Is The Safe in Your Home Fire Rated?
Many people find it useful to have a safe in their homes for storing small valuables and important documents like passports, birth certificates, wills, stock certificates, car titles, and property deeds. While a safety deposit box at a bank would theoretically offer more protection against theft, home safes are more convenient when it comes to items that you need to access frequently.
Fire Protection is Needed
When purchasing a home safe, many consumers focus more on protecting items from theft or loss and forget to consider the need for protection against fire. According to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association, the average person has a one in four chance of having a fire start in their home. These statistics are based on fires that are large enough to require assistance from the fire department. If you secure your important papers in a locked drawer or a locked box that is not fireproof, your documents could easily be destroyed in a fire. But if you invest in a fire rated safe, you can protect your documents and you’ll have one less thing to deal with as you recover from the fire.
Fire Ratings Explained
The primary factor considered in fire ratings is the safe’s ability to protect its contents from extreme temperatures. The more delicate the items you wish to store inside your safe, the better the fire rating and the lower the interior temperature should be. For example, if you want to store CD or DVD backup files, your safe should be able to maintain an interior temperature of 125 degrees or less during a fire. If all you need to store is paper, you can get away with a safe that is only rated to maintain an interior temperature of 350 degrees or less. Most home safes can withstand about 30 minutes of high temperatures while still protecting their contents. This is normally sufficient because home fires spread and burn quickly.
Additional Safe Features
Once you have determined what kind of fire rating you need, you still need to consider other safe features, such as the size, locking mechanism, level of theft protection, and water resistance. Investing in a fire rated safe that is also water resistant is a very good idea, because the safe will likely get soaked when the fire department comes to extinguish the fire. Theft protection is less of a concern, because most home invaders are not dedicated enough to cut open a safe to find out what’s inside, and will probably be deterred by the simple fact that the safe is too heavy to carry. That leaves size and locking mechanism to consider. To determine the size you need, pile up the items you want to keep in the safe and measure them. For most people, a 1.2 cubic foot safe is sufficient for storing documents and small items at home. As for the locking mechanism, choose whichever you are more comfortable with—digital or manual.
No matter what kind of fire rated safe you may need, you can rely on RMB Lock & Key to help you select the best model, provide emergency opening services, and change the combination for you as needed.