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123.DieselBenz
10-04-2011, 09:39 AM
I got my gun safe installed, and now want to help protect it from fire, if we ever had one here . . . it is bolted to the back wall, which is concrete block, and 1.5" of fiberglass/foam board insulation, sitting on a concrete slab . . . the safe has 1/2" thick solid steel walls, and a full 1" thick solid thick steel door.

I did not buy the fire protection model, for a number of reasons . . . same interior size, would not fit through the door, 1290 additional pounds heavier than the 1090 pounds of my safe, and I was concerned with moving it myself, and of course it was $1,007.00 more!

So I Came up with an idea . . . cover the top with these 1/2 gallon jugs of water . . . yes I need a few more . . . but it would also give me 20 gallons of water storage, incase of an emergency!
http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s220/ShawnTVT/Guns/FireProofing.jpg

I posted this on another forum, and got the idea to use metal "tins"
http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s220/ShawnTVT/Guns/FireProofing2.jpg

I need to use more olive oil . . .

Somebody else suggested I use Engine Heat Protection as it is a space age ceramic material used for insulating components from unwanted heat sources http://www.engineheatprotection.com/index.html

I did a test of my original redneck idea yesterday afternoon, here are my results:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl95RgU6zkU

Does anybody here have any other ideas?

I like the idea of making a blanket out of that ceramic fabric, as it will cover the sides and more importantly, the front of the safe, and the keypad . . .

pmer
10-04-2011, 10:23 AM
That safe looks really nice, is it a refurb from a bank? I had a couple ATM safes and was going to cut and stack to make them high enough for a long gun. But it was too big of a job.

We let our fire department burn our old farmhouse for training. Once the structure catches good the heat is unbelievable.. and the fire fighters all said they could'nt believe how dark it was in the house while it was burning.

I wonder if cement board (for tiling a Bathroom) would work on the inside?

oneokie
10-04-2011, 10:30 AM
If you have good carpentry skills, consider covering the exterior of the safe with multiple layers of drywall/gypsum board. The 5/8" and thicker is fire rated. Many of the common fire rated gun safes have the interiors lined with this product. The tile backer board is also a good product to consider.

The front/door would be the most difficult part. That would probably be a good place to utilize the products you linked.

Ickisrulz
10-04-2011, 10:48 AM
Although I never consulted an expert on the matter, I am just assuming I don't want a firearm that has been exposed to the high heat of a house fire and water damage. Therefore, I didn't get a fire liner for my safe...just good insurance.

Maybe some can comment whether I'm correct or not.

123.DieselBenz
10-04-2011, 10:59 AM
Pmer,

It is a class "C" safe from Brown Safe 22" deep, 24" wide, and 50" tall inside measurements.

The problem with drywall is that it will crumble in the heat of a fire, so I have read ... A few manufacturers such as Brown use a fire clay/cement type cladding.

winelover
10-04-2011, 11:14 AM
Don't really know how effective fire proofing is but it does make a safe heavier and that's a good thing cause criminals are lazy.
I have a vault door on order and asked the manufacturer if their one inch thick non-fire rated door was more effective, security-wise, than their half inch thick fire rated door (which weighs almost twice as much) and they gave the nod to the thinner fire door. Seems that the cement that is in the door adds additional security against drilling and you get a fire rating as a bonus.

Winelover

Shawn: Just saw you posted that yours is a Brown Safe as is the door I have on order.

Artful
10-04-2011, 12:14 PM
you can route a water line and fire sprinkler head over the top of your safe pretty easily - Dry wall around for additional protection. - If you want something to shatter and release water look more at glass mason jars.

123.DieselBenz
10-04-2011, 02:15 PM
Art,

I was actually thinking that the water acting as a barrier/shield from the water ... Until it boils away ...

man.electric
10-04-2011, 02:28 PM
I have read a few different articles about the damaging effects of dirty fire air on firearms in safes. Apparently the cooler inside temperature of the safe will suck in contaminant-filled air from the outside resulting in instant corrosion of everything in the safe. I know that there are products for that expand and seal under heat for safe guarding safes, but I have not researched them much. I just have a huge investment in insurance and hope and pray that I never need it.

