If life calls upon you to have a gun safe, you will know it. You’ll have some guns, for a start. You might have family members who think gunplay is cool, without necessarily checking whether the weapons are loaded every time.
You might have children, for whom the curiosity value about guns is overwhelming. You might just possibly have some guns that you don’t want to leave lying around for any burglar or home invader to turn against you or your family.
Whatever your personal circumstances, you’ll know if you need a gun safe. And if you’re going to have a gun safe, you might as well have a fireproof one. Who knows what happens, right?
If (all the heavens forbid) your house is on fire, the last – the very last – thing you need is to have a safe full of guns and ammunition getting nicely toasty and ready to pop like explosive corn in a microwave.
So, hey – it’s time to buy a fireproof gun safe. In some ways, this is a decent, responsible action on behalf of your family. In other ways, it’s kind of exciting, because you get to choose a gun safe that represents your history of responsible gun ownership, and is also kind of… you know… cool.
So what are you looking for in a fireproof gun safe?
Number #1 – you’re looking for a safe ideally big enough to keep all your guns and ammo in. Don’t buy a pistol safe if you have a couple of rifles too.
This is not ballistic science, and you know this stuff. But still, it’s best to make a list of the points to remember. So #1 – get the right size gun safe for your needs.
Number #2 – get one with the highest fire resistance rating possible in your size. The higher the rating, the more time you have before the contents of the safe are compromised by fire. Time is vital in an emergency situation – do not squander it by going down-market.
Number #3 – security features. The whole point of a gun safe is that only you – and those responsible family members you trust with the knowledge – will be able to get hold of the guns.
Everybody else, from a curious teenager facing bullies at school to a home invader looking for a quick score – should be entirely frustrated by the cunning wiles of your gun safe.
It should have security features that amount to the finger given to anyone who tries to get access to the guns and does not have your permission to do so.
These three things are fundamental. Beyond them, there are a couple of other ‘nice to have’ features in a good fireproof gun safe.
If you can get a safe that’s also waterproof, then for instance, in the event of the fire department valiantly putting out the fire in your home, there’s a chance your guns and ammo (potentially amounting to a significant financial investment) won’t be ruined as much by the rescue as by the threat of fire.
Internal A/C power’s a neat feature if you can get it too – it helps with dehumidifying the gun safe on a day-to-day basis.
OK, so – now you know what you’re looking for. It’s time you met the 9 best fireproof gun safes on the market:
- Most Affordable: Fortress 8-Gun Fireproof Rifle Safe
- Best for Long Guns: Barska Fireproof Fire Vault for Rifles
- Best for Handguns: Steelwater AMSWS-610EL Pistol Safe
- Blue Dot Safes Second Amendment Fire-Resistant Gun Safe
- Steelwater Heavy Duty 16 Long Gun Safe
- Steelwater Heavy Duty 39 Long Gun Safe
- SnapSafe Titan Digital Modular Safe
- SentrySafe SFW082CTB – For Pistols Only
- SentrySafe EF4738E Fireproof & Waterproof Safe – For Pistols Only
Affordability pushes the Fortress to the top of our list, despite a less than spectacular fireproof rating.
We’re not going to lie to you here, the fact that the Fortress safe is available at a highly bank-happy price-point earns it lots of bonus points and pushes it to the top of our list.
Importantly, it wouldn’t be there if it hadn’t at least recorded competent independent UL fireproof test scores, though.
But it’s the price point, meaning it’s a lot more realistic for more gun owners than some of the more expensive safes, that really seals the deal for Fortress.
There are slots for 8 long guns in the Fortress safe, as well as an adjustable shelf for handguns and ammo, and in a neat touch, a carpeted interior. Less weapons locker, more firearms boudoir.
It is typical of the breed in some respects, meaning silica gel packs or even an electric dehumidifier might be a good plan – nobody wants a clammy gun.
Securitywise – you get an electronic keypad lock, run off a 9V battery (included). That’s fairly standard, if not necessarily revolutionary.
The point being, you wouldn’t expect revolutionary at this price point. You’d expect an adequate everyday gun safe which does the job – and that’s what Fortress gives you.
