Many safe consumers assume that sensitive items such as hard drives, DVD's or photographs can be stored in a standard fireproof safe and that these items will be protected. This is false and if those items were to be stored in such a safe, they would be damaged from a fire or some climatic change. The kind of safe that is specifically designed to hold these items and protect them is called a data/media safe or a data/media file cabinet.
They can be purchased as a standalone safe or one to place inside of another safe for extra protection. There are several major differences between a standard fireproof safe and a data/media safe that are important to keep in mind if you have these type of items you are looking to keep protected.
Fireproof safes are designed to protect paper documents and not data or media. Paper or money will burst into flames at precisely 451 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to keep the internal temperature below 350 degrees in a fire, moisture is pumped into the safe by the aggregate composite material.
This creates "steam" to keep it below this temperature. Under the Laws of Physics, steam will not exceed 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This is how a fireproof safe protects paper and money. Sensitive data/media starts to incur damages at 125 degrees or 85% humidity, so this is why it should NOT be kept in just a standard fire safe. Data/media safes keep the temperature below 125 degrees and the relative humidity inside the safe below 85%.
In addition to having more composite aggregate material to keep temperatures below 125 degrees, data/media safes have a thick wood liner that protects the data/media from moisture and from outside magnetic interference. What sensitive items should be stored in a data/media safe or data/media file cabinet?
- Hard Drives
- Tape Backups
- Precious Photographs & Negatives
- Cassette Tapes
- Zip Disks
- Jazz Disks
If you have these items that you want protected, do not purchase a standard fire safe that is only designed to protect papers and instead purchase a data/media safe or data/media file cabinet. Make sure you spend the extra money to get REAL protection against a fire and true protection for your data/media. If you want the added security of burglar protection, many manufacturers make their data/media safes with this option.
You can also purchase a separate burglar safe to put your data/media safe inside of to give you that extra protection. If you have any questions regarding data/media safes, please give us a call at 800-207-2259 today!