Important information about storing comic books in fire proof/resistant safes
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"The most important thing I do is I check them on a weekly/biweekly basis"

 

This is probably why you do not have problems with the safes. Bruce did not open up the safe for months. If you read the owners manual, it suggests that it be opened quite often.

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I wonder if bank safes have any of these problems. It's been about a year since I checked some of my books. 893scratchchin-thumb.gif

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If using a fireproof safe, I would recommend putting your cgc holders within a magazine size plastic bag[twice] 1 slid on top and one slid over on bottom.

I also use a humidity absorbing packet as a backup..Opening the safe once or twice a month to air it out to.

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Hi all,

 

I'm brand new here and just stumbled upon this post. Really sorry to hear about your bad luck, Bruce. I have a large (700 lb) safe and just wanted to add my 2 cents. It's an older model (the manufacturer is Mosler) and I don't think it's fireproof. I open it periodically to add/remove comics. Knock on wood, I've never experienced any rusting at all on books stored in it.

 

I've been using Hydrosorbent Silica Gel with good results....I have a humidor in it and monitor the humidity regularly. Like I said it's a pretty large safe, so I'm using two 750 gram canisters. The canisters are steel w/indicating crystals built into cap and protect 57 cubic fee each. When the crystals turn from purple to pink, I simply reactivate them in a regular oven. About 350 degrees for 3 hours usually does the trick. You can up the time but not the temp. They are cheap and I've been using them for quite a while (they claim the crystals will reactivate forever, and I've had no problems yet). They have a variety of sizes and I've also been using the small ones w/good results for other applications. Here's a link, they're available through Precision Reloading (as well as other places, I'm sure):

 

http://www.precisionreloading.com/silicagel.htm

 

Anyways, sorry if any of this info was covered already. Just thought it might possibly be useful to anyone looking at Silica as a means of controlling humidity.

 

Take it easy,

Gunnar

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thanks for the info and welcome to the boards................. thumbsup2.gif

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A new member asked in the watercooler in this thread about storing comics in a fire proof safe. I responded with the following (thought I might as well post it here as well):

 

Honestly, I don't see the purpose of a fire proof safe for comic books. Fire proof safes are not heat proof safes. It's my understanding that these safes are designed to keep their internal temperatures in a fire below 451 degrees fahrenheit, the temperature at which paper catches fire (more accurately, I think they're designed to keep their internal temperatures below 350 degrees). Anything inside will not stay at room temperature during a fire...it will simply stay cool enough to avoid igniting for a specified time period that varies by safe.

 

This is great for important papers that don't lose their importance if they become singed, dried out, or brittle (deeds, wills, insurance, etc).

 

But, try sticking your comic books in a 350 degree oven for half an hour and see what kind of condition they're in when you take them out. They won't catch fire, but I doubt if you'll think a fire proof safe is worth the money once the experiment is over.

 

Thoughts?

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This is great for important papers that don't lose their importance if they become singed, dried out, or brittle (deeds, wills, insurance, etc).

 

But, try sticking your comic books in a 350 degree oven for half an hour and see what kind of condition they're in when you take them out. They won't catch fire, but I doubt if you'll think a fire proof safe is worth the money once the experiment is over.

 

Thoughts?

 

I've had the same exact thought. Like you, I think a fireproof safe will keep the material from the actual flames, yet the contents would most certainly get a bit toasty.

 

In fact, I wonder if it would get hot enough to actually melt the mylar or bags to the comics... I presume the melting point for plastic is much less than 350 degrees.

 

confused-smiley-013.gif

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That's an interesting point about the plastic melting. I am using a 1300lbs gun safe that is fire resistant (not fire proof). One was in a fire. The owner had guns inside wraped in plastic lunch bags. The fire tore out the house for a good hour+. According to the owner the bags weren't melted though the heat was all over the safe area of the house. That particular safe used rockwool insulation as a heat barrier rather than fireboard (which I believe may release moisture to keep the flash point down). I would be interested to find out at what heat plastic lunch bag starts to melt.

On another note, it seems like the growing concensus in this thread is to concede books to potential fire rather than risk the damage of humidity. I still haven't gotten a clear idea in my mind of all the different fireproofing methods that are offered and which ones pose the problem. It seems to me the safes that cause the problems are the little ones you can buy at office depot. I haven't heard anyone report a large safe (non Sentry). Perhaps before a mass condemnation of safes is made, we should do a little research or take a survey of safe owners. For instance if safe humidity is the problem why not take a cross section of differnt safes and put Hygrometers in them to measure the rH. High humidity damage can occurs whether a book is in a safe or not. So it seems the issue shoulld be which kinds or styles of safes pose a threat and cause this swamp environment rather than "All safes are bad don't use them". sign-rantpost.gif

-This is not directed at anyone, just a voicing of my frustartion on how topics stagnate with speculation rather than resolution, of which I am as guilty of participation as any.

