If you’re going to have guns, it’s only right and responsible to have a gun safe.
Somewhere you can access your weapon or weapons in a hurry, but where, for instance, neither curious children nor would-be thieves can gain easy access to your firearms.
That’s fine as far it goes, and the market is glutted with lockable safes that can keep your guns…well, safe and out of accidental reach, from simple strongboxes for your handguns to tall cabinet-style locked gun racks for your rifles.
Fire though is a complicating factor when it comes to locking away your possibly loaded personal artillery.
Keep your guns in a safe that’s not at least reasonably fireproof and in the event the worst happens, what you have is a home-made bomb, ready to do extra damage to your home, your property, and possibly your life.
That’s why fireproof gun safes have become more and more popular. While they can’t guarantee to keep your guns safe and usable through an indefinite period of high-heat fire, they can increasingly give your weapons a much longer chance of survival in the event of a house fire.
They’re the most responsible choice when it comes to gun safes, and most gun-owners would go for them on first principles.
So which fireproof gun safes are the best? Which take you the extra mile and keep both you and your firearms safe when things get hot? Let’s find out.
In a hurry? Here’s our top pick.
OUR TOP PICK
SentrySafe is a company that knows what it’s doing when it comes to building fireproof gun safes.
In fact [Spoiler Alert] it’s the company that makes no less than three of our five top picks on this list. As such, there’s a certain built-in safety in laying out your money on a SentrySafe gun safe.
Just so we’re clear, the SFW123DSB is a full-on mini-safe, available with a dedicated gun-safe, the QAP1BE, as an extra. We recommend getting both because they meet different but similar needs.
The SFW123DSB is fireproof up to 1700 degrees F for up to an hour, meaning whatever is stored in it will be safe from fire and heat damage.
It’s also stress-tested to withstand a 15 feet fall during a fire and remain closed – so never lose the keys or the combination of this safe, or you’re going to be in the realms of Road Runner/Wile E Coyote farce trying to get it open.
The QAP123DSB has quite the 21st century swank-factor – fingerprint-activated locking and a gas strut to let you open the safe quietly and with one hand.
If you ever need to be the star of your own thriller movie – which in the event of a house fire, you might well need to be - the QAP123DSB lets you get at your gun in a hurry.
The SFW123DSB is available in a range of sizes, from 0.82 cubic feet to 2.05 cubic feet. Importantly, it also comes with a range of security options, from dials and keys to biometric scans. The combination lock extends to a million combinations, so again, good luck if you forget the right number.
In fact, just in case that happens (It’s bound to happen, you know it), the key lock works as an override and failsafe, giving you access to the safe when you need it.
So – easy access for you, and if you don’t advertise the location of the key, incredibly strong security so that no-one else can get at your handguns – or indeed anything else you put in the safe.
While the QAP123DSB is a dedicated gun safe, it acts more like a secure, static holster, whereas the SFW123DSB is a standard old-style safe, with 21st century strength, fireproofing, and even waterproofing.
That means while it lacks some of the dedicated purpose of some gun safes, you can use it for that purpose and add anything else of value.
The safe has shelves, so it’s not a case of just piling items randomly into an empty space. That means you can leave your gun easily to hand the moment you open the safe, to protect yourself and your property should you need to do so.
What do you have by way of protection in the safe?
Well, it has a solid steel construction (did you catch the thing about being able to drop it 15 feet during a fire and it not opening?), six live locking bolts, a pry-resistant bar to let you laugh at crowbars, and the options of bolting the safe down.
It should come with a neon sign saying “You do you, hun, I’m going nowhere.”
If there’s one flaw in the safe as delivered, it’s that while it’s perfectly prepared to be bolted down, it doesn’t come with the bolt-holes pre-drilled. So that’s an afternoon pretending to be a safe-cracker when it arrives, drilling holes through steel, only to bolt the safe into place.
What happens if everything goes wrong? If the safe protects your gun from a fire but is damaged in the process? There’s a 1-year limited warranty which could well mean you get a replacement safe if yours is damaged beyond functioning.
There are plenty of fireproof gun safes on the market, but the combination of the hardcore protection of the SFW123DSB and the slick modern tech of the QAP123DSB give it a “best of both worlds” versatility to match its strength and fireproofing, and elevate it to the top of our list as the best fireproof gun safe.
