When you run a business, you always think about the partner relations, sales, earnings, and other issues. However, sometimes, we all seem to forget about small, yet vital thing – protection of information. Do you protect the most important files from theft or natural disasters? Earthquakes, tornadoes, fires and other natural disasters destroy many businesses every year and lead to inability to restore the damaged information.
If you are willing to protect the information, the first thing you need is a fireproof file cabinet. Such file cabinets have played an essential role in helping the documents survive disaster. Below you will find several tips and things-to-know when purchasing a fireproof file cabinet.
What type of information you intend to store in the file cabinet
Many people do not know that there are two kinds of fireproof cabinets. There are file cabinets for paper information protection and storage, and there are ones for computer data storage. After you made up your mind what type of information you intend to store, you should determine the sizes of the cabinet, its weight and price range.
Here you should bear in mind that data storage cabinets and document storage cabinets differ in fire rating, as data cabinets have UL 125 or UL 72 Fire Rating, while document cabinets have UL 350 rating. Be sure you buy the right type of the cabinet, because you can’t store data in the cabinets intended for document storage – it would melt!
What are UL 125 and UL 350 ratings?
The UL 125 and UL 350 are the two major tests that UL (Underwriter’s Laboratories) performs to establish fireproof capacity. The UL 125 test is for computer data and means that the internal temperature in the cabinet will not rise above 125°F during 1 hour at 1700°F external temperature. As regards the UL 350 test it deals with cabinets intended for paper documents, and means that internal temperature will not go above 350°F in the same conditions, as documents start to burn at 400°F.
Fire cabinets differ in fire ratings
If you are storing computer data, you should opt for a cabinet with a UL 72 or UL 125 fire rating. If the cabinet doesn’t have that rating, your computer media is likely to melt down in case of fire. This UL fire rating determines that the internal of the cabinet would not exceed 125° F – the temperature of melting for media data, such as CD, DVD, USB, etc.
Fire Ratings – UL Listed vs. UL Rated
They do differ. If the product states “tested to UL standards”, it means it was submitted for testing, but hasn’t passed the test yet. When the product was approved, it says “UL Listed.” Remember to check that, as it’s vital!
Difference in fire protection times
According to the Statistics, the average fire time is around 20 minutes and 800°F of temperature. The UL test of UL 125°F and UL 350°F fire ratings is conducted during 60 minutes at 1700°F. And according to the leading manufacturers of fireproof file cabinets, they never experienced a product fail, meaning that 1 hour fire-proof cabinet gives more than considerable protection, unless your office is not located in a very remote area.