Fireproof filing cabinets: delivering peace of mind by protecting business-critical documents
April 13, 2015barriehol
Fireproof filing cabinets are now so sophisticated that they offer much more than just protection from fire, since ingenious locking systems and very robust construction mean they offer more security than conventional filing cabinets. Fire and Safety Centre helps you to select the right fireproof filing cabinet.
Damage to premises through fire is devastating. Even worse is the collapse of the whole business because the fire sent vital documents up in smoke, or water from the fire fighters’ hoses destroyed them. That’s why considerable effort has gone into the design and build of the extremely robust fireproof filing cabinets we offer.
They add protection for documents from fire, but also from water used to control the fire – both of which can be damaging against important documents.
And it’s not just paper that’s at risk; computer storage devices in numerous forms are all vulnerable from fire too, and need to be stored with similar care.
They can be given their own ‘space’ with the use of a data insert box designed to use with cabinets from the same manufacturer, or a data box which is more of a ‘universal fit’ for a number of cabinets in our range.
These boxes have their own fire ratings, and therefore offer extended fire resistance times and protection for their contents over and beyond that of the cabinet in which the box is kept. Their other key contribution is that they’ll help to keep the contents dry, which is crucial for anything electronic.
Paper catches fire or becomes charred at 177ºC, and electronic media suffers damage at lower temperatures. The industry’s most common test ratings are to standards offered by the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, which publishes more information here. The fire resistance standard is NT017, but there will be figures after that giving more information. NT017 – 60 paper means a fireproof filing cabinet will protect paper contents for 60 minutes.
How fireproof storage cabinets work
Fire resistant filing cabinets have a double skin, usually of steel, which encloses a space filled with a specially-formulated chemical compound. This compound not only provides a degree of insulation, but also releases water vapour when it gets hot. This vapour controls the temperature inside the cabinet.
Fireproof storage cabinets can be fitted with intumescent seals, which swell up when hot, effectively sealing the gaps around the edges of doors and drawers.
How to pick the right fireproof cabinet
It all comes down to what you want to store in the fireproof filing cabinet, the volume of material you want to store and where you want to store it.
Take consideration of these suggestions and the product details on our web site and you’ll be able to make an informed choice of fireproof storage.
What to look for when choosing a fireproof filing cabinet
- Check the size. The internal dimensions will be noticeably smaller than exterior ones, because of the cabinet’s construction. Pick the right size by looking for what can be stored in it, using information on our fireproof filing cabinets product pages
- Check the weight. Some of these cabinets are very heavy in themselves; adding the weight of their contents might have a bearing on where they can safely be positioned in your premises
- How much protection? Not all fire resistant storage is the same. All our product descriptions show what heat levels the product will resist, and the duration it will last
- How does it lock? Some models lock with a conventional key; others have keypads. Models with discrete locking arrangements for each drawer are available
- Consider ‘non-conventional’ options. Clever design like this Phoenix 2 Drawer World Class Fire File keeps the height of cabinets low, thus preventing partitioning of open-plan offices
- Does it come with delivery? The weight of some of these products can create manual handling headaches, so we have incorporated installation into our pricing structure
View our full range of fireproof storage to make sure you are informed to make the right choice for your needs.