Safes in the interior of a house or apartment (small, fireproof, built-in). How to choose? What should you pay attention to?
The safe in the interior of the house is not a decoration, but its preserved potential. We will build on this basic value. Consider the most important nuances that will help you make the right choice..
Features of choice
The wide variety of safes on the market can sometimes make it difficult to choose for a specific storage requirement. There are many test standards, technical specifications, and safety ratings. Therefore, the purpose of this guide is to help you make informed product choices by highlighting different issues to consider..
Wide choice for your interior
High-end safe features:
- varnish, high-quality paint;
- high quality micro-suede inside;
- the rear of the interior is lined with reflective material for improved visibility;
- handcrafted solid wood drawers with easy sliding;
- individual interiors of boxes;
- built-in lighting;
- option for quality, programmable watches;
- electronic or biometric (fingerprint) sensor with a high degree of protection.
Consider the volume of the room
They differ in size and weight, level of fire resistance, intended place of installation and degree of resistance to burglary attempts. They can be protected by several types of locking mechanisms, both mechanical and electronic..
Which one to buy?
First of all, it is important to consider the physical nature of items that must be kept safe..
Safe is an independent element of the interior
Confidential data and irreplaceable documents are prime candidates for protection from fire and other hazards. Test criteria and classifications focused on three main categories of information and presentation:
- the documents: for example, passports, certificates, insurance policies, legal documents and cash;
- digital media: such as USB / memory sticks, DVDs, CDs, digital cameras, iPods, MP3 players and external hard drives;
- computer / magnetic media: For example, computer backups, computer diskettes (floppy disks), traditional internal hard drives, video tapes and audio tapes. Cellulose-based materials such as film, negatives, transparencies and microfiche are almost as vulnerable to fire as storage media and must therefore be stored in fire-resistant models.
Large version can store many things
To decide whether it should have fire-fighting properties, you need to consider the temperature at which the contents begin to lose their properties:
- paper: 177 ° C;
- digit: 120 ° C;
- film: 66 ° C;
- computers: 52 ° C.
Computer data must also be protected from electromagnetic interference caused by fire, as this will damage the information..
Protects against any damage
In the event of a fire, there is also damage due to smoke, flames, dust and hot gases, with the flame temperature usually rising to 450 ° C. Although this can be significantly higher depending on the nature of the fire and the materials that burn.
However, rising humidity levels inside can also pose a hazard to sensitive media and film..
The critical levels above which such items begin to deteriorate are as follows:
- film: humidity 85%;
- computers: limiting humidity to 80%.
Interesting place to place the built-in safe
While, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as a “fireproof safe”, that is, completely safe, immune to fire damage. This term is often used by homeowners and businesses when describing that will protect their values in the event of a fire..
It is important to recognize that no matter how safe and designed it is to protect your valuables from fire. At best, the safe will protect your valuables from fire for several hours..
For this reason, the term “fireproof safe” is usually preferred. He recognizes the fact that all safes designed to be fireproof will simply withstand fire damage for a period of time..
Fireproof only for a specific period of time
Types of safes for home
Obviously, security requirements against unauthorized access under normal operating conditions are important due to the confidential and / or valuable nature of the items stored in it.. There are two main types of safe locks: mechanical and electronic locks..
Their keys (except for clandestine models) are usually supplied in duplicate, which can be a problem if, for example, one of the copies is lost. The worst case scenario is that the entire lock will need to be replaced. However, the technical characteristics of such a locking device tend to become more complex and provide a high level of security with traditional keys..
Consider all conditions before buying
An additional layer of security is provided by a key combination lock, in which the combination disc is located next to the cylinder lock. This provides double security, with one owner can only know the combination and the other only the key..
The first lock can be either a fixed wheel set to a specific combination for life, or an interchangeable combination that will cost more.
Electronic locks are powered by batteries that can be located either inside or outside. In the first case, when the battery is disconnected, the key is always redefined, which leads to blocking.
Electronic version of the safe
The advantage of electronic / digital locks over mechanical locks is that many people who need access to the safe can be assigned a keypad code that can be easily changed if necessary. As with a mechanical lock, the electronic lock provides a high degree of security, including the possibility of a time delay function.
It is also possible for the Programmable Codes Numeric Locking to include an audit trail in which individual key codes were associated with individual users.
This allows you to create an entry for those who have accessed the safe and when it is displayed on the integrated screen using a control code or, in more complex versions, in a downloadable form on a laptop.
