Will cash burn in a fireproof safe?

Will Cash Burn in a Fireproof Safe

Will cash burn in a fireproof safe? This is the question many people ask when they consider buying a safe. And while the outcome will depend on the type of the safe and the strength and duration of the fire, the answer is simple:

As no safe is completely fireproof, especially during prolonged severe fires – Yes, eventually paper money will burn. However if you keep cash inside safes with at least UL Class 350 rating, they can protect it from burning for a certain period of time (typically several hours). Such safes are designed to secure paper materials in case of fire emergencies, and provide different level of protection depending on their fire rating.

If you have some cash and you intend to keep it at home or in the office, you will naturally want to protect it from fire, as well as from water and theft. Here’s what you need to know in terms of keeping paper money from burring.

At What Temperature Does Money Burn

Cash or paper in general starts to ignite and burn at the temperature of 424 – 475°F (218-246 °C). The conditions that lead to it igniting may vary though. For example, it depends on for how long the money is being exposed to fire and at what proximity. Or if the cash is completely dry or not. Because if money was exposed to water or other substances it will affect the ignition temperatures in both ways. It can catch on fire either faster or slower.

But in most cases we keep our money dry so you should take the above mentioned temperature range as a reference.

What Fireproof Rating Will Protect Cash From Burning

Fireproof safes have a special rating indicating their fire-resistant capabilities. Knowing the temperatures at which paper money starts burning means you should choose a safe that is able to keep its inside temperature below these limits. So what safes are designed to protect you paper assets?

You should use at least an UL Class 350 rated model to safely store paper money and other documents. You can subject such model to external temperatures of over 1700°F(927°C), and the temperature inside the box will not go higher than 350°F (175°C). Thus, your assets can be preserved with safes of UL Class 350 rating.

UL Class 350 models usually come in two variations: 1-hour and 2-hours. Both are designed to preserve the paper assets when exposed to external fire. The UL Class 350 2-hour offers a higher level of protection as the temperature inside the box will not go higher than 350°F (175°C) for at least 2 hours (compared to 1-hour version).

Choosing Best Fireproof Safes For Keeping Cash

There are multiple brands and manufacturers that produce fireproof safes. But some companies are more diligent, some have a better manufacturing and testing processes and make a better-quality product in general. And some companies are actually better to avoid altogether. With how many different ratings and specifications there are it can be challenging to choose the best brand and fireproof safe model.

No need to worry, we have written an article specially for this purpose. It has All the necessary information as well as models’ comparison in one place, combining all the vital and essential factors to help you choose the best Fireproof Safes for storing cash.


The answer to the question “will cash burn in a fireproof safe” is No. But the safe must have at least UL Class 350 rating and the house fire must not exceed the specification values for a specific model.

If you would like to increase the safety of your paper assets you can use UL Class 125 safes. The internal temperature in such models will not exceed 125°F (~52°C). This provides even higher protection against unpredictable conditions of fire emergencies. They are more expensive, however, if you are planning to keep considerable amount of funds inside it can be worth it.

We will cover UL Class 125 certified variants in our next articles.

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