Fire Ratings and Tests of Fireproof Safes

When shopping for a fireproof safe, it’s essential to ensure you choose the proper one for your needs. While getting a solid safe is crucial, you may choose not to splurge on it. Nevertheless, if you want to purchase one of the greatest fireproof safes available, you should expect to pay extra.

Whenever it’s a matter of quality, there are various factors to consider. Safes aren’t only there to keep your valuables safe from theft; they also need to be able to withstand a fire, flood, or other natural catastrophes. Because fire is the most probable to strike and may cause the greatest harm to your belongings, it is the one aspect you must prioritize over all others.

It may seem a lot to take in and you might as well be wondering how to choose the right one from the available fireproof safes manufacturers. To put you at ease, we are going to provide a thorough breakdown in this article. Keep reading!

Fire Ratings Explained

Fire resistance safes rating is determined by how long it can resist particular temperatures. A plate or single-walled safe, for instance, will not provide much security. They may be useful for storing old poems or love letters, but don’t count on them to withstand a fire.

However, the word “fireproof” is deceptive and must not be taken too seriously. You are incorrect if you believe a fireproof safe would withstand any fire. Safes are generally graded according to how long they can withstand a fire. The longer a safe can withstand heat and smoke, the more fire-resistant it is. Products such as fireproof gun safes and custom gun safes are rated as per their performance in the test. The types of fire ratings are discussed below.

1. U.L. Classes of Fire Protection

For record preservation, Underwriters Laboratories defined five fire-resistant classes. The kind, length, and intensity of the test assigned to each categorization determine the classification.

The following are the categorization ratings:

  • Class 350-4 hours

It’s the most prevalent sort of device, and it can store almost any type of data. This includes paper, jewellery, and firearms.

Fire Endurance Test – Throughout the heating and cooling phases, the interior temps must not exceed 350°F. The integrity of the paper test material and implements must be maintained.

Explosion Test- Unit heated to 2000°F for 1/2 hour, 1 hour, 2 hours, 3-4 hours ratings. When the unit is unlocked and a paper test sample is inserted within, there must be no explosion. Following cooling, both the test piece and the mechanisms should preserve their integrity.

  • Class 150 (½ Hour- 4 Hours)

Most sorts of fragile material, notably hard drives, compact disks, and photos, may be stored on these devices.

Fire Endurance Test – All through heating and cooling phases, sustains an interior temperature with no more than 150°F and dampness of no more than 85%. The integrity of the paper test sample and procedures must be maintained.

Explosion Test- Unit heated to 2000°F for 1/2 hour, 1 hour, 2 hours, 3-4 hours ratings. When the unit is unlocked and a paper test sample is inserted within, there must be no explosion. Following cooling, both the test piece and the mechanisms should preserve their integrity.

Impact Test – Following a durability or explosion test, the unit is dropped 9 meters, flipped, and reheated. The integrity of the paper test sample and processes must be maintained.

  • Class 125(1/2 Hour- 4 Hours)

Floppy disks, compact disks, and photos are just a few of the fragile materials that might be stored on these devices.

Fire Endurance Test – All through heating and cooling phases, it maintains an interior temp of no more than 125°F and dampness of no more than 80%. The integrity of the paper test sample and procedures must be maintained.

 Explosion Test- Unit heated to 2000°F for 1/2 hour, 1 hour, 2 hours, and 3-4 hour rating test. When the item is unlocked and a paper test substance is deposited inside, there must be no explosion. After cooling, both the test piece and the processes must preserve their integrity.

Impact Test – Following a durability or explosion assessment, the unit is thrown 30 feet, flipped, and reheated. The integrity of the paper test sample and mechanisms should be maintained.

2. Korean Industrial Standards (K.I.S.) Fire Tests

The KSG-4500 fire resistance tests are certified by K.I.S. (Korea Industrial Standards). In fires, the grading requirements will safeguard papers and precious documents from fire, blast, and drop effects.

  • A Fire Safe is put through its paces for two hours in a furnace at a temp of 1850° F.
  • In a furnace, blasted to 1852° F in ten min, then held at that temp for another thirty min.
  • Fire Effect- For 45 mins, it was exposed to regular fire, then thrown 13 feet, reintroduced to the furnace inverted, and warmed for an hour.

Safes that have passed the K.I.S. or a Private Laboratory Test are still very fire resistant. The U.L. Class of Fire Protection, on the other hand, is widely regarded as the most comprehensive fire testing available today. If you’re on a tight budget, we encourage opting for a 1-hour fire rating (at the very least) to offer adequate safety for your papers and treasures.

3. Private Fire Label Testing

When a safe producer employs an Independent Testing Laboratory to test its safety for a certain fire rating time frame, this is known as Private Label Fire Testing. The Autonomous Laboratory uses heat sensors within the safe, similar to the Korean or Underwriter Laboratory fire testing. A burn bunker is used to store the safe. The temp is raised to between 1350 and 1750 degrees Fahrenheit. The Independent Laboratory begins tracking how long the temp remains below 350 degrees Fahrenheit after the goal temperature is reached.

