Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

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AmmoAngel
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Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#1 Post by AmmoAngel » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:56 am

Would love to hear of any experience or stories you all have on ammo in house fires. Also, I have a question about storage.

Tonight, I've been reading through some articles that try to explain how dangerous (or not dangerous) ammo is in a house fire.
It's my current understanding that...
1) Boxed ammo isn't necessarily dangerous
2) But loaded guns are dangerous if they "cook off"
3) And ammo in metal containers or metal ammo boxes can explode

So my main questions is... is my rifle safe considered a metal container? LoL

I've been keeping my ammo in plastic ammo cans :thumbsdown: but then put some of them in my safe.
Should I take them out of the safe to be safer for firefighters?

I know fires are unlikely but living in CA... can never be too careful.

A few of the websites I've been reading / videos I've been watching have conflicting info so, in general, I'm going with what the fire dept pages say.
There are some interesting stories on this page. :no: https://my.firefighternation.com/forum/ ... on-is-this
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#2 Post by Bisbee » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:36 am

If the metal safe can let air out from small rounds going off then the safe is less likely to explode in a fire. If it is airtight then it can potentially go off like a bomb if the gunpowder ignites.

Think of it like earthquakes in CA. Several little earthquakes that release pressure over time is preferable to one large earthquake which releases all built up pressure in one go. That, in a nutshell, describes an explosion.

But you are right, ammo doesn’t need to be kept in a safe. Most aren’t that valuable.
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#3 Post by SailDesign » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:56 am

Bisbee wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:36 am
<snippage!>

But you are right, ammo doesn’t need to be kept in a safe. Most aren’t that valuable.
I have to admit that my reasons for using an ammo safe are less to do with value than with grandchildren. And/or their friends. My gunz are stored in a very hard-to-find locked cabinet, and the ammo on another floor, in a safe.

So far, the grands don't actually know I have any of either, and that is the safest - but if they do find one or the other, it is doubly hard to get them together - and nothing is stored anywhere "ready-to-use."

Value? The grandkids are valuable enough to warrant the safe. :)
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#4 Post by Bisbee » Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:37 pm

Yeah, I did consider other instances of “security” for keeping ammo locked up as well as the guns.
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#5 Post by shinzen » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:40 am

Specifically as related to fire, as Bisbee noted, ammo doesn't need to be stored in a metal box to be safe. When it cooks off, the exploding ammo will take the path of least resistance, and without the barrel to direct the explosion, it won't develop enough velocity to be a major danger. A round in a gun is another story, as the explosion will be contained in the barrel, so it will go off potentially as it normally would when you pull the trigger. Odds are pretty good of that only happening once, as the rest of the bullets are in a magazine in the grip, or in the case of a rifle, just in the magazine, so they would likely cook off first.

As to keeping a box in the safe, unlikely to be a major issue, but if it was airtight and you had enough in there, maybe? Most safes I've seen are not airtight, so probably not an issue.
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#6 Post by SailDesign » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:48 am

I knew I'd seen this somewhere... Extremely informative video.

https://saami.org/publications-advisori ... refighter/
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#7 Post by FlyGuy » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:13 am

Mythbusters did a show on this. They lit an entire pallet of ammo on fire. Nothing more that a stack of black cats going off.

Chambered rounds on the other hand, are of course as dangerous as pulling the trigger.
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#8 Post by TrueTexan » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:47 am

If you reload there are all the components to think about, powder and primers. They should not be stored in metal cabinets or ammo boxes. Stored in those containers or any container that is tightly sealed, except for the original plastic containers, they can become bombs. I now store my powder on a self above the reloading bench, I don’t have and cat’s or children around to get into the powder. I did store the powder in a wooden cabinet with an easy open door. When we moved to the new house that changed.

How about your gun cleaning solvents. Most are petroleum organic chemical based or alcohol based and are flammable. Are they stored near your powders or your ammo?

When you are looking at things around your house that could be a problem in a house fire, look in your garage. How many have the multi-gallon metal gas cans. In my younger years I was a volunteer fireman. I went to all the training including the Texas A&M fire school. One of the classes was about flammable liquids. One Gallon of Gasoline vaporized in a closed area ignited is equivalent to two full sticks of dynamite in explosive power. Might trade the five gallon metal gas can for plastic or store the stuff in a shed away from the house.
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#9 Post by AmmoAngel » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:42 pm

All great things to think about. Thanks, everyone.
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#10 Post by DuneHopper » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:17 pm

I use a gov rated 6ft file cabinet. It will allow air to escape, and being none are in a firearm, it could help allot in containing it.
I put the plastic and steel boxes in the steel cabinet. They are not airtight either. It then has two padlocks and full length bar.
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#11 Post by TrueTexan » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:05 am

DuneHopper wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:17 pm
I use a gov rated 6ft file cabinet. It will allow air to escape, and being none are in a firearm, it could help allot in containing it.
I put the plastic and steel boxes in the steel cabinet. They are not airtight either. It then has two padlocks and full length bar.
Remember Ammo doesn't need air to burn. When not in a gun the ammo heats up in a fire condition the primmer will explode or the powder will burn in the case causing the case to rupture. Remember in a fully involved room in a house fire the temperature can go well above 1100 degrees. This can cause a simultaneous chain reaction and as pressure in a metal box or case increases, even when not airtight, creating an explosion if the container has lid with a device to hold it close. That file cabinet with the bar Was designed to hold confidential or classified information, not ammo. Even not being airtight it is air restricted therefore in a fire could cause an explosion depending on how much ammo is stored in it.

