Fireproof document safes: how to store documents in it

Documents such as property-related papers, legal and financial records, credit cards, personal files, insurance cards are objects of significant value. They should be handled carefully and saved in a proper place. The main risks to precious papers are misuse, theft, water and fire damages. In order to protect documents from criminals, one should keep them in a high security safe. However, burglar-resistant units cannot provide strong protection from fire and water as they are designed for other purposes. Consequently, if the main concern is fire damage, an owner should store documents in a safe with a high fire rating. Here are some tips and tricks on how to choose the right safe and how to store documents in a fireproof safe properly.

Fireproof document safes

How to keep documents safe from fire

As it was mentioned above, a fireproof safe is the best solution for keeping documents safe from fire. Let me explain how it works. Safes with high fire rating are built with a layer made from non-conductive composite material which works as fire-resistant insulation. It stops the temperature inside the safe from rising up. The door of a fireproof safe is equipped with a seal that prevents fire from passing inside. A quality fire-resistant safe should be tested by Underwriters Laboratories and have a rating. It shows at what temperature and for how long the safe can protect contents from burning down. Generally, fireproof safes can withstand fire from half an hour to 4 hours.

How to keep documents dry in a safe

However, if you live in a flood-prone area or in a place with high levels of humidity, you may face the risk that your papers can be spoiled by water or moisture. Keep calm if you have a fireproof safe. The majority of such safes can also be water-resistant as they have composite bodies and sealed doors. But the other side of the coin is that storages with high fire rating are built from a material which contains a hydrate that releases water vapour at high temperatures. Although the water serves for regulating the temperature inside the storage, it can damage precious papers kept in it. In order to prevent that, leading manufacturers place special vents or make holes at the back or top of a vault. Thus, quality fireproof safes from reliable brands can protect your valuable papers from both fire and water damages. There are two additional tips on how to keep documents dry in a safe. For a complete peace of mind, equip your safe with a dehumidifier which will regulate the level of moisture in it, and keep your documents in plastic page slips.

Best place to store fireproof document safe

And ultimately, in order to be absolutely sure that documents are protected from burglars, fire and water risks, a safe owner should find the best place to store a fireproof safe. There are several aspects to consider. The safe should be placed neither in a wet area like a bathroom or laundry nor in fire-prone places at home like a kitchen or near a fireplace. Then, it should be kept on a hard and even surface. And lastly, a document safe should be hidden from visitors but quickly accessible to the owner, which means that a garage and basement are not good for keeping it in. From my experience, the best place for a fireproof document safe at home is a study room, a closet or a bedroom.

Written by

Kirillo Byelin
General Manager at The Safe Keeper Las Vegas
Security Safe Expert
Kirillo Byelin