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What is the difference between a modular fireproof vault and a standard vault?

Class 125 Four-Hour Rated Vault Door

A modular fireproof vault and a standard vault differ in several key aspects, including their construction, installation process, flexibility, and customization options. Here’s a breakdown of the main differences between the two:

1. Construction:

 – Modular Fireproof Vault: A modular fireproof vault is constructed using modular components or panels that are manufactured off-site and assembled on-site. These components are typically designed to be fire-resistant and provide security against theft and other threats. The assembly of modular components allows for flexibility in vault design and size.

 – Standard Vault: A standard vault is usually constructed on-site as a single, solid structure made of materials like reinforced concrete, steel, or other heavy-duty materials. It is often custom-built to the specific dimensions and requirements of the space.

2. Installation Process:

 – Modular Fireproof Vault: Modular vaults are installed by assembling prefabricated panels and components. This installation process is typically quicker and less disruptive than constructing a standard vault from scratch. It also allows for easier relocation or expansion of the vault if needed.

 – Standard Vault: Building a standard vault on-site involves extensive construction work, including excavation, pouring concrete, and reinforcing walls and ceilings. This process is more time-consuming and may require significant modifications to the building structure.

3. Flexibility and Customization:

 – Modular Fireproof Vault: Modular vaults offer a higher degree of flexibility and customization. Organizations can select modular components to meet their specific security, fire resistance, and size requirements. These vaults can be expanded or reconfigured relatively easily.

 – Standard Vault: Standard vaults are typically custom-built to fit the available space and specific security needs of the organization. While they can also be customized, making changes to a standard vault’s design or size after construction is more challenging and costly.

4. Portability:

 – Modular Fireproof Vault: Modular vaults have the advantage of portability. They can be disassembled and relocated if necessary, making them suitable for businesses or organizations that may need to move or expand their secure storage areas.

 – Standard Vault: Standard vaults are permanent structures that cannot be easily moved once constructed.

5. Cost:

 – Modular Fireproof Vault: The initial cost of a modular fireproof vault may be lower compared to a standard vault due to reduced construction time and labor costs. However, the overall cost can vary depending on the chosen components and features.

 – Standard Vault: Standard vaults often involve higher construction costs due to the extensive on-site work, custom design, and use of heavy-duty materials.

6. Lead Time:

 – Modular Fireproof Vault: Modular vaults typically have shorter lead times because the components are prefabricated off-site and can be assembled more quickly.

 – Standard Vault: Building a standard vault from the ground up may require longer lead times due to the construction process.

The choice between a modular fireproof vault and a standard vault depends on the organization’s specific needs, budget, timeline, and the level of flexibility required. Modular vaults offer advantages in terms of customization, flexibility, and ease of installation, while standard vaults provide a more traditional, permanent solution with potentially higher construction costs. Organizations should carefully assess their security and storage requirements before making a decision.

FIRELOCK® provides these articles for information purposes only. We do not necessarily provide all products and services mentioned; they are for comparison purposes only. Always contact a professional about non-FIRELOCK® products and services mentioned. 


Since 1982, FIRELOCK® has been the world’s leading manufacturer of media-rated modular vault chambers. Unlike poured-in-place concrete vaults, FIRELOCK® vaults are constructed from individual panels, filled with a heat-resistant ceramic material, and they are lightweight, movable, and expandable. When combined with current high-density storage systems, FIRELOCK® vaults offer extremely high space efficiency at a considerable cost advantage per cubic foot of storage. The value of assets stored in FIRELOCK® vaults today reaches hundreds of billions of dollars and ranges from priceless animation cells and World Wrestling Entertainment videos to pharmaceutical research records and U.S. Department of Education student loan information.

With a FIRELOCK® vault, you invest in the highest-performing vault on the market today to ensure the protection of your most vital records and irreplaceable items. You gain the ability to store microfilm, computer media, file servers, and paper in one location, as well as the peace of mind that comes from knowing that all the environmental- and fire-protection elements are in place.FIRELOCK® has been in business since 1982, and we have installed over 2000 vaults around the world. Because of this broad experience, we know how to build a vault that will provide you with maximum protection today and the flexibility to grow with you into the future.