Safes have been used for thousands of years to keep valuables secure from thieves. Typically the first thought people have when buying a safe is, “can this keep my stuff safe from burglars”. However, there’s more to protecting your assets than guarding against thieves. Being able to protect your valuables from fire is just as important, yet rarely considered. If you’re planning on taking the next step in asset protection by getting a fireproof safe, there are a few things you need to consider. Here’s what you need to know before buying a fireproof safe.
Not All Fireproof Safes Can Protect Electronics
Just because a safe is fireproof does not mean that you can put whatever you want in there. It’s important to understand that while a fireproof safe can keep flames from engulfing your possessions, the interior can still heat up considerably. Most electronics become damaged when exposed to high heat. So while things like cash or jewelry might be safe, take caution when placing any electronics inside your safe. Some safes are designed with electronics in mind. So if you plan to store a flash drive, laptop, or other electronic devices, pay attention to the safe’s specifications. This will help ensure you buy the right safe.
Not All Fireproof Safes Have The Same Fire Rating
There are several choices to consider when purchasing a fireproof safe. However, not all are created equal. Fireproof safes have a fire rating. This essentially tells you how long a safe can endure flames before it becomes compromised. Since a house fire typically moves from one room to another, you’re safe probably won’t be exposed to fire any longer than an hour. So when choosing your safe look for a rating that protects from fire for at least an hour or longer.
A Safe Is Only Fireproof For So Long
Fireproof safes are made to handle the intense heat that comes with fire. However, while they are typically made of steel and have a high melting point, no safe can endure fire forever. Eventually your safe will give into the flames if exposed too long. This is one reason why you should pay close attention to the fire rating. That being said, there are ways to extend the time your valuables can remain safe during a fire. Getting a safe with a built-in fireboard and protective fabric will help keep the interior insulated and free of excessive heat. This way you can keep your valuables safe for a longer duration of time.
Fire Resistant Doesn’t Mean Fireproof
One of the biggest points to consider when purchasing a fireproof safe is the difference between fireproof and fire-resistant. People tend to think of their safes as fireproof. They’re even marketed that way. However, no safe is truly fireproof. Truth be told, regarding safes fireproof and fire-resistant are really the same thing. Every safe will eventually burn down if exposed to high enough heat for a long enough time. When purchasing your safe don’t get caught up in the terms. Focus more on the fire rating. A fire-resistant safe with a better fire rating will do a better job than a fireproof safe. The rating is what needs attention when making this purchase.
While there is always some small possibility of your possessions being damaged in a fire, there are safes that can greatly limit that chance. Finding a safe with a great fire rating, fire seal, and fireboard and fabric are all ways to improve the effectiveness of your fireproof safe.
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North American Safes provides assistance to our customers through repairs, lock changes, and relocations. When it comes to safes, we are there to help in any and every way. Contact us today with any questions you may have!