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Antique Safes/Fireproof ?


Sears Strong Box
Sears Strong Box  

strong box LID
strong box LID  
Mr. Andreasen,

After reading your replies to others.. we felt your opinion would really be appreciated as to whether our old Sears (strong box ?) would really be fireproof to some degree for storing critical papers and external hard drive ect. Or might it double as a small faraday cage? (if you have knowledge of that.. if not please disregard) The material in the lid looks and feels like a very thick type drywall material. Our guess is that it weighs about 20-25 pounds with the lid.

The model number on the Sears sticker on the back of the lid is 61619-D3.

Thankyou sir.. we'll await your reply.

Hi Arthur,

First we have to start off by correcting a couple misconceptions.   While it may be fire "RESISTIVE", it is not fire "PROOF".   There is no such thing.   Second "Vintage" applies to the year of a grape harvest or wine bottling, NOT an old fire resistive container.

You are probably right as to its age being late 1960's or early 70's.   While it may still provide some fire resistance, it doesn't meet any current standards as a fire resistive container, and it isn't a "strong box".

As far as what its fire resistance was, if it didn't have a UL label indicating the standard it was tested to, then it isn't considered to meet any standard.

#1 - I wouldn't recommend storing anything other than "general purpose documents" in this container.   If you have "critical" or important documents, then you need a container that offers CURRENT fire resistive standards.

#2 - These containers were NOT meant to store any type of computer data or hard drives.   In general these types of data storage require EXTRA fire or heat resistance - and I'll explain why.

General purpose fire resistive containers are designed to keep the interior temperature below 350 degrees F.   The reason being that paper type documents "CHAR" at about 412 degrees F, and combust at about 451 degrees F.

Data type storage devices - including Floppy Discs, hard discs, hard drives, thumb drives, etc. etc. etc. all melt at about 200 degrees F.    Well below the protection level of a general purpose container.    These devices need special containers known as data storage containers.    These fire resistive safes or boxes are designed to keep the internal temperature below 150 degrees F.    This is 200 degrees F below a general purpose container.

Many of THESE types of containers ONLY give you this additional protection when THEY are stored inside of a current model, standard fire resistive safe.

If you need the extra protection, don't skimp - get the correct container which will provide the correct protection for your needs.

Hope this explains it and gives you a better idea of what you need.  

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland Safes from the 1860's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2013 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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