You can set any digital combination within the 1-8 digit code spectrum. The backlit keypad will let you punch in these digits in low lighting conditions. The secondary locking key will enable you to disable the primary lock even if/when other people know the combination or access code. The interior locking drawer offers additional security for especially important and/or fragile items.
The safe is relatively heavy.
SentrySafe SFW123GDC is hands-down the best safe within this lineup. As far as we're concerned, the model is up there with the best safes on the market today. It is spacious, secure, practical, and as rugged as they come. You can put pretty much anything there without worrying about the items' safety.
Exterior: 17.8" x 16.3" x 19.3"
Interior: 13.8" x 12.6" x 11.9"
1.23 cu. ft., others are available
Digital lock with backlighting and a secondary locking key
Fireproof for 1 hour (at 1700°F)
Waterproof for 24 hours (in 8" of water)
ETL-verified impact resistance
4 x live-locking bolts
Pry-resistant hinge bars
Anchor to the floor, Interior light, Key rack, Door tray, Deep door pocket, Adjustable interior locking drawer included
1 year limited
The pry-resistant hinge bar works wonders reinforcing the fireproof safe's door to add protection against forced entry. There are also these three large 1-inch live-locking bolts that provide even more protection from forced entry. You can anchor the safe to the floor. The key rack on the door lets you organize multiple keys and keep them within easy reach.
The plastic handle is pretty flimsy.
SentrySafe SFW123DSB is pretty much impenetrable. The safe will be able to survive pretty much any hazard. No thieves will be able to access the unit. The safe will let you keep your valuable items secure as well as easily accessible and organized.
Exterior: 13.7" x 16.3" x 19.3"
Interior: 9.6" x 12.6" x 11.5"
0.82 cu. ft., others are available
Dial combination lock
Fireproof for 1 hour (at 1700°F)
Waterproof for 24 hours (in 8" of water)
3 x live-locking bolts
Digital media protection
Pry-resistant hinge bar
Anchor to the floor, Key rack, Door tray, Door pocket, Interior tray included
1 year limited
More than anything else, the safe accommodates letter-size hanging files. You'll be able to use these files to store (as well as keep them accessible) passports, social security cards, and birth certificates. The flat key lock pretty much prevents the lid from opening when necessary. The fold-out handle lets you comfortably carry the box and brings no storage issues.
The finish has this somewhat greasy feeling.
SentrySafe 1170 is solid. The 28-pound box is easy to bring with you. You can store the box wherever you want without concerning yourself with the contents' safety. The safe is as fireproof as they come. It will have no issues protecting different valuables in the event of a fire.
Exterior: 13.6" x 15.3" x 12.1"
Interior: 10.4" x 12" x 8.5"
0.61 cu. ft., others are available
Key lock (two keys included)
Fireproof for 1/2 hour (at 1550°F)
Digital media protection
1 year limited
Incorporating silicone-coated fiberglass and fireproof non-woven fabric laminated with fiberglass fireproof cloth, these bags are extremely tough and rugged. The three-layer protective material makes the bags fireproof up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning that there's no fire that will be able to damage these bags and the items inside these bags. They're waterproof too.
There are no locks on these bags.
ZATAYE FDB are, in many ways, better than every other prospect on this list. At the very least, these bags are not worse. They're just different. They're designed for different purposes and the bags are good at what they were designed to do. You'll be able to keep your belongings close to you but, at the same time, protected against any natural/semi-natural hazards.
Case: 12" x 17" x 5"
Medium bag: 11" x 15"
Small bag: 7" x 9"
Strong brand zipper, Velcro flap closure
Fireproof up to 2000°F
Silicone-coated fiberglass, Fireproof non-woven fabric laminated with fiberglass fireproof cloth
Padded carrying handle, Padded adjustable shoulder strap
The scratch-resistant powder-coat finish will make sure the box looks nice in any setting for years to come. The foam-padded floor mat is there keeping the valuables in pristine condition and ensuring that these valuable items don't get scratched by the box's sturdy steel construction.