Bad Water Bill
10-04-2011, 03:55 PM
If you run some PVC water pipe over your safe, the pipe will rupture do to the heat and the municipal water pressure. Bingo instant sprinkler system over your safe.

I was given this info from a fire man with lots of experience

firefly1957
10-04-2011, 06:47 PM
If you do not mind the water damage why not just add a sprinkler? they go off at a much lower temperature.
I have often thought that a safe with double walls containing liquid would be great not only for fires but with a level monitor if someone drilled it an alarm would go off.

Catshooter
10-04-2011, 06:49 PM
I have a very good friend who is in the ATM industry. He gave me a safe with the same wall/door thicknesses you list.

He has opened two safes just like the one he gave me that were in grocery store fires. He says that there was a bit of smoke/carbon just on the very edges of some of the money but other than that there was no damage to the paper money.

I've seen a number of firearms that have gone through house fires. Generaly if their springs are still good then the rest of the gun is fine. The worst to clean up are those in plastic cases as the case can melt into the gun and it sticks very well.


Cat

blackthorn
10-04-2011, 06:55 PM
Any water that is in a tightly sealed container, i.e. a jar or a tin that boils, will cause the container to explode. It will NOT "boil away".

123.DieselBenz
10-04-2011, 07:21 PM
Any water that is in a tightly sealed container, i.e. a jar or a tin that boils, will cause the container to explode. It will NOT "boil away".

Did you watch my YouTube video? The plastic bottle, or plastic caps on the tins won't hold much pressure ... It just bubbles away ...

My idea was to provide a firewall, not a sprinkler type thing ...

Franklin7x57
10-04-2011, 07:32 PM
what about fire bricks, the white bricks that masons use in the firebox?

Blacksmith
10-04-2011, 07:52 PM
Just build a fire resistant enclosure around your safe. You can find specifications on the internet of the fire rating of various designs using conventional construction materials and methods. Descide how long it will take the fire department to get there and put out the fire and build accordingly. If you need more time build one inside another.

Blacksmith

-06
10-04-2011, 08:21 PM
My safe is on concrete between brick walls. We are going to sheetrock(gypsum wallboard) the ceilings all over our home for an extra bit of protection. If yours is on wood floor then I would place a sheet of gypsum down first then metal and another sheet of sheetrock-and another metal. That will protect the floor from heat a long time. Would put double walls of rock all around and on top. Casing it in sheet metal or plywood will hold it in place and make the door more easy to attach. Worked as a VFD for 24 yrs and the floors hardly ever burn. Heat rises so putting those plastic water jugs on top is a good idea. They probably will not burst but melt as the water evaporates-as scouts we boiled eggs in paper cups on coals. There used to be jugs that had thermo things in the neck that you hung from ceilings. When the temps rose the thermo things melted and released the flame retardants. Have not seen them in 40 yrs but seemed a great idea to me as a kid. A bit of sheetrock will greatly slow the spread of fire and act as a shield to your valuables.

123.DieselBenz
10-04-2011, 08:29 PM
My plan is to move out of this townhouse, and into the country in 3-4 years, then I'll build a concrete room, floor, walls, and ceiling!

I'm familiar with fire bricks, I used them to build my bread oven.

I'll probably just make the quilt ... I was just wondering if maybe there was a better way ... And also to share our ideas.

The link in my first post also sells rope to insulate the door opening ...

BTW those two little safes on the left are fire rated, so they are protecting that side.

One thing I like about my safe is I got BOTH a manual lock, PLUS a keypad, I can use either one to get in ...

crazy mark
10-05-2011, 12:50 AM
You can buy fire/smoke rated door gaskets. We have to put them on fire doors at the Hospital. They expand during the heat of a fire.

colt 357
10-05-2011, 08:30 AM
Although I never consulted an expert on the matter, I am just assuming I don't want a firearm that has been exposed to the high heat of a house fire and water damage. Therefore, I didn't get a fire liner for my safe...just good insurance.

