Fire-Rated Safe Does Not Mean Fire Proof, and Those Ratings are More Important than You Think
Ever wonder how effective a fire-rated safe is? Or whether it’s worth getting a fire-rated safe instead of a burglar-resistant safe? Alford Safe and Lock explains fire-rated safes and why they are so important. If you’re thinking about purchasing a fire-rated safe, be sure it’s the right choice for you with this safe guide.
What is a Fire-Rated Safe?
A fire-rated safe, though it may surprise you, is not completely fire-proof. A safe that is rated to withstand fire has insulation packed into its walls. A safe with more insulation can withstand a hotter fire for longer periods of time. However, the safe will not withstand any temperature for an indefinite amount of time.
A fire-rated safe is rated for the interior temperature it will maintain and for how long. For example, a safe rated for 350 degrees for one hour will keep the inside of the safe below 350 degrees for only one hour. After the one-hour time period expires, the safe is no longer guaranteed to keep its contents below 350 degrees. The fire rating for a safe is extremely important to consider before buying a safe.
What Are the Ranges of Fire-Rated Safes and Why are They Important?
There are many companies that provide testing and certifications for fire-rated safes. Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a non-profit organization, has been rating products for more than 100 years. Fire-rated safes come in a variety of ratings for different temperatures and time length. UL has three classes of ratings for safes, which indicate at what temperature the inside can be kept. The class ratings are essential in telling you what can safely be stored within the safe.
- Class 125-rated – protects digital files and information
- Class 150-rated – protects magnetic strips and photographs or film
- Class 350-rated – protects paper products
Along with the temperature class, a time limit will accompany the rating, for example, “Class 350-2 Hours,” means it will keep the inside of the safe below 350 degrees for two hours. No matter who certifies the safe for a rating, make sure it is rated for what you want to protect and for the desired period of time.
What Items Should Be Stored in a Fire-Rated Safe
As mentioned before, fire-rated safes are classified for their interior temperature which is important when you’re considering what you need to store. Electronics need to be kept at a much cooler temperature to avoid melting, while paper can withstand up to 350 degrees before discoloring and about 410 degrees before beginning to scorch. Important documents, files, film, guns, and other valuables can all be stored within an appropriately fire-rated safe. Safes that are made to protect against heat come in a variety of sizes to help you store what’s most important to you.
What Fire-Rated Safe Should I Buy?
If you’re looking to buy a fire-rated safe then stop in at Alford Safe and Lock in Baton Rouge. We can help you select the fire-rated safe for you, your valuables, and your location. We know exactly what questions to ask to get you the best safe. For example, we’ll ask if you live in the city or country because response time for fire departments vary between the two. If you live in the country, you’ll most likely need a safe that is rated for a longer period of time than you’d need if you lived in the city. No matter where you live or what you want to protect, we can help find you the perfect safe.
Call Alford Safe and Lock today, and get the best fire-rated safe for your needs.