There is a good deterrent effect in 3x active locking bolts, 2 deadbolts and a patented ‘Notch Bolt,’ though.
Can you make the potential gun-thieves’ job harder? Yes, you can – it has two holes in the floor of the safe, and lag bolts supplied.
“Go ahead, punk, tear up my hardwood floor if you want my guns” is a pretty good bluff to any opportunist thief, because seriously, who has the time?
If there’s a genuine elephant in the room with this safe it’s the low-end fireproof rating. 30 minutes at 1200F is something, but never really something great.
The point is that this is a gun safe for occasions where you first and foremost need a gun safe, and the fireproofing is a handy add-on.
If you genuinely feel you’re in a higher risk category for spontaneous domestic combustion, you should probably go for a safe with a higher fireproof rating.
But go into that purchase with your eyes and your wallet open – it will cost you more the higher up the fire protection scale you go.
- Price – the great attraction of the Fortress is that it allows more people to own a highly competent fun safe
- Interior - The design is simple, but effective, and the carpeting is an unexpected addition at this price point
- Floor bolts – an extra you don’t usually find until you’re spending a lot more for your gun safe, but which makes opportunistic theft a lot more of a pain in the butt for the thief
- That fireproof rating – the Fortress is first and foremost a gun safe, with some notional fireproofing added in. If you are actually worried about fires, you might want to upgrade to a more expensive safe with higher fireproof ratings
BEST FOR LONG GUNS
Lots of space and a good fireproof rating make the Barska a genuine contender.
You know sometimes when you look at a thing, you can see the level of thought that’s gone into it? That’s the feeling you get looking at the Barska fireproof gun safe.
Shifting shelving options mean you can fit 8 long guns in the Barska as standard, but with a rearrangement here and there, you can up that to 16 with ease. In addition, there are some great handgun slots and space for quite a lot of ammo too.
The safety standards are more or less what you expect in a fireproof gun safe – you get a keypad and a tri-wheel handle. Six deadbolt locks – count ’em, six! – should be enough to dissuade most opportunistic thieves.
Would more be better? Sure, probably. Would an EMP-proof locking mechanism be an extra cherry on the security cake? Oh, by all means. But it’s possible that expecting an EMP-proof lock is verging just slightly on the side of paranoia for a domestic gun safe.
In terms of fireproofing, the Barska doubles the safe time of the Fortress, giving a full hour at 1200F.
The temperature’s still on the low side for some domestic fire situations, sure, but it gives a much more optimistic outlook in the case of any fire, for you to get all the people to safety and still rescue your guns and ammo.
One thing to note is that while the moveable shelving is cool and practical, the Barska lacks a little finesse in its interior.
There’s no power outlet to allow you to fit a dehumidifier, for instance, so you’re either looking at the clammy gun scenario or you’re going to have to add a rechargeable humidifier to the safe, which adds to the complication of the procedure.
Overall though, the size is decent, the shelving options are cleverly thought through, and the fire protection is double that of the Fortress, which has got to make it worth your time, especially if you have a combination of long guns and handguns.
- Clever interior design, with adjustable shelving giving twice the number of long gun slots
- Shelving is excellent, allowing you to store handguns and ammo alongside long guns
- Fireproof rating of 1 hour 1,200F gives you a decent opportunity to rescue your property in the event of a fire
- No internal power supply means no mains dehumidifying options
BEST FOR HANDGUNS
A high fireproof rating and a strong reputation makes the AMSWS a top-rated option for the handgun enthusiast.
Steelwater is a company that knows its business. It has garnered itself an excellent reputation in fireproof gun safes, and this model is flagship for its brand.
Let’s talk security. You get a combination of 2x 1-inch live locking bolts and 2x 1-inch dead bolts. And that’s just to start with. The door of the safe? Mm-hmm – a full 4-inches thick, thank you.
And like our list-leader, you can bolt this sucker to the floor, to make it extra difficult to get into or simply take away.
