Fireproofing your kitchen cabinets: The whys and the hows

A lot of us tend to think that storing our valuables in a metal file cabinet would offer ample protection. Sadly, this is not the case. While a metal file can offer protection from burglars, it would do little to protect your valuables from a raging fire. This is the exact reason why one would need to opt to fireproof cabinets with proper file cabinets and safes.

Why you need a Fireproof File Cabinet or Safe

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A normal fire lasts for at least an hour or so. While paper starts charring at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, other things like plastic and rubber can start melting at lower temperatures. A normal metal file can never withstand the heat for more than 20 minutes and would start heating up. As such, it would only be a matter of minutes before the contents of the safe start charring or melting.

A fireproof file cabinet or safe on the other hand, would be able to withstand temperatures of at least 1000 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 2-3 hours. This would give you plenty of time to stop the fire and rescue your valuables from the safe. A fireproof cabinet would also be able to withstand high impacts like the water from the firefighting equipment or a building collapse.

What to look out for in a Fireproof Cabinet or Safe

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When purchasing a fire proof cabinet for your home, you would need to take a few important pointers into consideration. One of the first things you would want to look out for its safety rating aka the UL (Underwriters’ Laboratories) rating. This can be ascertained by a series of numbers on its rating.

Accordingly, the first number on a fire proof cabinet’s rating would indicate the temperature the cabinet will heat up to in the case of a fire. There are several numbers that indicate the resistant levels for different items. For instance, while 375 and 350 are numbers used for paper files, 150 and 125 are the numbers used for back up media, floppy disks and DVDs.

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It is also considered important to consider the time rating offered by the fire proofing cabinet before buying it. The time rating is a measure of how long the interiors of the cabinet will remain below the internal temperature (as mentioned in the rating) in the case of a fire. Standard fires usually reach temperatures of over 800 degrees Fahrenheit and can last for at least 20 minutes. So a fire proofing cabinet would need to be able to withstand this incredible amount of heat for at least an hour or so before the fire is put out. However, if you live in a remote location that is hard to access by firefighters, you would probably want to buy a cabinet that can withstand the heat for a longer period of time.

Every house needs a fire proofing cabinet to protect valuables in case of a fire. A fire proofing cabinet would ensure that your valuables remain undamaged until the fire is put out.

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