What are some tips and tricks for protecting your coins from a fire?

I have a safe, yet it is not fire resistant. Those type of safes can damage coins. What are some methods used to protect coins from heat and smoke?

Comments

  • topstuftopstuf Posts: 11,221 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 10, 2018 1:09PM

    One of these will fit INSIDE most safes.

    They're advertised as waterproof, too. The "rating" would be far lower than a fireproof SAFE, but when you consider fire has to get IN the safe to get TO the box, it seems worth it.
    They hold 2 blue PCGS boxes pretty neatly. :)

  • davewesendavewesen Posts: 2,100 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am not sure a 'fireproof' safe would keep the heat low enough to not melt or dis-form slabs.

  • SmudgeSmudge Posts: 2,721 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wonder how safe deposit boxes would fare if a bank caught fire.

  • topstuftopstuf Posts: 11,221 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @davewesen said:
    I am not sure a 'fireproof' safe would keep the heat low enough to not melt or dis-form slabs.

    My post suggested a FIREBOX... inside... the safe. :)

  • thefinnthefinn Posts: 825 ✭✭✭✭

    @Smudge said:
    Wonder how safe deposit boxes would fare if a bank caught fire.

    Not well. They are all metal, so they would get pretty hot. I don't know what insurance would be used to cover fire in rented storage. The bank would claim no responsibility.

    thefinn
  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 2,657 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think the fact that a safe is just "fireproof" is not the most important thing as most manufacturers have various heat rating models and they maintain the temperature inside the safe in a range from 350 to 451 temp inside the safe for 1 hour while the external temp reaches 1700 degrees Fahrenheit. This is considered a fairly safe range, but many go lower and trick you by stating the fire temp outside the safe as a large number but the temp inside and the duration may not be so obviously stated. This is my opinion and if someone with knowledge of this safe feature can better explain it or show us, I would appreciate it.
    Jim


    No one has ever had a plan to lose money in numismatics, monies lost is a result of not having a plan.

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

    Everyman Buffalo Nickels (1913-1938) https://www.pcgs.com/setregistry/album/166523
  • topstuftopstuf Posts: 11,221 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @thefinn said:

    @Smudge said:
    Wonder how safe deposit boxes would fare if a bank caught fire.

    Not well. They are all metal, so they would get pretty hot. I don't know what insurance would be used to cover fire in rented storage. The bank would claim no responsibility.

    From what I've seen of BANK safe deposit boxes, there is very little flammable material IN the ...vault.

  • lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 4,013 ✭✭✭✭

    I have a UL rated firelined gun safe. It's supposed to keep the contents below 350F for 45 minutes. From what I've seen coming out of CA, that's not enough.

    Collecting ... dust

    Successful BST transactions with: SilverEagles92; Ahrensdad; Smitty; GregHansen; Lablade; Mercury10c; copperflopper; whatsup; KISHU1; scrapman1077, crispy, canadanz, smallchange, robkool, Mission16, ranshdow, ibzman350, Fallguy.
  • ms70ms70 Posts: 10,215 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 10, 2018 4:37PM

    Some fire rated safes are made with materials that are impregnated with moisture. I don't know which ones or if they still make them like that, but just beware.

  • lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 4,013 ✭✭✭✭

    @ms70 said:
    Some fire rated safes are made with materials that are impregnated with moisture. I don't know which ones or if they still make them like that, but just beware.

    I've seen that. Mine is pretty "old school" and has a ceramic liner. It adds to the weight of the unit tremendously.

    Collecting ... dust

    Successful BST transactions with: SilverEagles92; Ahrensdad; Smitty; GregHansen; Lablade; Mercury10c; copperflopper; whatsup; KISHU1; scrapman1077, crispy, canadanz, smallchange, robkool, Mission16, ranshdow, ibzman350, Fallguy.
  • BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 2,007 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @topstuf said:

    @thefinn said:

    @Smudge said:
    Wonder how safe deposit boxes would fare if a bank caught fire.

    Not well. They are all metal, so they would get pretty hot. I don't know what insurance would be used to cover fire in rented storage. The bank would claim no responsibility.