That’s more than you’ll find on a heck of a lot of domestic gun safes, so while we try to remain neutral, there’s a certain amount of air-punching going on when we tell you about it.
Weirdly though, the security aspects are not really where the Steelwater stands out from the crowd.
That would be in its fireproofing. With this model, you’re looking at a full 2 hours of resistance at upto 1850F.
Why is that a big deal? Well, because while we love the first two safes enough to elevate them into the top two positions, they have a faintly nominal approach to fireproofing for the American home.
Most US domestic fires burn at around the 1500F mark, so surviving an hour or even half an hour at 1200F has to be factored down, given the likely actual temperatures they’ll be called on to survive.
The Steelwater shoulders its way into contention here by actually surviving higher temperatures than an average American housefire, and surviving them for twice as long as any other safe so far.
If you’re especially concerned about house fires, this should be your first real call.
Now, with that robust survival instinct comes a certain spartan quality on the interior. No upholstery here (we assume it would potentially compromise whatever was kept in the safe, given that the safe survives to higher temperatures).
But good shelving makes a simple business of the intelligent interior design of a gun safe that really can be considered fireproof.
- High fireproof rating - 120 minutes at 1850F fireproof is the first safe so far that will likely survive an actual house fire
- Security features make the safe a lot of hard work either to break into or to cart away
- Price - We’ve said from the start that higher fire protection costs many more dollars. Match that with a quality build and effective security features and you’re looking at a hefty chunk of change
A reasonable safe at a pleasing price point, with good security and fireproof ratings.
There’s a certain in your face constitutional hell yeah about the look of this safe – it has “Second Amendment” emblazoned on its chest, just so you’re in no doubt, and don’t mistake it for a tulip locker.
This thing is for your guns, dammit – your legal, permitted, constitutionally sanctioned guns.
And that’s fine – you are after all, investing in a gun safe, which is the action of a responsible gun owner, as opposed to someone who keeps their guns and ammo in the refrigerator, behind the potato salad.
The tri-wheel handle has that “Go ahead, try your luck” feel of a taunt to it too. Shy and retiring, this gun safe is not.
On the inside, you can fit at least 4 long guns. With judicious storage, you might even manage 8 in reasonable safety and comfort. A neat door organizer gives you some pistol space to add to the offering.
Safetywise, the Second Amendment has it going on. It includes protection against both drill attacks and pry attacks. It comes with holes so you can bolt it to the floor, but then it stands at 482 pounds before you even place the first bolt.
Also, it scores highly on its fireproof rating too, giving you a whole hour at 1700F (again, higher than most domestic fires in America).
As with the Steelwater, there’s not much going on in terms of upholstery, and there's also no internal power supply for a dehumidifier, so you’re back on the hunt for a rechargeable option.
Overall though, this gun safe has a “taking on all-comers” feel about it, and impressively, it justifies the sass in its styling with excellent construction, safety and fireproofing.
- Security – a drill-resistant hard plate, 10 deadbolts, 2 anchoring bolts and a heavyweight safe mean it’s about as hard as it could be to steal or open
- Impressive fireproof rating – the Second Amendment gives you 60 minutes at 1700F
- Price – it’s less expensive than many on our list, while going over and above the norm on security and fireproofing
- Not upholstery, which gives it a utilitarian feel
- No internal power source, which means you have to find a rechargeable dehumidifier
A really thick door and a high fireproof rating make this style-forward safe more than just a pretty face. The low price is just an extra.
First of all, let’s talk about the fact that this is a 16-gun Steelwater fireproof gun safe. 16.
There’s something about a 16-gun safe that feels like it’s doing the job right. Sure, the Steelwater range goes all the way up to ‘the armed compound’ vibe of the 45-gun version, but let’s not go crazy.
A 16-gun safe is enough to say ‘serious enthusiast’ without tipping over into ‘overthrow the government’ territory.
Now, unfortunately, there’s a catch there. Sure, this is technically a 16-gun safe. Realistically though, you’re looking at about 8 and change. 8 rifles, that is – there’s space in the cool upholstered door organizer for some handguns too.
