Safes can protect your valuables against damage from fire and heat. There are many safes on the market that claim fire resistance but, are not actually tested.
Eurosafe advises that if you need fire protection. You choose a model that has been certified to a recognised European standard. We recommend looking at safes tested with a EN1047-1 or EN15659 standard.
Different tests are performed to determine the protection levels of each safe. In all cases, safes are tested by placing them inside a furnace. Which is rapidly heated for a fixed period of time to a very high heat.
Sensors or thermocouples are placed in different parts of the safe interior. While changes in temperature are closely monitored and recorded. All items damage at different temperatures. There are different standards for:
Computer Data – flash drives and hard disks
Magnetic Data – floppy drives, zip disks and microfiche
Generally safes are fire tested for 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes and 120 minutes.
|Standard||Test Period||Temperature||Protection||Drop Test||Cooling Period|
|EN15659 LFS 30||30 Minutes||842°C||Paper||-||-|
|EN15659 LFS 60||60 Minutes||945°C||Paper||-||-|
|EN1047-1 S 60P||60 Minutes||1090°C||Paper||Yes - 9.15 metres||Yes|
|EN1047-1 S 120P||120 Minutes||1090°C||Paper||Yes - 9.15 metres||Yes|
|EN1047-1 S 60DIS||60 Minutes||1090°C||Data||Yes - 9.15 metres||Yes|
|EN1047-1 S 120DIS||120 Minutes||1090°C||Data||Yes - 9.15 metres||Yes|
Furnaces are usually heated to between 850°C – 1090°C. The temperature rise inside the safe should stay below:
172°C to protect paper
72°C to protect hard drives and flash drives
52°C for more sensitive media such as microfiche and magnetic tapes
The more stringent standards include removing the safe from the furnace. Then dropping it from a large height to simulate the safe falling through a burning floor. To pass the drop test the safe should not open when dropped. Some tests also include the safe being reheated afterwards. To check that all the seals remain intact.
Some of the more stringent standards include a cooling (soak out) period. This is to simulate the fact that often in large fires. It is not possible to enter the building for long periods of time, even after the fire has been extinguished. Because most safes are made of steel, they will remain hot. In some cases they even continue heating, after the fire is put out.