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How to choose the best fire and data safe

A security safe will protect valuables against security threats and accidental damage, giving you the peace of mind that they’ll be kept out of harm’s way. If you’re looking to shield documents, media files containing sensitive information, and back-ups against theft and fire, you will need a fireproof safe.

What are fire and data safes?

Fire safes (also known as fire cabinets) protect digital and magnetic media, paper, and other valuable items against smoke and heat damage, often caused by fire. Available in a variety of sizes, they can store several items reliably.

Fire and data safes usually have an insulated-walled body with a special fire-resistant composite that releases steam when heated up. This helps them keep the temperature inside the safe low, reducing the risk of items combusting.

Because of their thickened walls, fireproof safes may appear more spacious than they actually are. That’s why it’s crucial you check the internal dimensions before you purchase a fire and data safe for your home or office.

5 factors to consider when choosing a fire and data safe

1.    What do you need to store in the safe?

There are two main types of fireproof safes:

  • Fire safes for paper
  • Fire safes for data

Fire safes for paper are ideal for storing important documents, such as birth certificates, passports, property deeds, bank account details, wills and papers containing confidential information.

Fire safes for data are perfect for tapes, CDs, DVDs, USBs and hard drives. Digitised media can melt at a lower temperature, so it requires more protection than paper.

2.    How big does the safe need to be?

The internal size of the fireproof safe is a crucial factor to consider. As mentioned above, the safe is much smaller on the inside due to the amount of insulation material used to make it fire-resistant.

Before you invest in one, think carefully about where you’ll install it. And don’t forget to consider the size and number of items you intend to stow inside the safe to ensure everything fits perfectly.

3.    What type of lock would you like?

Fire and data safes come in a selection of locking mechanisms – ranging from simple keylocks to advanced electronic locks and convenient biometric (fingerprint) locks.

Key-locking fire safes are typically sold with two keys and limit access to those in possession of one or both of the keys. Unfortunately, keys can easily be lost, stolen or copied, compromising the security of the items held within the safe.

Safes with combination locks provide an extra level of security – allowing you to access the safe using the key or combination.

Electronic locks also offer a higher level of security than conventional mechanical locks. These require you to enter a code or passcode, which can be changed as many times as you want. Some systems enable you to set up unique codes for multiple users too.

4.    How much insurance cover do you need?

When shopping for fire and data safes, it’s recommended that you check the level of insurance cover it provides for the valuables you wish to stow inside.

The location of your safe will play a big role in the level of insurance cover provided, so it’s always worth double-checking with your insurer to ensure your safe and its contents are fully protected.

5.    What fire rating do you need?

All fireproof safes provide resistance against heat and flames for a specified length of time – be it 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes or 120 minutes.

To determine their fire rating, they undergo a series of tests, including an explosion hazard test. This simulates the safe being subjected to high temperatures and tests whether it will break and cause an explosion.

A fire endurance test is where the safe is placed into a furnace. Experts then assess how long it can withstand heat and humidity. A fire drop test looks closely at the effects of the safe being dropped from a burning building – can it withstand the heat and fall, or does it damage easily?

Many insurance companies refer to the fire rating when determining the degree of coverage for the items held inside the safe. As with most things, the higher the fire rating, the higher the insurance cover – meaning your possessions will be better protected in a safe with a high fire rating.

Invest in a fire and data safe online

Now you know a little more about fire and data safes, you should have a better idea of which is best for your requirements. However, if you have any questions regarding fireproof safes, you’re more than welcome to contact the team at eSafes. Always on hand to help, they can guide and advise you, ensuring you benefit from fantastically low prices.

Already know which fire safe you need? Be sure to scroll through the extensive range available on eSafes.co.uk – you’re bound to find it.

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