Not all safes on the market are fireproof. Most safes do not offer any fire protection at all, so it is important to check the safe you are purchasing gives you the protection you require.
When purchasing a fire safe it is important to choose the right safe for whatever it is you are planning to store within it. Different types offer differing protection levels, so to ensure you are protected there are a few simple rules to follow.
If the items you want to store are paper documents such as wills, passports and other paperwork you should choose a safe that is listed with fire protection for paper/documents. These have protection levels that start at around 30 minutes fire resistance and can go all the way up to 120 minutes protection.
The protection of digital media, hard drives and data from fire, requires a very different type of fire safe. In this instance choose a safe that is listed as a fire safe for digital media or data (different types of data storage require different safes). Fire safes for data tend to have thicker walling and are generally much heavier than a fire safe for paper/documents due to the need to protect the items within from heat.
Fire safes in general are usually bolted through the base into a concrete floor and tend to be heavier than a traditional security safe. It is important that they are fitted according to manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that the proper protection is being given to the items within.
There is no fire test for belongings such as jewellery, watches, cameras or other similar items so when looking for a safe for these items alone, choose a safe with good security as its primary function. If you are looking to put paper items within a safe that also contains these items, look for an AiS Approved safe that is provided with 30 minutes fire resistance for paper/documents. In this instance you will be getting the security you need, combined with the piece of mind of some fire protection for your paper documents.
Finally, always check with your insurance provider when purchasing a safe and seek professional advice if unsure of your needs.