material or wallboard?
  • The number of layers (wallboard) or thickness in mm (composite material) in the walls.
  • What about door jambs, joints, and hinges? Are they fireproof?
  • Was the gun safe tested in a furnace for its fire rating?
  • Is there any warranty for a fire incident?

What is Third-Party Fire Rating?

Some reliable manufacturers get their fire rating done by independent resources. They conduct the fire test in a very scientific way. The safe is placed in a furnace where the temperature is maintained at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit for the test’s entire duration.

The gun safe is also connected with a computer to measure the internal temperature of the safe. When it rises beyond 350 degrees, the testing is stopped. The time it took to reach 350 degrees is measured. 

The gun safely labeled as ‘factory certified’ is not tested scientifically, and I can’t say whether they used a standardized procedure or just tried the gun safe by throwing it in the burning trash.


Selecting the best gun safe with maximum fire protection requires research and critical thinking. This decision you should not make in a hurry as, after all, your valuable possessions’ safety and integrity depend on how good the gun safe is.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.