Vault Door Fire Protection

Fortifying Your Home: The Top 5 Vault Door Features for Ultimate Fire Protection

Safeguard Your Valuables Against Intense Heat and Flames: A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Fireproof Vault Door

In the pursuit of optimal home security, especially against the destructive power of house fires, selecting the right Custom Vault Doors becomes a crucial decision for homeowners.

Understanding the key features of Fire-Resistant Vault Doors that ensure maximum protection against intense heat, often exceeding 1400 degrees Fahrenheit, is essential.

Key Features of a Fire-Resistant Vault Door

A heavy steel vault with custom engraving reading the vault opened up.

Heavy Steel Construction

1. Heavy Steel Construction:

At the heart of every Elite Vault Door is its robust construction. Unlike lighter steel alternatives, heavy-duty steel vault doors offer superior resistance to fire, smoke, and even high-pressure water sprays, typical during firefighting efforts. Our Heavy-Duty Steel Vault Doors feature steel plates as thick as 1 inch, far surpassing standard commercial fire doors in durability and resilience.

Pro Tip: Did you know the door frame is just as important as the door for fire protection? Any warping caused by a hot fire can cause gaps that allow smoke and flame to get through. That's why our frames are heavier than all of our competitors. Our heavy rigid frames help keep the door sealed during a fire.

FLEXILODICE® Seals showing before and after expansion


Before and after expansion

2. Expanding Fire Seal:

A critical component in any Fire-Resistant Vault Door, the expanding fire seal activates at temperatures around 300°F. These seals, primarily intumescent based, expand 9 times their original size to seal off air gaps, effectively blocking smoke and flames. This feature is particularly crucial in ensuring that your Custom Vault Doors provide smoke and flame protection during a house fire.

Pro Tip: These seals are made of the same material that are used to protect steel beams used in skyscrapers. In fact, this seal provides insulation value as well as smoke and flame protection. The expanded material acts as insulation to help keep the heat of a fire out of your room.

stacks of grey fireboard


Fireboard is a specialized product which has a gympson core and contains glass fibers and other non-combustible materials.

3. Heat Insulation and Absorption:

Addressing the risk of internal temperature spikes, Fireproof Vault Doors incorporate materials like rock wool or ceramic fiber, commonly used in blast furnaces. These materials, capable of withstanding temperatures over 2000°F, are integral in maintaining a stable internal environment. Additionally, the use of gypsum fireboard, a key element in our Ceramic Fire Blanket Insulation upgrade, helps to absorb heat and control temperature rise, offering an additional layer of protection to your valuables.

Did you know that gypsum boards are almost 20% water by weight? This water absorbs heat during a fire and is released as steam. The gypsum board can absorb heat during the hottest points of a fire to slow heat coming through your door.

the outside view of a properly installed dark grey steampunk vault door.

Properly Installed Vault Door

4. Proper Installation:

Ensuring that your Vault Door is installed correctly is as crucial as its design. A correctly installed door, in contact with concrete or block walls, with minimal gaps and devoid of flammable materials near its front flange, significantly enhances its fire-resistant capabilities. The application of fire-resistant caulking can further bolster the door's defense against fire.

Pro Tip: Not only will a properly installed door help keep fires out, it will also help keep your door functioning properly. When a vault door is installed over top of wood or gypsum board, those materials can compress or expand over time. This can cause your door to shift. So if you installed your door in the winter and it worked well, you may find it becomes difficult to operate in the summer when the wood expands because the summer air is more humid.

5. Vault Room Construction

The overall safety of your vault room, potentially doubling as a Storm Shelter Safe Room, relies on the construction quality and design considerations. A well-designed vault room, free from structural weaknesses, is critical in complementing the safety features of your Custom Vault Doors. Attention to details like venting, electrical installations, and smoke baffles are essential in creating a comprehensive fire protection strategy.

Pro Tip: To get the best fire and storm protection, your vault room walls should be at least 8” poured concrete walls with rebar. The ceiling should be concrete as well. An ideal location is under the front porch - since this will be a concrete slab, it can double as the ceiling of your vault room.


Combining these five features in Elite Series Vault Doors, such as those offered by Smith Security Safes, ensures an unparalleled level of protection for your valuables during a house fire. The strength of our Custom Vault Doors, combined with Ceramic Fire Blanket Insulation and Expanding Fire Seal, creates a formidable barrier against extreme heat and flames. In the journey to fortify your home, choosing the right Fire-Resistant Vault Door with Internal Release mechanisms is a significant step towards safeguarding your irreplaceable possessions against fire hazards.

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