Between April 2011 and March 2012, the Fire Services in England attended 35,000 house fires. As a home-owner, you are sure to have important documents, papers and other items that you want to keep protected from such eventualities, but your requirements are likely to be different to those of a business.
There are a vast range of fire proof safes available on the market that are suitable for use in the home, so you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.
The first question you need to ask yourself is “What do I want to protect?” Think of some of the things that can so easily be lost in a small fire and can be difficult to replace: bank statements, birth certs, passports, insurance policy documents. Getting these replaced can add a great deal of additional stress when dealing with the aftermath of a fire. Items of a more sentimental value such as photos may be impossible to replace.
Once you know what items you wish to keep protected from a fire, you’ll have some idea of the size of safe you require. In reality, it is quite unlikely that you’ll need a large safe with many shelves or drawers. Businesses commonly have fireproof filing cabinets full to the brim with all the documents they require for day to day operations; a typical home probably won’t need quite so much space for its documents.
In many cases, you might find that a fireproof box or fire chest will suffice. Ideal for home use, these are small and easily stored, but still have plenty of room for the most important of your papers and documents. Many will also have ample space for small, valuable items. Should you require something that can hold greater amounts, a small safe from a leading manufacturer would be a wise investment.
You can ensure the fireproof box, fire chest or fireproof safe you purchase provides the protection you need by checking its fire rating. To protect documents, papers, cash and photos, your safe will need a paper (P) rating. To protect computer media such as USB keys or hard drives, it will require a data (D) or diskette (DIS) rating.
You should also ensure that the safe you purchase can protect your valuables from at least 30 minutes of fire and heat. While the Fire Service can typically be at the scene of a house fire in less than 8 minutes, temperatures can remain high even after the fire has been extinguished.
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