- Resists fire up to 1700 degrees F for up to 1 hour
- 24 hours waterproof – up to 8 inches of water
- Dial combination lock or keycode options
- ‘Back door’ keys in case of accident
- Large bolts
- QAP123DSB comes with a gas strut for quiet, one-handed opening
- Limited 1-year warranty
- No pre-drilled holes for bolting down
If you appreciate the QAP123DSB with its fingerprint unlocking system, the QAP1BE will be right up your alley.
It’s a small handgun safe, available in either 1- or 2-gun versions, and with or without interior lights. Built on the same principles as the QAP123DSB, it's available without the bulk of a hardcore full safe in tow.
Biometric security means the QAP1BE will keep your favorite handgun safe, and it’s best used as a bedroom safe. That will let you access your handgun in a hurry if necessary, while keeping it safe from curious hands, potential thieves – and of course any fires in the building.
Setting up your fingerprint ID is simplicity itself – if you can work a smartphone, you should have no problem with the QAP1BE. It has a memory function which lets you store several fingerprints, for a higher, more selective level of security.
And it comes with many of the plus-points of the QAP123DSB. Made of rugged steel, it includes a bolt-down kit, a keypad for one-hand operation, and the slick automatic gas strut for quiet, easy opening.
Also, like the QAP123DSB, there’s cushioning foam inside the safe, to keep the gun or guns from unnecessary scratches while in storage.
The foam also helps facilitate the silent opening which is a feature of some of the SentrySafe gun safes. It’s pry-proof and comes with an override key to give you access whenever you need it, or when the batteries which power its slicker functions die.
The QAP1BE is an effective fireproof gun safe with all the features you could want, and none of the fuss.
- One-or-two handgun options
- Fingerprint entry
- Rugged steel construction
- Gas strut for silent opening
- Backup key
- Bolt-down option
- Needs batteries to function
- Foam makes it less fire-safe than some gun safes
Fancy tech is all very well and fine if you like that sort of thing, but sometimes, you don’t need all the bells and whistles. Sometimes, you just need a reliable fire-resistant box.
That said, plenty of people are put off AmazonBasics products by the name, and its associations of cheapness.
Here’s the thing, though. Sometimes, you need neither the highfalutin’ functions of a high-tech box, nor the kerching-heavy price-tag that comes with them.
If all you need is an effective fire-resistant box, you’d be absurd or snobbish not to consider the AmazonBasics fire-resistant box safe.
Coming in three sizes, from 0.83 cubic feet up to 2.1 cubic feet, it’s better than you think it is. All AmazonBasics products are better than people think they are. It’s been tested for its fire resistance up to UL 72 standards and will give your guns protection from up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit of fire and heat for up to 20 minutes.
Granted, it’s not as hardcore as our list-leader’s hour at 1700 degrees F – that’s why our list leader is our list leader.
But assuming you’re not going to leave your gun safe just sitting there to melt and explode in the event of a domestic or office fire, the AmazonBasics box safe might well be quite enough to meet your needs.
Like our list-leading SentrySafe, it features some hardcore heavy-duty steel construction, and can be bolted in place to stop thieves from simply stealing it.
What you get here for considerably less money than some market leaders though is a dual lock system – an electronic keypad for 21st century ease, and a more old-fashioned but always useful key lock system.
That means you have both a belt and suspenders – the keypad for ease of access in what might be a smoke-tainted hurry, the key lock system in case your Homer Simpson fingers or your memory let you down and you need your gun in a hurry.
The internal space of the AmazonBasics safe also disproves its terrible name by including an adjustable shelf, you can maximize your fire-resistant gun-storage space.
Four chunky steel bolts add to the safe’s security, and it comes with a 1-year limited warranty, meaning for all it’s an AmazonBasics safe, it offers more than many on the market, for a far more pocket-friendly price.
- Steel body construction
- Dual locking system, for safety and redundancy
- Fire-safe up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 20 minutes
- Adjustable shelving allows for maximized storage space
- Three sizing options to meet your gun safe needs
- 1-year limited warranty
- Time-consuming to initially set-up, as the manual is less than clear
We’re nearly done recommending you SentrySafe gun safes – honest. But the EF4738E is worth a look.
Bigger than many pistol-size gun safes, it’s practically a home from home for your handguns – with up to four shelving levels and carpeting on the shelves and walls, it’s less a gun safe, more a gun Hilton.
This safe is a bit bigger than the other pistol-size safe. We’re fans of the internals of this one with its carpeted walls and shelves.
