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Browning ProSteel Fire Resistance

Release Date: 7/12/2013


When you compare fire ratings for safes, the most important thing to understand is that there are no industry standards for rating the level of fire protection a safe provides. Manufacturers set their own ratings, based on their own testing methods, that can easily be manipulated and inflated. The differences in testing methods and ratings lead to confusing ratings that vary by manufacturer, leaving you to decide if you trust the manufacturers’ claims or not. Browning and ProSteel have provided high quality gun safes for
more than 30 years, and have learned a few things about fire protection, notably that it pays to offer honest fire ratings. Browning ProSteel Safes offer advanced fire protection features and a proven record of quality products. Extensive testing, industry-leading engineering, honest results and decades of manufacturing experience go into every Browning ProSteel Safe, resulting in best-in-class fire resistance.

Three factors of fire resistance

  1. The amount of insulation is the most important factor. More insulation means more protection. (It really is that simple.) 
  2. The construction of the safe is hugely important. Thicker steel, fully welded gap-free body construction and reinforced door frames all serve to reduce flex from heat that could open gaps in the safe and allow heat to enter the safe. Strategic placement of insulation and external hinges means there are no gaps in fire insulation for improved protection.
  3. All Browning ProSteel safes include a Palusol® strip that expands to seal around the door frame and eliminate gaps where heat could enter.

 

Fire Testing Procedure

Years of experience developing new safes aids in understanding the fire protection a safe will offer based on its insulation and construction. All new Browning ProSteel safes are tested according to stringent test procedures.

  • A finished safe is placed into the on-site test furnace. Thermocouples are placed between the safe and the furnace walls on all four sides of the safe to record ambient temperatures of the furnace and the safe.
  • On initial startup of the furnace, all burners are lit so the temperature inside the furnace reaches a test temperature of 1200° F within the first five minutes of the test. The temperature of the thermocouples is recorded every minute and the burners are adjusted as needed to maintain an average temperature of 1200° F for the duration of the test.
  • Three thermocouples are also mounted inside the safe, two just above the top shelf and the third in the middle of the safe. When the temperature inside the safe exceeds 275° F above ambient temperature, the time is recorded and the test is completed. For example, if the ambient temperature at startup is 75° F, when a thermocouple inside the safe reads 350° F, the test is done and the fire rating is given.
  •  In contrast, some safe manufacturers will slowly ramp up to the test temperature, leaving the majority of the test at much lower temperatures than the final rating shows.
  • Other manufacturers place the thermocouples at the bottom of the safe where there is less heat. This measures the coolest air in the safe while the top portion is well above the acceptable temperature, and results in a higher fire rating claim.
  • Worse yet, some base their fire ratings on design alone without actually testing their designs. Top view of cross section of fire protection layers.

Fire/security ratings 

  • Fire and Security thermometers next to each product in this brochure make it easy to compare at a glance the level of protection a Browning ProSteel safe provides in these two important areas. The “F” indicates fire protection and the “S” indicates security level. Higher numbers mean better protection.

GUN SAFE WARRANTY

ProSteel provides a Gun Safe Warranty that is equal to the best in the industry on safes manufactured after January 1, 2006. The warranty covers:

  • ATTEMPTED BREAK IN
  • FIRE
  • BREAK IN

If a safe is involved in one or more of the above situations and your homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover the damage to the safe, ProSteel will repair or replace the safe. (Safe contents are not covered.) Shipping costs for a new safe, if necessary, are included. Some restrictions apply. See browning.com for complete warranty information.

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