    From what I've seen of BANK safe deposit boxes, there is very little flammable material IN the ...vault.

    There was a bank branch nearby constructed late 1960s. The building was torn down and removed in three days, but the vault took over three weeks and had to be taken apart with a jack hammer a few inches at a time. If the vault door had not been open when the demolition started, it might have taken longer. All 100% steel and concrete. That vault was never going to burn unless our Sun went super-nova. The inner construction of the individual safe deposit boxes was not a factor.

    The bank vault where my coins rest was built about the same time and IIRC, very similar.

  • rte592rte592 Posts: 280 ✭✭✭

    A safe in a good fire rated safe would be best...buying a bigger safe then you need and lining the inside with the concrete backer board might help.

  • HemisphericalHemispherical Posts: 280 ✭✭✭
    edited November 11, 2018 4:51AM

    You get what you pay for. Unless you are willing to spend five digits (before the decimal point) of Innobucks. A safe is a very limited and temporary safeguard against fire (hence, the various ratings for safes); and the hope is that the fire department arrives to extinguish promptly. Which probably will not occur if there a firestorm as we have read. 😟

    The coin will probably not melt but the damage from other items that would probably be packed in the safe will make an impact. Important papers, plastic, photos and who knows what else people put in their safes. All these will smolder, melt, or release caustic fumes in the safe once the ignition, flash, or melt point is reached.

    What is needed is good insurance, back-ups of important documents, etc. But most importantly a well thought-out (who retrieves what) and practiced evacuation/escape plan(s) that needs to considered before any emergency.

    Which reminds me of PACE for any type of planning.

    P-rimary
    A-lternate
    C-ontingency
    E-mergency

    Sorry, going OT so I will end here.

    Edited typos.

  • thefinnthefinn Posts: 825 ✭✭✭✭

    @topstuf said:

    @thefinn said:

    @Smudge said:
    Wonder how safe deposit boxes would fare if a bank caught fire.

    Not well. They are all metal, so they would get pretty hot. I don't know what insurance would be used to cover fire in rented storage. The bank would claim no responsibility.

    From what I've seen of BANK safe deposit boxes, there is very little flammable material IN the ...vault.

    It's not the flames, it's the heat.

    thefinn
  • thefinnthefinn Posts: 825 ✭✭✭✭

    @BillDugan1959 said:

    @topstuf said:

    @thefinn said:

    @Smudge said:
    Wonder how safe deposit boxes would fare if a bank caught fire.

    Not well. They are all metal, so they would get pretty hot. I don't know what insurance would be used to cover fire in rented storage. The bank would claim no responsibility.

    From what I've seen of BANK safe deposit boxes, there is very little flammable material IN the ...vault.

    There was a bank branch nearby constructed late 1960s. The building was torn down and removed in three days, but the vault took over three weeks and had to be taken apart with a jack hammer a few inches at a time. If the vault door had not been open when the demolition started, it might have taken longer. All 100% steel and concrete. That vault was never going to burn unless our Sun went super-nova. The inner construction of the individual safe deposit boxes was not a factor.

    The bank vault where my coins rest was built about the same time and IIRC, very similar.

    How is is rated for HEAT. Coins don't burn, they MELT! Concrete and steel is what kilns are made out of.

    thefinn
  • BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 2,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 10, 2018 6:16PM

    There was nothing to burn outside the vault. The two outer walls were three feet thick and surrounded by the outside/outdoors parking lot. There vault walls were just as thick inside the building, and the fire/ flammable stuff inside the building was never going to amount to much or for very long.

    Did somebody just teach you the word 'kiln' and you want to use it over and over? Kilns work by burning fuel inside the darn thing and the outside walls remain relatively cool. Chimneys the same way. It ain't rocket science. Vaults protect from outside burning. You don't store fuel inside a vault (and even if you did, there might not be enough oxygen in a sealed vault to sustain the burn). Sheesh.

  • BryceMBryceM Posts: 6,969 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Most home gun “safes” are correctly described as “residential storage containers.” The fireproofing is usually slabs of sheetrock (which is gypsum or hydrated calcium sulfate.). When heated, the energy goes to spitting the water molecules away from the calcium sulfate molecules until the water is depleted. Steam is released. This takes time, and as others have said, they’re basically designed to keep things protected until the local fire department shows up.

