Fireproof Safe: Review & Recommendations

Welcome to our great fireproof safe test 2019, where we present you all the fireproof safes we have tested in detail. We have put together detailed background information and also added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you to find the best fireproof safe for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer you 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.

The most important facts in brief

  • 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 ranges. Armoured cabinets or document cabinets offer extended protection, but are more expensive to buy and insure.
  • Before you buy, make sure you know the protection class you need and that you have enough volume so that you have enough room to store your valuables safely. The lock on your fireproof safe should be either mechanical or electronic. Think about how you want to lock your valuables.

Fireproof safe Test: The Ranking

1st place: BURG-WÄCHTER furniture safe

The increased burglary protection provided by the safe of security level B and a 6-digit electronic combination lock (VdS class 2) is the special feature of the 20.6 L. safe. With the internal dimensions of 209 x 336 x 294 mm, 3 files can be conveniently stored in horizontal position.

You can adjust the shelves. Wall and floor mounting of the approximately 30 kg double-walled body is possible. The external dimensions are 278 x 402 x 376 mm.

This very well certified safe is interesting for those who want to store files in it. Its volume is therefore a big additional plus for the buyer.

There is a larger version of this safe. The outstanding quality is one of the reasons why customers have bought this product and are very satisfied with it.

2nd place: Master Lock – furniture safe

This 22.7 litre safe can protect your valuables from fire and explosions for up to 60 minutes at 927°C. When immersed in water, the protection of documents, for example, against flooding is still guaranteed.

The 3 moveable steel bolts offer high protection against attempts to lever them open. The interior lighting, the adjustable shelf and the door with storage compartment and extra key rakes are particularly convenient. The lock has an individually adjustable digital combination with illuminated control panel.

This safe is available in different sizes and convinces its customers with its special load capacity at a good price-performance ratio. It is also popular because it offers all mounting options.

3rd place: Chigant – wall safe with combination lock

The Chigant steel safe is fireproof and waterproof, yet very small and can be mounted as a wall, floor or furniture safe. The lightweight 5.5 kg safe has an electronic combination lock with a personal 3-8 digit code including two keys for emergency opening.

This provides optimum protection against manipulation. The double bolt locking together with the 4mm thick steel door protects against theft. Documents or jewellery can be conveniently and securely stored in this. The external dimensions are 31 x 20 x 20cm and the control element is powered by 4×1.5 V AA batteries.

This safe convinces by its price – it is fireproof but the interior heats up after some time. This fireproof safe is interesting for those who need a good protection for their valuables and this at a very good price.

Advisor: Questions you should deal with before you buy a fireproof safe

For whom is a fireproof safe suitable?

In principle, a fireproof safe is suitable for everyone. Its many advantages make this security compartment one of the most popular safes that can be purchased at present.
Since safes are often very heavy, selection and placement can be difficult. For people who do not have that much strength in their arms, opening the heavy steel doors can be very tiring. Making the right choice depends on many factors. We will deal with them 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?

You need a safe to protect your valuables, documents or mementos. On the one hand certainly against unwanted guests in your home. But also against unforeseeable influences such as fire or water.
There are different ways to make your home burglar proof, with window bars, basement window bars, alarm systems, etc. but if the foreign access is successful the search for money, valuable heirlooms or electrical appliances begins.
Some safes are still very popular, even if they are getting on in years, even the safe shown here. Some old models are used as decoration because they are no longer functional or the locking mechanism is damaged.

Remember that you also want to store valuables in your caravan on the campsite or in your boat, because you will not always be there, it is possible that others will gain access.

In the digital age, data carriers, hard disks, USB sticks and laptops are also in the focus of thieves, so it is not only important to protect this information from hackers.

The cash cassettes we all have at home are often not big enough or do not offer the right protection, simple cassettes can not only be taken along quickly, they also have a very low resistance to break-in attempts.

Different sizes and types offer a wide range of possibilities to protect your valuables.

What can I protect with my safe?

Please ask yourself the question “What exactly do I want to protect?” Not only the size depends on it, but also the security level. Many households are currently upgrading with a furniture safe that does not take up much space and is equipped with a convenient electronic combination lock for storing jewellery, USB sticks or money.

The steel refractory value protectors are often used for:

  • Folder
  • vital records
  • Passports
  • Geld
  • Jewellery
  • USB sticks
  • Laptops und Tabletts
  • Hard disks and data carriers
  • Memorabilia
  • Weapons

Larger fireproof safes are therefore required 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 base must first be checked for sufficient load-bearing capacity.

How and where do I install my own safe?

In addition to careful selection and the question “How do I actually get the safe home?”, the question “How do I install my safe myself?
To place a fireproof furniture safe or mini safe in the cupboard or, if necessary, to screw it to the back wall of the furniture is one thing, but another is to anchor a safe to the wall or floor. We have therefore selected this video to help you get an idea of how safes can be secured.

