So you’ve decided that you need a fireproof safe for your home or business, but where do you start? In understand the different types of fireproof models that are available on the market, you should create a checklist of items that you plan on securing and understand how vulnerable they are to heat and fire. This will ultimately decide what type and how large of a security safe you need.
Are you storing backup media for your business (CDs, DVDs, Tape Cartridges, Videos, etc)? Or are you storing precious photos or jewelry or heirlooms that could be affected by extreme heat? How many items and how large they are also will help you determine which type of fireproof safe you should invest in.
So What Exactly is a Fireproof Safe?
Well, the answer is simple, but often misunderstood. A fireproof safe is a safe designed to protect content from heat and fire. Most safes are often as advertised with a UL rating for a specific amount of time. Just because a security safe says it’s fireproof, doesn’t mean it is completely indestructible!
Confused about UL Ratings? Well let’s explain. UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is a non-biased not-for-profit organization that tests and rates the safety of consumer products. If you’re looking for a fireproof, be SURE to examine the UL rating which will tell you more about the specific rating that security safe has earned.
UL Ratings for Fireproof Safes
- 1/2 hr – UL class 350. This rating means valuables can withstand up to 30 minutes with outside temperature of 1550 degrees.
- 1 hr – UL class 350. This rating means valuables can withstand up heat to 1 hour with outside temperature of 1700 degrees.
- 1 hr+ – UL class 350. This rating means that valuables can withstand heat for up to 1 hour with an outside temperature of 1700 degrees, plus survive an impact with a drop from 30 feet.
- 2 hr – UL class 350. Valuables are protected for up to 2 hours with an outside temperature of 1850 degrees.
- 2 hr+ – UL class 350. Valuables are protected for up to 2 hours with outside temperature of 1850 degrees, plus survived drop test onto rubble from 30 feet
Choosing a Model
Using this guide to UL ratings can help you determine which type of fireproof safe you need. Once you have identified how much protection you need, look for a trusted manufacturer, such as Sentry Safe or Protex Safe. Both companies offer fire resistant safes in various sizes for residential or commercial use.
Many fireproof safes come with a variety of locking mechanisms including combination locks, electronic locks which open via an electronic PIN, or the increasing popular biometric safes.
Each type of fireproof safe has it’s own advantages in allowing (or preventing access to the safe), and mos come with some sort of override key to provide access should a combination be lost. Also, many fireproof safes come with adjustable shelves and compartments to help keep your valuables organized.
Investing in a fireproof safe may seem expensive once you start comparing models; however, most safes will provide a lifetime of benefits and the peace of mind that comes with knowing your priceless valuables are protected from theft, smoke, water, and fire.