For safety, the door on this puppy is 5 inches thick. That’s likely to resist drilling, punching and prying for quite a considerable while. And – something we’ve been wondering about for a while – it also comes with an EMP-proof electronic lock.
It stands at more than 380 pounds, but if you feel the need for more security, it can be bolted to the floor.
While it doesn’t come fitted as standard, this is at least a fire safe that allows for the option of a power supply for an internal dehumidifier. Take that option. Always.
In terms of its fireproof rating, it’s equally impressive – it will give you an hour at 1875F.
Extra specially on this safe, you get a heat-activated door seal – when the heat is on, the door seal expands, to keep everything inside the safe heat and smoke protected for as long as possible.
Stylewise, there’s a big check mark against this safe – internal LED lighting and that cool door organizer makes it feel a little luxurious. The whole interior is fully upholstered too, for that touch of luxury.
All round, the Steelwater 16-gun (*Coughs* 8-gun and change) fireproof gun safe has practically everything going for it, except the unlikelihood of living up to its stated capacity.
- Superb safety features, including a 5-inch door that resists prying and drilling attacks
- Strong on fireproof rating - 60 minutes at 1875F should be enough to get your property to safety.
- Additional stylish touches like the LED lighting and the cool door organizer add a touch of class to the whole experience
- Capacity – while it promises storage for 16 guns, we’d say after 8 long guns, you’re going to be struggling
All the good things about the Steelwater 16. Only bigger. Much, much bigger.
This is borderline “FBI database” territory. No, of course not really – but it’s a big gun safe that encapsulates the “all your eggs in one basket” theory of gun storage. We know what we said, but we still kinda love it.
We still kinda love it because it brings a lot of the benefits of the Steelwater 16 and just Supersizes the living daylights out of them.
Sweet, stylish classy interior design with good upholstery and a whole lot of shelf space – heck yeah.
As with the 16-gun, if you want to reach the advertised number of guns, and you want them all to be rifles, you’re probably going to remove all the shelf space to make room.
Unlike the 16-gun, if you do that here, you might just actually reach the 39 advertised guns.
To be honest, you might well do that if you’re a rifle-heavy family anyhow, because as with the 16-gun, the door has a cool organizer for 7 handguns and absolutely pocketfuls of ammo.
The LED lighting from the 16-gun is here too – just to add to that slick, stylish, slightly sci-fi feel.
OK, we’ve been putting off telling you this, but it’s time.
As a safety feature, how does 20 x 2-inch bolts sound to you? They cover all four sides of the door, meaning you’re going to need to be King Kong to get this thing open against the will of its owner.
All that anti-pry, anti-punch and anti-drill technology we told you about in the 16-gun? It’s all here too. And yes, the digital keypad is equally proof against EMPs – because you never know.
If you want, you can upgrade the lock to a biometric thumbprint entry system, but if you’ve seen any science fiction movie in the last 20 years, you’ll know that what that means is that any determined burglar only needs your thumbs – not necessarily your cooperation.
We’re just putting that out there. Sleep well.
You also get a backup key in case of accidents with the original that would otherwise leave all your guns and ammo stranded, and you as helpless to get at them as the next would-be burglar.
Oh, and one big step-up for the team in the 39 long gun version of this ultrasafe – it comes with an A/C outlet, so – no more clammy guns for you.
The fireproof rating is the same on the 20 as it is on the 16-gun. Our natural instinct is to be disappointed by that, but we need to check ourselves there before we wreck ourselves.
The fire safety rating of 60 minutes at 1875F was plenty on the 16. It’s still plenty on the 39, despite the fact that the 30 might take a little longer to unload.
And the 29 also carries that heat-activated door seal, to protect your weapons and valuables from smoke and heat damage – hopefully long enough for the fire to be dealt with.
The Steelwater 30 is a big gun safe. If you don’t need a big gun safe, you’re probably better off paying less money and going with the 16-gun version.
But if you’re a gun-friendly and responsible family with your own personal arsenal – hey, who doesn’t need a different gun for different occasions? – the 39 is also an extremely effective, stylish, and practically impregnable gun safe.
