You never know when disaster will strike, so it's a good idea to store all of your important documents in a fireproof safe. If you're looking to buy one for your home or office, here are the features you should keep an eye out for. Photo via First Alert.
As Nick Guy at The Sweethome explains, a decent fireproof safe should be able to last for 30 minutes at temperatures of 840C in addition to keeping your documents safely locked away. Of course, most fireproof safes on the market are capable of this, so it's more important to look at the internal temperatures of the safe. If you're just storing documents, the internal temperature needs to stay under 175C during a fire. But if you want to store digital media like CDs, DVDs or flash drives, the safe needs to keep the internal temp lower than 50C. Additionally, a decent fireproof safe should also be waterproof. It should be able to withstand being submerged in case of a flood.
If you're not sure where to start looking, Guy has a few recommendations based on his own real-world tests. Guy, along with a couple of volunteer firefighters, tested five popular models of fireproof safe from First Alert, SentrySafe and Honeywell by burning them in a testing rig that simulated a 700C house fire. The First Alert 2030F ($US63 [$82]) performed the best, keeping a flash drive, DVD, printed photos and a newspaper free of both fire and water damage. It also has a fairly strong key-based locking mechanism. You can read more about their tests and alternative picks at the link below.
The Best Fireproof Document Safe [The Sweethome]