Home Safe Reviews

Everybody has documents, jewelry or other valuables in their home that would be devastating to lose in a fire, flood or theft. The best home safes protect their precious contents against all of those threats. Some also come with special features like biometric locks and entry alarms, or are designed to hold firearms. Gun safes not only safeguard your weapons against theft, but also safeguard children who might not understand the risk of playing with them -- and in some states, they're required by law.
 
SentrySafe SFW123DTB
Best Reviewed
Best fireproof home safe
SentrySafe SFW123DTB

Of all the safes we evaluated, the SentrySafe SFW123DTB offers the best combination of fire and flood protection at a stellar price. It's UL-rated for up to an hour in 1700-degree fire and against exploding or rupturing in a flash fire. This safe is also ETL-verified for impact resistance during a fire and flood resistance for 24 hours in 8 inches of water. This SentrySafe is a top choice for protecting USB drives, CDs, DVDs and portable hard drives.

SentrySafe 1200
Best Reviewed
Best portable fire safe
SentrySafe 1200

In the portable fire safe category, the SentrySafe 1200 fire-safe chest draws excellent reviews for its UL-rated 30 minutes of protection in fires of up to 1550 degrees. It's also ETL verified for keeping internal temperatures low enough to protect USB drives, CDs, DVDs and portable hard drives. The SentrySafe 1200 is small enough to hide discreetly away or pick up and run with during an emergency, but, at 3.5 by 12 by 7.5 inches, it's not exactly spacious.

GunVault SpeedVault SV500
Best Reviewed
Best handgun safe
GunVault SpeedVault SV500

Users and experts all love the GunVault SpeedVault SV500's balance of security and quick, one-handed access with either hand. When you key your pre-programmed access code into the keypad the bottom of the vault drops open to give immediate access. The GunVault's 18-gauge steel isn't going to keep a determined burglar out, but it's still a solid deterrent, and it works great for securing your handgun from nosey adults or inquisitive children. The GunVault comes in a biometric version as well.

SentrySafe QAP1BE
Runner Up
Best biometric handgun safe
SentrySafe QAP1BE

The SentrySafe QAP1BE is one of the best biometric gun safes on the market. It's small enough to stick in a drawer but offers quick access to your handgun, draws plenty of praise for being sturdily built, and can be mounted as an additional theft deterrent. The biometric fingerprint reader is the SentrySafe QAP1BE's best feature, reading multiple fingerprints and working almost flawlessly for quick access. There's a keypad and key lock backup as well.

AMSEC BF6032
Best Reviewed
Best long gun safe
AMSEC BF6032

If you have a good collection of guns and protecting them from damage or theft is a top priority, you need the AMSEC BF6032. It stores up to 20 guns and will is rated to provide two hours of fire protection at 1200 degrees; up to five minutes of sustained attack protection with typical theft tools. At 913 pounds, no one's running off with the AMSEC BF6032, either. It's pricier than some, but most say it's well worth it.

Stack-On 14-gun Safe FS-14-MB-E
Runner Up
Cheap gun safe
Stack-On 14-gun Safe FS-14-MB-E

If the AMSEC or other high-end gun safes are a bit above your price range, reviewers suggest taking a look at the Stack-On 14-gun safe FS-14-MB-E. Fire resistant up to 1400 degrees for 30 minutes, it also will do a good job of discouraging thief's and keeping young children (or unauthorized adults) from accessing your guns. The FS-14-MB-E is also versatile, with adjustable shelving if you prefer to use it just for general storage.

Fireproof home safes and gun safes keep your valuables secure

While no one likes to think that events like break-ins, fires and floods might happen to them, the truth is that these things can happen to anybody. Most people arm their homes with door locks, window locks, and fire, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as a way to forestall these disasters; so it makes sense to add a fireproof safe that can protect hard-to-replace documents, currency and large and small valuables in case of fire or flood. Safes designed specifically for handguns or long guns like rifles and shotguns will not only protect your weapons from fire, water damage and theft, it will keep them safely out of the hands of small children or unauthorized adults.

Quality should be your priority. Because safes protect your most significant investments and possibly irreplaceable records, it may be tempting to head straight for the cheapest models. But if there was ever a time to invest in quality, this is it. However, price is not always an indicator of quality either, and we read plenty of reports of pricey or even custom-made safes that owners felt seemed cheap or tended to collect condensation in spite of their cost. Regardless of price point, look for home safes that are rated by Underwriters Laboratory (using the UL mark) or Intertek (using the ETL mark). Testing from these third-party companies gives you an honest gauge of just how much fire or flooding the safe can withstand, and how well it will hold up against break-in attempts.

Home safes come in a variety of sizes and styles. You can buy everything from tiny lock boxes to giant military-grade safes -- if you have the money and the space to store the latter. The general rule when buying a safe is to get the largest safe you expect to be able to fill -- that way, you won't have to invest in a second safe in the future. Many larger safes come with a range of organizational features, like shelves, door organizers or hanging file holders, to help keep your electronics, collectibles, documents or other precious items organized.

A portable box safe may be all you need. For those who just want a layer of extra protection for difficult-to-replace documents such as social security cards, birth certificates or other small items, these highly affordable safes will probably do the trick. They're fireproof and can be moved fairly easily; some of them are waterproof, too. Although these small boxes aren't the best deterrent against theft (because the burglar can just carry them off), many people choose these small, portable safes primarily for their fire and water protection, then hide them so a thief cannot easily find them.

Gun safes are a must for the responsible firearms owner. Although the federal government doesn't require you to lock your firearms up, some states do; and some states levy penalties or criminal charges for allowing children access to firearms, even if that access doesn't result in a tragedy. Always check your local laws regarding firearm storage.

Also, remember that even if your state doesn't require you to lock your guns up, doing so is a great example of responsible gun ownership that can protect your second amendment rights, the lives of innocent children around you who don't understand the danger of playing with firearms, and, of course, safeguard the firearms themselves against theft.

If you live in California, the California Department of Justice has a specific set of standards for which gun safes are acceptable. They also provide a roster of approved the gun safety devices.

Finding the best fireproof home and gun safes

There aren't a lot of expert reviews of safes, but we found a couple of useful roundups by the editors of GunsandAmmo.com, as well as the thorough reviews done by Richard Nance at GunSafeReviewsGuy.com. With such a scant list of expert sources, we paid very close attention to the hundreds of owner reviews posted at retail sites like Amazon.com, HomeDepot.com, Cabelas.com and others. The result is our recommendations for the home and gun safes that will keep your valuables secure and undamaged.

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