Maybe some can comment whether I'm correct or not.
I think I am on board with you on this one. If it is a totaly involved working fire were the house is consumed by the fire I think that the guns in the safe would be harmed. But if it is a small house fire with a good insulated safe and the fire department was able to do a fast knock down of the fire I think the guns would be fine.
Insurance would be the best bet.

Westwindmike
10-05-2011, 11:11 AM
I used to keep a Halon fire extinguisher in my gun safe. The theory was that if it got hot enough inside the safe, the pop off valve on the extinguisher would fail and flood the interior with cold Halon.

Would it work? I don't know.

Jim
10-05-2011, 11:36 AM
I've been thinking about this thread. The thing that keeps coming back to me is, how long will it be, once a fire breaks out, before the temperature is back down below that which causes damage. No matter what you do, if the plan does not protect the guns from the heat for the duration, the plan is no good.

I am certainly in favor of a system that would protect firearms from fire damage. However, the system has to be designed and built to withstand the heat for, I would think, at least two hours.

When commercial buildings are constructed and firewalls are required, the standard established by engineers is that two 5/8" sheets of sheetrock will hold a fire back for one hour.

My suggestion would be to construct a frame made of salt treated lumber which is fire resistant in and of itself. I would then surround it with two sheets of 5/8" sheetrock. If finances allow, I might even panel the inside of the enclosure with the same and fill the void between the studs with rock wool batts.

If the enclosure is built to the right size, this would also provide a place to store other valuables that need to be protected from fire.

The ideas that have been mentioned are not bad. I just wonder how long the protection they afford would last in the event of a serious and fully engulfing fire.

cajun shooter
10-05-2011, 12:42 PM
I have a Liberty safe and some of the sealing material on the metal around the door was missing as it was a floor model and I purchased it for $500 less than retail. The safe sold for $1800. I contacted Liberty and they told me that the material was a special fireproofing that after reaching a certain heat would swell and seal off the door. You may try to buy some of this material.

LUCKYDAWG13
10-05-2011, 12:55 PM
i had a house fire 4 years ago a bad one lost the house the cops took my guns
to hold on to i picked them up in like 3 days water did more damage to them
then the fire RUST that quick no water on in or by my safe

BD
10-05-2011, 12:58 PM
I've used several methods to construct firewalls behind restaurant equipment lines.

The first is metal studs with 3M fire blanket between, 5/8 sheetrock on the side away from the equipment and stainless steel sheeting on the side toward the equipment. This is pretty standard commercial construction and has passed code inspection without a second glance everywhere I've used it. Both the 3M blanket and the stainless sheeting are pricy.

The budget version is metal studs with 3" dense rock wool plank in between and two layers of 5/8" sheetrock on both faces, applied with the seams offset and both layers taped. I've used this twice in restaurants that I owned and had to do a little convincing one time to get it passed. It adds up to the necessary time rating, but it's not what the inspector was used to looking at. I believe it would work well for a gun safe.

The pic is a little different installation with the 3M blanket taped and hung behind metal framing to isolate a commercial flue chase from an equipment chase within the same same cavity. It was done that way to allow solid vinyl soundproofing between the studs while keeping the whole assembly in line with the rest of the wall. In any event, an assembly like this will get you the fire
rating and a layer of drywall on the studs will get you the "look"
BD

casterofboolits
10-05-2011, 01:38 PM
I'm lucky! My safe room is under what used to be the garage and has a 14 inch thick concrete ceiling and onl;y a concrete block wall adjacent to the rest of the house.

DCM
10-05-2011, 08:15 PM
I've been thinking about this thread. The thing that keeps coming back to me is, how long will it be, once a fire breaks out, before the temperature is back down below that which causes damage. No matter what you do, if the plan does not protect the guns from the heat for the duration, the plan is no good.

I am certainly in favor of a system that would protect firearms from fire damage. However, the system has to be designed and built to withstand the heat for, I would think, at least two hours.

When commercial buildings are constructed and firewalls are required, the standard established by engineers is that two 5/8" sheets of sheetrock will hold a fire back for one hour.

