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Fireproof Bag vs Safe | Overkill to Place One Inside the Other?

By USA Safe & Vault August 26, 2021 0 comments

Using double fireproof storage becomes a common way to add extra protection for valuables against fire. Let’s say we put our precious items inside a fireproof document bag and then place it in a fireproof safe. If one is better than the other, shouldn’t both be better together? 

Fireproof Bag vs Safe?  Is Using Both Needed?

The main difference between a fireproof bag and a safe is that a fireproof bag provides some limited fire protection and no theft protection, while a safe provides greater fire protection and burglary protection. A safe's level of fire resistance and burglary protection is often confirmed with its rating (e.g. UL rating). A fireproof bag is not rated.

A fireproof bag placed inside a fireproof safe is not necessary but it can help slightly. The most common reason is convenience.  The contents in the safe can be organized in the bag, and when needed, can be taken out in the fireproof bag for portable protection. 

Most fireproof safes come with fire resistance ratings that define their ability to survive in a fire even though some models might be able to stay longer in a fire than others. Whenever you choose a safe with a fire rating, it can protect your valuables as long as the temperature of the fire doesn’t exceed the values of a specific model of safe use. 

The fireproof document bag was first developed in the early 2000s for military purposes. Today, due to its wide range of applications, it is used by many other sectors including the police, security services, and fire brigades. The FDMB serves as easy-to-carry protection against fire and heat resistance damage for important documents and equipment. This lightweight, water-resistant, and fire-resistant bag can be used for protecting cash, birth certificates, it can protect legal-size documents, mobile phones, passports, or other small valuables.

When planning to use a fireproof bag for extra fire protection, you can consider some of these important things. 

  • Items to store – items typically stored in the fireproof document bag are those that are unlikely to replace such as passports, certificates, money, or important photos. Not only legal documents, but this bag is also suitable for electronic devices. 

  • Size – a fireproof document bag is perfect for storing small valuables and identification documents. Since the size is close to a bank deposit bag, you cannot keep important papers inside except fold them a few times previously. Otherwise, you can choose the larger fireproof bag.

  • Closure style – standard fireproof document bag comes with zipper or Velcro closures to protect the content but the premium one features multiple closures to give optimum protection for the contents. 

Aside from its characteristics, let’s get to know the ability of a fireproof document bag against a fire. 

How can fireproof document bags survive a fire?

  • Materials and construction

Fireproof bags are made from superior fireproof material that consists of several layers called fire-retardant silicone-coated fiberglass. The majority of them are even complemented with aluminum foil on the interior. The materials used are effective in maintaining internal temperature and remain safe for the valuables during a fire, Some materials used for fireproof document bags can make it withstand 2000 degrees F. 

  • Warranties 

It is important to use the best fireproof document bag that comes with warranties. This will be helpful for you in case something unexpected happens. If the bag unsuccessfully secures its contents from fire, its manufacturer will replace the bag since it commonly doesn’t cover damage as a result. Not only does it fail to fire, but you also deserve the replacement of the bag from the manufacturer whenever you find any defect on it. 

FAQs | What Readers Have Been Asking

How long do fireproof bags last in a fire?

The National Fire Protection Association has a standard that requires fireproof bags to be exposed to temperatures in excess of 1700 degrees for at least 30 minutes. You can also expose the bag to temperatures as high as 2700 degrees for two hours if needed. The bags will typically survive these temperature tests without any visible damage, and will still conform to all other physical properties.

Some fireproof bags are also waterproof bags which is a benefit for what might seem like a strange reason.  The truth is, you want your best fireproof document bags to not only survive a fire but also the deluge of water from a fireman’s hose that follows.

What is a fireproof document bag?

It is a document bag which is made by high-temperature and high-pressure process, using the materials such as polyester, nylon, paper, etc. Many people would ask the question: what would happen if you put a document into this bag and burned it? In fact, it will be very difficult to burn these materials. After being processed by fireproof materials, there are various kinds of fireproof non-woven fabric, silicon-coated fiberglass, and nylon inside and a waterproof zipper for the best fireproof document bags such as Oxzoh fireproof bag or the popular Blokkd Fireproof Bag (often with a bonus mini bag). With this protection layer inside, it can't be burned directly through the flame.

This kind of bag has a good water-resistant function as well as high temperature-resistant performance. So you don't have to worry about moisture when it meets water or rain. 

Can a fireproof bag replace a fireproof briefcase?

Not quite.  A fireproof briefcase is sturdier and likely to last longer. 


You commonly don’t need to use a fireproof document bag if you already use a fireproof safe to protect your valuables because most fireproof safes come with fire-resistance ratings that enable them to survive during a fire. However, most fireproof document bags can be used if you want the valuables stored inside to be extra safe since this bag is created with materials and designs that allow it to withstand a high temperature. 

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