These are things I learned in the above mentioned fire train and in the BATF bomb class I was able to attend in the early 1970s.

Best to look at what is the recommend fire codes for storage requirements of reloading powders. Normally it is a lockable wooden cabinet. The same type cabinets can be used for ammo.
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#12 Post by stainless65 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:35 am

Very informative, with actionable advise on a subject I've been thinking about for some time. Awesome!

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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#13 Post by Eris » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:58 am

stainless65 wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:35 am
Very informative, with actionable advise on a subject I've been thinking about for some time. Awesome!

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Sounds like a spammer comment, especially since you are supposed to be in California, but just used a UK spelling. Methinks your phone has been hacked.
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#14 Post by lurker » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:36 pm

dang, we ARE tense.
:wacko:

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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#15 Post by TrueTexan » Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:50 pm

Came across a good article on fire and the gun safe.

https://gunsafereviewsguy.com/articles/ ... e-ratings/
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#16 Post by stainless65 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:45 pm

Eris wrote:
stainless65 wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:35 am
Very informative, with actionable advise on a subject I've been thinking about for some time. Awesome!

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Sounds like a spammer comment, especially since you are supposed to be in California, but just used a UK spelling. Methinks your phone has been hacked.
I've been lurking here for years. I assure you, I am no spammer and my phone isn't hijacked. I work in tech with a very international crew, so my spelling may sometimes reflect that.

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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#17 Post by stainless65 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:56 pm

Back on the subject, tho...

I keep my ammo in milsurp boxes, and those inside one of those construction site boxes, which I lined with sheetrock as a sort of heat shield in case of fire. There seem to be somewhat differing opinions on those ammo boxes wrt them being air tight. Anyone think drilling a tiny hole somewhere on the box is a good idea, just to relieve pressure in the worst case scenario?

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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#18 Post by SailDesign » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:27 pm

Eris wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:58 am
stainless65 wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:35 am
Very informative, with actionable advise on a subject I've been thinking about for some time. Awesome!

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Sounds like a spammer comment, especially since you are supposed to be in California, but just used a UK spelling. Methinks your phone has been hacked.
"Advise" is correct for the verb in both countries. Not a UK spelling of "advice"
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#19 Post by stainless65 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:07 pm

To be honest, I couldn't figure out what spelling mistake I'd made!

People have sure gotten prickly around here in the last couple of years. Yeah... Trolls n spammers, blah blah. It's pretty much why I don't comment much.

That said, I do value the discussion here and will probably continue to lurk and occasionally attend an event.

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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#20 Post by lurker » Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:22 pm

it's the price of success. LGC is starting to look like a fat target.
re spelling, you used the verb form in place of the noun form. the grammar and spelling nazis will be knocking on your door in 3...2...1...
:wacko:

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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#21 Post by SailDesign » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:16 pm

lurker wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:22 pm
it's the price of success. LGC is starting to look like a fat target.
re spelling, you used the verb form in place of the noun form. the grammar and spelling nazis will be knocking on your door in 3...2...1...
Too late with the warning - already there. :)
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#22 Post by Bisbee » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:45 pm

Ride of Paul Revere post 2018...

“The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!”
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#23 Post by Eris » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:49 pm

stainless65 wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:45 pm
Eris wrote:
stainless65 wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:35 am
Very informative, with actionable advise on a subject I've been thinking about for some time. Awesome!

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Sounds like a spammer comment, especially since you are supposed to be in California, but just used a UK spelling. Methinks your phone has been hacked.
I've been lurking here for years. I assure you, I am no spammer and my phone isn't hijacked. I work in tech with a very international crew, so my spelling may sometimes reflect that.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
OK then. Sorry for jumping on you.
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#24 Post by Eris » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:51 pm

SailDesign wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:27 pm
Eris wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:58 am
stainless65 wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:35 am
Very informative, with actionable advise on a subject I've been thinking about for some time. Awesome!

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Sounds like a spammer comment, especially since you are supposed to be in California, but just used a UK spelling. Methinks your phone has been hacked.
"Advise" is correct for the verb in both countries. Not a UK spelling of "advice"
Hmm. I read "advise" in that sentence as a noun, so it seemed to me to be an alternate spelling of "advice".
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Re: Ammo in a House Fire... advice on storage please!

#25 Post by lurker » Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:09 pm

it's fine, it'll be fine.
:wacko:

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