For many people, the possibility that their files could be damaged or destroyed completely, in a fire, is unacceptable. One option to safeguard against this threat is a fireproof file box. There are a number of models out there and there are quite a few good choices at both the high end and the low end of the price spectrum. This is good news for the prospective buyer, but can also make it difficult to make a decision. There are three main things to think about when shopping for a fireproof box: size, price and function.
One of the most common builds of fireproof file boxes is Sentry, who makes a number of products across a range of prices. The Sentry H3300 and F3300, two of their high-end products, offers resistance to both fire and water. The latter claims one-hour fire protection so long as temperature does not exceed 1700°F, and promises that the temperature within the box will remain a cool 350°F. Its interior capacity is 1.3 cubic feet, which puts it on the large side of average, and it features a key lock for additional security. This is not a lightweight model. Due to the interior rubber waterproof gasket, the F3300 checks in at a weight of ninety pounds. This may be too heavy for those only looking for fireproofing, but it is worth it to consider the fact that a house engulfed in flames is usually doused with a large quantity of water.
For those not concerned with water damage, one fireproof file safe option to consider is the SentrySafe 1170. This falls in the mid range on the price spectrum and does not have all the features of the higher end product. At .61 cubic feet, it is considerably smaller, but still suitable for most home use. It is only classified to withstand flames for half an hour at 1550°F, but additionally promises to protect a variety of digital media such as discs, USB drives and memory sticks. At 13.6 pounds, it is considerably more portable than the 1170.
First Alert offers a similar fireproof file box in their 2037F model. It is of comparable size to the SentrySafe 1170 and also promises half an hour of fire resistance in temperatures up to 1550°F. It includes a key lock for added security and, unlike the 1170, is waterproof as well as fireproof. Although at 42 pounds, it is not a light model, it is still relatively portable, and is more reasonably priced than its Sentry counterpart is.
On the low end of the price spectrum is the SentrySafe 500 fire safe box. At 0.15 cubic feet, this is one of the smallest options for fireproof file storage. Its small size and low cost make it a good option for someone looking only to protect a few important files and media. It offers similar fire protection to the previous two models, with half-hour fire resistance at temperatures up to 1550°F. This model is not waterproof and at 11.6 pounds is not actually that much lighter than the 1170 model.