- If you have a lot of rifles – accept no substitutes. The 39 will give you everything you need
- The safety features are off the chain, including 20x 2-inch bolts as an anti-pry and anti-drill measure, and an EMP-proof electric lock
- A high fireproof rating – 60 minutes at 1875F rating high enough to keep your property safe until you can get to it.
- Upgraded from the 16-gun version, this safe has an internal A/C outlet so you can plug in a dehumidifier
- The same high style as the 16-gun – classy upholstery, a slick door organizer and some cool LED lighting
- Size isn’t everything. This is a big safe – don’t buy it unless you can satisfy it
Good fireproof rating on a smaller safe, but be prepared for the price.
Size is not everything. It’s fun, certainly, but it’s not everything. If you don’t have a whole lot of space for safe gun storage, the SnapSafe titan Digital Modular Safe may have your name on it.
Anything coming directly after the Steelwater 39 is going to carry a note of anticlimax, but that does a disservice to the SnapSafe. Safetywise, it has 8x 1-inch locking bolts – better than some higher-rated safes.
There’s an electronic keypad, but the extra-cool thing about the Snapsafe is that you can also use the backup key by removing the keypad to access the lock that sits behind it.
Apart from the smart thinking that entails, there’s a touch of Batman about such simplicity of deception that appeals to us.
Hell, if you’re not that into guns, you could use the SnapSafe to keep all your Bat-o-Rangs in.
The fireproof rating is entirely off the charts for such a generally discrete gun safe. How does 60 minutes at 2300F grab you?
Given that most American housefires burn around the 1500F mark, we’re not sure where SnapSafe is anticipating that you’ll store the safe – maybe in the kerosene cabin? But anyhow, it’s a fireproof safety rating we can only salute.
And while we’re at it – that heat-sensitive door seal thing that impressed us in the Steelwater safes?
There’s something very similar here too, so all your weapons and other possessions are kept safe from smoke as well as heat damage for that hour of high-temperature burning.
Unfortunately, there’s no A/C connectivity in the SnapSafe, which once again means hunting out the rechargeable dehumidifier if we’re not to get a little creeped out by moisture every time we take out the guns.
Overall, this is The Little Gun Safe That Could – small, discrete, but with a fireproof rating as yet unbeaten by any competitor.
- The fireproof rating on this safe is outstanding – 60 minutes at 2300F
- This is a discrete gun safe, for just a few guns. As such, you could have in in a cupboard in your house – making it harder to find and steal – or at your cabin, holding just enough for a trip
- Price – sure, the fireproof rating is off the charts, but given the size of the safe, there’s some sticker-shock in store
- No A/C power means no electric dehumidifier, which is an inconvenience
Small and affordable, the SFW082CTB has a good fireproof rating.
If you’re looking for a safe that’s exclusively for pistols, this would be our go-to recommendation.
For safety, it has a combination code lock. That means you’re not relying on batteries or electric power to maintain your security. You can get it with a digital keypad if you’re more comfortable that way, but the options make this an impressive safe.
This is our pick for the best safe for pistols. It’s one of the most affordable smaller fireproof safes that still has decent security against break-in thieves in our opinion.
What are we talking about in terms of fireproofing? The SFW082CTB can give you 60 minutes at 1700F, which is pretty impressive, particularly for a small safe.
We’re not going to lie to you – the interior is… meh. A little plastic-feeling and lacking a note of class. But focusing on keeping your pistols safe in the event of either theft, fire, or, on a really bad day, both, it’s still our first choice for a pistol-only gun safe.
- Price – by stepping down to a pistol-only option, you save a good amount of money
- The fireproof rating is 60 minutes at 1700F – at least as good as most of the larger safes
- Good security features like the combination code lock
- The interior has a cheap, plastic feel
many of the advantages of the SFW082CTB, but larger and with a better interior.
The EF4738E is bigger than that strictly-pistol SFW082CTB, but stops short of being a fully-features long gun safe. If you wanted to be fancy about it, you could call it a “Pistols+” safe.
We’ve just seen that written down, and even we want to never see or hear it ever again.
