Standard fire ratings and certifications safes, vaults and vault doors explained.
Fire Protection Certification
In order to attest to the quality of the certified product the information plate provides you with assurances that the safe has been manufactured in conditions that have been checked and approved by authorized certifying bodies.
A high quality fire resistant safe will have a certification plate (see sample below) affixed to the inside of the door that guarantees the product has been tested to comply with the latest standards.
This information plate will indicate the appropriate level of fire protection the safe or cabinet will provide if exposed to intense heat and fire.
Fire Certification Tests
The various certification tests are carried out by independent world class testing institutes in an environment that simulates extreme heat and fire conditions such as inside a heat furnace.
These tests may include a Fire Endurance test – Fire Impact / Drop test – Explosion Hazard test or a combination of all.
- Fire Endurance Test – This assesses the product over a specific time period usually 60 minutes to 120 minutes at a applicable heat temperature in order to attest the quality of the safes certification
- Fire Impact Test / Drop Test – The product is firstly exposed to fire endurance pre-heat test and after the specific time period it is instantly elevated to an approved height of approximately three stories high then immediately dropped onto an assortment of broken bricks piled on to a concrete flooring. It is then thoroughly examined after impact for evidence of breaches such as ruptures or or fractures and condition of contents stored in the safe.
- Explosion / Hazard Test – The product is firstly prepared in the same manner as per both preceding tests.The safe is placed in a furnace that has been preheated to a approved temperature and left inside the furnace for the specific time period and if no explosion occurs the product is left in the furnace until completely cooled then removed and examined to make sure it is still air tight it then is forced open and undergoes a thorough internal inspection of the contents stored inside for any heat or moisture damage.
The better quality fire resistant safes will have been tested by world class fire rating laboratories that undertake a diverse range of testing methods to make sure the safe complies with the latest standards.
Fire certification is issued by independent approved laboratories and below are some examples of well respected industry accepted authorities commonly used to conduct fire testing
- U.L – Underwriters Laboratory
- J.I.S – Japanese Industrial Standards
- K.I.S – Korean Industrial Standards
- ASNZS – Australian New Zealand Standards
- SP – Swedish National Testing and Research Institute
- Private Laboratory Testing
Fire Protection Standards
For fire protection, these standards vary according to whether you want to protect paper documents, digital media or other highly sensitive objects. This is because the temperature at which data media (e.g. 52°C) and documents (e.g. 177°C) deteriorate differs according to the item protected:
In order to fully protect data media, industry standards indicate that products should carry ECB•S EN 1047-1, UL 72 Class 125 or NT Fire 017 60/120 DIS. The ECB•S and UL tests monitor the internal temperature of the data cabinet until it has completely cooled down during the “soakout” period. Assessing products during this period is essential, since internal temperatures can peak up to six to eight hours after a fire has been extinguished. Such tests ensure that all products are comprehensively tested and, upon passing, will fully protect your data media for the specific time period stated.
For document protection, all products must have an appropriate industry standard 30- or 60-minute paper certificate.
UL72-Class 350, ECB•S EN 1047-1, EN 15659 or NT Fire 017 are acceptable standards for paper document protection.
Standards in brief
*Test UL 72 does not necessarily involve conducting a drop test.
*EN 1047-1: document (P or paper) – S 60P (1 hour), S 120P (2 hours); Digital (DIS or Diskette) – S 60 DIS (1 hour), S 120 DIS (2 hours)
*NT Fire 017: Document (P or Paper) – 60 Paper (1 hour), 120 Paper (2 hours); Digital Media (DIS or Diskette) – 60 Diskette (1 hour), 120 Diskette (2 hours).
*EN 15659: Document (Paper) – LPS 30 (1/2 hour), LFS 60 (1 hour)
It’s crucial to select the right Fire Protection for your needs!
Which fire resistant safe is right for you ? Firstly determine what items you want to protect from the threat of fire – documents, data media, or any other highly sensitive and valuable items?
And secondly decide on what time period of fire resistance protection you require in safe? The most common standards time periods used are 30, 60, 90 or 120 minutes.
Fire rated Safes & Cabinets that meet certification requirements will give you the assurance it will provide the best possible fire protection for all your vital possessions should a fire strike unexpectedly.
Choose from our large selection of fire resistant safes and filing cabinets designed and manufactured incorporating the latest fire protection materials to keep documents or data media safe from the threat of heat & fire .
- PAPER DOCUMENTS
Paper documents require protection from temperatures higher than 177°C. Therefore cabinets have to be specifically constructed from fire resisting materials specially formulated to provide excellent fire resistance .
- DATA MEDIA
Data media is exceptionally susceptible to heat and fire so data cabinets must offer a far higher degree of fire protection due to the sensitive items stored. If the inside of the cabinet exceeds a mere 52°C, then the information on a CD, DVD or other delicate items may be destroyed or severely damaged.
- PAPER DOCUMENTS
What’s the difference between Fire Rating – Fire Resistance – Fireproof ?
- FIRE RATING
Fire rated cabinets and safes have been certified according to a particular standard, and are measured through tests carried out by independent testing authorities. The longer the period in minutes, the greater the fire resistance offered. For example, the critical temperature before paper or record combusts is 177 °C. Whereas, data media is damaged at temperatures over 52 °C. Standards for Fire Rated Cabinets and Safes usually are in 30 – 60 – 90 – 120 minute fire rating certifications.
- FIRE RESISTANCE
Fire resistance cabinets and safes are constructed using specially formulated fire resistant materials but have not undergone a fire testing program to obtain fire rating certification.
It is important to be aware that safes are not absolutely fireproof. Safes offer fire resistance and provide protection against heat and fire for a specific time period.
- FIRE RATING