Fireproof Hard Drives and How They Work

The computer hard drive or hard disk drive is one of the most important pieces of hardware for both personal and business use. Today we store all of our precious family photos, videos as well as business and research data on external hard drives for many reasons and backing up data from the primary hard drive to a backup drive is a simple process that can be done manually or with software to automate the process. The important thing to remember is that backups occur on a regular basis.

Hard drives are mechanical devices (with moving parts) and will eventually stop working. This can be due to overall use, virus or even a natural disaster such as fire or flood. Because of the nature of hard drive failure, it is very important to backup data to an additional hard drive or external disk drive to ensure complete recovery from loss of data, corrupt files or the complete loss of your storage device.

External fireproof hard drives provide a common sense approach to data backup and offer additional data security from fire, flood, water sprinkler systems and fire hoses. Since the majority of fires also has water present this combination of protection essentially provides an insurance policy for your precious data. Although fireproof hard drives vary from model to model, they typically are built to withstand fires up to 1700 degrees F and can do so from 30 minutes up to 1 hour.

Today, there are many fire safe hard drives available in the market that you can purchase for about the same price as a regular external drive. Most importantly it is beneficial to understand how a hard drive operates inside a fireproof safe to overcome the buildup of heat. Storing hard drives (active electronics) inside a fire safe is a new technique that has been developed over the last decade. In comparison to traditional fire safes where you would store a hard drive inside, the newer fire resistant hard drives can be directly attached to your computer, laptop or PC so you can easily backup directly into a USB storage device.

During normal operation the hard drives remain cool with airflow going through specially designed air chambers. Once the temperature of a fire starts to rise, tubes melt and seal off the outside heat from fire from entering. While the fire burns outside, water that is embedded into the insulation surrounding the hard drive begins to evaporate, creating a cocoon that keeps the hard drive cool. Once the fire has been extinguished by the fire department, the drive can be opened and the disk inside is functional. This means that the data inside can be recovered from the drive and used as if the fire never occurred. If a fire disaster does occur, all manufacturers of the external hard drives offer data recovery services and replacement hardware.

No matter what type of fireproof hard drive you choose, it is always beneficial to consider the pros and cons of all hard drives and backup your data on a regular basis. There are many independent consultants, computer stores and electronics retails outlets that can provide you with exceptional advice and guidance to determine the best storage solution for your unique needs. From the perspective of the homeowner or business owner that is currently paying for fire and flood insurance premiums, a fireproof hard drive can be a valuable investment.