Welcome to our big fireproof safe test 2019, where we present all the fireproof safes we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information for you and also added a summary of customer reviews on the web.
With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best fireproof safe for you.
You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a fireproof safe.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Fireproof Safe: Our Picks
- 4 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a fire safe
- 4.1 Who is a fireproof safe suitable for?
- 4.2 What do I need a safe for?
- 4.3 What can I protect with my safe?
- 4.4 How and where do I install my safe myself?
- 4.5 How heavy is a fireproof safe?
- 4.6 What protection does a fireproof safe offer?
- 4.7 What does a safe that is fireproof cost?
- 4.8 What are the alternatives to fireproof safes?
- 5 Decision: What types of fireproof safes are there and which one is right for you?
- 6 Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate fireproof safes
- 7 Facts worth knowing about fireproof safes
- Fireproof safes allow you to store your valuables safely in a variety of ways. It is important that you look at the protection classes and the VdS certification of the product.
- Basically, a distinction is made between furniture safes, wall safes and floor safes, whereby the three variants are available in different sizes and price classes. Armoured safes or document safes offer extended protection, but they are more expensive to purchase and insure.
- Before buying, make sure you know the protection class you need and that you have enough volume to store your valuables safely. The lock on your fireproof safe should be either mechanical or electronic. Think about how you want to lock away your valuables.
The Best Fireproof Safe: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a fire safe
Who is a fireproof safe suitable for?
Since safes often have a high weight, the selection and placement can be difficult. For people who do not have as much strength in their arms, opening the heavy steel doors can be very strenuous. Making the right choice depends on many factors. We will deal with this in detail on this page.
It is interesting what you want to protect and what you want to protect it against, as this is more important for the purchase decision than some other aspects.
What do I need a safe for?
There are various ways to make your home burglar-proof, with window grilles, basement window grilles, alarm systems, etc., but once the foreign entry has been successfully made, the search for money, valuable heirlooms or electrical appliances begins.
Some safes are still very popular even when they are getting on in years, even the safe pictured. Some old models are used as decoration because they are no longer functional or the locking mechanism is damaged.
Remember that you will also want to store valuables in your caravan at the campsite or on your boat, because you will not always be there, others may gain access.
In the digital age, data carriers, hard drives, USB sticks and laptops are also the focus of thieves, so it is important to protect this information from more than just hackers.
The cash boxes that we all have at home are often not big enough or do not offer the right protection, simple boxes can not only be taken quickly, they also have a very low resistance to attempted break-ins.
Different sizes and types offer a wide range of options to protect your valuables.
What can I protect with my safe?
The steel fireproof valuables protectors are often used for:
- important documents
- USB sticks
- Laptops and tablets
- Hard disks and data carriers
Accordingly, larger fireproof safes are needed for documents or laptops, although this is also reflected in the size and weight of the safe. In the case of fireproof safes for wall mounting, the substrate must first be checked for sufficient load-bearing capacity.
How and where do I install my safe myself?
Placing a fireproof furniture safe or mini safe in the cupboard or, if necessary, screwing it to the back wall of the piece of furniture is one thing, but anchoring a safe to the wall or floor is quite another. We have therefore selected this video to help you get an idea of how safes can be fixed.
We recognise that there are many reasons why a fireproof safe is necessary and that wall mounting a fireproof safe can be costly, but very important to protect your valuables.
Small safes that are placed in a piece of furniture and screwed to the masonry are to be mounted according to the instructions with the safety screws and with safety dowels. The wall safe must be professionally walled in according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Floor safes should be anchored to the floor with a dead weight of less than 1000 kg to ensure optimum protection.
How heavy is a fireproof safe?
Medium safes weigh around 20 kg and are therefore not easy to steal; they are also interesting in terms of volume for documents or larger valuables. Depending on what you want to protect in your fireproof safe, consider the size, weight and placement of your new safe in the home.
The delivery of a fireproof safe should be planned, as this transport is very difficult due to the weight of the safe and several people may be needed. So before you buy, consider where the fireproof safe will be placed and how it will get there.
Larger fireproof safes weighing more than 57 kg are very stable, but it will be difficult to carry them home yourself, especially up or down stairs. So when buying, pay attention to what delivery options are offered.
In addition to the higher protection class and the weight, the larger fireproof safes have a corresponding volume to safely store folders or laptops in them.
The table shows examples of the dimensions and weight of a safe.
|Furniture safe||23 x 17 x 17 cm||3,06 Kg|
|Wall or furniture safe||35 x 40 x 40 cm||16,5 Kg|
|Wall or furniture safe||50x35x34,5 cm||19 Kg|
|Floor safe||33,5 x 46 x 45,2 cm||28 Kg|
|Floor safe||49 x 47,2 x 60,5 cm||56,6 Kg|
Other dimensions and weights are possible - the table is for guidance only.
