A lot of documents, such as medical records, banking statements, and even bills, are stored in the cloud or on digital thumb drives. However, essential paper documents still play a role in business and personal life, and as such, you’ll likely want to protect them. Whether you’re looking to add a measure of security to your visa or a certified copy of your birth certificate, a fireproof document bag can help.
The best fireproof document bag for you will depend on the documents you want to safeguard and the protection level you need. Ahead, learn more about fireproof document bags and find out why the following five are among the best available.
- BEST OVERALL: ROLOWAY Fireproof & Water Resistant Bag
- RUNNER UP: PmoYoKo 14×10 Fireproof Safe Storage Pouch
- UPGRADE PICK: ENGPOW Home Office Travel Safe Bag with Lock
- OVERSIZED PICK: Homiar Fireproof Document Bag
- PORTABLE PICK: ROLOWAY Small Fireproof Bag
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Fireproof Document Bag
A fireproof document bag should be thought of as “fire resistant” rather than fireproof, as this type of protective bag can and will fail to protect its contents from a raging fire. Instead, it offers a modicum of security against intense heat if a fire breaks out and the document bag is nearby.
Most fireproof document bags are made from silicone-treated fiberglass, and the better ones come with two or more layers of treated fiberglass for added heat protection. Some also feature aluminum foil liners. If the bag is amid actual flames, don’t expect the contents to escape unscathed. If you want absolute protection from fire, consider a fireproof safe that’s rated to withstand flames for 1 or 2 hours.
Fire Resistance Rating
No federal regulations exist for testing fireproof document bags, but manufacturers use materials known to be resistant to fires in making their bags. To determine the level of protection, look for the maximum amount of heat the bag can withstand, typically between 1000 and 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some bags bear a rating of “UL 94,” which means Underwriters Laboratories, a global safety certification company, has tested and approved the materials for resisting fire and melting. Still, not all bags will have this rating, and the rating is not an assurance of absolute fireproof protection.
Size and Compartments
Fireproof document bags range in size from envelope-size bags with a single compartment to larger, briefcase-size bags with multiple zipped compartments or pockets for keeping papers organized. Additionally, some fireproof document bags sell in sets, with a smaller bag you can tuck inside a larger one for additional protection.
Water and Heat Resistance
Most manufacturers also advertise their fireproof bags as waterproof or water resistant, which is important for two reasons. First, a tight seal is required to keep intense heat out of the bag, and that seal will often keep water out as well. More importantly, though, if the bag is in a burning house or the trunk of a car that’s in flames, the fire is likely to be doused with a water hose, so it’s nice to have a level of water protection for the stored documents in the bag.
Lockability and Closure Style
Fireproof document bags typically close with either a zipper made from fire-resistant materials, or they come with a snug-fitting, Velcro-type closure. Some models come with more than one type of closure, such as an interior zipper and an additional Velcro-type closure, increasing the bag’s fire resistance.
Items Being Stored
Common items stored in a fireproof document bag include property records, birth certificates, paper money, passports, and notes with written passwords to online accounts. Some bags are large enough to add other valuables, such as jewelry, antique photographs, or even digital thumb drives.
Tips for Buying and Using the Best Fireproof Document Bag
Merely sticking your documents in a fireproof bag offers a measure of protection, but don’t stop there—always store the bag in a safe spot. A few tips can help you get the most protection from your bag.
- When selecting a fireproof document bag, consider going a size larger because you’ll likely find additional items you want to store.
- The higher the fire-resistant rating, the safer your items will be. For optimal protection, look for a bag that can withstand at least 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put only dry items in the bag. Fireproof bags can trap moisture inside, making the documents smell musty or encouraging mold or mildew. Make sure all papers and valuables are dry before putting them in the bag.
Our Top Picks
These fireproof document bags withstand intense heat and feature strong, reliable closures. Depending on your individual needs, the best fireproof document bag for you might well be among the following models.
For protecting documents and other valuables in heat up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, consider this fireproof document bag from ROLOWAY. The bag measures 16 inches by 12 inches by 5 inches and comes with both a handle and an adjustable shoulder strap. Made from two layers of silicone-coated fiberglass, the bag features a high-quality zipper and a Velcro-type closure.
The ROLOWAY is large enough to store a stack of papers along with other valuables, or even a laptop. It also comes with a lockable zipper (lock not included). This bag also offers a measure of water resistance.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to help protect your important papers from a fire. The PmoYoKo storage pouch measures 14 inches by 10 inches, designed to hold multiple letter-size papers and folders. This affordable document storage bag is made from silicone-coated fiberglass.
The fireproof bag has a top zipper closure and offers a measure of protection from water damage. This bag will protect valuables in temperatures up to 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit. For peace of mind at a bargain price, the PmoYoKo could be just the ticket.
Multiple fireproof layers and numerous compartments make the ENGPOW well suited for protecting valuable items while keeping them organized for easy retrieval. You won’t have to dig around in this fireproof bag to find what you’re looking for.
The ENGPOW fireproof bag measures 14.2 inches by 10.6 inches and is 4 inches deep, offering plenty of room in the main compartment to store letter-size folders and papers. The inside of its zip top contains four mesh bags for securing passports or certificates and two additional compartment folders, enabling you to hold business cards and up to four flash drives.
This bag is built with two layers of silicone-treated fiberglass. A waterproof and fireproof zipper protects the contents from heat up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It also comes with a combination lock that keeps the contents secure.
To safely store large folders and legal-size documents, consider the Homiar Fireproof Document Bag. The Homier measures 17 inches by 12 inches by 6 inches, offering ample room for a laptop, multiple folders and documents, envelopes, and other valuables.
The Homiar bag features double layers of silicone-treated fiberglass and will resist damage up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It also comes with an aluminum foil lining and a water-resistant cover for added protection. This bag contains a fireproof and waterproof zipper in addition to a foldover Velcro-type closing. You can carry it with the attached handle or the adjustable shoulder strap.
Just the right size for safely stowing cash, a passport, or folded documents, the ROLOWAY Small Fireproof Bag is easy to tuck inside a suitcase or a backpack. It measures a diminutive 5 inches by 8 inches and will protect your valuables in temperatures up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
This ROLOWAY bag is made from silicone-coated fiberglass and comes with a fold-over, Velcro-type closure at the top. Pair it with a larger fireproof bag for added security, or store it in a fireproof safe for even more protection.
FAQs About Fireproof Document Bags
Fireproof document bags offer some protection for your essential papers against heat damage, but they don’t offer a 100 percent guarantee against a raging fire. If this is the first time you’ve considered buying one, you likely have some questions.
Can a fireproof bag replace a fireproof briefcase?
A fireproof bag is not as protective as a fireproof briefcase, but it will still help protect your documents and valuables. Storing your bag inside a fireproof safe or a fireproof briefcase will add additional levels of protection.
How fireproof are fireproof bags?
A quality fireproof bag will protect your documents from igniting from intense heat if they’re near a fire, up to about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature rises above that level or the bag falls directly into the fire, its contents could be damaged or destroyed.
What is a fireproof bag made of?
Most fireproof document bags feature one or more layers of silicone-treated fiberglass, which is known for its fire-resistant properties.