My suggestion would be to construct a frame made of salt treated lumber which is fire resistant in and of itself. I would then surround it with two sheets of 5/8" sheetrock. If finances allow, I might even panel the inside of the enclosure with the same and fill the void between the studs with rock wool batts.

If the enclosure is built to the right size, this would also provide a place to store other valuables that need to be protected from fire.

The ideas that have been mentioned are not bad. I just wonder how long the protection they afford would last in the event of a serious and fully engulfing fire.

+1 commercial buildings are required to use a combination of suppression, detection and isolation.

I highly recommend using all of the above in your own dwelling as a very close friend recently had a house fire. They have good insurance, but the hassle of dealing with the subcontractors was a royal PITA! If they would have had the above combination the overall damage would have been far less. Due to the fire being in the basement most of the damage was from smoke and the firefighters axes. Suppression and detection would have greatly reduced the damages.

A fire sprinkler in the same room with the safe will suppress the fire and greatly help to lower the temperature of the room.
Talk to a sprinkler fitter that is experienced in RESIDENTIAL work the rules are far different and easier to comply to than for commercial/industrial.

man.electric
10-06-2011, 12:37 AM
+1 commercial buildings are required to use a combination of suppression, detection and isolation.

I highly recommend using all of the above in your own dwelling as a very close friend recently had a house fire. They have good insurance, but the hassle of dealing with the subcontractors was a royal PITA! If they would have had the above combination the overall damage would have been far less. Due to the fire being in the basement most of the damage was from smoke and the firefighters axes. Suppression and detection would have greatly reduced the damages.

A fire sprinkler in the same room with the safe will suppress the fire and greatly help to lower the temperature of the room.
Talk to a sprinkler fitter that is experienced in RESIDENTIAL work the rules are far different and easier to comply to than for commercial/industrial.



All of my plumbing beyond the water meter is currently PVC, but this thread has inspired me to run a pressurized iron pipe off of the meter with a few sprinkler heads around the safe to protect my investment. I can do it in a weekend and feel safer for doing it.

Blacksmith
10-06-2011, 03:01 AM
Here is a source for sprinkler heads.
http://www.mcmaster.com/#fire-sprinklers/=edac2t

MakeMineA10mm
10-08-2011, 01:05 AM
I've been thinking about this thread. The thing that keeps coming back to me is, how long will it be, once a fire breaks out, before the temperature is back down below that which causes damage. No matter what you do, if the plan does not protect the guns from the heat for the duration, the plan is no good.

I am certainly in favor of a system that would protect firearms from fire damage. However, the system has to be designed and built to withstand the heat for, I would think, at least two hours.

When commercial buildings are constructed and firewalls are required, the standard established by engineers is that two 5/8" sheets of sheetrock will hold a fire back for one hour.

My suggestion would be to construct a frame made of salt treated lumber which is fire resistant in and of itself. I would then surround it with two sheets of 5/8" sheetrock. If finances allow, I might even panel the inside of the enclosure with the same and fill the void between the studs with rock wool batts.

If the enclosure is built to the right size, this would also provide a place to store other valuables that need to be protected from fire.

The ideas that have been mentioned are not bad. I just wonder how long the protection they afford would last in the event of a serious and fully engulfing fire.


I've used several methods to construct firewalls behind restaurant equipment lines.

The first is metal studs with 3M fire blanket between, 5/8 sheetrock on the side away from the equipment and stainless steel sheeting on the side toward the equipment. This is pretty standard commercial construction and has passed code inspection without a second glance everywhere I've used it. Both the 3M blanket and the stainless sheeting are pricy.

The budget version is metal studs with 3" dense rock wool plank in between and two layers of 5/8" sheetrock on both faces, applied with the seams offset and both layers taped. I've used this twice in restaurants that I owned and had to do a little convincing one time to get it passed. It adds up to the necessary time rating, but it's not what the inspector was used to looking at. I believe it would work well for a gun safe.

