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Fireproof filing cabinets are constructed in a similar way to a fire safe and are tested in the same way to determine the level of protection.
There are two types of cabinets to choose from, vertical fire files and lateral fire files. Vertical cabinets are the most popular but do not always suit a customers needs. Lateral cabinets are most suited to a business that is storing different sized files.
As with fire safes, fire filing cabinets are tested for different periods of time in a furnace and by different testing companies. Smaller fire chests offer 30 minutes protection for paper documents but these offer only limited storage space. These are more suited for domestic use but can be used where documents need to be transported yet be protected from fire.
Fire filing cabinets are known as fire files in the safe industry and there are products with a 60 minutes, 90 minutes and 120 minutes rating, with a differing number of drawers. The length of fire protection that you need might be influenced by many things such as the types of documents being stored, your geographical location versus fire service and legal requirements.
Our recommendation is to always get a model with longest number of minutes protection that your money can buy, so it gives you peace of mind your documents are protected.
If you buying a fire filing cabinet for an office and your only option is to have them located on an upper floor, there are several things that you should consider.
TOP TIP: If you are in a serviced office, we suggest checking floor loading in advance to avoid any issues with the landlord.
There is an option to purchase a data insert with selected manufacturers, this is where an insert is placed into one of the drawers or more if required. The insert has additional fire protection to keep a small amount of data tapes also protected from fire.
Phoenix Safe and De Raat Security are the current manufacturers that these are available from.
It used to be that the only option for a fire filing cabinet was key locking. It is now possible to purchase them with an electronic lock or a fingerprint lock - both powered by batteries.
We have also been able to offer multiple locks so that two people need to be present for opening the cabinet - please call us for more details if this is a requirement.
There are a range of fire filing cabinets that offer water resistance as well as fire protection. They are designed to be suitable for use where sprinklers are installed however in the event the sprinklers are triggered and the cabinets sit in the water you may find that they will need to be replaced if the fire barrier material has been penetrated by the water.
There are a variety of different capacity cabinets from one to four drawers and 60 minutes all the way up to 2 hours. Some have water resistance and some models have been drop tested. This has given you the consumer a better choice but it can be confusing as to what model is best. Please feel free to call one of our friendly sales team if you require any assistance.
After reading our guide, you may find that a fire filing cabinet is too large or too expensive for your budget in which case there are fire safes available or fireproof cupboards that would suit you needs better.