How Do I Choose the Best Fireproof File Cabinet?

Maggie Worth
Maggie Worth
Padlocks may be used to secure file cabinets.
Padlocks may be used to secure file cabinets.

People often buy fireproof file cabinets in order to protect important documents. Such cabinets come in a range of sizes and prices, and are rated to withstand various levels of fire. Other important features include the ability to lock the cabinet and insulation against heat. Different manufacturers also offer different types of warranties. Choosing the best fireproof file cabinet means evaluating all of these options and determining which product best meets your needs.

One major consideration is size. Such cabinets are available both as traditional freestanding cabinets and as small, portable file boxes. Freestanding cabinets come in one-drawer, two-drawer and four-drawer styles and are available in standard or legal sizes. Portable file boxes and two-drawer cabinets are most often selected for personal use, while larger cabinets may be best for businesses. When choosing a fireproof file cabinet, you'll need to evaluate both the amount of paperwork you wish to store and the space available for placing the unit.

Each fireproof file cabinet should also display a fire rating based on a fire scale. This scale frequently varies from country to country. The rating will tell you what level of fire the cabinet protects against. Some are only effective for small, low-heat fires, while others can withstand very intense fires. It is important to understand that "fireproof" is a blanket term often used to describe cabinets that are fire resistant rather than actually fireproof.

It is also important to note that, in most cases, a fireproof file cabinet only protects against the actual flames of the fire. It is intended to keep important papers from being burned. If you intend to store digital media, however, you may also need a fireproof file cabinet that has been insulated to protect the contents from heat as well.

Most fireproof cabinets are lockable. As such, they are sometimes called "fire safes" because they are both fire resistant and theft-resistant. Locking is, however, an option. You can find cabinets that do not have this feature if you don't want it.

You will also want to take into consideration the warranty offered by the manufacturer. Some warranties cover only the cabinet itself. Most limit the total amount of damages as well, even if they offer a warranty on the contents stored in the cabinet.

All of these various factors come together to determine price. You will need to determine how much you are able and willing to spend in order to get the features you want. It is wise to keep in mind that it is generally less expensive to buy a larger cabinet than two buy two smaller ones of the same quality, so if you think you will soon need additional storage space, you may want to consider purchasing the larger cabinet up front.

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    • Padlocks may be used to secure file cabinets.
      By: VRD
      Padlocks may be used to secure file cabinets.