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Fire Standards

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 EN15695 standard.

Testing

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:
  • Paper
  • Computer Data – flash drives and hard disks
  • Magnetic Data – floppy drives, zip disks and microfiche
Fire Standards
Standard Test Period Temperature Protection Drop Test Cooling Period
EN15659 LFS 30P 30 Minutes 850°C Paper - -
EN15659 LFS 60P 60 Minutes 850°C Paper - -
EN1407-1 S 60P 60 Minutes 1090°C Paper Yes - 9.15 metres Yes
EN1407-1 S 120P 120 Minutes 1090°C Paper Yes - 9.15 metres Yes
EN1407-1 S 60DIS 60 Minutes 1090°C Data Yes - 9.15 metres Yes
EN1407-1 S 120DIS 120 Minutes 1090°C Data Yes - 9.15 metres Yes

Testing Times

Generally safes are fire tested for 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes and 120 minutes.

Indicative Temperatures

Furnaces are usually heated to between 850C – 1090C. The temperature rise inside the safe should stay below:

  • 177oC to protect paper
  • 75oC to protect hard drives and flash drives
  • 52oC for more sensitive media such as microfiche and magnetic tapes

Drop Tests

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.

Cooling Period

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.

Other Standards