While filing cabinets offer great storage and organisational possibilities for large quantities of paperwork, they offer little or no protection from the devastating effects of fire. Thankfully it is possible to purchase fire filing cabinets which are especially designed to protect all your important documentation in the event of a fire.
What Should I Store in My Fire Proof Filing Cabinet?
Fire filing cabinets are ideal for important paperwork and documents that would be difficult to replace including passports, title deeds, insurance policies, vehicle documents, certificates, tax records, wills, computer hardware and precious memories like photographs. They can even double up as safes since there will be plenty of room to store small items of jewellery within the cabinet.
What Makes a Fire Filing Cabinet Different?
An ordinary sheet metal cabinet is very vulnerable to fire and paper documents stored inside would quickly burn. Fire filing cabinets are specially built to withstand and resist high temperatures. Although their outward appearance is just like an ordinary filing cabinet with drawers, handles and locks, they are heavier and made of higher quality than standard metal cabinets. Made of thick reinforced steel they provide a much better first line of defence than a standard light sheet metal cabinet.
Rather than simply an organisational tool, a fire filing cabinet offers unrivalled protection for all your important paperwork in the event of an outbreak of fire. By retaining a cool internal temperature for up to 2 hours, it will keep paperwork safe for a critical time period giving the emergency services time to arrive on the scene and put out any fire. This means the contents of the filing cabinet are fully protected, despite extremely high temperatures in the surrounding area.
How Does a Fire Filing Cabinet Stay Cool?
Fire file cabinets are independently tested to the NT 017 5120 paper standard for 2 hours of fire protection. They are fitted with intumescent seals around each drawer for added protection. Each drawer is individually insulated by fire-resistant partitions. Even if one drawer was to be accidentally left open, the other closed drawers would remain protected from the effects of the fire.
Fire filing cabinets can be exposed to heat as extreme as 1000°c and still retain an internal temperature that will prevent paper from burning.
Other Benefits of Fire Filing Cabinets
Fire filing cabinets are subjected to strict drop tests to ensure they will survive the impact of collapsing floors in the event of an outbreak of fire. They are fitted with shock absorbing plinths which give maximum impact absorption in the event of a collapsing building and can therefore survive a drop of multiple storeys. They are also water-resistant to prevent any damage caused by sprinklers or hoses which are a common feature in fire-fighting. Fire filing cabinets usually come with stronger than average locks which are high quality and can resist drilling and picking. Their high quality means they are long lasting and durable and less prone to dents or broken locks than standard filing cabinets.