Keeping Your Family Safe


What's in a Safe?


Stitch Weld vs. Continuous Weld

Stitch welding is not a continuous weld across a joint, but a weld broken up by space gaps in between welds, which results in a “stitch” look. It is not as robust and durable as a seam weld. It is used to prevent heat distortion and to also reduce the cost of welding if a long continuous weld is not necessary.

What is a stitch weld?

It is used to prevent heat distortion and to also reduce the cost of welding if a long continuous weld is not necessary. There are two common types of stitch welds, filletweld and butt joint weld. A fillet weld is a triangular seam weld that joins two surfaces at right angles to each other.


What does stitch weld mean?

Definition of stitch welding. : resistance welding in which the weld is made linearly (as between rotating wheels) by a series of spot welds that are spaced rather than overlapping (as in seam welding).


What is a tack welding?

After items to be welded together have been positioned as required, generally by clamping them on suitable fixtures, tack welds are used as a temporarymeans to hold the components in the proper location, alignment, and distance apart, until finalwelding can be completed.

Fire Rating

 A rating given to a safe that guarantees the belongings in safe will resist fire for a certain amount of time. The inside of the safe needs to stay below 350 degrees Fahrenheit in order to keep the integrity of documents. The levels of protection ratings range from 45 minutes to 2 hours of protection. 

What benefit does the reinforced fire liner (RFL) add to my safe?  

RFL is an additional fireboard wall that increases the standard fire protection already engineered into the safe. It uses a small amount of interior space, but expands your fire protection to 120 minutes. 

Does the type of fire board make a difference? 

Type C fire board that contains vermiculite and glass fibers. This helps the fireboard retains its structure and fire retardant properties during extreme temperatures. Many other manufacturers use regular drywall or Type X which will lose its structural integrity during high temperatures. 

How do the door seals assist in fire protection? 

Dual door seals protect against fire and smoke. They swell when temperatures reach a certain point. When a safe door is opened, a suction sound should be heard and felt indicating that it will seal tight when temperatures rise.  

All Safes on the market today are “factory certified”, and the tests are done by the manufacturer themselves or they are done by a third party to the manufacturers specifications. The fire certification or rating given to their safes could be nothing more than an educated guess based on fireboard and other material ratings. There have also been instances of manufacturers waiting until the coldest time of the year to do their fire test essentially freezing the safe before placing it in the furnace. Of course, it will take longer to reach 350° F if the interior temperature is below zero. The placement of the thermal couplings is also important. If they are placed on the bottom of the safe or inside an object, such as a telephone book, the readings will not be accurate. Another trick to stretching out fire ratings is to do a slow ramp up on the furnace temperature; stretching out the time it takes the furnace to reach 1250° F.   - Dakota Safe Company

The Fire Difference

Limiting the thermal conductivity by lining the inside of our vaults with a proprietary blend of a hydrogen bond fireboard and locking it in place using a stud weld process allows Fort Knox to provide the industry’s leading fire protection. Testing this process with a full 9 sensor house simulated test and showing you the exacting details in graph and product form is the only way Fort Knox vaults are tested. Others just can’t match up. - Fort Knox

Unequaled Fired Protection

Understand that fire protection is more than just adding fire insulation to a safe. Other aspects of safe construction play crucial roles in the total fire protection package. The little details add up to make or break the true fire protection a safe offers.  

With ThermaBlock’s advantages, we begin fire-testing safes where the other brands’ testing ends. A Browning ProSteel safe with ThermaBlock and external hinges offers fire protection as much as three times better than a safe with internal hinges and gaps in fire protection that leave your valuables unprotected. 

External hinges offer several advantages over the internal hinges found on other safes, most notably in fire protection.

To accommodate an internal hinge, fire protection material must be removed where the hinges attach. In a fire, these two unprotected areas allow the internal temperature of a safe to rise faster, to a significantly higher temperature, than a Browning ProSteel safe with external Hinges and no gaps in the fire protection.

External hinges eliminate gaps in the fire insulation to block heat from entering the safe.   Internal hinges allow up to eight times more heat to radiate inside the safe through gaps in the fire insulation.   - Browning ProSteel

Do you need Fire Protections?

Papers and documents char at temperatures around 405°F. Guns are damaged by temperatures exceeding 500°F. To protect documents and other possessions during a home fire, the internal temperature of a safe should remain below 350°F. This is why we include Superior Fire Protection standard on all models—so your safe’s contents will be protected from fire as well as theft.

A safe’s fire resistance depends on four main variables:

  1. Type and Amount of Insulation. Gypsum is the most commonly used material in home safes. When heated to 262°F it releases water vapor, which cools the safe’s interior. Until the moisture is baked out of the gypsum, the interior temperature of a safe will remain in the 200°F to 300°F range. Multiple layers of gypsum provide longer and higher ratings.

  2. How Well the Fire Insulation Is Installed. The inside of the safe should be fully covered with fire insulation, with no bare metal or hinge pocket cutouts.

  3. Door Steel Thickness and Rigidity. Heat causes metal distortion. Temperatures above 1000°F quickly distort thin, light-weight doors in only minutes, causing premature fire seal failure.

  4. Door Seal Effectiveness. Intumescent (heat-expanding) fire seals, when heated above 300°F, can expand up to ten times their original thickness, sealing out heat. Double and triple step seals are especially effective at achieving ratings of over an hour. Rope or other types of non-expanding seals are not as effective.  

      - Superior Safes Company


Key Features

 What size safe should I buy?

3 primary factors should be considered when choosing a size: 

(1) How many long guns

(2) How many other items and 

(3) Where it’s going to be stationed. Rule of thumb: always buy the next size larger than you think you’ll need. 

How do I determine the lock I need? 

Manual dial locks can be more difficult to use than a keypad, and it takes longer to access your contents. Keypad or E-locks use a 6-8 digit code entered on a keypad and provides quick access. (Batteries are required) Redundant locks use both E-lock and manual dial locks. This provides quick entry and protects your safe from EMP attacks. 

Can my interior be changed?

Safe interiors can be modified easily as your needs change. 

What is the difference between internal and external hinges?

Internal hinges open to about 90° and gives a safe a sleek minimalist look, while external hinges open to a full 180°. Note: The internal hinge option does not allow for hot pockets. Hinges are a preference and do not impact your safe’s security. 

S&G Locks EMP Proof or EMP Resistant?

Sargent & Greenleaf provides three types of locks: 

(1) mechanical dial – EMP proof and cannot be affected by an EMP pulse

(2) E-lock – our E-locks are rigorously tested against EMP and are considered EMP resistant 

(3) redundant lock system combines a mechanical dial with an electronic keypad. Each lock works together, but independently, and provides the best protection against EMP attacks. 


What do I look for in a warranty? 

Many safe companies advertise “lifetime” warranties, however they place limits or exclusions on locks, door mechanisms, handles and other key components that are most likely to fail over time. You won’t find that in the Fort Knox lifetime warranty. The Fort Knox lifetime warranty covers everything. 

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