The box is a little narrow.
Honeywell 6104 is the most compact and practical security box within its price range. You won't have to be particularly careful with this box. It is built to withstand serious everyday abuse. The model is compact and lightweight enough to let you easily carry the box with you wherever you go.
Exterior: 3.9" x 12.7" x 9"
Interior: 3.3" x 11.9" x 7.6"
0.17 cu. ft.
Key lock (two keys included)
Double steel wall construction
Carrying handle, Foam-padded floor mat
1 year limited
A Digital Lock with Two Keys
SentrySafe SFW123GDC is no joke. The safe is almost too secure and practical.
Starting with the basics, the model's fire protection rating is UL-classified, meaning that it will be able to keep your most important valuables safe and sound for up to one hour at 1700 degrees Fahrenheit (927 Celcius).
At the same time, the unit is also ETL-verified, providing impact resistance to safeguard digital media devices like flash drives, different thumb drives, CDs, and DVDs. The safe remains locked and intact even when dropped from 15 feet, so you won't have to worry about that too.
Of course, when a fire starts, people and/or different systems use water to put that fire out. Needless to say, water can be as harmful to different documents and valuables as fire, so the fact that the safe stays waterproof for 24 hours submerged 8 inches down is just as important as its fire resistance.
Having said all that, we've seen these details/properties before. Pretty much every other half-decent fireproof safe will give you these numbers. However, these safes won't give you the model's digital lock with backlighting and a secondary locking key.
You can set any digital combination within the 1-8 digit code spectrum. The backlit keypad will let you punch in these digits in the most low-lit settings. The secondary locking key will enable you to disable the primary lock even if/when other people know the combination or access code. In other words, it is no backup key.
Of course, the digital part means the lock needs to draw power from somewhere. Don't worry though - the battery compartment is easy to access, so you'll have no issues replacing the batteries. Plus, the safe doesn't burn through those batteries necessarily quickly, meaning you won't have to change them all that often.
There are many details that separate this fireproof safe from its peers. We won't cover the floor anchor and the live-locking bolts since we've seen those before. We will, however, mention the interior light that gives you increased visibility, making sure that you can easily access the safe's contents without any additional lighting.
Last but not least, the safe comes supplied with this rugged interior locking drawer. As you would imagine, the drawer offers additional security for especially important and/or fragile items. Plus, you can use the drawer to lock out those who are allowed access to the rest of the safe.
Bottom line, SentrySafe SFW123GDC is hands-down the best safe within this lineup. As far as we're concerned, the model is up there with the best safes on the market today. It is spacious, secure, practical, and as rugged as they come. You can put pretty much anything there without worrying about the items' safety.
Dial Combination Locks for the Win
SentrySafe SFW123DSB is pretty similar to the previous entry. The model is less fancy but, all things considered, just as secure and much more affordable.
The interior measures 9.6" x 12.6" x 11.5", meaning that the safe is relatively roomy and will be able to offer you enough space for your valuable items. The 0.82-cubic feet capacity means there's enough room there for your jewelry as well as digital media devices and paper documents.
As far as that "fireproof" part in the name is concerned, the safe will be able to survive any fire and keep your valuables protected for up to 1 hour at 1700 degrees Fahrenheit (927 Celcius).
At the same time, the model is very much waterproof too. You can submerge the safe 5-8 feet under knowing that the paper documents inside (as well as things like flash drives/CDs/DVDs) will remain safe and sound for up to 24 hours.
Any safe is only as good as its lock and the lock here is good enough to make the model exceptionally secure compared to its direct competition. The factory-set combination lock is as reliable as they come. You'll always be able to access your valuables and important documents.
Mechanical dial locks like this one are, more often than not, more reliable than their digital counterparts and guarantee easy entry for the safe's owner. Plus, you don't have to worry about replacing the batteries every few months.
Accessible and Organized
The safe's as impact-resistant as they come. You can drop the unit from 15 feet feeling certain that the safe will remain locked and intact.
