FAQs > A Guide to Fire Protection

Fire safes are designed to protect your valuables in the same way as a normal safe but with the added advantage of being fireproof. This is vital when storing important documents
The key factor when buying a fire safe is the fire proof rating. This lets you how well the safe will withstand different temperatures and for how long. E.g. a 1 hour 350 degree F rating shows that safe has been subjected to a 1700 degree F fire for a period of 1 hour, and that the temperature inside the safe did not exceed 350 degrees F. Above 350F or 177C is the limit above which paper is damaged.
Fire safes normally (though not always) also have a burglary rating measured in minutes. The higher the rating the greater the security offered by the safe.
Locking mechanisms available include mechanical combination dials, mechanical key locks, electronic keypad locks, and biometric locks. The electronic keypad type of locking mechanism tends to be easier to access and maintain than the mechanical dial or key lock type. It is also possible to get fire safes with biometric locks which offer even more security. These safes utilise a fingerprint scanner to allow access to the safe. You simply hold your finger to the scanner which upon reading grants access.
Fire safes with electronic locks usually log entries allowing for tracking of all access attempts to the safe.
What do the terms mean?
Fire Safes - Safes which are designed and tested to protect PAPER documents from the effects of FIRE. Fire Safes are designed to maintain the internal temperature below 177° C - the temperature that paper is damaged. Paper ignites at 230° C.
Data Fire Safes - Safes which are designed and tested to protect PLASTIC Data/Media, such as back up tapes, negatives, micro-fiche and DVD/CD media, from the effects of FIRE. Data Safes are designed to maintain the internal temperature below 52° C - the temperature that plastic data/media is damaged by fire.
Eurograde Tested - Security safes that have been tested to the European Standard of EN1143-1. Any safe tested to this level is respected by the European Insurance Industry for protecting cash or valuables overnight up to various cash levels depending on model and grade. This is the ultimate test for security storage.
Cash Rating - A cash rating is a method of classifying security safes by their security level. Manufacturers design their safes to meet various levels of security and these are designated by a cash rating from £1,000 up to £150,000. All cash ratings can be multiplied by 10 if valuables such as jewellery are being stored instead of cash e.g. a security safe with a £4,000 cash rating will cover jewellery up to £40,000. Always seek advice from your Insurance company if you are not sure what level of security you require.
Electronic Locks - Electronic locks are powered by standard alkaline batteries that can be purchased in every High Street. Each lock has a low battery level indicator, but even if the battery is flat the internal memory of the lock will retain the user code. Electronic locks are both reliable and flexible as the code can be re-programmed as many times as required.

Fire Safes in Action!