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Old 08-18-2013, 03:00 PM   #1
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How effective is concrete for fireproofing?


I have a large steel box and a small steel safe.
What I want to do is fasten the box to the concrete floor, put the safe inside it, and put fireproofing around it inside the box to protect the contents from a fire.

I planned on using fiberglass, but then securing the safe to the box will be a problem. If I pour concrete in, it will both secure it, and fireproof it (not to mention making it too heavy to carry away...). Of course that is assuming that concrete is effective at fireproofing.

So, is it? Is there any special type to use that would be readily available in a small quantity?

Yeah, I could have just bought a fireproof safe, but the ones that also offer burglar protection are very expensive; the box and safe were really cheap.

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Old 08-18-2013, 05:06 PM   #2
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How effective is concrete for fireproofing?


Any kind of concrete has far better fire resistance than the worst, which is fiberglass. Your biggest problem will be the fire resistance of the safe and especially the door.

Dick


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Old 08-18-2013, 06:01 PM   #3
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How effective is concrete for fireproofing?


Just use a few layers of drywall....5/8" type X. A single layer is rated at 1 hour. Put 3 layers around it and should be good.

Important point....interleave/overlap the corners.....and....limit access to the door. If you allow side access, then someone has room to get a crowbar in there.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:15 PM   #4
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How effective is concrete for fireproofing?


You can likely find some refractory concrete that has a high maximum temperature limit, but if your house burns to the ground, is it really important that the floor has no cracks? Seems you really just need insulation so that the contents of the safe don't burn to a crisp if the safe is sitting in a raging fire for an hour. The R value of concrete is not much, so the insulation around the safe will have a greater effect. I think fiberglass has a maximum service temp under 1000 degrees. But that might be enough. Check out rockwool insulation also --- it has a higher max temp rating. It is also available as rigid board, which might be more convenient if you want to sit a safe on it. But the rigid board is likely to be harder to find.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:27 PM   #5
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How effective is concrete for fireproofing?


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Originally Posted by SPS-1 View Post
You can likely find some refractory concrete that has a high maximum temperature limit, but if your house burns to the ground, is it really important that the floor has no cracks? Seems you really just need insulation so that the contents of the safe don't burn to a crisp if the safe is sitting in a raging fire for an hour. The R value of concrete is not much, so the insulation around the safe will have a greater effect. I think fiberglass has a maximum service temp under 1000 degrees. But that might be enough. Check out rockwool insulation also --- it has a higher max temp rating. It is also available as rigid board, which might be more convenient if you want to sit a safe on it. But the rigid board is likely to be harder to find.
I thought perhaps different cements had different R values.
I won't be able to fit anything rigid in the box around the safe, so drywall is out. Besides, the drywall won't secure the safe to the box, and burglary is more likely than fire.

I have my tax returns and such in a firesafe, but could open it in a couple minutes with an axe. But if anyone really wants my tax returns, I guess they are welcome to them.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:51 PM   #6
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How effective is concrete for fireproofing?


My wife works as a fire investigator, so she comes across safes quite often. Your safe may be fireproof, but is it heat and water proof too?

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