Fire-safe up for up to a half-hour at a pretty challenging 1400 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s a great option if you want to keep a handful of handguns safe along with their ammo and holsters.
Not that we’re suggesting that you’re going to have the calm and the sang-froid to load and holster mid-fire, but for all those occasions when you want to use your fireproof gun safe as…just a gun safe, that’s a handy space and organizational feature.
In the event of a fire, and the timely deployment of everybody’s heroes, your friendly neighborhood firefighters, it’s also worth knowing that the EF4738E is waterproof for 72 hours, so the cure isn’t going to be worse than the disease.
Double backup keys are handy with this gun safe, as with some others, because a) if the safe was in a fire, some of its electronic opening circuitry would turn to the equivalent of Jell-o in a flamethrower, and b) sometimes, people are less than competent to handle electronic entry systems.
Whether they should then be opening a safe full of handguns and ammo is a question we leave to you. Live your best life, try not to shoot the dog is all we ask.
A useful mid-range offering between the likes of the SFW123DSB and the AmazonBasics box, the EF4738E gains points for its size, its multi-level shelving, and the odd-seeming carpeting decision.
As a guard against scuffs and scratches which also doesn’t self-immolate as fast as some foams do, that’s an effective compromise that recommends the EF4738E to owners of a handful of guns who want to keep them safe both on any random Tuesday and in the event of an inferno.
- Solid steel construction
- Multiple shelves to store several guns and ammo
- Carpeted interior for a scratch-free environment
- Keycode entry
- Backup keys to allow entry when the keycode system doesn’t function
- Fireproof to lower temperatures, and for shorter periods, than some fun safes
Want a fireproof gun safe? On a budget? You should really take a look at the Stack-On A-18-MB-E-S Armorguard 18-Gun Safe.
Most of the safes on our list have been on the smaller side and handgun-focused.
Not the Stack-On. This is full-on locker-style, and tall enough for 18 of your favorite guns, whether they’re pistols or rifles.
As such, it’s more a ‘main’ or ‘family’ gun safe – and it’s much more budget-friendly than the 18 guns you can fit inside it.
Fire-resistance? Up to 30 minutes at 1400 degrees Fahrenheit – the same as the EF4738E. Unlike even our list-leader, it also comes with pre-drilled holes and bolts to make sure nobody’s able to steal the whole thing without taking a wall with them.
Additional door storage for handguns and ammo, and five adjustable shelves, makes the Stack-On feel like a well-designed refrigerator.
But…y’know, with guns instead of juice. And if you need the extra space, you can even upgrade to the bigger 24-gun version.
The Stack-On 18 Armorguard is a high-end fireproof gun safe without the high-end price.
- Capacity – 18 guns, including rifles
- Fire-resistant for a half-hour up to 1400 degrees F
- Bolt kit, with pre-drilled holes
- Five adjustable shelves
- Backup keys
- Weight – a heavy gun safe, especially as it is usually delivered only to the curbside
Best Fireproof Gun Safe Buying Guide
When buying a fireproof gun safe, there are a few things to keep in mind.
If you’re buying fireproof, you need to know how much fireproofing you’re paying for.
Usually written as a combination of degrees Fahrenheit x time. How long do you want to give yourself in a crisis? Be prepared to pay more for longer and hotter.
It’s pointless buying a fireproof gun safe if it has thin walls or weak bolts.
Thin walls will buckle like taffy under heat, and weak bolts will mean what you have is basically a wooden wardrobe full of firearms.
Go thick, go sturdy, spend money on making your purchase worth the buying.
Look for the fire-testing authority on your gun safe.
There are several out there, but make sure your safe has been assessed by an independent third party or a valid US authority.
Just as anyone can be an internet minister, you can get a gun safe tested by the Fire Academy of Lilliputia.
The more official your testing authority, the more its word counts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a fully fireproof gun safe on the market?
No. Every safe – every thing – will be subject to fire+time if the temperature is too high or the time is too long.
The key is to get a gun safe that’s as fire-resistant as possible at higher temperatures for a longer period.
Are handgun safes more effective than rifle safes?
Not necessarily. The most effective fireproof gun safe is the one that lasts longest at higher temperatures.
That’s not determined by the type of guns it can hold.
Is it important to have backup keys to a fireproof gun safe?
At all times, yes.
Whether you’re trying to get into the safe under heat and pressure, or whether your memory fails you when you’re tapping in your passcode, having backup keys give you the easy back door you will inevitably one day need.