Electronic key provides a high degree of protection
In recent years, technological advances have led to the creation of a biometric lock that relies on fingerprint or iris recognition. Biometric fingerprint recognition lock is capable of holding up to 100 users, it includes some non-combustible models, and it is definitely a groundbreaking technology that sets a pattern for the future.
Depending on the specific model, a fireproof safe can provide:
- 30 minutes of fire protection (minimum);
- 60 minutes of fire protection (average);
- up to 120 minutes of fire protection (high level).
One of the most popular options for placing a safe in the living room interior
When tested, models with 60 minute and 120 minute time specifications are exposed to heat in an oven at high temperatures designed for the same or more hazardous conditions in a typical home fire.
To pass a test like this, after being heated in an oven, it must have an internal temperature of less than 176 degrees Celsius. The idea is that as the paper starts to smolder at around 232 degrees, a safe that meets or exceeds this type of testing will protect your documents internally in a real world fire..
Everything for the style of the interior
Fireproof safes are available in different levels of burglary resistance:
- Basic security. Fire resistant models that provide only a basic level of burglary resistance are usually lightweight crates made from a minimal amount of steel. They can be compact in size and built into furniture or other items in the house. This type is relatively inexpensive and can be useful for protecting valuables from fire and keeping valuables from staff, guests, roommates, etc. However, they are not very burglary and may not provide a sufficient level of resistance..
- Class B. Class B security safes are more reliable than fire rated safes, providing only basic security. They have doors that are made of at least 1/2 inch thick steel. Their body is made from at least 1/4 ″ steel. Almost always supplied with a 1/2 “recessed anchor hole located in the center of the base for anchoring to the floor. This type also often has additional safety features built into them, such as locking devices, hard plates that are resistant to drilling, larger locking bolts and better quality bolts. Class B also has safer and more reliable interlocking mechanisms with combination keys and keyboard.
- Class C is similar to class B, except that it is made of thicker steel. Class C safes have doors that are made of at least 1 ″ steel. Their body is made of at least 1/2 ″ steel.
- TL-15 / TL-30 +. Rarely used in residential environments, tool coated, designed to counter fire damage and sophisticated burglary attempts in short periods of time.
May be compact and not very
Certain valuables, such as photographic negatives, analog film and obsolete computer backup media such as floppy disks and magnetic tape, are particularly sensitive to the damaging effects of heat and begin to deteriorate at temperatures well below 176 degrees – litmus test for a fireproof safe designed for document protection.
To protect these types of valuables, they should be stored in a media safe..
It is a special type designed to keep the internal temperature less than 65 degrees Celsius.. Unfortunately, the cost of manufacturing a media safe is much higher than the cost of a conventional one.. For this reason, the price of media safes is usually much higher than the same size fireproof safes designed to protect documents..
Reliable cabinet option
Protection against critical moisture levels inside is not the same as water resistance (although some safes do offer the latter feature). Waterproof refers to the hazards associated with water from external sources such as sprinklers, hoses, or even flooding to a depth of several meters. This type of protection is achieved, for example, by installing airtight, water-resistant door seals in internal compartments..
Design and installation methods
Many safes are designed to be secured to a stationary object to prevent removal during a burglary attempt. Safes that are fire resistant for 60 or 120 minutes can only be mounted on the base, usually through a recessed hole located in the center of the base. They should never be secured through the back wall. This will compromise or eliminate the fireproof structure..
Before buying, you need to think in advance about its placement
As noted above, one of the problems that can arise when storing items is that if the wrong specification is chosen, they can be destroyed by internal moisture levels rather than the heat from a flame..
This is due to the fact that the fire protection is designed in such a way as to make the interior comfortable during a fire..
A typical construction has a double-walled steel body, the cavity of which is filled with a special fire-resistant composite. While this formulation may vary between brands, it will contain a hydrate such as alum or gypsum, which gives off water vapor when heated. Some of this water vapor is directed inward, where it serves both to regulate the internal temperature and to create pressure against external heat from the fire..
Choose the right specification
Pressure / humidity levels are controlled by strategically placing vents or external vents in different parts: for example, the back, top, bottom and front of the door, under the fascia.
This allows some couples to go out into the fire.. These high-precision structural elements enhance the fire resistance of the safe. It is designed in such a way that all gaps are sealed when the materials used to protect the interior react to a fire. For example, the cladding installed on the main door and in any compartments inside, as well as the inner edges of the door, which swell in the midst of a fire and seal the safe.
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It is better to first decide on a safe option. After all, its functionality depends on the choice. Remember, safes can only save your materials for a certain time..