“Fireproof safes” and “fire-resistant safes” are sometimes used to mean one and the same thing, or can sometimes mean very different things to different people.
Firstly, we need to clarify what we mean by “fireproof.” Some might think that fireproof safes will emerge from a blaze completely unscathed, even after up to two hours at the heart of a fire. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
While the safe’s contents will hopefully be in perfect condition, the safe itself will not. In the course of its duties protecting your valuables and documents from flames and heat, it will most likely have suffered irreparable damage to its metalwork, including scorching and melting. It almost certainly won’t be in any fit condition for further use.
Perhaps it would be better to refer to fireproof safes as “fire resistant,” in that they keep the fire at bay and keep your contents safe. Another way to think of it is that the safe makes its contents fireproof, at least for a certain length of time.
In general within the industry, “fireproof” is used to describe the more heavy-duty safes which provide a great deal of fire protection. These safes have usually been tested and certified for fire resistance and can provide up to two hours’ protection for their contents.
“Fire resistant” is more typically applied to products which provide a basic level of protection. For instance, some anti-burglar safes feature a protective layer that helps protect against flame cutting attack. Such a layer would also provide some protection against fire.
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