Purchasing a fire proof safe for your home or place of business is the right way to go. Keeping your valuables such as jewelry, cash, important documents etc.. "safe" is important. Here is some important thing to remember when choosing a safe that will do the job you want it to do. There are many different types of safes available in the market today, drop safes, gun safes, fire rated safes, and much more. So your probably asking yourself, how do i choose a safe thats right for me? Most people just know that they need or want a safe and have an idea of the size of safe they are looking for. well the answer starts by asking yourself what am i using this safe for? where will i be keeping it? will anyone else have access to this safe but me? ask yourself these questions before choosing a safe. Today safes are more complex than ever before but we’re here to help you understand the buying process when it comes to safes. Let’s start at the beginning as we try to understand what exactly a fire proof safe is – these sorts of safes are designed to release moisture during a fire. That means that as the outside of the safe gets hotter, the inside can maintain a mild temperature so that papers and other valuables are less likely to catch on fire. This moisture inside the safe is released and ensures that the temperature inside the safe won’t raise to a level at which these precious objects would ignite. Most safes are rated by how long your papers and valuables will be protected. For example, small safes may have a half hour rating but most carry a rating of between 1 and 3 hours total. Typically these sorts of safes will protect any documents that you as a home or small business owner require. If you work at a large scale company that protects official records you might require a four hour safe. In addition to these sort of ratings, safes may also be tested by any one of the following testing organizations:
- Private Laboratory Testing
- K.I.S. (Korean Industrial Standard) Fire Test
- U.L. (Underwriters Laboratory) Class of Fire Protection
The most thorough and widely recognized of these is the UL Classes. These ratings mean that the safe has been sanctioned by an independent organization and not just the manufacturer and have a different (but complementary) set of ratings. For example, a UL Class C safe is proven to protect papers to a temperature of 1700F for one hour. This is equivalent to a One Hour Rating. If you want more information on the types of tests that are done during fire testing, take a look at these links 1. Fire Endurance Test 2. Explosion Hazard Test 3. Fire Impact Test If you are aiming to protect more than just your papers, you might also want to consider a media safe. Now more and more people are storing their precious valuable documents electronically – often by CD or DVD. Electronic media is more sensitive to heat than is paper, these special media safes are better protected and more heavily insulated. As a media safe has to maintain a lower internal temperature than a safe designed for paper goods, it is safe to store your paper in a media safe but not safe to store your electronic media in a paper safe. Understanding this complex set of safe rankings will help equip you with the tools to chose the best safe for your needs and the needs of your family. A special word of warning though: if you buy a fire safe, don’t expect it to protect against burglars unless the safe says it is BOTH fire and burglar protected!