What protection does a fireproof safe offer?
And not only against the fire, but also against fire gases, heat development and extinguishing water. Retrieving documents is often tedious, sometimes impossible, and you protect yourself optimally with a fireproof safe.
Pay attention to how long a safe is fireproof, because this can vary greatly and is very important when buying.
Fire protection measured in time:
- 30 minutes
- 60 minutes
- 120 minutes
After this time, the interior may heat up so much that the objects inside are affected. In the case of water-protected safes, screwing is often not permitted, as this allows water to penetrate into the interior.
The construction types of safes are defined according to classes:
- Single-walled steel cabinet class A
- Multi-walled steel cabinet class B
- Valuables cabinet, armoured cabinet Security level C
Valuable safes and armoured safes offer a higher protection class. For domestic use, class B is often purchased as this is sufficient.
Safes of VdS classes 2 and 3 offer stronger burglary protection and can withstand burglary attempts for much longer.
What does a safe that is fireproof cost?
For this test, we have created this table as an overview. It shows the price range you will find yourself in depending on the size of the fireproof safe. The protection classes are not yet taken into account. You define for yourself what you want to secure and need a certain volume in the interior.
|Mini safe to furniture safe||6,6-9 litres||18,99 -45,99 €|
|Wall and furniture safes||10-19 litres||39,90- 79,99 €|
|(wall) and floor safes||20 -29 litres||approx. 53,99 - 89,99€|
|Floor safes||30-39 litres||approx. 72,99 - 90,59 €|
|Floor safes||40- 49 litres||109,99 - 129,99€|
|Floor safes||from 50 litres||from 149,99 €|
The list could certainly be extended by volume and price, but it should show you that you can buy quite a large safe for little money. Pay attention to heat resistance and fire resistance.
What are the alternatives to fireproof safes?
Plainer options for securing valuables are, for example:
- Cash boxes for money and smaller valuables.
- Fireproof document lockers are only to be considered as additional fire protection.
- Lockers in banks to be considered as an external option.
Safes that heat up quickly should also be fitted with fireproof document pockets to further increase protection.
Enhanced protection than home fireproof safes covered in this test are:
- Steel safe A and B; new classifications S1, S2
- Safe C1 and C 2; new classifications 0, 1, 2, 3
- Safe D1 (D10), D2 (D20), E10; new classifications 4,5,6
You can equip them with fire protection of up to 120 minutes. These special safes have a dead weight of up to 2.5 tonnes.
Each of the safes has certain advantages that are not to be sneezed at. Nevertheless, the fireproof safe seems to be superior to the other safes in many criteria. Not without reason are they becoming an increasingly popular protection for valuables.
Decision: What types of fireproof safes are there and which one is right for you?
If you want to get a safe, there are two alternatives you can choose between. The main difference between the fireproof safes for the home are the different installation options besides the protection class.
- Single-walled fireproof safe class A
- Multi-walled fireproof safe class B
Depending on what you prefer and what you want to use the fireproof safe for, a different type is suitable for you. In the following section we would like to make your decision easier by presenting the respective advantages and disadvantages.
What distinguishes a single-walled fireproof safe of class A and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
The big plus of a single-walled fireproof safe is clearly its price and weight. Protection class A provides light burglary protection, which means that the valuables are protected, but the resistance of the safe is not particularly high or lasts for a long time.
The interior tends to heat up due to the single-walled housing. If you want to protect your valuables from theft, this safe is sufficient. This protection class is often used for smaller furniture safes or wall safes.
The advantages of this safe are clearer if you know what you want to protect against.
Furniture or wall safes are often equipped with adjustable shelves and electronic combination locks. Alternatively, there are also some fireproof furniture safes with finger scan modules. The small steel safes are good for securing money, jewellery or USB sticks, or for your caravan if it is not currently occupied.
Before buying, however, consider the volume and that you may have more valuables over the years and may then need to buy a new safe.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a class B multi-walled fireproof safe?
A class B multi-walled fireproof safe is much more resistant to external influences than a class A safe, which increases the protection for your valuables.
These fireproof safes are also filled with insulating concrete and have an electronic combination lock as door security. They are usually larger in volume than the single-walled class safes, which means you can store larger items in your safe, such as A4 documents or even folders.
Protection against water, smoke and fire is provided for your valuables, your coin collection, your camera and your securities.
Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate fireproof safes
In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible fireproof safes.
The criteria you can use to compare fireproof safes with each other include:
- Protection class
- Area of application
- Mounting form
- Locking mechanism
Depending on the construction of the fireproof safe, it is important which protection class has been assigned. The protection classes A to E10 indicate the resistance that the safe offers against attacks from outside.
Usually, we buy single-walled or multi-walled steel safes for domestic use with protection classes A or B. This means that the safe is either fully or conditionally burglar-proof.
The safes and strongboxes have protection classes C1 - E10.
Ask your insurance company how you can insure the contents of your fireproof safe.
Area of application
We have already listed what you can store in your fireproof safe and you know best what you want to protect against water, fire and burglary.
You should consider where you want to use your fireproof safe privately. Mobile homes or boats are one option, but at home you should consider placing it where you can comfortably store your valuables.
Popular are bedrooms as furniture safes, in offices or in utility rooms as floor safes.
You should think about the volume or dimensions in advance when you have thought about what you want to store in your fireproof safe.
Mini safes have smaller dimensions and a lower weight. They are therefore best suited for very small valuables. Furniture safes already allow you to store documents. Floor safes allow you to store some folders and larger items.
|Mini safe to furniture safe||6.6-9 litres|
|Wall and furniture safes||10-19 litres|
|(wall) and floor safes||20 -29 litres|
|Floor safes||from 30 litres|
The larger your household and the more valuables you will have in the future, the larger the safe you should buy to avoid having to buy a new one in a few years.
The small, fireproof mini safes are usually very light at approx. 6 kg and therefore portable and do not need to be fixed. Small safes or furniture safes are placed inside a piece of furniture, usually wardrobes, and screwed to the brickwork. Wall safes should be bricked into the wall.
Floor safes or upright safes weighing up to 1000 kg should also be anchored to the floor for optimal protection.
The locking mechanism is very important when deciding which safe to buy, because you have the choice between:
- Double-bit locks
- Mechanical combination locks
- Electronic combination locks
- electronic combination locks with mechanical emergency locking option
Each of the variants has its advantages and disadvantages - we will first introduce you to these locking mechanisms.
Double-bit locks are equipped with safe keys that have a "bit" at the top and bottom to open the lock. The advantage for you is that there are only a few keys and therefore only a few ways to open the fireproof safe. However, do not keep it in your desk or bedside table, where burglars look very intensively for keys to safes.
Mechanical combination locks here you are independent of a mechanical key. Often 3-4 disc locks are offered, with three 2-digit numbers or four 2-digit number pairs, which are to be entered by means of a setting disc. Make sure that you can remember the number but that not everyone can guess which combination it is. You must make sure that the battery in it is replaced regularly to avoid failures.
The electronic combination lock with mechanical emergency locking is a special variant. With a key for a double-bit lock, an emergency opening option is possible in the event of failure of the locking electronics.
Look for a VdS certification of the lock and pay attention to quality against manipulation and burglary.
Facts worth knowing about fireproof safes
How can I retrofit my fireproof safe?
You can upgrade the locking mechanism of your fireproof safe. However, you should take a closer look at your existing fireproof safe to find out what kind of lock it has and whether it can be replaced or retrofitted at all.
An example of this is if you have a mechanical lock with a key and now want to have an electronic combination lock, here you have to see if you can convert it and if it is worth the effort. Retrofitting an electronic combination lock can cost up to €250.00, depending on the model.
Are fireproof safes also resistant to mould?
Fireproof safes do not necessarily have good ventilation possibilities. Therefore, the legitimate question arises whether fireproof safes are also resistant to mould.
Money or documents, for example, would be affected by mould. The recovery of documents is often difficult or even impossible, which is why their protection in the safe is also important.
If your safe is in a damp location, such as the basement, this is also not good for the locking mechanism, especially for electronic locking mechanisms. So consider if you could place your safe somewhere else.
A simple option is to buy a dehumidifier from a DIY store and place it in the safe, but this needs to be replaced regularly.
The optimal humidity for health is 50 % at a room temperature of 20 degrees. The higher the moisture content in the air, the better mould can colonise.
Can I build my own fireproof safe?
Fireproof safes are often expensive and you might consider building one yourself. There are some instructions on the internet on how to build a safe. But keep a few points in mind. If you build your own safe, you will not be covered by your household insurance if something happens. You have to be skilled enough and of course you have to procure the materials yourself to build this safe.
You have to decide for yourself whether this is in proportion to a fireproof safe that you can buy and that enjoys the corresponding insurance cover.
Image source: flickr.com / Natascha Wheatland