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How Long Do Fireproof Safes Last?

By USA Safe & Vault November 06, 2021



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Fireproof safes typically can last longer if it has a high fire rating as it doesn’t exceed the limit of a specific time which enables them to survive in a fire. Not only fire rating, but its longevity also depends on maintenance because a fireproof safe is also prone to moisture that causes rust and ineffective function of a safe.

A fireproof safe becomes an option for those who want to protect their valuables, especially from fire. However, people might be thinking about their longevity compared with other types of safe. 

Would you like to know how long fireproof safes last? Fireproof safes are designed with some of the most advanced materials on the market. Many people think that they will be around for a very brief period, but in reality, these products have provided service for more than 100 years. This article is going to cover some of the benefits of using fireproof safes, as well as answer many common questions about their longevity. If you want to learn more about this topic, read on!

So, how long does a fire-resistant safe last?

A fireproof sale may last many decades if it is under good maintenance. In terms of its ability to survive in a fire, it will be long-lasting if the outdoor temperature level does not exceed the limit for a specific model in a certain length of time. 

There are some factors that can affect how long a fireproof safe can last such as follows:

  • Materials – a heavy safe made from sturdy materials likely can survive longer in fire compared with low-quality materials. Although it cannot guarantee the lifespan, it lasts enough to protect what’s inside the safe. 

  • Maintenance – The maintenance of fire protection safe also affects its longevity. Another threat of fireproof safes rather than the fire itself is moisture. This condition leads to many problems such as rusting and lock failure, etc that make the safe turn to be ineffective. 

  • Fire rating – this determines how long your safe can survive in a fire based on a certain length of time. Safes with certified fire ratings usually can stand in fire for a few hours. 

There are many possibilities that might happen to be safe in fire cases. Let’s dive in.

Valuables inside remain safe

What you store inside the safe is a priority. The outer part of a safe can get burned and leave marks due to fire but the internal part doesn’t always damage. Instead of maintaining a perfect look, a fireproof safe is designed to protect what’s stored inside although the expensive models can do that. Hence, when we wonder about its longevity, it practically concerns protecting the valuables such as birth certificates, USB drives, or paper documents inside. 

Using UL class 125 2-hours certified fireproof safes

If you use UL class 125 2-hours certified safe to preserve your valuables it usually can survive within two hours as long as the outdoor temperature doesn’t exceed 17000F and the average temperature of a home fire is around 10000F. It means that the safe can last longer and when the temperature doesn’t rise higher than 1250F, you can put electronic devices inside. 

Using UL class 1-hour fire ratings examplar safe

In the same condition, when you use UL class 1-hour examplar safe it will last only one hour. If the house fire causes a higher temperature than what’s expected, the internal temperature also increases which might damage the valuables inside. So, it’s impossible for the safe to last long.

ruined gun safe

What you should keep in a fireproof safe

A fireproof safe is an investment that protects anything kept inside against damage caused by extreme heat or flames. These types of safes are airtight and waterproof making them great for protecting important documents like passports, birth certificates, and deeds to your home.

Fireproof safes are mainly used in the following situations:

  • To protect important documents like passports, deeds, wills

  • To store personal jewelry

  • For valuables like hard drives, silverware, and other family heirlooms or antiques

Different Types of Fireproof Safe Locks

An important thing to consider before buying a safe is what you would like to use the safe for. If you are only looking for some extra security on your everyday household items, you can use normal locks. On the other hand, if you are looking for higher security, more specifically to protect against both fire or burglary, then there are different types of locking mechanisms. The type of locking system you should look for depends on what exactly you are looking for protection against.

  • Key Lock with an additional security key

  • Mechanical Combination Lock

  • Electronic lock

  • Biometric locks

Frequently Asked Question

Are fireproof safes really fireproof?

Yes, a fire-resistant safe is indeed fireproof. But it's also important to remember the fact that nothing made by anyone anywhere is 100 percent fireproof. What separates a fireproof safe from most other safes without fire protection is its ability to protect the contents under certain conditions of heat and time.

Are fireproof safes worth it?

The answer is yes, fireproof safes are definitely worth it because they can save your valuables in case of a house fire. 

The storage capacity of standard safes is slightly larger than the fireproof ones. But what you are losing in terms of storage space, you will gain back in terms of protection from key elements. A fireproof safe will keep your documents and valuables protected from extremely high temperatures for specific periods.

Do fire safes expire?

Fireproof safes can resist high temperatures for a long time. It will last as long as the outside temperature does not go above the limit for a particular model. For example, depending on what type of safe you have, it can have protection from heat for hours or days.

Are safes waterproof?

A waterproof safe is made of durable steel and can be submerged entirely in water without compromising the valuables stored inside. This water resistance safe is the perfect precautionary measure for floods. 


Fireproof safes typically can last longer if it has a high fire rating as it doesn’t exceed the limit of specific time which enables them to survive in a fire. Not only fire rating, but its longevity also depends on maintenance because a fireproof safe is also prone to moisture that causes rust and ineffective function of a safe.

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