Types Of Fire Protection: Paper, Data and Diskettes

Burnt Paper

Fireproof safes are rated to indicate the type of contents they have been designed to protect. For example, many safes are designed to protect paper and will be given a P rating to indicate this. Paper can withstand temperatures of around 177°C before charring or combusting. A safe rated 60 P will keep the paper stored inside it below this temperature for one hour.

Data media such as USB sticks, memory cards or hard drives cannot withstand the same high temperatures as paper, and are also prone to damage from the humidity that can result from a fire being extinguished by water. Safes designed to protect such data media are given a D rating. They will keep their internal temperatures below 70°C and can withstand humidity levels of 85%.

In certain cases, some safes are given a DIS rating. These will protect extremely fragile data media such as diskettes by keeping the temperature below 50°C, as well as withstanding humidity levels of 85%.

Some manufacturers may use the D and DIS ratings somewhat interchangeably. You should always double-check the safe’s specification to be certain it provides the protection you require.

Phoenix DS2002 Data SafeYou might also see some products which have a rating such as DI 60 P/DIS. This rating is usually given to diskette inserts. These are designed to protect diskettes from fire and humidity, but must be placed inside a cabinet or safe with a P rating. For example, a diskette insert with the DI 60 P/DIS rating mentioned above must be placed inside a safe with a 60 P rating or greater.

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