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What is a Fireproof Safe?

2019-09-29

A lot of people would know what a safe is and would usually have or use one with the mindset to keep valuable secured and deterrent to theft. With protection from fire for your valuables, a fireproof safe is highly recommended and necessary to protect what matters most.

A fireproof safe or fireproof box is a storage container that is designed to protect its contents in the event of a fire. The type of fireproof safe varies from fireproof boxes and chests to cabinet styles to filing cabinets all the way up to large storage facilities such as a strong room or vault. When considering the type of fireproof safe box that you need, there are a number of issue to consider, including the type of things you would like to protect, the fire rating or the time it is certified to protect, space required and lock type.


Type of things that you want to protect is separated into groups and are affected at different temperature limits


  • Paper (177­oC/350­oF): items include passports, certificates, polices, deeds, legal documents and cash 

  • Digital (120­oC/248­oF): items include USB/memory sticks, DVDs, CDs, digital cameras, iPods and external hard drives

  • Film (66­oC/150­oF): items include film, negatives and transparencies

  • Data/magnetic media (52oC/248­oF): items include back-up types, diskettes and floppy disks, traditional internal hard drives, video and audio tapes.


For Film and data media, humidity is also considered a hazard and under testing criteria, fire protection also requires humidity to be restricted to 85% and 80% respectively.


A fireproof safe can come under attack externally from smoke, flames, dust and hot gases and a blaze can typically rise to around 450oC/842­oF but even higher depending on the nature of the fire and materials that are fueling the fire. Quality fire safes are tested to higher standards to ensure that there is adequate protection to a typical fire. Therefore, safes that are properly tested are given a fire rating: i.e. the length of time for which its fire resistance is certified. Test standards range from 30 minutes to 240 minutes, and safes are exposed to temperatures ranging from 843oC/1550­oF to 1093­oC/2000­oF.



For fireproof safes, internal dimensions will be much smaller than its external dimensions due to the layer of insulation material surrounding the interior to keep the temperature below critical levels. Therefore, one should check that the fireproof selected has adequate interior capacity for your needs.


Other issue would be the type of lock that is used to secure the interior of the safe. Depending on the level of security or convenience that one chooses, there is a selection of locks that can be chosen from ranging from key lock, combination dial locks, digital locks and biometric locks.


Regardless of concerns or requirements, there is one sure thing, everyone has valuables that can’t be replaced, and a quality certified fireproof safe is a necessity to protect what matters most.


Source: Fire Safety Advice Centre “Fireproof Safes”, http://www.firesafe.org.uk/fireproof-safes/    


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