    You generally get what you pay for. Heavy gauge steel and decent fireproofing are expensive and frightfully heavy. Sadly, a savvy thief with $40 worth of power tools from harbor freight can cut the sides off of any of these in 5-10 minutes. Casual attacks and idiots looking for drug money can be deterred.

    An SDB is a much better bet from thieves & fire, but still potentially susceptible to flooding and inaccessibility in case of an actual large-scale disaster.

    A fire box inside a decent home “safe” is a fairly good bet, but severely size limited. Oh, and don’t store ammunition in a safe. When it gets warm enough it’ll blow the door wide open & torch everything inside.

  • TheRegulatorTheRegulator Posts: 1,123 ✭✭✭

    @BillDugan1959 said:

    Did somebody just teach you the word 'kiln' and you want to use it over and over? Kilns work by burning fuel inside the darn thing and the outside walls remain relatively cool. Chimneys the same way. It ain't rocket science. Vaults protect from outside burning. You don't store fuel inside a vault (and even if you did, there might not be enough oxygen in a sealed vault to sustain the burn). Sheesh.

    Get a load of this... Home insulation helps keep a house warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer.

    As others have said, at those temps and that length of time, it won't end well.

    "When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." -Benjamin Franklin
  • RayboRaybo Posts: 4,168 ✭✭✭✭

    SDB and that's it.
    :)

  • ParadisefoundParadisefound Posts: 4,823 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 11, 2018 9:05AM

    I don't have enough to warrant SDB but now reconsidering the option given the current fire situation :( :'(

  • BryceMBryceM Posts: 6,969 ✭✭✭✭✭

    PF, I’m not sure what sort of thing protects from Pele. Not even an SDB can withstand a river of lava. :neutral:

  • Timbuk3Timbuk3 Posts: 8,355 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting topic, thank you all for sharing !!! :)

    Timbuk3
  • SoldiSoldi Posts: 337 ✭✭✭

    @Smudge said:
    Maybe some "midnight gardening" would be safer, but with my memory, maybe not.

    Some of my best metal detecting finds come from this practice google "pesky vdi 93" and see.

  • blitzdudeblitzdude Posts: 1,026 ✭✭✭✭

    Bury them at least 24" deep in the ground. No need to spend money on a safe, besides that's the first place a thief will go.

  • bigjpstbigjpst Posts: 2,371 ✭✭✭✭

    I have no idea how long safe deposit vaults are rated for, but the sprinklers in the ceiling of the bank will probably help more than my garden hose before the FD gets there.

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 10,687 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting thread!

  • topstuftopstuf Posts: 11,221 ✭✭✭✭✭

  • @topstuf said:

    Up yonder by Fort Carson... maybe, maybe not.

  • OldIndianNutKaseOldIndianNutKase Posts: 1,808 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The requirements are not hard to specify........

    1. 100 feet minimum from any combustible material.
    2. Reinforced concrete enclosure, purged with nitrogen and having a copper liner to eliminate any electromagnetic exposure
    3. Vacuum pump to further aid the amount of nitrogen required.
    4. Active penetration and heat alarms to notify you of intrusions
    5. Contract with wells fargo for monitoring all of the above.

    As a compromise I keep my coins in a SDB........know full well that I have no million dollar coins to worry about.And for the coins in my house safe........a fir might just give them special toning that greatly increase their value........while being a total write-off on my insurance policy.

    ALL safes are good ideas.......

    OINK

  • ReadyFireAimReadyFireAim Posts: 88 ✭✭
    edited November 11, 2018 8:58PM

    @Al21 said:
    My buddy had a small round safe in his garage slab and everything in it survived.

    +1 for the slab safe but you have to hide it because they generally aren't that tool resistant.
    There might be several inches of water on the floor after a fire also.

    I have a friend who punched out a couple of cement blocks on his exterior wall and concealed it behind furnace ducting about 3' above the floor.
    He also employed a decoy safe filled with a bunch of junk.

    I have a small collection so it will easily fit in a SDB & high resolution pictures if I want to look at them.

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