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Here at Simply Safes, we often get asked if our safes are fire resistant.
Here is a helpful buying guide to help you through the myriad of choice, when buying a fireproof safe for the home or office.
It is worth bearing in mind at this stage, a good starting point is to choose from the three types of protection available:
Paper gets damaged at a higher temperature in a fire than the other two types of media. Magnetic media in comparison, gets damaged at the lowest temperature and subsequently these types of safes have much thicker walls and are heavier.
Safes are tested in a very scientific way to ascertain the period of the time that items inside are protected for. The safe is placed inside a furnace, while it reaches the temperature for the test. Once the temperature for the test is reached, the timer is started. Usual testing periods of time are 60 minutes, 90 minutes and 120 minutes. Sensors are placed inside the safe to check what level the temperature reaches, the temperature that is being checked for will be dependant upon what type of media the test is for.
Some manufacturers will test the safe further by dropping it from a specified height to simulate it falling through the floor of a building.
Different testing laboratories will test safes for fire in slightly different ways and we elaborate on the different tests available below.
There are several types of different fire tests that manufacturers can use to approve their products. Some manufacturers might test their products with more than one laboratory due to the different countries they sell too. Listed below, are a selection of the different tests that are featured on the products we sell.
The NT test is a Swedish test and has long been deemed one of the best tests for paper and magnetic media. UL72 Class 350 is an American test lab and is found on products mainly sold in the United States. LFS 30P and 60P are found on safes that also feature security and are certified by ECB.S.
If you have important documents or data to protect from fire, we always suggest choosing a safe that has been tested. Some manufacturers and retailers might recommend a fire rating but for your peace of mind, a model with a proper test is our strong recommendation.
It is more common for models that are sold in the USA to feature both water protection and fire resistant. These are products from Sentry Safe and Masterlock. You might see what look like seals on other models these are not waterproof. Please see our specific section on waterproof safes.
Yes, there are three security grades from Chubbsafes which are from the Trident range that feature the ECB.S EN1143-1 explosive test. These models also have fire protection for paper documents for up to 60 minutes.
Pearls are very unique and are made by living organisms. If you store pearls in a safe it would not be protected from fire as they damage at such a low temperature. They also do not favour the very dry environment inside of a fire safe. You might want to consult a jewellery specialist as to how best store them securely when not wearing them.
There are a variety of different tests available and what you are storing will need to be protected by a model with a relevant test. Paper documents can be stored in a model tested that has been tested for paper and have 60, 90 and 120 minutes protection available. Magnetic media has the same test lengths.
If you want to protect a mixture of items then we suggest choosing a magnetic media safe that is larger than required. This will mean that you do not need to purchase two safes.
You might not have room or budget for this so you may opt for two smaller models in this instance.
In the event of a fire and your safe is on an upper floor it might be wise to consider a model that has been drop tested. This is where the safe is put through the normal fire test and then dropped from a specific height. The drop test simulates a fire safe falling through a floor to the floor below and remain intact to keep the contents protected.
Your choice of fire resistant safe will vary depending on your requirements. Should you require a model with fire and security certificates, you might be limited to a safe that has an LFS fire certification. This is an approved level of fire protection but is not at the higher temperatures seen used with the Swedish NT test.
Here at Simply Safes, we are finding that fire resistance is becoming more important to our customers and our strong recommendation is to always look at what test the fire rating has. Some of our competitors claim various levels of fire resistance but some models do not have the proper testing to back this up.