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

By Maria Paiz October 23, 2023

Dark blue background with contrasting light blue text that reads Fire Proof Bag Vs Safe, the USA Safe and Vault logo, and a photo of a fire proof bag.

*This post contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, but it never influences our product selection process.


Fireproof bags and safes are both popular choices for protecting valuable items from fire damage. Each option offers unique advantages, making understanding their differences and when it's appropriate to use both crucial.

In this article, we'll delve into the characteristics of fireproof bags and safes, discuss the necessity of using both, and provide insights to help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs.  

Fireproof Bag vs. Safe? Is Using Both Needed?

The main difference between a fireproof bag and a safe is that a fireproof bag provides limited fire protection and no theft protection. In contrast, a safe provides greater fire protection and burglary protection. A safe's fire resistance and burglary protection level are often confirmed by 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 fire temperature 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. 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 and birth certificates. It can protect legal-size documents, mobile phones, passports, or other small valuables.


Considerations for Using a Fireproof Bag


Items to store

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


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 bags come with zipper or Velcro closures to protect their content, but the premium ones feature 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 effectively maintain internal temperature and keep valuables safe during a fire.

    Some materials used for fireproof document bags can withstand 2000 degrees F. 

    • Warranties 

    It is important to use the best fireproof document bag with warranties. This will be helpful for you in case something unexpected happens. If the bag fails to protect its contents from fire damage, the manufacturer will typically replace the bag, as they usually do not cover damage to the contents as a result of the bag's failure. Additionally, you are entitled to a replacement from the manufacturer if you discover any defects in the bag, regardless of whether it has been exposed to fire or not.

    Small Fireproof Bag with Lock,ENGPOW Fireproof Money Organizer Case (9.4 x 5.9 x 3.2 inches),3-Layer Cash Safe Coin Organizer Bag Set Storage for Valuables-Currency,Keys,Card,Passport(2 Pack)

    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 survive a fire and the deluge of water from a fireman’s hose that follows.

    What is a fireproof document bag?

    It is a document bag that is made by high-temperature and high-pressure processes 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. 


    In summary, both fireproof bags and safes serve to protect your valuables from fire damage, but they offer different levels of security and protection. While using a fireproof bag within a safe can provide an added layer of security, it may not always be necessary, depending on your individual requirements.

    By considering the factors discussed in this article and evaluating the safety needs of your valuables, you can determine the most suitable combination of fire protection methods for your situation.

    Ultimately, the key is to strike the right balance between security, accessibility, and protection to ensure your valuable items remain safe in the face of potential disasters.

    Commonly you 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 to add an extra layer of protection. 

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