Fireproof safes are made for a reason. Humans, as we are, we tend to worry about important papers such as contracts, banknotes, and other documents that we cannot afford to lose in a fire. Because of this, we get curious and wonder how fireproof safes are made. This is also the only way to find out how long they can resist fire.
The basic construction of a fireproof safe remains the same since the late 19th century. To resist a fire longer, the body of the safe is constructed with a double wall. The gap between the walls is filled with fire-retardant materials. To find out more about how fireproof safes are made, read on.
A Glimpse on How Fireproof Safes are Made
What are fireproof safes made of? These safes are made of at least two walls of metal. The walls act as thermal insulation, which typically consists of calcium, mineral wool, perlite, sodium silicate, vermiculite, and fire-protected concrete. Each fireproof safe brand has its own patented formula. Moreover, the door is equipped with a fire seal for protection.
Such a seal will expand in case of a fire. This is to protect the valuables from water and heat until the fire is extinguished. In the case of fire-resistant safes, they can resist from 30 to 160 minutes. Its door has an additional layer of insulation for protection from high-heat conditions.
The Types of Fireproof Safes
Now that you already have an idea on how fireproof safes are made, here are its three main types:
This safe provides a basic level of fire protection of great value. Additionally, fireboard safes are very light and easy to move anywhere. Panels of fire-resistant boards are used as insulation material. These are inserted into the safe’s wall cavities during the process of the final assembly. Most often than not, several layers of fireboards are utilized.
Reinforced Fireboard Safes
These safes are similarly constructed to the previous one. However, these contain extra thick outer steel shells for higher levels of anti-theft protection. This is a heavier safe that provides less fire protection since thicker steel quickly conducts heat from the exterior to its interior.
This kind of safe carries with it the tradition of the 19th century’s outstanding fireproof safes. Composite safes have thin steel walls and a special fire-resistant mix. They pour this composite into the wall cavity. The accurate composition of the material varies from brand to brand. Additionally, the composition may include mixes of alum, gypsum, and other fire-resisting compounds.
The Differences Between a Fire-Resistant and a Fireproof Safe
A fire-resistant safe is constructed to slow down the process of burning and prevent it altogether if the fire is not too intense. In a nutshell, a fire-resistant safe is a temporary solution. Industry standards often claim that it takes a lot of fire before a fire-resistant safe bursts into flames. On the contrary, others argue that a house fire that lasts for around half an hour will make a fire-resistant safe burn within minutes.
Meanwhile, a fireproof safe can withstand flames for an extended period, but not forever. This is a common misconception when it comes to learning how fireproof safes are made.
How Fireproof and Fire-Resistant Safes are Tested
Fires can spread quickly in just a matter of thirty seconds. Its temperature can reach 1200 degrees Fahrenheit in only five minutes. Your important effects inside the safe can be subject to spontaneous combustion, leading to permanent damage.
Fire ratings consist of tests where temperature and minutes are consigned. The humidity rate and temperature are also measured inside the safe. To simulate fire conditions, they place papers and digital media devices inside the safe. They make sure that the humidity rate is below 65%, and the temperature is between 65- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit. After that, they place the safe inside a furnace.
The heat is carefully monitored and evenly distributed on the surface of the product. When it reaches a certain temperature, the furnace is turned off, and the safe is left to cool. Only products that remain below the humidity and temperature limits are awarded the label and rating.
This test does not happen once. Manufacturers retest these safes a year after to check if the production line’s sample still meets their standard.
That is how fireproof safes are made. I hope that this article provided you some nuggets of wisdom that you need to know about the subject. The right fireproof safe for you also depends on the type of valuables you want to protect, and from what you hope to defend your valuables against. You may choose from fire-resistant, water-resistant, fireproof, waterproof, burglary, and other kinds of safes. There are lots to choose from, so choose wisely. Know more about Fireproof Safes.