Fireproof vs fire resistant. So what is the difference? The simple answer – there is none. But there is a slight distinction in the interpretation people tend to apply to these characteristics.
Both fireproof and fire resistant imply similar feature. Let’s take safes as an example. FP and FR models serve to protect their contents from high temperatures. The difference is that fireproof is usually associated with products that are more reliable and will hold better against fire over a period of time. This is the definition various safe manufacturers and industry marketers prefer to use. As a result, people view fireproof to be better than fire resistant. And the latter to offer only a basic level of protection.
In reality both fireproof and fire resistant can be used to describe the same thing. Technically, they are interchangeable.
Keep that in mind, and don’t make a mistake thinking fireproof will offer you absolute protection. Because in truth there is no 100% fire-resistant safes. Given certain amount of time and heat level, any safe will burn eventually. Therefore, when you go through a particular product features and it says fireproof, the manufactures is trying to hint that it will provide a better and longer protection against fire than entry-level ones. But it doesn’t mean that your valuables are definitely going to be preserved in a fire emergency. They will be secured only for a certain length of time and under certain conditions.
Instead, you need to look at the safe’s certification or rating. A company will often state the rating given by Underwriters Laboratories. For example UL Class 125 1-hour, UL Class 350 1-hour etc.
UL Class 125 1-hour means that, the temperature inside the safe will not go higher than 125° F (52°C) for at least 1 hour while exposed to external temperatures of over 1700°F (926°C).
UL Class 350 1-hour means that, the temperature inside the safe will not go higher than 350° F (177°C) for at least 1 hour while exposed to external temperatures of over 1700°F (926°C).
Now you know that both terms are used to describe the same attribute. It’s just so happened that historically “fireproof” indicates a higher quality of the product. But no matter what mark is added to the title of the characteristics you should always inspect the actual rating.