We realize that there are many reasons why a fireproof safe is necessary and that the wall mounting of a fireproof safe can be quite complex, but very important to protect your valuables.

Small safes which are placed in a piece of furniture and screwed to the masonry must be mounted with safety screws and safety plugs according to the instructions. The wall safe must be properly walled in according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Stand or floor safes should be anchored to the ground with a dead weight of less than 1000 kg to ensure optimum protection.

How heavy is a fireproof safe?

A fireproof safe should be stable and thus protected against break-in and external influences. Smaller safes weigh relatively little and can be used for wall mounting. Very small ones with 3 kg safes are however very light and can be stolen by thieves to open them later, they usually have low protection classes.
Medium sized safes weigh around 20 kg and are therefore not easy to steal, they are also interesting for documents or larger valuables. So depending on what you want to protect in your fireproof safe, consider the size, weight and placement of your new safe in the household.
The delivery of a fireproof safe should be planned, as this transport is very difficult due to the weight of the safe and may require several people. So before you buy, consider where the fireproof safe will be placed and how it will get there.

Larger fireproof safes from about 57 kg are very stable, but it will be difficult to carry it home yourself, especially up and down stairs. So when you buy it, pay attention to the delivery options offered.

In addition to the higher protection class and weight, the larger fireproof safes have an appropriate volume to safely store files or laptops.

The table shows an example of the dimensions and weight of a safe.

Other dimensions and weights are possible – the table is only for orientation.

What protection does a fireproof safe offer?

Safes with certified fire protection develop their strengths when important documents are to be protected by fire. According to your construction, the materials used and seals, the contents are protected for a tested period of time.
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 can 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 the interior.

The construction types of the safes are defined by classes:

  • Single wall steel cabinet class A
  • Multi-walled steel cabinet class B
  • Safe-deposit box, armoured cabinet Security level C

Safes and safes offer a higher protection class. Class B is often purchased for domestic use, as this is sufficient.

Safes of VdS classes 2 and 3 offer stronger burglary protection and can withstand burglary attempts much longer.

How much does a safe that is fireproof cost?

The fireproof safes tested by us are around 40 – 600 €, they are thus affordable and intended for household use. For the operational need for money safes, document cabinets, key safes or as weapon safes, the price is open at the top, depending on your needs.
For this test we have created this table as an overview. It shows in what price range you are 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 protect and you need a certain volume in the interior.

The list could certainly be extended in terms of volume and price, but it should show you that you can buy a fairly large safe for little money. Pay attention to the heat resistance and fire resistance.

Where can I buy a new fireproof safe?

Fireproof safes can be found in supermarkets, specialist shops, DIY stores and department stores, as well as in many online shops.
According to our research, most fireproof safes are sold through these stores and online shops:
Stationary

Aldi.com
Hagebaumarkt.de
Bauhaus.com
Hornbach.de
Obi.de
Toom.com
globe.com

Do-it-yourself stores have safes in their fixed assortment, where you can check your fireproof safe at any time. Discounters like Aldi have fireproof safes only there when they are in advertising. But you can always buy your fireproof safe online. Examples are:

Online

  • Amazon.de
  • Ebay.de
  • EbayClassifieds.com
  • Idealo.de

We have listed some important manufacturers of safes here for your orientation:

Manufacturer

  • HMF
  • Hofer
  • Honeywell
  • Castle Guard
  • master lock
  • PROFIRST

All fireproof safes that we present to you on our site have a link to at least one of these shops. Once you have found a suitable safe, you can strike right away.

What alternatives are there to fireproof safes?

Safes can consist of many different materials and protection classes. Each model has its own advantages and disadvantages. In the following section we will give you a brief overview of the alternatives to the tested fireproof safes.
Simpler ways of securing value are, for example

Cash boxes for cash and smaller valuables.
Fireproof document pouches are only to be seen as additional fire protection.
Lockers in banks should be considered as an external option.

Safes that heat up quickly should be additionally equipped with fireproof

Extended protection than fireproof safes treated in this test are for domestic use:

  • Steel cabinet A and B; new classifications S1, S2
  • safe C1 and C 2; new classifications 0, 1, 2, 3
  • Armoured safe D1 (D10), D2 (D20), E10; new classifications 4,5,6

They can be equipped with fire protection for up to 120 minutes. These special safes have a dead weight of up to 2.5 tons.

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 they are becoming an increasingly popular protection for valuables.

Decision: What types of fireproof vaults are there and which one is right for you?

If you want to buy a safe, there are two alternatives to choose from. The main difference between the fireproof safes for home use is the different installation options besides the protection class.

  • Single wall 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 class A single-walled fireproof safe and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The big plus of a single-walled fireproof safe is clearly in price and weight. Due to the protection class A there is a light burglary protection, which means that the valuables are protected, but the resistance of the safe is not very high or long.