One great improvement here is in the internal décor – carpeted walls and shelves fight the plastic feeling of the smaller SentrySafe offering, and make you feel like you’re back in your comfort zone.
You also get two backup keys with this safe, which shows some forward thinking – if a fire happened, your keypad would burn up and meltdown.
Having that second spare key might make all the difference in the world in terms of getting access to your guns and ammo again.
The fireproof rating is just 30 minutes at 1400F.
That’s significantly less than some other safes, and a little less than what you need for a standard US house fire, but there’s still a good chance the safe would keep your property safe at least long enough for you to rescue it.
If the fire department is good and quick at putting out any fire, it’s useful to know that the EF4738E comes with a 72-hour waterproof rating too, so if it survives the fire, it will likely survive the aftermath long enough to let you rescue your property.
- The size is useful for more than just pistols – you can keep cash, jewels, even laptops in here too, though it won’t stretch to take a rifle
- Backup keys show forethought with this safe
- The interior feels comfortable and classy with carpeted walls and shelves
- The fireproof rating on this safe is significantly lower than others – though still higher than that of our list-leader
Fireproof Gun Safes: what to look for
When you’re looking for a fireproof gun safe, what are the most important elements it should have before you press the ‘Buy’ button? We’ve collected our must-haves to help guide your thought process.
You’re buying a safe, first and foremost. A safe in which you’re keeping potentially deadly weapons and the ammunition that – in less responsible hands than yours – could take the lives of innocent strangers.
Security has to be right up there in the things you need from a fireproof gun safe.
As many deadbolts as you can possibly fit into the thing are good. Anti-drill, anti-pry additions, and any bolts that can make your safe a more immoveable proposition for burglars and home invaders are what you’re looking for.
Ideally a sophisticated locking system, with a personalized, simpler backup, like a key – all this helps turn a straightforward safe into an effective gun safe. The more such elements you can combine in one purchase, the more secure the gun safe, and the safer your firearms will be.
Independent Fireproof Rating
If you’re looking for fireproofing, you need a universal reckoner of how fireproof something is. Using Underwriters Laboratory scales - X-time at Y degrees F – allows for a simple comparative framework.
Ideally, you want a fireproof safe that will last at least half an hour at temperatures of 1500F or more, because that’s the standard temperature of an American housefire.
This sounds obvious, but pick the right size of safe for your guns. There is no word for the stupid you feel when you think you’ve ordered a long gun safe, and a pistol-only safe arrives.
More than that, size also applies to capacity. This is where some safes can trip you up. There are safes that advertise they can take 8 rifles, but which, with a little moving around of shelves, can take 16. That’s the win-win scenario.
Where it’s less useful is when you have 14 rifles, so you buy a 16-gun safe, only to find that you can comfortably fit around 8, and that the rest are more cramped than you want them to be.
The absurd end of this spectrum of course is buying a 39-rifle safe when you have two pistols and a Red Ryder BB gun.
By getting the size right, you’ll have a happier life with your gun safe.
This might not sound like something as important as size or fireproofing, but remember, your gun safe is something you’re going to look at every day, and you may well be in and out of it on a very regular basis. It has to work for you as a piece of storage furniture.
If the interior feels too cheap or tacky, it’s going to inject your life with a little jab of misery every time you open it. And on the other hand, if it’s cool and comforting, then every time you open it, your heart is going to do a little jig.
Give yourself the freedom to respond to the interior, just as much as it responds to security features or fireproofing levels. In its own way, it’s just as important.
Now you’re ready to buy a fireproof gun safe
We’ve given you a range of options, but the final choice comes down to you, your guns, your particular risk of housefires, and the factors about a fireproof gun safe that are most important and appealing to you.
If you have a small army’s worth of guns, go for the Steelwater 39 – it’ll make your gun storage dreams come true. If you have only a limited space, maybe try the SnapSafe Modular, which takes up very little space.
If you’re on the tightest of tight budgets, don’t discount our list-leader, the Fortress.
Choose the features which matter most to you in your gun safe journey, and enjoy responsible gun ownership – and storage – for years to come.