Fireproof safes are constructed in such a manner that cannot actually be airtight leaving them vulnerable to damage. However, they are usually resistant to the flames for long enough to ensure that your valuables are kept safe.
Fireproof safes have a fire-resistant layer sandwiched between the inner and outer layers of steel. The most commonly used materials are perlite, a form of volcanic glass and vermiculite, a mineral that is mined in countries such s Russia and Brazil. Both materials expand when heated and are widely used in large fire doors and cupboards.
A fireproof safe resists the incredible heat of a fire through releasing steam. This method of cooling the exterior involves evaporation and is the reason why the safe isn’t actually airtight. The steam escapes through special vents and shouldn’t be confused with its capacity to be watertight. Some of the moisture will inevitably find its way into the interior so you are advised to store items in waterproof containers.
Amount Of Protection
Fireproof safes are designed to withstand a fire for one hour, one and a half hours or two hours. The differences are due to the amount of fire resistant padding and will ultimately affect the price of each model. Each type is thoroughly tested by being exposed to fire with a heat of around 1700 degrees Fahrenheit. The fire rating indicates the length of time the safe will remain undamaged, preserving the contents within.
The Drop Test
Fires that burn for long enough will damage the structure of a building causing floors and ceilings to collapse. A fireproof safe has to be tested to determine its strength in withstanding being hit and buried beneath heavy debris. To recreate this, the safe will be dropped from a height of thirty feet to study the effect of such an impact.
Fires can also set off explosions from the gas mains. To test if a fireproof safe will come through unscathed, it is cooled before being placed inside a furnace that has been pre-heated to approximately 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. The sudden change in temperature will trigger an explosive reaction unless the safe has an adequate resistance.
Choosing A Fireproof Safe
Consider the length of time it might take for the fire service to attend a fire. This will determine the length of protection to choose. Visit Secure Safe for a great range of fireproof safes.