The interior heats up more through the single-walled housing. If you want to protect your valuables against theft, this safe is sufficient. This protection class is often smaller furniture safes or wall safes.

The advantages of this safe are clearer if you know what you want to protect from what.

Advantages

Light weight
Smaller sizes
Suitable for caravans or boats
Wall mounting possible

Disadvantages

Only light burglary protection
Reduced fire protection
Theft possible
Insurance of the content difficult

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 occupied at the moment.

But before you buy, consider the volume and that you may have more valuables over the years and then you may have to buy a new safe.

What distinguishes a multi-walled fireproof Class B safe and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

A multi-walled Class B 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 protection. They are usually larger in volume than the single-walled safes of the class, which means you can store larger items in your safe, such as A4 documents or even folders.

Advantages

Higher burglary protection
More volume
Suitable for wall and floor mounting
Higher fire protection class

Disadvantages

Heavy weight
Higher price
Not to hide open visible

Protection from fire water, smoke and fire is provided for your valuables, your coin collection can be safely stored here as well as your camera and securities.

Purchase criteria: You can compare and evaluate fireproof safes based on these factors

In the following we will show you on the basis of which aspects you can decide between the multitude of possible fireproof safes.

The criteria you can use to compare fireproof safes include

  • Protection class
  • Field of application
  • Volumen
  • Mounting form
  • Closing mechanism

We have chosen this video to show you what to consider when buying safes in summary.

Protection class

Depending on the design of the fireproof safe, it is important which protection class has been assigned. The protection classes A to E10 indicate the resistance which protects the safe against external attacks.

Usually we buy single-walled or multi-walled steel cabinets for domestic use with the protection classes A or B. The luminous or conditional burglar resistance is thus given.

The safes and armoured safes have the protection classes C1- E10.

Contact your insurance company to find out how to insure the contents of your fireproof safe.

Field 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. Motorhomes or boats are one option, but at home you should consider placing it where you can easily store your valuables.

Bedrooms are popular as furniture safes, in offices or in utility rooms as floor safes.

Volumen

You should think about the volume or dimensions beforehand when you think about what you want to store in your fireproof safe.

Mini safes have smaller dimensions and a lower weight. They are therefore ideally suited for very small valuables. Furniture safes already allow the storage of documents. With floor safes you can sometimes store files and larger items.

Think about it, the bigger your household and the more valuables you will have in the future, you might want to buy a slightly larger safe to avoid having to buy a new one in a few years

Mounting form

The small, fireproof mini safes are usually very light at about 6 kg and therefore transportable and are not fastened. Small safes or furniture safes are placed in a piece of furniture, usually wardrobes, and screwed to the brickwork. Wall safes should be built into the wall.

Floor safes or standing safes up to 1000 kg should be additionally anchored to the floor for optimum protection.

Closing mechanism

The locking mechanism is very important in the purchase decision, because you have the choice between

  • Double-bit locks
  • Mechanical combination locks
  • Electronic combination locks
  • electronic combination lock with mechanical emergency locking

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 which have a “beard” at the top and bottom to open the lock. The advantage for you is that there are only a few keys and thus possibilities to open the fireproof safe. Do not lift it in the desk or in the bedside table, burglars search very intensively for keys to safes.

Mechanical combination locks here you are independent of a mechanical key. We often offer 3-4 disc locks, with three 2-digit numbers or four 2-digit pairs of numbers, which can be entered using a dial. Make sure that you can remember the number well, but not everyone can figure out which combination of numbers it is. You have to take care that the included battery is changed regularly to avoid failures.

The electronic combination lock with mechanical emergency locking facility is a special variant. By means of a key for a double-bit lock, an emergency opening possibility is possible in case of failure of the locking electronics.

Make sure that the lock is VdS-certified and pay attention to quality against manipulation and burglary.

Trivia: Worth knowing facts about fireproof safes

How can I retrofit my fireproof safe?

You can retrofit your fireproof safe in the area of the locking mechanism. Here you should take a close look at your existing fireproof safe, what kind of lock it has and whether it can be replaced or upgraded at all.

An example of this is, you have a mechanical lock with a key and now you 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 retrieval of documents is often difficult or sometimes impossible, so it is important to protect them in a safe.

If your safe is in a damp location, such as the basement, it is also not good for the locking mechanism, especially for electronic locking mechanisms. So consider if you could not place your safe somewhere else.

A simple possibility is to buy a dehumidifier in a hardware store and put it in the safe, but it must be replaced regularly.

The optimal air humidity for health is 50% at a room temperature of 20 degrees. The higher the moisture content in the air, the better the mould can settle.

Can I build my own fireproof safe?

Fireproof safes are often expensive and you are thinking about 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 are not covered by your homeowner’s insurance in case something happens. You have to be skilled enough and of course you have to get the material yourself to build this safe.

Whether this is in proportion to a fireproof safe that you can buy and that enjoys the appropriate insurance cover is something you must decide for yourself.