What are Fireproof Chests Designed For?
When it comes to protecting documents and computer media that matter to you but are of no interest to burglars, the ideal purchase is a fireproof chest. Fireproof chests are small in size but robust in nature, and are perfect for items of sentimental value like precious photographs that could not be replaced in the event of a house fire.
The Benefits of a Chest Rather Than a Safe
There is now a vast range of fireproof chests on the market that provides similar protection to a fireproof safe, and which have been tested to the same rigorous standards. Rather than being weighty and cumbersome like a safe, they are smaller and more portable and much easier to store, as well as to be much less expensive. This makes them ideal for homes and small offices. Often a chest will have a basic level of anti-theft protection, and will also have a waterproof seal protecting access to the contents, meaning anything inside will be resistant to water if a needs to be extinguished.
Their small size doesn’t make them less effective, as many models can still provide up to 90 minutes of protection against heat, to stop paperwork burning inside. Many are also suitable for computer media like DVDS and USB drives, CDS and external hard drives.
Despite coming with a set of keys they usually resist fire and water even when left unlocked. This means that you can quickly send a message to burglars that there is nothing of value inside by leaving your chest unlocked, lowering the risk of a thief taking the entire chest away with them in the hope of selling on the contents.
Which Fireproof Chests Are Best?
When choosing a model, ensure that there is enough space inside for the quantity of documents or photos that you wish to store. Try to find a model that is easy to handle and not too weighty, so that you can move it quickly if necessary. Make sure the chest will protect your documents, whether paper or computer media, at a safe temperature for a reasonable amount of time. This will ensure protection until the fire service arrives at your home to deal with an outbreak of fire. Finally, always choose a chest with a UL rating – the Underwriters Laboratory of America publish a range of fire resistant standards for products sold all over the world, and their fire tests are very well thought of. A UL security rating also indicates that the chest is hard to break into with manual tools.
Using Your Chest Effectively
Most fireproof chests are not rated regarding their resistance to impact. For that reason, it is best to store them in a closed cabinet where in the event of falling or collapsing ceiling (not uncommon in a house fire) they will be better protected. To prevent dampness building up inside, it’s always best to look at the manufacturer’s instructions and to store the contents of the chest in plastic bags with some dry silica gel packets inside.