The pic is a little different installation with the 3M blanket taped and hung behind metal framing to isolate a commercial flue chase from an equipment chase within the same same cavity. It was done that way to allow solid vinyl soundproofing between the studs while keeping the whole assembly in line with the rest of the wall. In any event, an assembly like this will get you the fire
rating and a layer of drywall on the studs will get you the "look"
BD


All of my plumbing beyond the water meter is currently PVC, but this thread has inspired me to run a pressurized iron pipe off of the meter with a few sprinkler heads around the safe to protect my investment. I can do it in a weekend and feel safer for doing it.

+100 on these suggestions

My dad was a professional firefighter for 30 years in our city, plus a naval firefighting expert who co-authored the last USCG book on firefighting at sea, on boats, and in ports.

He went with me when I was shopping for a safe, and I was adamant on getting both theft and fire resistence. Dad said the key on the fire issue was how long a safe could protect its contents and comparing that to how long it takes the FD to respond. Live in the boondocks? Better have a safe that will last many hours or more; if you build a log cabin or have a heavy "fire load" (amount of flammables), better figure 12 hrs. In the city with a paid dept, 1 hour should be plenty, unless you have an L.A. Riots situation and firefighters can't get to you. Uncontrolled, a wood-frame structure of the typical home will reach upwards of 1200 degrees.

Because of this, I'd strongly recommend you follow the advice quoted from these guys. While your informal test was very interesting and thought-provoking, do you really want to trust your investments to such a system? Better to use what has been tested and proven, in my opinion.

Y2K
10-09-2011, 06:22 PM
I can tell ypu from experience that a fire WILL screw up guns in a safe. My safe was in the basement (also the fire area) and all the guns were rusted the next day when I drilled the safe. The wood was pretty good shape, but all metal was rusted, or corroded in numerous ways. With the exception of one rifle (Marlin 336) all guns had to be refinished---blued,parked, etc. Not saying that a vault is the only way to go, but highly recommended if at all possibe. Mine is completely sealable with heat sensitive gasket on the door and industrial seal-tite on the electrical service.

Cmemiss
10-09-2011, 06:59 PM
The best--only--route to go is to install a residential sprinkler over your safe. NFPA has recognized these systems for a number of years now, and you should be able to rig a simple one up using PVC. As the OP noted, anything containing water will not exceed 212 degrees, therefore getting a steam head, or melting the containor is unrealistic. As to rust, that is not water once it has been sprayed on or around a fire. The water picks up all sorts of things we used to breathe before air-packs and it contaminates water and makes it acidic. Building a fire wall, the most basic of which is 5/8" gyp-rock on 2x4 studs will not be very effective. One key is to keep the heat down below say 600 degrees to keep the temper in the steel which makes up the weapons. A single sprinkler head addresses most of your concerns.--retired firefighter/instructor.

P.K.
10-15-2011, 08:58 AM
I used to keep a Halon fire extinguisher in my gun safe. The theory was that if it got hot enough inside the safe, the pop off valve on the extinguisher would fail and flood the interior with cold Halon.

Would it work? I don't know.

Yes it would, in theory. Couple of factors at play with this and the first is how air tight is the safe. For those that don't know Halon displaces air so no flame. In your aplication a sustained burn would probably out last the charge in the bottle. But a flash, or short duration fire it would work depending on the setting of the bottle. Dunno how many bottles I replaced in the M3A2 because a crew member caught a bottle on gear or pulled the t-handle by mistake.

123.DieselBenz
01-28-2012, 09:10 PM
Here s what I did:

I got a bunch of that ceramic board insulation, (good for 50% reduction in heat) enough to make a double layer, and added a layer of aluminum foil to it, stapled the two layers together, added an additional piece of their foil backed cloth to the front to protect the lock.

http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s220/ShawnTVT/Guns/Foiled.jpg

I did my own testing . . . I have a glass topped kitchen range, I turned a burner onto HIGH, it got red, and I placed a doubled over piece of insulation, with a piece of aluminum foil between . . . I pressed down hard, and in 45 seconds I began to feel the heat, in another 45 seconds it got too hot for my hand . . . I don't like our 115º water!
http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s220/ShawnTVT/Guns/Test.jpg

