Now this may seem a bit nitpicky but when a safe is advertized as fire resistant it’s logical to then ask for how long and to what temperature. If you bought a so called fireproof safe put ALL your valuables in it. Then found out that it was only rated for 30 minutes and your house fire burned for 45 you would be very unhappy.
Older safe often labeled as fireproof used sawdust as the insulation which often settled or decayed over years. You can see the sawdust at the top.
Fire resistance can be measured in a laboratory and there are many different testing authorities around the world who are credible.
In Australia the Australian Standards are set out so the consumer can have access to information about various products from an independent source. Alas there is no Australian Standard for fire resistant safes. So most safes sold are tested (usually) in the country of manufacture. The Japanese Standard Authority and the American Underwriters Laboratory (UL) are 2 that spring to mind.
The terms Fireproof and waterproof are general terms which I feel should be not be used as it can create a false sense of security. A “standard” house fire if there is such a thing usually burns for 30-45 minutes. However I have personally witnessed 2 fires (Sunnybank shopping centre and a paint warehouse in Coopers Plains that both burned in excess of 2 hours. The distance you live from a fire station as well as what “fuel” you neighbours have lying around are two things that should be taken into account when choosing a fire resistant safe. So in closing don’t be sucked in when someone tells you their safe is fireproof. Simply ask “fireproof to what temperature and for how long”. I am also available as an expert witness to give evidence in a court case should it be needed.
Another FIREPROOF safe – note the sawdust – these were often only riveted together – the crims made short work of it.
60 minute fire ratings are most common, then 2 hour and this is a rare 3 hour fire rating. Japanese Institute of Standards JIS
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