The fire rating is 1 hour if the internal temp remains below 350 ° F for 1 hour or more. For 1.5 hours, 2 hours, and so on, repeat the process. The 350 degrees F is significant because paper (or cash) begins to scorch at around 387 degrees and bursts into flames around 451 degrees F. For these considerations, all fire tests aim to keep the temperature under 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Tests for Fire protection

There are several tests that our safes go through to test their ability to withstand certain degrees of extreme temperatures. Below, we are going to discuss the different tests that our fireproof safes are taken through. 

1. Fire Endurance Test

This test assesses the safe’s ability to withstand temps set by defined fire exposure circumstances.

The safe is inserted in a chilly furnace to expose all outside surfaces excluding the bottom in readiness for the fire endurance test. On the inside of the safe, the heat measurement device is mounted, and papers are loosely spread to contact all internal surfaces. The safe doors have been closed and secured, the furnace has been turned off, and the fire has been lit.

The furnace’s heat is progressively increased following time and temp criteria. The gas and air supplies are precisely regulated so that the fire is evenly dispersed across the sample, and thermocouples symmetrically scattered throughout the furnace precisely register temperatures to maintain the test criteria.

The test sample is kept in the furnace for the amount of time necessary to achieve the target categorization. The fire is quenched when the timer goes off, and the specimen is let to cool without having to open the furnace.

The test sample is unsealed and the components and inner surfaces are inspected once it has cooled. The recordings must still be usable, and there must be no symptoms of excessive heat conduction on the inside. The temperature within the safe shouldn’t ever surpass 350 degrees F during the test. The safe’s overall security is also checked. The records are deemed “useful” if they can be dealt with without shattering and are readable with common tools.

2. Fire Explosion Test

The blast on danger test checks if the safe’s architecture safeguards it from blasts in the event of rapid heat exposure. If the safe build is defective, the abrupt increase in temp will cause hydrogen-air-stream mixes in the insulating substance to burst, causing the insulation and safe walls to break. Much of the safe’s fire protection will be destroyed as a result of this break.

The test for a blast is rather straightforward. The vacant, locked furnace is preheated to a temperature of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. The furnace is unlocked, the test sample is entered, and the furnace is shut for thirty min at 2000 degrees F. The object is left to cool just after the test till it is safe to handle. The item passes the test if there is no evidence of insulation breakdown.

3. Fire & Impact Test

safe box impact test
Source: https://www.safesworld.com/quality-control/ 

The Fire impact test determines a safe’s resilience to affect in a hot environment. The test involves safe-falling three storeys to a flaming building’s cellar and then laying among the ashes till cold.

The item is placed in a furnace and the flames are lit during the test. For the amount of time defined by the category wanted, the duration and temp are similar to the fire endurance test. The fire is quenched after the appropriate time in the furnace has passed. The samples are raised 30 feet over a riprap of bricks on a hefty concrete foundation before being dumped. The descent takes place within 2 minutes of the flame being put out.

Isn’t it a little rough? Absolutely, but the examination isn’t over yet! When the safe has chilled to the point where it can be handled, it is overturned, reintroduced in the furnace, and exposed to the regulated time-temperature settings for the duration specified by the categorization requested. Before the furnace is unlocked, the sample is left to cool after the time has passed. The data must be in usable shape when the doors are pushed open.

Things you should know Prior to Purchasing a Fireproof Safe

60 Minutes Fireproof Safe
Source:https://www.safesworld.com/ 

1. What do you intend to Store in Your Safe?

Identifying what you want to put in your new fireproof safe can assist you in selecting the best safe for your needs. You won’t require a large safe if you don’t intend to store much in it. Aside from that, you should seek a safe that offers a variety of chambers. Some safes, for instance, may feature document drawers, while others may have gun racks.

2. The Size of the Safe

If you require a large safe, make certain that you have adequate storage space. Preferably, you ought to get a safe that is somewhat larger than you now require. It shouldn’t, meanwhile, be excessively large. The simpler it is to conceal the safe, the smaller it is.

3. Is it Possible to Keep Electrical Things in the Safe?

Many individuals are unaware that storing electronic equipment in a safe might result in data loss in the event of a fire. This is because the electronics might overheat, resulting in the loss of all data. If you want to keep gadgets in your new safe, ensure it’s designed for that purpose. 

4. Make Sure it has a Seal

The less expensive fire safes will not have a seal, making them susceptible to humidity and heat intrusion throughout the day. A seal can help protect your assets from fire, smoke, and water while also protecting them from corrosion and moisture deterioration.

Conclusion

We all want to ensure that we get quality for what we pay for. Therefore, getting quality safes from industry experts and renowned safes manufacturers helps you get that. Contact us and our team of professionals will be more than happy to guide you through your selection. 

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