Even if fires can actually be prevented, there are still some other factors that could cause fire unexpectedly. Along with fire comes the inevitable damage spanning a long list of possessions and property. As reported by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), there were a total of 383,500 home fires in the United States resulting into $5.5 billion of property damage.
Now, what we ideally want for our homes or offices in case the building starts burning is that we would be able to lessen the damage, or at least not let everything inside the house burn down to ashes in no time. We might be too busy saving our lives and forgetting about important documents, highly valued objects, money, jewelry, and even old (and priceless) photographs will only make the aftermath worse.
Families and offices resort to the guaranteed safety rendered by vaults and safes, both from fire and burglars. There are many fireproof safes with different fire ratings. Safe manufacturers hire a highly regarded private testing laboratory to test their fireproof safes for a specific amount of time to determine their rating.
Heat sensors are placed inside the safe, and the safe itself is placed in a burn chamber. The chamber is brought up to a temperature between 1350 to 1750 degrees. The timer starts when the desired temperature is reached, and the objective is to time how long the temperature stays below 350 degrees Fahrenheit. That is where the rating is based. If the temperature inside the safe stays below that certain temperature for 30 minutes, then the safe has a rating of 30 minutes.
Fireproof safes have to resist a temperature below 350 degrees Fahrenheit because any kind of paper will begin to char at just about 387 degrees and will burst into flames at 451 degrees Fahrenheit. Fire ratings are intended to be a maintained allowance to make sure that the kept objects inside the safe won’t burn immediately.
A Fire Endurance Test is a trial on fireproof safes to measure the degree of resistance on temperatures that are patterned to standardized fire exposure situations.
To expose all exterior surfaces on the safe, it is place in a cold furnace for a while, and then after pulling it out, a heat measuring apparatus is installed inside the safe along with scattered pieces of paper. Once the door of the safe is closed and locked, it is placed in another furnace for heating. The heat is adjusted according to the time and temperature set as recorded standards. To determine the safe’s classification, it has to remain in the furnace for a particular amount of time and temperature. Class A fireproof safes are able to endure 2000 degrees Fahrenheit for four hours; Class B safes are able to endure 1850 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours; Class C and Class D safes are able to endure 1700 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour; and finally, Class E safes are able to endure 1550 degrees Fahrenheit for thirty minutes.
Safe manufacturers make sure that the vaults and safes they produce are dependable for hazardous situations, so that keeping all the valuable things of the family won’t be difficult to retrieve after the fire. Choosing the right fire-rated safe would guarantee safety and protection, but note that a vault must also be tested for its condition after a fire impact or an explosion that is likely to happen in burning buildings.
There is also a difference between vaults of differing labels. Safe manufacturers tend to attach their own grade label to their safes. A label on one piece of equipment is not automatically equivalent to another label on a different piece of equipment.