Meanwhile, the pry-resistant hinge bar works wonders reinforcing the fireproof safe's door to add protection against forced entry. In addition to the hinge bar, there are also these three large 1-inch live-locking bolts that provide even more protection from forced entry.
Of course, thieves can always take the safe and leave with it. That's where the floor anchor comes in. You can use the bolt-down hardware that comes with the package to bolt the safe down to the floor. As you would imagine, the hardware will make sure thieves won't be able to easily remove the safe from your home/office.
The model's plenty practical too. There's an interior tray that brings added organization to the safe. The tray is adjustable to pretty much any height, so you'll be able to arrange your items so that these items are easy to find. There's also a key rack on the door that lets you organize multiple keys and keep them within easy reach.
Long story short, SentrySafe SFW123DSB is pretty much impenetrable. This combination safe will be able to survive pretty much any hazard. No thieves will be able to access the unit. The safe will let you keep your valuable items secure as well as easily accessible and organized.
Fire is no Concern
SentrySafe 1170 is much more compact and portable than the previous two safes. In fact, this is more of a box than a safe.
The box measures 13.6" x 15.3" x 12.1". The 0.61-cubic feet interior measures 10.4" x 12" x 8.5". There's enough room inside but the model wasn't necessarily designed to make that room flexible and versatile.
More than anything else, the safe accommodates letter-size hanging files. You'll be able to use these files to store (as well as keep them accessible) passports, social security cards, and birth certificates.
The safe will let you keep important/valuable files like medical records, business records, financial paperwork, and more as organized and protected as possible.
The only issue here is that these hanging files don't come supplied with the package, so you'll have to purchase them separately.
The steel box is as rugged as they come. It is not waterproof though but that makes sense considering its application and the price difference between the box and its waterproof peers.
It is, however, highly fireproof. The model won't just be able to survive for more than 30 minutes at 1550 degrees Fahrenheit but also keep paper files and digital media devices safe and secure through the fire. In other words, the unit is ETL-verified to protect thumb drives, CDs, and DVDs from fire damage.
The Lid Won't Open
These boxes are all about the locks though. When the lock doesn't stack up/rise to the occasion, we couldn't care less how bulletproof the safe is.
We don't have any major issues with the key lock here though. It is robust and as secure as these locks can be. The box comes supplied with two keys, so you'll have the often necessary spare if you lose the main key.
Moreover, the flat key lock does an excellent job preventing the lid from opening in the event of a fire. At the same time, the fold-out handle lets you comfortably carry the box and brings no storage issues.
The aforementioned steel composition is rough and tough, we don't have any complaints on that front. Having said that, the finish has this somewhat greasy feeling to it. We don't necessarily know what it is but there's something mildly unpleasant about it.
Apart from that, SentrySafe 1170 is solid. The 28-pound fireproof safe box is easy to bring with you. You can store the box wherever you want without concerning yourself with the contents' safety.
It probably goes without saying but ZATAYE FDB are not necessarily safes. As you would imagine, the "FDB" part means fireproof document bags.
That's what these things are. There are no locks on these bags. Needless to say, these bags won't be able to keep your valuable items as safe as, well, conventional safes.
That's not necessarily something to hold against these bags though. Obviously, they weren't designed to do that. These bags were either designed for temporary safety or to be used together with safes.
When you set aside the irrational desire to compare these bags to traditional safes, there's not much to complain about here actually. These things are great.
The relatively solid case measures 12" x 17" x 5". As you'd imagine, the case will prove especially suitable for things like laptops, hanging file folders, and other sizable documents.
The medium bag measures 11" x 15". It will let you store your tablet, A4 size documents, different certificates and things like that.
The smallest bag measures 7" x 9" and will prove perfect for cash, jewelry, credit cards, passports, driver's licenses, phones, and more.
Naturally, superimposition is an available option here, meaning that you can put the small bag inside the medium bag and the medium bag inside the large case.
Setting the bags' size and capacity aside, let's talk about safety. Again, there are no locks, these bags aren't designed to protect your belongings from thieves.
