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SCARY image from MSN - coin related

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With the thousands of lost homes and many lost lives in the California fires, coin collecting is a very minor, unimportant thing by comparison. But there may be a lesson for coin-collectors. The following image showed up on MSN with the caption:



Mike Maddock shows remains from his

fireproof safe after recovering them from

his destroyed mobile home in Crest.



Don't know how to link to it directly.



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Actually I think the safe did a pretty good job. The paper is only slightly singed and I cant comment on the coins since I have no idea what they are/were.


Fireproof safes usually only provide protection for 30-45 minutes. This is usually more than sufficient time for the fire department to respond. In the California fires there is no response at all because everything is on fire. Therefore the safe probably had to protect for much longer than 30-45 minutes.


I keep paper documents in my firelined safe in a separate fire protection bag. This further protection is supposed to be good for an additional 30-45 minutes. That should be more than adequate. But I hope I never have to find out. smile.gif



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I'd agree that the safe did pretty well. Having lived through the Los Alamos fires of 2000, I know that even the hottest fires take a lot longer than 30 minutes to burn a house down.


Fire proof safes were developed primarily to protect important documents. The intent was that documents would still be intact and legible after a fire, not in perfect shape. Fire proof safes will basically wreck coins, other metal objects, jewelry, photographs, etc., as they can get very hot inside and release a great deal of water into the interior of the safe in a fire.


Your best bet at home for coins, etc.: a floor safe with a small portal in a concrete floor of a basement. Make sure it seals out water.



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I think that safe did an excellent job. Perfection isn't the goal. Like what has already been stated it's general document preservation at it's most basic format that is the safe's goal.

For me I use a Sentry fireproof safe, one of the larger models. Basically I don't feel I own enough in coins to merit renting a safe deposit box. I also don't have enough to merit buying a large $ 1,000 plus safe. I mounted my to the floor. Basically I'm just looking to keep thieves out, (your basic burglar won't waste time with it, and it's cleverly disguised!).

I have heard about firesafes being bad for coins because of a moisture rich environment, but I counter that with like a million of those tiny little anti-moisture bags. What are they called again...silica gel I think? I also use alot, and I mean alot of intercept shield products. maybe as I get older and invest more into coins I'll beef up the security measures.

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