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That's an interesting point about the plastic melting. I am using a 1300lbs gun safe that is fire resistant (not fire proof). One was in a fire. The owner had guns inside wraped in plastic lunch bags. The fire tore out the house for a good hour+. According to the owner the bags weren't melted though the heat was all over the safe area of the house. That particular safe used rockwool insulation as a heat barrier rather than fireboard (which I believe may release moisture to keep the flash point down). I would be interested to find out at what heat plastic lunch bag starts to melt.

I understand what you're saying, but the point about internal temperatures is still a concern, even if the temperature isn't strong enough to melt the plastic. While this might not be a big problem with firearms, heat is one of the biggest enemies of your comics (as is moisture and sunlight). While the comics may "survive" relatively intact, the heat inside the safe will likely still impact them in a negative manner. And, when you're talking about comics, even minor heat related damage can have major implications.

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Hey guys… just an update and a few comments

 

I've been contacted by (2) other comic collectors that had the same, or similar safes and also suffered some rust damage but did not feel like publicly stating so on this thread. They have since stopped using the safes I was told.

 

Yet another owner of the same safe in question has indicated in this thread that he's had no problems… for years. As he mentioned, I suspect that the "major key" really is just opening the safe regularly to stabalize the environment and having effective dessicants… perhaps moreso with fireproof safes.

 

That said I'm not endorsing their use either. Regardless of this new info, I'm too gun shy to use the safe again. I've moved my expensive books to a safety deposit box.

 

 

Also… to answer "shonuff's" question… I didn't really think that the safe would protect my slabbed comics from a fire for too long. Ths safe was also "water-proof/resistant". I just figured this safe would resist heat a bit longer than a "non-fire proof" and IF there was a fire in which my comic room was drenched … the waterproof feature seemed useful as well.

 

Live and learn

 

I received my (2) books back this weekend that had suffered damage.

 

My 9.8 Universal Hulk 182 9.8 Winnipeg is now a "Green labeled "Qualified" 9.8 with replaced staples. I had Matt Nelson do the work and had him use staples from another Hulk 182 reader I bought so it would be as "original" as possible in my mind.

 

My 9.8 Universal Hulk 180 9.8 Winnipeg is now a Universal 9.6 as the attempt to legally (brush it) remove all the rust from the top staple failed. It did move from a 9.4 to 9.6 though which I'm thankful for.

 

I would have had them back sooner, but Matt forgot to let CGC know that the 180 was the Winnipeg Pedigree… so they had to be re-slabbed again to add that to the new label.

 

Thanks once again to CGC, particularly Steve, for the immediate/thorough attention and excellent advice. Thanks also to Matt Nelson for the excellent work on both books.

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This is great for important papers that don't lose their importance if they become singed, dried out, or brittle (deeds, wills, insurance, etc).

 

But, try sticking your comic books in a 350 degree oven for half an hour and see what kind of condition they're in when you take them out. They won't catch fire, but I doubt if you'll think a fire proof safe is worth the money once the experiment is over.

 

Thoughts?

 

I've had the same exact thought. Like you, I think a fireproof safe will keep the material from the actual flames, yet the contents would most certainly get a bit toasty.

 

In fact, I wonder if it would get hot enough to actually melt the mylar or bags to the comics... I presume the melting point for plastic is much less than 350 degrees.

 

Mylar 254 deg C (489 deg F)

 

Polyethylene (LDPE, the flexible kind that would be used in bags) 105 to 115 C (221 to 239 deg F)

(MDPE or HDPE, stiffer) 120 to 130 C (248 to 266 deg F)

 

Polypropylene (typical) 160 C (320 deg F)

 

Polystyrene (typical) about 240 C (464 deg F)

 

Barex (polyacrylonitrile copolymers -- I don't know which one of many commerical products like Barex 210, 214, 218 is used in "slabs" -- anyone know?) about 200 to 210 deg C (392 to 410 deg F)

 

Of these polymers, Barex probably produces the nastiest byproducts (hydrogen cyanide, etc.) when heated to its decomposition point.

 

Jack

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Top Staple... this is very painful to observe

 

 

1174902-Hulk182TopStaple.jpg

 

 

crazy.gifsorry.gif

 

Wow Bruce, this is simply unbelievable except in the fact it is believable as the evidence in the scan shows! Sorry on your loss of these great books! Here in North Idaho,not much humidity is here although i will give my books a great lookover with this new information.Darn always somthing to get at our beloved books! Again so sorry to hear about this for everyone involved!

 

Davidking623

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This is great for important papers that don't lose their importance if they become singed, dried out, or brittle (deeds, wills, insurance, etc).

