The common or garden filing cabinet is often used to store Contracts, deeds, confidential company records, financial and personnel reports and other sensitive business papers but the security of the contents is limited to preventing unauthorised access and offers little or no protection if a fire should break out on the premises.
The key difference with Fire resistant filing cabinets is that they are designed and independently tested to prevent the internal temperature of the cabinets from reaching the self-ignition temperature of paper for up to two hours. This is almost certainly enough time for the fire service to attend and bring the fire under control. Paper can self-ignite at just 177 degrees Celsius whereas an average fire will burn at upwards of 600 degrees. As steel is a good conductor of heat the temperature in a standard single skin file cabinet will rise very quickly and even though the cabinet itself may remain largely intact any paper contents will be totally destroyed.
Fire filing cabinets also offer far greater security against unauthorised access as well as protection against file fires. Sophisticated digital locks, fire safe quality locking bolts and selective draw by draw access controls allow complete security access management. On many models each drawer is independently protected for fire proof filing so documents are protected in the event a drawer is left open during a fire incident.
Taking a value approach to fire risk assessment should include a review of the impact on your business of losing valuable and sensitive documents and files to fire. It is almost certain that the business benefits of an investment in a fire proof file cabinet will far outweigh the cost and will ensure your business can function effectively in the immediate aftermath of a fire.