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    What makes a fireproof file cabinet "fireproof" ?

    Posted on 8th Jan 2019 in File Cabinets

    If you work for a company that holds many documents and files, then you may want to consider purchasing a fireproof cabinet. In fact, some insurance agencies may require that your company purchase one for safety or liability purposes, depending on what industry you work in.

    So, what makes a cabinet fireproof? And how do I know how to choose which one to buy? And what does fireproof mean anyway?

    The answer to all of those questions and more will be answered below.

    What makes a cabinet fireproof?

    Manufacturers use a mixture of fire-resistant insulation, strong metals, and strict welding techniques to produce strong cabinets for customers. There are other materials and techniques that go into making the strongest cabinet, but many of this information is an industry secret!



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    Who tests filing cabinets anyway?

    A non-profit organization called Underwriters Laboratories (UL) assesses thousands of products every year to ensure that manufacturers keep their products to specific standards. A product tested in their lab is marked with a UL rating, according to their results.

    For anything that is used to house or protect files, they organize products on this scale:

    1. Class 350-rated files and safes protect paper products
    2. Class 150-rated files and media safes protect magnetic tapes and photographic film
    3. Class 125-rated files and data safes protect flexible computer disks

    UL fireproof ratings and why they matter

    When dealing with fireproof file cabinets, these ratings determine just how well the object protects contents from a fire. To test this, a lab will expose a cabinet to heat on all six of its sides for varied lengths of time and different temperatures to see how well it holds up.



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    UL Class 350 1-hour
    • When placed in external temperatures of over 1700°, the internal temperature of the safe will not exceed 350° for at least one hour
    • Meant for protecting paper documents
    UL Class 350 2-hour
    • When placed in external temperatures of over 1700°, the internal temperature of the safe will not exceed 350° for at least two hours
    • Meant for protecting paper documents
    UL Class 125 1-hour
    • When placed in external temperatures of over 1700°, the internal temperature of the safe will not exceed 125° for at least one hour. Also, humidity levels cannot rise past 80%. Cabinets also protect against weak magnetic fields.
    • Meant for protecting digital media
    UL Class 125 2-hour
    • When placed in external temperatures of over 1700°, the internal temperature of the safe will not exceed 125° for at least one hour and humidity levels will not rise past 80%. Cabinets also protect against weak magnetic fields.
    • Meant for protecting digital media
    UL Class 125 3-hour
    • When placed in external temperatures of over 1950°, the internal temperature of the safe will not exceed 125° for at least three hours and humidity levels will not rise past 80%. Cabinets also protect against weak magnetic fields.
    • Meant for protecting digital media

    UL Impact Ratings

    In addition to testing for fire resistance, UL also tests products for impact resistance. Products with this rating must be able to withstand a fall from several stories.

    As you can see, there are filing cabinets to fit the needs of any company!

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