5 Best Portable Fireproof Safes (2020)

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We picked the Honeywell 1104 as the best portable fireproof safe. It has a top fire rating, is big enough for legal documents, and fits under the bed. We feel it’s the perfects size for us and we love the carry handle, too.

In our opinion, the best portable fireproof safes are:

  • Honeywell 1104
  • Sentry Safe CFW20201
  • First Alert 2602DF
  • Honeywell 1108W
  • Humbert Fireproof Lock Box Bag

Note that these are examples selected for our circumstances, and do not represent advice to you or your circumstances, professional or otherwise.

Best Portable Fireproof Safe

1. Honeywell 1104

Quick Review: This is by far our favorite portable safe. It has a top fire rating, is big enough for legal documents, and fits under the bed. It’s the perfects size for us and we love the carry handle, too.


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What we Like:

  • Top Independent Fire Rating: The independent company UL has certified this as having a 1 hour fireproof rating at 1700 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the top rating UL gives in this class of fireproof safe.
  • Fits Legal Documents: We love the size of this case. It fits cash, passports, A4 documents and legal documents like birth certificates.
  • Fits under the Bed: We love that it fits so much stuff, but you can still just scoot it under most beds.
  • Carry Handle: The carry handle makes it as easy to carry as a briefcase – except there is that small matter of its 56 lbs (25 kg) weight!

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • It’s Heavy: All safes with a decent fireproof rating will be heavy – it’s really a direct trade off. This one comes in at 56 pounds, heavier than some competitors.
  • Downgrade: Buyers can also downgrade to the Honeywell 1103 which is the same safe, but lighter weight and more affordable. You’ll sacrifice the UL fireproof rating though – the 1103 has a 30 minute, 1550F rating from Honeywell. You can check out the Honeywell 1103 now on Amazon.

2. SentrySafe CFW20201

Quick Review: This would be a good option if we didn’t need to store legal size documents. It’s a well constructed safe that’s smaller than the Honeywell but also a lot lighter which we like.


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What we Like:

  • Lighter than the Honeywell 1104: We like that this one maintains a high fireproof rating (UL: 1 hour at 1700 Fahrenheit) but also comes in at a much lighter weight than the Honeywell 1104 above.
  • Fits A4 paper – Just: To give you an idea of the size, you can fit an A4 piece of paper flat in the box, but the rounded corners clip the A4 papers a little.
  • Carry Handle: The carry handle makes it as easy to carry as a small (but heavy) briefcase.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Beware the Weight: It is heavy, but still not as heavy as the Honeywell 1104 because it’s much smaller.
  • Product Description Inaccuracies: Also, note that some online product descriptions have its UL fireproof rating at 30 minutes. The true UL fireproof rating is 1 hour (according to the Sentry Safe website).
  • Doesn’t fit Legal Size Documents: We wouldn’t get this one if we were trying to store legal size documents (8.5″ by 14″) because it’s not quite large enough.

3. First Alert 2602DF

Quick Review: The First Alert 2602DF has a sturdy key code entry system in our opinion. Its fire proof rating is lower than others, but we feel it’s still decent.


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What we Like:

  • Fits A4 paper – Just: It’s a very similar size to the SentrySafe CFW20201. Internal dimensions are 8.5″ x 12.5″. You can fit an A4 piece of paper flat in the box.
  • Key Code Entry: You can access this safe by key code or the two spare keys that come with the box.
  • Realistic Weight: The weight comes in at 26 lbs according to product descriptions.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Medium Fireproof Rating: Its fireproof rating is lower than the ones above – its UL independent rating comes in at 1550 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
  • Requires Batteries: It operates from 2 x AA batteries which are required to operate the key code. We make sure we get quality brand name batteries that will last a long time.
  • No Carry Handle: We do wish it came with a nice comfortable carry handle.

4. Honeywell 1108W

Quick Review: We like that this is a safe on wheels. It’s large, but comes on rollers to make transporting it easier. High fireproof rating.


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What we Like:

  • The Wheels: This safe wouldn’t be portable without the wheel tray you can elect to buy with the case. But, with the wheels, you can scoot it around an office.
  • The Size: It’s big! I will fit legal size documents or a whole stack of A4 files. It is basically the Honeywell 1104 (our favorite pick) but higher for fitting more documents within it.
  • The Fireproof Rating: It’s got the highest independent UL rating of 1700 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. That’s excellent.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • The Weight: You won’t be able to carry this around. You’ll need to purchase the wheels if you want to make this a truly portable safe.
  • Doesn’t fit Under your Bed: Every safe on this list except this one could fit under beds. Unfortunately for this safe, you’d need to find a discrete hiding spot in a closet or elsewhere in the home.

