How to Fire proof stored ammo in the home

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by wolfrem68, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. wolfrem68

    wolfrem68 Member

    I read the threads describing what people have and how they prepare. I live in Texas and as you may have seen lately, grass fires have destroyed hundreds of homes and killed several people that did not have the time to get out of their home. In times like these I possibly will not have the time to gather all the ammo cans I have stored in my home.
    My wife and I were talking and began wondering what we would do if the house caught on fire and fire fighters came; and then the ammo began cooking off rounds. I would hate it if someone got hurt due to this cause. Has any one ideas of how I could possibly construct a place in the home that could protect the metal cans from over heating to the point of rounds going off? I do not have room in the gun safe. I thank you in advance for any and all information.
  2. Ezmerelda

    Ezmerelda Well-Known Member

    Pack it in PVC pipes, sealed, buried at least three fee deep?

  3. kejmack

    kejmack Texas!!!

    We buried a lot of ours. We also buried a few food items "just in case".

    Since I work in emergency services, I can tell you that most departments will not send personnel into a fire scene if they know there is live ammo for that reason.
  4. drifter0069

    drifter0069 Member

    The pvc idea is ingenious. never thought of that before......
  5. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Insualtion is key. If you have a garage (or shed or .... ) that can be setup with a firebrick coated room for storage of the ammo, it would work, but, as you know, heat rises. A better choice would be to put the ammo lower than what the surrounding fire would be able to heat up - go underground like the others have said.

    If you have a garage, is is possible to cut the concrete floor and put in an "oil-change-pit" that can hold the ammo? A hinged door that is also fire proof (resistant) would make it easy to check your stocks and collect what you need for the day.
  6. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

    Ammo that is not in a chamber fizzles when hot. The bullet comes out but at a speed slow enough to most likely not be able to penetrate skin or clothing. It doesn't go off like a regular round since the energy can be dissipated in all directions.

    If your ammo is chambered in a weapon, yes, it'll go off with a bang and a lot of speed but I wouldn't worry about ammo stored that's open. Check with your Fire Department to confirm. Also, should your house catch on fire, let the firemen know where it is so there's no surprises.
  7. TimB

    TimB Member

    I thought about that with my ammo stores. I went into my basement (poured walls) and built a small cabinet using Type X fire-rated drywall. 5/8" type X is rated at 1hr. minimum but I doubled the front, top, and sides (probably over-did it) for safety. Been a couple of years but I only spent about $50 for everything at Home Depot.

  8. hillbilly

    hillbilly Active Member

    You do not know what happens with ammo in a fire if you say it only fizzles,When my house burned in 03 we found lead inbedded in all the wood work for 20 feet around where my ammo was stored in a closet underneath boxes of hunting clothes I will admit there was about 8000 rounds plus black powder and caps in there to.But when I got home they ask me if there was any other ammo stored anywhere else in the house so they could go in safely.
  9. Ezmerelda

    Ezmerelda Well-Known Member

    I can't really take credit for the idea. I read it somewhere and it stuck. :eek:
  10. partdeux

    partdeux Senior Member

    [ame=]Mythbusters - Bullets exploding inside an oven - YouTube[/ame]
  11. Ezmerelda

    Ezmerelda Well-Known Member

    Gotta love those Myth Busters!

  12. melaseic

    melaseic New Member

    How did you design your cabinet? Could use the advice.....
  13. hiwall

    hiwall Just walking at the edge of my grave

    Here is the Real info on how ammo reacts in a fire. No BS stuff in this vid.
    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  14. TheLazyL

    TheLazyL Cowboy

    Wish they would have tested metal ammo cans full of ammo and in a fire. I'd guess the ammo can would remain closed and contain all of the flying debris?
  15. readytogo

    readytogo ExCommunicated

    Ammo likes a clean air dry temperature control environment so the idea of a pvc pipe is great but humidity will kill the ammo ,ammo should be rotated just like food items in storage ,we in the military had well ventilated underground storage facilities with nice little stacks of 155mm rounds to grenades and rockets so since most house fires burn at an average of 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, a good safe rate at 1700 degrees for 2 hours should be good enough. How much ammo is also a key factor a underground safe with a heat resistant refractory concrete walls and firebricks will work great(3000 degrees).Build one in my friends house closet.
  16. Caribou

    Caribou Time Traveler

    hiwall, I cried through the entire video. I had to go over to the local college and get aroma therapy and a coloring book.

    We regularly get ammo at the range that has light primer strikes, was just dropped on the floor, or for some other reason did not fire. It is collected and given to the local volunteer fire department for training. The fire fighters get to stand around and let the shells bounce off their turnouts as they cook off.
  17. TimB

    TimB Member

    Nothing fancy as I am not a carpenter. :p Just screwed a frame together out of 2x4s (4' high and 2' deep) and screwed the sheetrock to it. In my original post I believe I said I doubled the top, sides, and front. I doubled everything including bottom and back.
    It was similar to this-

    Attached Files:

  18. Uriel

    Uriel Member

    It's great that you educate your firefighters like that. Is this something that happens across the board or is it only at station level? In a nation with lots of guns I would think it would be mandatory.

    Just a thought but it's worth bearing in mind that when firefighters arrive on the scene they probably don't know what's inside. There could be ammunition in boxes or there could be loaded guns in the house. At the end of the day these guys have to make a call on whether or not it's safe to enter/stay inside a building. I know the O.P was worried about the safety of the firefighters themselves but put the scenario in a slightly different context where maybe you have a family member trapped in the house. Firefighters arrive on the scene to find rounds pinging off walls etc. I think you can safely say in most cases that if these guys know someone is in there and they have a reasonable chance of reaching them they are still going in but there are no guarantees....
  19. AmmoSgt

    AmmoSgt ExCommunicated

    Couple thought storing ammo in a basement if the house catches fire most of the burning house will end up in the basement.

    temps of 1100-1200 you will have a lot of lead vapors and lead dust you will want breathing protection and wash your hands and handle any clothing as contaminated.

    Ammo cans/ spam cans will rupture from the pressure as it builds up but as soon as their is a venting from the rupture it will burn as advertised in the video

    I am personally in the process of switching to plastic ammo cans , they are cheaper than the metal ones, don't rust, seal up better, and soften and vent sooner, and are lighter.

    reloading powders and primers

    Primers store in original packaging
  20. hiwall

    hiwall Just walking at the edge of my grave

    You can bury anything you want out away from any structure and it will likely be safe and secure, fire or no fire.

    My wife and I are looking at properties for our move in the spring. Sometimes she says "Oh look at all the pretty trees!" I then tell her that I would cut them all down if they were within forty feet or so to the house. She just thinks I am mean;)