 

But, try sticking your comic books in a 350 degree oven for half an hour and see what kind of condition they're in when you take them out. They won't catch fire, but I doubt if you'll think a fire proof safe is worth the money once the experiment is over.

 

Thoughts?

 

I've had the same exact thought. Like you, I think a fireproof safe will keep the material from the actual flames, yet the contents would most certainly get a bit toasty.

 

In fact, I wonder if it would get hot enough to actually melt the mylar or bags to the comics... I presume the melting point for plastic is much less than 350 degrees.

 

Mylar 254 deg C (489 deg F)

 

Polyethylene (LDPE, the flexible kind that would be used in bags) 105 to 115 C (221 to 239 deg F)

(MDPE or HDPE, stiffer) 120 to 130 C (248 to 266 deg F)

 

Polypropylene (typical) 160 C (320 deg F)

 

Polystyrene (typical) about 240 C (464 deg F)

 

Barex (polyacrylonitrile copolymers -- I don't know which one of many commerical products like Barex 210, 214, 218 is used in "slabs" -- anyone know?) about 200 to 210 deg C (392 to 410 deg F)

 

Of these polymers, Barex probably produces the nastiest byproducts (hydrogen cyanide, etc.) when heated to its decomposition point.

 

Jack

 

I was told by a firefighter that there was an guy who opened his safe after they had pulled it out of a house that had just burned down, the paper contents instantaneously combusted when the safe opened. The firefighters had warned the owner to let the safe cool down...he surmised that the oxygen had been sucked out of the safe during the fire and a soon as it was opened....POOF.

 

I don't know if this is an urban legend, but it would make sense that the paper would not combust in the safe if there was no O2. But I imagine the heat would destroy the paper quality of a collectible.

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Top Staple... this is very painful to observe

 

 

1174902-Hulk182TopStaple.jpg

 

 

crazy.gifsorry.gif

 

Wow Bruce, this is simply unbelievable except in the fact it is believable as the evidence in the scan shows! Sorry on your loss of these great books! Here in North Idaho,not much humidity is here although i will give my books a great lookover with this new information.Darn always somthing to get at our beloved books! Again so sorry to hear about this for everyone involved!

 

Davidking623

 

893whatthe.gif

 

So sorry to see that! Christo_pull_hair.gifThat image is so disturbing, it should be rated for mature audiences.

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Thanks to this thread, and Bruce's loss, some of my valuables

may be a bit safer. Here in Houston, humidity is the big mama.

I have two above ground upright gun safes. One is for the firearms,

hey, I'm in Texas, and if you don't own several rifles, well....

Number two is for the valuables. Wifes baubbles, important

paper documents, actually squeezed a small filing cabinet into

one side, and my coins, stamps and slabs.

I found a product at Home Depot called THIRSTY HIPPO,

a dessicant in a tub container, about the size of a small coffee

can that seems to do a pretty good job of absorbing the

inevitable moisture that develops in the closed closet. Sometimes

we don't open the closet for a week or more, blankets, hurricane

supplies, ironing, that sort of stuff, and now that "been closed up"

stuffy smell isn't there anymore. My dad has been using this

product in some of his rental homes for years and I never knew.

I mentioned it to him when we were bolting the safes down and

he aimed me at it. He tells me that he can put a tub in each

closet of a house that may sit vacant for 6 months at a time, and

they are always fresh. Hope this adds to the discussion.

Phil

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Furthermore does anyone know of a safe that I could store all of my CGC books in that I could keep shut for long periods of time without having to worry about staples rusting? I was looking at these. LINK If you read the description it states,"...these safes will also accommodate paper documents." I could always buy one, and if the staples rust I could take legal action against the manufacturer. After all my dad is the local district prosecutor. :devil::devil:

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I have an additional question about safe deposit boxes. My has this plastic box to put all your stuff in that slides in and out of the box. Should I ditch this box? Does it pose a danger to my books?

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You would think some safe company would have designed a safe for the storage of paper items. Gives me an idea 893scratchchin-thumb.gif

 

There has to be a archival friendly safe. many place probably use something along those lines..

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I realize I'm late to the party, but this thread should save me some grief. I had just put my comics inside a safe about 2 weeks ago. Time to find a new space in the crowded apartment.

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What a heartbreaking thread. I'm really sorry to see this happen to your books Bruce. Its like a freak accident or something, that just makes you step back and wonder. Anyways, I wanted to say, after reading all this that one positive thing about safes ( I think) is their deterant to burglary cuz of the weight and lock. Most burglars just want to get in an out of the house as fast as they can......

or so I've heard. Still, I know that doesn't address the issue of the rusty staples.

 

Maybe CGC will end up partnering with a safe manufacturer or something. Someone who will make safes specifically for comic storage. Maybe??

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