They will, however, be able to protect your valuable items from fires, floods, hurricanes, and other natural hazards.
Incorporating silicone-coated fiberglass and fireproof non-woven fabric laminated with fiberglass fireproof cloth, these bags are extremely tough and rugged.
The three-layer protective material makes sure the bags are fireproof up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning that there's no fire that will be able to damage these bags and the items inside these bags.
Every other detail here just makes these bags more practical than anything else. The strong brand zipper together with the Velcro flap closure makes the bags waterproof and makes sure you won't have to worry about dropping and losing your valuable belongings.
The large case comes with a padded carrying handle and an equally padded adjustable shoulder strap, so you'll be able to carry the case however you want.
In short, ZATAYE FDB are, in many ways, better than every other prospect on this list. At the very least, these bags are not worse. They're just different. They're designed for different purposes and the bags are good at what they were designed to do. You'll be able to keep your belongings close to you but, at the same time, protected against any natural/semi-natural hazards.
What's in the Box?
Honeywell 6104 is the least convoluted/complicated/sophisticated solution within this lineup. Of course, the price reflects that. The fireproof box is much cheaper than every other prospect on this list. You can't really compare the box to these massive safes that we've reviewed above.
You don't have to though. This is a different product. The product with its own flaws and advantages.
As far as the former is concerned, the box is relatively narrow. The interior measures 3.3" x 11.9" x 7.6", meaning you won't be able to store 8.5" x 11" documents inside the box. Since the interior storage space is limited to 0.17 cubic feet, the model is perfect for storing small valuables/regular documents but nothing too large. The safe box isn't waterproof but we're not going to hold it against the box because nothing within this price bracket is.
On the advantages front, the box comes supplied with two keys, so you'll have that spare replacement that's necessary more often than not or allow multiple people access to the box. The key lock is nothing we haven't seen before, so we're not going to talk about it.
We will, however, talk about the concealed pry-resistant hinge that will make sure your documents, small electronics, and other valuable items are protected from thieves. Well, talk is a bit of a stretch because that's everything we wanted to say about the hinge.
Built to Withstand
Setting the lock aside, the security box boils down to the particularly sturdy double steel wall construction that ensures greater/stronger security. At the same time, the scratch-resistant powder-coat finish will make sure the box looks nice in any setting for years to come.
Meanwhile, the foam-padded floor mat is there keeping the valuables in pristine condition and ensuring that these valuable items don't get scratched by the box's sturdy steel construction.
The fire-resistant insulation hasn't been specified maximum temperature-wise but the box should be able to protect its contents in a fire for up to 20 minutes.
The product measures 3.9" x 12.7" x 9" and weighs ~5 pounds, so you'll be able to carry/bring the box with you wherever you go. The practical carry handle will make it easy to transport the box from place to place.
All things considered, Honeywell 6104 is the most compact and practical security box within its price range. You won't have to be particularly careful with this box. It is built to withstand serious everyday abuse.
What Is a Fireproof Safe?
We all have different relatively small items that are objectively valuable and/or that we consider to be valuable. More often than not, we're talking about important personal documents, jewelry, digital media devices with important/sensitive information, passports, jewelry, cash, and more. It is always better to be safe than sorry, which is why so many people purchase safes in the first place.
The issue is that conventional safes are designed to protect your valuable items from theft. But theft is not the only real threat. Floods, fires, and hurricanes are far more likely perpetrators.
That's where fireproof safes come in. These safes will be able to protect your valuables not only from thieves but also from natural and semi-natural hazards. In addition to various protection layers that make these safes fireproof (occasionally waterproof too), there aren't too many differences between these safes.
Some come supplied with floor anchors to make sure thieves aren't able to just take the safe with them. Some incorporate different trays/pockets to let you compartmentalize and organize your valuables. Some models come equipped with handles to let you bring these safes/security boxes with you.
What Features to Compare
There are different types of fireproof safes. We're not even necessarily talking about safes here. Sure, the safes are pretty different too. However, there are also fireproof bags and fireproof boxes that, while not really safes, get grouped with them too because they're designed to protect and, sometimes, safeguard your valuables as much as these safes.
