Will Paper Money Burn Inside Of A Safe?

paper money burning

Safes are great for storing all sorts of valuable possessions. From jewelry to photos, it seems more and more people are taking steps to protect what’s important to them. 

Aside from sentimental items, more people are started to store cash in their homes. Some do this out of fear of a recession. Others do so out of the convenience of easy access.

Regardless of the reason, with so many people hiding cash at home, (about 17%) an increasingly common question being asked is “ will paper money burn inside of a safe?” After all, safes protect your valuables, right? Here’s what you need to know about storing paper money inside of a safe.

Types Of Safes

There are many types of safes, and not all of them are the same. Some safes specialize in storing guns at home, while others are meant for small files in your office at work. Choosing the right safe for you is important, and it is largely based upon what you plan on storing. 

If you’re planning on storing cash among your valuables, then you’ll need to purchase a safe with a high fire rating. A safe isn’t automatically “fireproof”, and paper money could very easily burn if the safe became hot enough. 

Fireproof Safes

Thankfully, there are safes built with this in mind. Aside from gun safes, lockboxes, and wall safes, there are also fireproof safes. These safes are made with fireboard and thicker steel. They are made to keep your valuables safe and secure in case of a house fire. 

Fireproof safes utilize fireboard, a material similar to drywall. The fireboard is built into the walls of the safe and contains moisture. When heated up, the moisture is released keeping the interior of the safe at a cooler temperature. 

Before purchasing a fireproof safe, it’s important to understand that no safe is technically fireproof. Rather, they are fire-resistant. The reason for this is that safes are often made from high-quality steel, which has a melting point, albeit a very high melting point. 

Fire Rating

To determine the effectiveness of your fire-resistant safe, take a close look at its fire rating. The fire rating will let you know at which temperature the safe will cease being an effective means of protection for your stored valuables. American dollars burn at a temperature of 450 degrees F. 

So if a safe is left in flames hot enough for long enough, the interior of the safe can reach temperatures high enough to cause paper money to combust. The fire rating of your safe lets you know how long it takes for that to happen. 

Your safe should have a fire rating in the product description. Typically, a safe will say something along the lines of “Fire rating of 1 hour at 1200 F”. This simply means that a safe will remain fireproof for up to 1 hour while enduring 1200 degree flames. After that point, the fireboard or other composite material will lose all moisture and no longer effectively stop the heat. 

To sum up, paper money can indeed burn inside of a safe, but there are several steps and measures you can take to prevent this from happening. Take time to consider your safe and whether or not it can do its job and protect your cash. If not, consider purchasing a quality fireproof safe!

Let Us Help!

North American Safes assists our customers through repairs, lock changes, and relocations.  When it comes to safes, we are there to help in any and every way. Contact us today with any questions you may have!

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