Author Topic: Fire Safe Gun Safety - How Not To Do It!  (Read 2985 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Classanr

  • Ultimate Forum Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 5218
  • BP, the original bug chaser!
Fire Safe Gun Safety - How Not To Do It!
« on: August 02, 2013, 09:24:42 AM »
TSC, a banner-sponsor for the site, has a web page selling safes.
They tout the advantages of a good safe in a fire.

They dramatize the issue with this photo

Bad Bad Firemen!

See the smoke coming out of the safe as they force open the door?
That's from the super-heated contents meeting the fresh oxygen and


The way fire safes work is to deprive oxygen from the "heated beyond ignition temperatures" flamables, mostly by saturating with steam (created by the fire, driving water or some other non-flamable liquid out of the safe's sponge-like insulation).

Please wait at least 72 hours (a full week if the insurance company will allow it) after the fire for the contents to cool down below their flash point.  Like your beer cooler, the safe's insulation will greatly retard any inner temperature change.  Keep in mind your safe was probably subjected to hours of temps well over 1,000degF.  Like your beer cooler, the apparent temperature on the outside does not reflect the temperature on the inside.  Merely dousing the safe with fire-hose water will not appreciably speed up the *interior* cooling process.

You can demonstrate this yourself (fun test!) by *filling* your beer cooler in winter with hot pies and hot apple cider, then dousing the thing with water to cover it with ice (outside, of course  ;) ).
The next day, call out the kids, chip off the ice, and enjoy warm pie and apple cider.

Anecdotal Evidence:  Guilford, ME, 1980's, "Dave's Tire Shop" fire, huge 4-story barn, many many old tires, and all shop equipment total loss, except the 6ft tall safe.  Two days after the fire, with the outside of the safe no longer too hot to touch, Dave frantically opened the safe to extract his life-time savings ("too much to risk in a bank").  He and several others watched it all go up in smoke like flash paper the moment the door was swung open.

To add insult to injury, they hosed down the ashes.  Had they left the ashes intact, the Feds have ways to prove the previous value of the ash pile, and trade dollar-for-dollar.  Too bad they won't do that for guns and ammo.

Now, all that being said, it is possible the photo was staged.  It is unlikely that the owner wouldn't just twirl the dials and spin the handle.  The smoke could be the imagination of an editor.  On the other hand, the photo could have been found by the website developers (who most likely have no firefighting experience whatsoever) and used without understanding that the purpose of the photo was to demonstrate what not to do.

Jim Beam me, Scotty!  Life here is more intelligent than I.

Offline ssb73q

  • Ultimate Forum Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 3536
  • Gunsmoke junkie
Re: Fire Safe Gun Safety - How Not To Do It!
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2013, 09:35:21 AM »
Hi Classanr, not all is lost. Keep the safe closed until cooled and then open and use the charcoal from all the gun stocks to make black powder?   ;) ;) ;)


Offline ctswamphunter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
    • Whitetail Woods blog
Re: Fire Safe Gun Safety - How Not To Do It!
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2013, 09:41:51 AM »
 )L$  )L$  )L$  )L$  )L$
Visit my blog  -  whitetailwoodsblog.blogspot.com