PT Lock & Safe
PT Lock & Safe Blog

Fireproof Safe vs Burglary Proof Safe. Which Should I Choose?

09/11/2021 paper burning in safe

In an ideal world, you would be able to buy, for a reasonable price, a safe that protects your valuables and your documents from both burglary and fire. Unfortunately, the fireproof safe that also provides a strong protection against burglary can’t really be manufactured for reasons outlined below!

Fire safes are not burglary proof

By virtue of being a heavy locked box, a fire safe will give a small amount of protection from burglary. However a determined burglar could penetrate a basic fire safe using only a hammer and a screwdriver. The reason for this is that the thick layer of steel that is the main protection against burglary in burglar-proof safes cannot be used because steel is such a good conductor of heat. 

Burglary-proof safes are not fireproof

A fire safe has very thin steel content and a lot of heat resisting barrier material which is often soft and crumbly.  By contrast, a burglary safe has thick steel and a lot of concrete like barrier material to prevent penetration with basic tools. Exposed to fire, this steel transfers the heat very quickly and the concrete heats up and starts to radiate heat and the inside of the safe will eventually become like a furnace. 

You can get a safe which combines burglary and fire resistance but they are significantly more expensive. Some of the best only give 30 minutes protection for paper!

Fahrenheit 451!

Paper combusts at around 218 degrees C. However, fire safes are often used to protect data storage devices. These devices corrupt at a much lower temperature than the combustion point of paper (around 55 degrees). To provide adequate protection against the risk of data corruption from heat - you’ll want a dedicated fire safe.

Choosing the correct safe is a matter of assessing risk. There is no perfect solution. But if you are protecting valuables, you want the best burglar proof safe you can buy, and if you are protecting data or documents that would be of little interest to a burglar, then fireproof is the way to go. And if you need to protect valuable data from fire and theft (what are you - a government agent?) talk to a professional locksmith about your best options before making a purchase!

Thinking about buying and installing a safe? We are happy to offer advice. We have a dedicated safe-moving van which we use for transporting large safes (maybe one big enough to fit a fireproof safe inside). For more information, give us a call on 01603 812613 or email

Follow us on Facebook for the latest company and industry news.