Most people have a need for a good fire proof box in their home to keep valuable items such as important documents, money and jewelry safe and secure. Although some will have access to a safety deposit box at their bank, a fire proof safe box in the home can be much more convenient, especially for documents and other items that might be needed on a more frequent basis. When shopping for fireproof boxes, there are some features to look for to ensure you get one that is truly safe and secure.
1. Ability To Withstand Fire
Naturally, the most important feature of the safe is its ability to withstand fire without the contents becoming damaged. Before purchasing a box, you should check to make sure it is truly fireproof. Some boxes are actually not terribly resistant to fire, even though they may be marketed as fireproof. Look for a safe that is constructed using composite fire cladding, since this will provide more protection than many other construction methods.
2. Resistance To Fire Over Time
Check the box to see how long the box is able to withstand fire exposure. Some fire proof boxes only provide protection for a short amount of time, which means in the case of a fire, you would have to get the box out of the burning building quickly. On the average, a fire will generally burn for an hour or less, at least at its maximum temperature. In most cases, a fire proof storage box that provides at least an hour of protection will be adequate. However, there are also boxes on the market that provide fire protection for a longer time, up to 2, 6 or 8 hours for example, which can give you additional peace of mind.
In addition to the length of time a box can withstand fire, it can also be extremely helpful to check the Underwriters Laboratories rating. A fireproof box is rated according to the temperature that can be maintained within the box when directly exposed to flames. For example, if a box has a rating of “U.L. Class 350/one hour” that means the interior of the box will not exceed 350 degrees, even if it is exposed directly to flames for one hour. On the average, paper does not begin to char until it reaches a temperature of over 400 degrees. Because of this, you will find that U.L. Class 350/one hour is actually a common rating for these boxes.
4. Protection From Flood
It is also important to make sure that any box you choose is waterproof as well as fireproof. In the case of a fire, sprinkler systems and fire hoses can create a very wet environment within the home. It will not do much good to protect your important documents from flames if they end up ruined due to water damage.
5. Additional Security Features
If you plan to use your safe for security purposes in addition to fire protection, you should look for other features. For example, a fire proof cash box is often selected to counter the threat of burglary and crime in addition to providing protection in the case of a fire. In fact, many home burglary safes are also rated for fire protection, offering the best of both worlds. Burglars commonly use torches, drills and crowbars to gain entry to a safe, so look for one that provides enhanced security features such as thick steel doors and walls. It should also be heavy and or fixed to a surface, so that it cannot be easily carried away.
Quality and dependability are the two most important factors to take into consideration when choosing a box. Because you are counting on it to protect your most valuable possessions, you do not want to purchase an inferior fire proof box just to save money. After all, if a situation occurs where the box is actually needed, it will only have one chance to perform correctly.
More articles and tips to be found on Keep Safe At Home include,
- A guide to alarm monitoring companies and what to look out for.
- Information on the door lock actuator system for your car.
- Choosing the best sliding glass door lock, a classic entry point for burglars.
- Whether or not to go with a push button lock for home or business.
- Identifying a home security safe.