5. Humbert Fireproof Lock Box Bag

Quick Review: Fireproof bags are a cheap alternative to fireproof safes. They’re lighter weight and very portable, but they only really resist flame rather than intense fire.


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What we Like:

  • Light Weight: It weights a heck of a lot less than a safe, making it a lot easier to carry around.
  • Extra Large: It fits a whole lot of stuff, including legal size documents, cash, and passports.
  • Affordable: Fire resistant bags are more affordable than safes.
  • Carry Handle: The carry handle on the top of the bag makes it easy to grab-and-go when a fire approaches.
  • Manual Lock Code: It comes with a traditional combination code padlock. This is our favorite sort of locking mechanism, and much safer than either key or electronic code.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Not Independently Fire Proof Verified: ‘Fireproof’ bags are really flame resistant. They won’t protect valuables from a serious inferno

What we Look for in a Fireproof Safe

Here are key factors we look for when making a decision about what safe to buy.

Portability

Obviously, portability is a main concern. Unfortunately fireproof safes are very heavy. They need to be in order to be truly fireproof.

But, some things we look for to help with portability include:

  • Carry Handle: We’d get a safe with an easy carry handle to help us to move it around. It will still be heavy, of course.
  • Wheels: The Honeywell 1108W solves the portability issue with wheels. That’s a great solution.

A smaller safe or one with a lower fireproof rating will be lighter but less fire resistant. Everyone needs to make the decision about the balance between weight and fireproofing.

Independent Fireproof Rating

The most trustworthy fireproof rating comes from the independent certification company UL.com. UL usually provides three fireproof ratings:

  • High: 1 hour at 1700 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Medium: 30 minutes at 1550 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Low: 20 minutes at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit

We have placed a high premium on fireproof ratings. Safes #1 (Honeywell 1104), #2 (SentrySafe 20201) and #4 (Honeywell 1108W) on this list all have the highest UL rating. Safe #3 (First Alert 2602DF) has a medium UL rating. Safe #5 (the Humbert Lock Box Bag) does not have an independent fireproof rating.

Size

The only safes on this list that have internal dimensions that can store legal size documents are the Honeywell 1104 and Honeywell 1108W. Otherwise, a smaller safe like the SentrySafe CHW20201 (#2 on the list) just fits an A4 paper flat.

Locking Mechanism

Most common locking mechanisms include either a key lock only option, or an option that involves electronic code with key lock backup. Electronic key codes require batteries that may die or falter when needed the most, which is why we personally prefer a key lock mechanism.

What about all the Bad Reviews Online?

Fireproof safes have notoriously bad reviews online. Here’s our opinion on those bad reviews.

Moisture, Moisture Everywhere

People are constantly complaining that their safe contains condensation and moisture which causes water damage to their valuables.

This happens with every single fireproof and waterproof safe in the world.

Of course a locked box is going to cause internal moisture issues. You’re locking out moisture, but you’re also locking it in. The air inside the box has moisture in it. That moisture will inevitably cause condensation and other water issues.

The solution: We like silica gel dehumidifiers, which absorb moisture. They need to be replaced regularly – but they can help minimize moisture issues.

Breaking Keys

Personal safes come with notoriously weak keys that can break without much effort. For us, the solution can be to get the keys cut when they arrive and ask the locksmith to provide a high quality metal key.

Some safes come with keys that cannot be cut – fair enough. We feel the best you can do in that case is be gentle and careful.

While I’m talking about it – we’d make sure we store the spare key offsite so we can access the contents of the safe if the worst happens and our home burns down.

The Solution: We’d get a copy of they keys cut using high quality materials.

Theft Protection

Many reviews also state that they found it easy to break into their safe using a screwdriver or other jibbing mechanism.

Yes, it’s true. Personal safes deter thieves but a determined thief will still break in. If you want a truly thief-proof safe, you’re looking at forking out thousands of dollars for a lager safe such as a serious gun and rifle safe.

The Solution: We would hide our safe in a discrete location. A safe is an obvious honeypot for thieves – so we’d keep it somewhere that a thief wouldn’t expect to find it.

Final Thoughts

We hope this review of the best portable fireproof safes has given you a good idea of what’s out there on the market. There are trade offs between weight, size and fireproof rating that you’ll need to determine for your own needs. But remember, this article has shared our opinions and a range of examples for our circumstances only, and is based on our online research. It does not constitute advice, professional or otherwise. Your circumstances or experiences will differ from ours. Make sure you do your own research and due diligence and adhere to the rules laid out in our terms and conditions and disclaimer.

– Chris