When it comes to protecting money, valuables and important information, concerns often go beyond thefts and security breaches.
Environmental resistance and protection in cases of fire are vital to ensure that critical documents and valuables are not lost and a business can continue after a disaster.
To this end, fireproof safes and cabinets work to protect their contents from the extreme conditions caused by fire and are typically used not only for important valuables but also to store dangerous or flammable items that could serve to accelerate a fire.
Fire resistance is based on a set of standardised principles built around protecting for as long as possible.
Fireproof safes, much like fireproof doors and other fire safety equipment, is typically intended to maintain a set lower temperature inside the safe than outside, and are graded by how long they can do this.
There are two typical standards for fire-resistant boxes, safes and storage units, described in BS EN-1047.
Document safes are graded to keep the safe’s innards lower than 177°C (351°F), which is the burning point of paper documents, whilst data safes are designed to be kept at a temperature lower than 55°C to protect electronics.
Both of these types of safe need to maintain this low temperature even in the middle of a fire, which is tested at 1,000°C, and 30-minute increments.
This helps to determine the overall time a safe can be on fire before damage is caused to the contents of the safe.
Impact tests are also done, to ensure that a fall caused by, for example, the collapse of a burning building does not damage the contents of the document or affect the fireproof grade.