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Is Your Safe Safe?

Is Your Safe Safe?

I can remember a recent visit to a customer location, where the business owner proudly showed me his brand new, (and expensive I might add) fireproof safe he bought to store his company’s critical data.  A quick look at it and I exclaimed “no good!”  Imagine his devastation that his new, beautiful safe was not adequately protecting the valuable data he was storing inside of it.  Safes have varying fire ratings which tell you whether or not the safe is rated for paper storage or backup media storage.  At temperatures where paper will remain intact, media will melt and become unusable.

Here are the ratings you should look for:

125         Rating for backup tape media, DVD and floppy disks

150         Rating for backup media and DVD

350         Rating for paper only

375         Older standard for paper only

The numbers indicate what the internal temperature of the safe will heat up to in a sustained fire.  The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) determines the temperature of a sustained fire for the purposes of testing and rating these safes.

In addition to the temperature rating, you will also see a time rating, such as ½ hr or 1 hr.  This is how long that safe will remain at or below the temperature rating during a sustained fire.  Obviously a 1 hr rating will give you better protection than a ½ hr rating.

Some safes will also have ratings for burglary protection if that is a concern. Ratings typically have a TL, TR, or TX rating plus a time component much like the fire standards.  The time component is often measured in minutes, like a 15 or 30 as opposed to the fire ratings which are based on the hour.

TL            Stands up against prying tools, drills, etc

TR           Stands up against torches

TX           Stand up against explosives

My advice to businesses is to concentrate on getting the fire rating that you need first and foremost.  The second piece of advice, while sounding like a sales pitch, is really the voice of experience talking.  Buy a safe a bit larger than you think you may need initially.  You will always find more items to place in the safe in the future.  The larger fireproof safes are often very heavy and difficult to move or steal, so we advise you to worry about the burglary protection last.

So, is your safe safe?  Are you adequately protecting your businesses critical data?  Contact us at (888) 600-4560, email us at or see us on Facebook or Twitter (@coldenco) if you want to be sure you have the fireproof safe that your business needs.



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