Fire safes protect from fire. That's just what they do. At least that's what they are supposed to do. And most of them do a pretty decent job. They don't protect from fire for an endless length of time, however. They are designed to protect from heat for a reasonable amount of time. Studies have shown that the average house fire lasts around a half hour. That's about how long it takes for firemen to extinguish the fire, or for it to burn out. This is the length of time you can expect good fire safes to protect what is inside them.Having realistic expectations is a good starting point when searching for fire safes that will best serve your needs. It doesn't do anybody any good to expect forever protection, when that just isn't going to happen. Enough heat for enough time and whatever is inside the safe is going to get damaged. Fire safes not only protect from fire. They also protect from theft, just like any regular security safe. Some models can be bolted to the floor, and others can be secured in other ways that make stealing pretty tough on the bad guys. If you are starting a new construction project and thinking of installing a safe, then lucky you. That is the perfect time to integrate a safe into your plan. You can have a customized location designed with your safe in mind. If I were going to design a custom place for fire safes, I would give some serious consideration to having my concrete contractor work with me to make a home for them in the floor. Protection on three sides from the concrete itself makes damage from fire, or loss through theft pretty tough, or at least less likely. A safe in the wall can be made pretty secure, but not nearly as much as if it is built right into the floor. I would also be sure to design the top to be recessed into the floor so that rugs or other coverings could be put over the top to hide access. I'm sure that you, and others, can come up with even more creative ideasA few years ago I had a friend who's house burnt down. Luckily he had his important documents, some cash, and some important family possessions in one of the better fire safes. After the fire had raged and ruined everything, it eventually went out. Much to the surprise and delight of my friend, the contents were found unharmed. Even though the safe itself had been severely damaged, the inside was intact. His safe was actually one of the fire safes made by a company called Sentry. He swears that he will never buy another brand again. His experience and the experience of other Sentry safe owners is pretty compelling.One thing to watch for when shopping for fire safes is the claims made by some manufacturers. Claims that safes are fire proof need to be examined critically. You might, for example, find out how long the safe is designed to actually "fire proof" the contents for. No safe is completely fire proof, fire resistant is more correct. Do your due diligence and check out the wide range of fire safes available as soon as you can. Peace of mind is worth a lot.