I got some 5/8" fire rated sheetrock, and put three layers on the one side by the dresser, and another sheet to cover the lock area on the door:
http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s220/ShawnTVT/Guns/Protected1.jpg

I got some 4" solid concrete blocks, and put them on top, then laid my "quilt" on top of them. Then added my water jugs on top of the quilt.
http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s220/ShawnTVT/Guns/Protected2.jpg

Then I sewed up a cover to hide the water jugs to keep my wife happy!
http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s220/ShawnTVT/Guns/Protected.jpg

I feel this will work fine in our concrete home, I hope I never have to find out!

Geraldo
01-28-2012, 09:36 PM
I was a career firefighter for two decades, and I've got a few things to point out.

1-Bottle of water on top the safe will be all but useless. We pumped our attack lines in the range of 150-200 gallons per minute. It's not like TV. We didn't just open the nozzles and let them flow, but we still might have used a couple hundred gallons on an average fire. Five to ten gallons on top the safe is, well, peeing in the wind if that room is involved.

2-Installing residential sprinklers may require a permit, and your insurance company will want to know about it. You would think it would get you a discount, but some insurers were more worried about pipe failure than fire. So if you get a leak from a home made sprinkler system you might not get any insurance money.

3-Going back to my first point and the experience of those who had fires in their homes, you greatest enemy will be the tropical rain forest atmosphere in the house after a fire. The water we use turns to steam and it goes everywhere, causing all the rust problems people spoke of.

4-Finally a note on general fire safety. The most important stuff in your house is you and your family. Don't even worry about guns unless you have working spoke detectors. The most dangerous thing I saw in my career was cooking oil left unattended on the stove: I saw these fires gut houses, cause serious burns, and even death.

123.DieselBenz
01-28-2012, 09:46 PM
The water may do no more than make me feel good . . . plus it is a place to store 20 gallons of water . . . living in the desert, that is a good thing!

Don't forget that there is 4" of concrete on top of the safe, under the insulation!:mrgreen:

How many safes have 4" of solid concrete?:roll:

GREENCOUNTYPETE
01-29-2012, 02:14 AM
fire protection , those few gallons of water won't do much , build a box around it cover it with several sheets of dry wall and use a metal door or put sheet metal on a solid wood door like you do for a boiler room , concrete board is also good.

you could also brick or cinder block around them


after cleaning up after a big fire a number of years back , i picked up a better scene of what fire did and where it burned

i had wires that were fine in holes that went thru the concrete floor with just some fiber glass insulation stuffed in the hole , a few feet away we found the remains of the shops air compressor , the fire was so hot it melted the aluminum to a puddle on the floor , we would find a bar and chain with a puddle of aluminum some rings and a spark plug

Geraldo
01-29-2012, 07:53 AM
The water may do no more than make me feel good

Yes, and probably the same for the concrete blocks.

The main problem you face even with a small fire is water vapor. Even if your exterior safe protection were viable, if steam can get in the safe you face a rusty mess. Sealing the safe door in some way will do far more than exterior protection.

123.DieselBenz
01-29-2012, 08:40 AM
I used some of the ceramic foil backed cloth (used for making gaskets) around the door, just snug enough that I can get the door closed, and the bolts closed, I actually had to grind out a very small bit to make it fit good, as it was so tight, that I could not close the bolts all the way.

Basically, I'm using the ceramic insulation to reduce the heat to the concrete, and sheetrock.

This is a concrete home, with a wooden framed roof, and interior walls, so most of the heat will come from the top, the closest wooden wall is about 5' away, the bed 3' away is a Select Comfort air bed with a plastic "box spring" and the wooden dresser is just to the right of it . . .

Our next home will have a dedicated concrete room, to put the safe into, but I feel that it would hurt the sale of our townhouse here at the golf course, as I'm sure most people would not want to have that in there master bedroom.

Geraldo
01-29-2012, 12:22 PM
Diesel, I'm not trying to argue, just explain how fire works, and it works the same everywhere.

