Gun Safe Fire Ratings: Buyer Beware!

The biggest “dirty little secret” in the gun safe business is that most of the Fire Ratings are bogus.  Flat out lies in many cases.  It seems that people in this industry — manufacturers and knowledgeable dealers — are happy to intentionally deceive buyers just to boost sales.  I suspect that the Big Box Stores accept whatever the manufacturers and importers tell them as being legitimate.  They don’t really know any better, but they don’t investigate to find the truth, either.

Several years ago I sat in a meeting of about 20 gun safe dealers and several manufacturers.  One of them, a gentleman who imports thousands of units annually from China, started his talk with “We all know that our fire ratings are not accurate and that the gun safes we sell would not survive a serious house fire.”  What?  That offends me!  He knowingly cheats his customers and is willing to admit it among his peers?

I will not run my business like that!  And I will not buy that man’s safes, either.  I try hard to be honest with our customers.  We sell American Made gun safes from several manufacturers who I trust.  I work hard to learn about our competitors’ products as well as our own, so that we can educate our buyers.  Our products often cost a little more, but the buyer has been told enough to make an honest quality/value judgment.

This subject is a big deal to me.  It is certainly more than can be covered in one post, so I will be writing about it three or four times over the next few weeks.