As you would imagine, the difference between safes and these bags/boxes is that the latter group is very much portable, which is equal-part an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage is that you can bring your valuable items with you. The disadvantage is that thieves can just pick up the box/bag and take your belongings with them too.
Dimensions and Weight
More often than not, fireproof safes measure somewhere around 15" x 15" x 15". Of course, these are just averages. Sometimes, these safes are much bigger than that and just as frequently much smaller than that. Generally speaking though, these safes don't deviate more than 2-3 inches from these numbers. The weight usually hovers somewhere around 80-90 pounds depending on the size and materials.
Of course, as far as fireproof boxes and bags are concerned, the dimensions and weight are very different. These things vary from the smallest bags (~6" x 9") to boxes as large as conventional safes. The weight varies just as much but, more often than not, these things are much more lightweight than traditional safes (for obvious reasons).
We don't have to say how important locks are to the safes' overall quality/value, do we? These days, digital locks are becoming more and more prevalent. They're far less susceptible to forced entry but, at the same time, you have to bother with batteries and worry about digital security.
Traditional dial combination locks are great too. These locks are practically impossible to crack. The only issue is that you'll have to remember the password. Otherwise, you're pretty much screwed.
There are also key locks but they're more suitable for security boxes than safes since these variants are far less reliable and secure compared to digital and dial combination locks.
This is where fireproof safes differ from traditional safes. First and foremost, fireproof models should be able to withstand temperatures up to ~1500 degrees Fahrenheit for at least some time (20-60 minutes) to be considered fireproof. Sometimes, these safes are also waterproof.
Apart from that, we're talking about the usual protection means like impact resistance and different mechanisms to prevent forced entry.
Interesting Facts About Safes
Safes Have Been Around for Centuries (or More?)
The notion doesn't necessarily seem especially surprising now, does it? Of course, people have been hiding and stashing valuable items for millennia. Before anything even remotely resembling modern-day safes has been invented, people have been using wooden and, later, iron chests to protect pretty much anything they considered valuable.
There's nothing necessarily surprising about the fact that the first safe was invented by two Englishmen either. In 1835, Charles Chubb and Jeremiah Chubb, two brothers from Fordingbridge, Hampshire, have designed, developed, and patented the very first lock that was even remotely burglar-resistant and could be considered related to modern-day safes.
Now, when you extend the term "safe" to pretty much any lockable box, you're going back at least 3 millennia. Pharaoh Rameses II, also known as Ramses the Great, has been buried with these lockable boxes as early as 13th century BC. The boxes had these movable pins that fell into the holes and locked them.
We've Seen Fireproof Safes Before
Of course, modern-day fireproof safes are much more reliable and sophisticated than anything we've seen before. Having said that, fires have always been an ever-present threat, so people have been implementing different fire resistance solutions for quite some time now. Many safes were made from this material called perlite that's ridiculously heat-resistant.
Also known as volcanic glass, this amorphous mineral forms when volcano magma rapidly cools down. Perlite is up there with the most effective heat resisters. The material was able to keep the safes' insides cooler than the outside in the event of a fire.
When heated to especially high temperatures, perlite expands, becoming lighter and much less dense. Some houses even incorporate perlite as insulation measures for the very same reasons.
Burglars Love Wall Safes
We're not talking about all wall safes here. Plus, there are obvious reasons why so many people go with wall safes. They're usually lighter and can be hidden/fixed to the wall, so you don't have to sacrifice any precious space. You have to think before installing these safes though. First and foremost, people install these safes in the most cliche locations more often than not, meaning that they're easy to find, defeating the wall safes' biggest purpose in the first place. Make sure the safe is not behind that family portrait that just screams: "this old antique piece isn't hiding anything, trust me".
Also, when these safes are not installed properly, burglars will have no issues cutting them out of any drywall and take the safe with them. After that, these thieves are free to take all the time in the world to crack the safe open.