The fire load of a house is everything inside it that will burn. Say you get a fire in a trash can by your desk, eventually it will ignite something else and a thermal column begins to form. Heat goes up and rolls back downward at the walls. When the temps get up to 1000-1100 degrees, which isn't hard to get to given the stuff we put in our houses, everything in the room that will burn gives off flammable gases and it all goes at once: flashover.

The type of construction matters little in the beginning. Even in frame houses the walls and ceilings hold out for a while because of the drywall.

The toughest houses I fought fires in were older ones with wooden floor joist and rafters, lathe and plaster, and no plywood on the sides or roof decking. New houses with lightweight trusses, engineered I-beam joist, plywood roof decking and insulation board on the outside walls are quick to fail if the drywall gets breached.

Concrete block houses usually have interior frame walls, but the hold the heat real well. A lot of older training buildings were concrete for that reason.

But hey, what do I know? I just did this for a living. ;) Do your best to prevent a fire and you shouldn't have to worry about it.

123.DieselBenz
01-29-2012, 12:40 PM
I understand and appreciate your knowledge.

I have exterior concrete walls, which then has a fiberglass/foam type insulation on it hooked directly to it with little "Z" shaped metal clips, than drywall glued to the insulation, no wood in the exterior walls.

ETA: Fire Dept is 1/4 mi away too.

DK1911
01-29-2012, 01:14 PM
Google the word "intumescent". These are materials that expand, char and generate an insulating layer around your safe. Like the pro's here say though, eventually the inside of the safe is going to get hot in a screaming hot fire. There is some good info on what kind of materials make good fire protection, like hydrates (gypsum). In the old days, some of the applied coatings gassed off some nasty stuff when they foamed. I'm gonna watch your project, I worry about this too.

Longwood
01-29-2012, 01:31 PM
I used some of the ceramic foil backed cloth (used for making gaskets) around the door, just snug enough that I can get the door closed, and the bolts closed, I actually had to grind out a very small bit to make it fit good, as it was so tight, that I could not close the bolts all the way.

Basically, I'm using the ceramic insulation to reduce the heat to the concrete, and sheetrock.

This is a concrete home, with a wooden framed roof, and interior walls, so most of the heat will come from the top, the closest wooden wall is about 5' away, the bed 3' away is a Select Comfort air bed with a plastic "box spring" and the wooden dresser is just to the right of it . . .

Our next home will have a dedicated concrete room, to put the safe into, but I feel that it would hurt the sale of our townhouse here at the golf course, as I'm sure most people would not want to have that in there master bedroom.

I used to work for a safe company.
They installed a lot of safes and doors on cavities in concrete floors.

MtGun44
01-29-2012, 04:41 PM
Brian Pearce had an interesting article about cleaning up a friends guns from inside
a safe that went through a fire. The biggest improvement he recommended was a
special caulk that will swell up in seal the door when it gets hot. Apparently lots of
VERY nasty gasses got into the safe and started just ruining all the guns at a rapid
pace right after the fire was out.

Bill

MakeMineA10mm
02-02-2012, 01:30 AM
I have an old Remington Rand two-door safe that is huge, and the design of the openings have an overlapping stair-step effect with rubber/fiberglass-like gaskets recessed in the steps. There are probably four or five "steps" with recesses. If that gasket-like material is what I think it is, it is the stuff that swells up to prevent penetration of steam and gases.

After thinking about that, what I decided is that on my new/modern Liberty safe, I'm going to put in TWO layers of intumescent strip tape, probably one on the side-jam and one on the inside jam, so that there is double-row protection, including around a corner that any steam or gasses would have to pass. This is the best I can do on my modern safe to make it a seal/barrier like on the old safe, with multiple layers of sealant protection.

I might also pull out a couple of the old seals in the old safe and replace them with some new tape, so it's good and resilient.

Here's the 3M brand tape:
3M™ Expantrol™ Flexible Intumescent Strip Tape (http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Commercial/Care/Products-Services/Products-Catalog/?PC_7_RJH9U52308K010I4TPNS203825000000_nid=9ZZNBJX F6ZbeQH6W2S54F8gl)