Sunday, September 18, 2011

Underwriters Laboratories - Fire Safe Rating

When a safe receives a fire safety rating, there are a number of tests that the safe must survive before that label is placed. Underwriters Laboratories, a not-for-profit independent testing organization was founded in 1984 and they provide the most reliable testing and labeling for safes sold today. However, it is important to note that this testing is done of their own accord. There is no law that states that safes must be labeled with this information. 

All products complete four different fire resistance tests before they can be labeled:

  1. Fire Endurance
  2. Fire and Impact
  3. Explosion Hazard
  4. Combined Explosion and Impact

The safes are tested with a variety of products inside them - ranging from paper to cassette tapes to microfilm and discs. The temperature that you see listed on the UL label of a safe represents the maximum temperature that the items inside the safe can withstand. The time listed on the UL label represents the maximum time that the items can withstand the head. Keep in mind, a one-hour safe can provide more than one hour of protection for itself, but not necessarily the items inside. 

The time rating also indicates how hot the furnace temperature reaches during UL's testing process:

  • One-Half Hour Rated Products - The furnace is heated up to 1550°F over a one-half hour time period. During this time, the interior of the product cannot exceed the classification temperature or humidity (if applicable) limits.
  • One-Hour Rated Products - 1700°F
  • Two-Hour Rated Products - 1850°F
  • Three-Hour Rated Products - 1920°F
  • Four-Hour Rated Products - 2000°F

Welter Lock & Safe is proud to offer fire resistant safes and more! Visit our website for more information.  

Source: KLSSecurity

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