There is a huge general misconception that steel filing cabinets are fireproof.
The fact that these cabinets are made of metal means they provide little to no insulation from heat.
This means that heat from a fire will simply be transferred to the paper or other items kept in the cabinet and these items will more than likely burst into flames.
However, not all steel filing cabinets are created the same way and it is important to understand the difference between fireproof and fire-resistant filing cabinets.
If you understand the difference, you can then make sure that your documents and other valuable materials are provided with the greatest level of protection in the event of a fire.
Fireproof simply means that the cabinets are less likely to burn or to cause the items held inside to burn in the event of a fire.
In other words, the cabinets really only provide a physical layer of protection between the flames and the contents of the cabinet.
However, it does not insulate these items from the intense heat that a fire can generate which can be as high as 600 degrees Celsius.
These extreme temperatures can cause some items to catch alight without having been exposed to any flames at all.
Fireproof steel filing cabinets, therefore, provide minimal protection for their contents in the event of any fire, except perhaps the smallest blaze.
While these cabinets may look very similar to your regular filing cabinets, they have been treated with fire retardant chemicals and/or materials.
This is done in order to provide better insulation for their contents.
These materials reduce the transfer of heat and are therefore less likely to allow the items inside the cabinet to become damaged by heat or burst into flames.
While the metal structure of the cabinet may still conduct the heat, the retardant material lining the inside of the cabinet will prevent the heat from being transferred to the contents.
Fire-resistant cabinets are therefore more preferable to those that offer only heat proofing in protecting the items contained inside.
Of course, these treated cabinets do come at a higher price. However, it is essential to take into consideration the value of the contents.
If the contents are sensitive documents or other valuable items – then it may be worth the slightly higher cost in order to provide the maximum protection that a steel filing cabinet can offer.
It is still important to note that even fire-resistant cabinets cannot prevent the contents from combusting under extremely high temperatures for extended periods of time.
The resistant material should, however, be sufficient to prevent this from happening at least until the fire is extinguished.
It is also important to be aware that not all fire-resistant filing cabinets are the same.
Some cabinets are able to withstand higher temperatures for longer periods of time than others.
It is recommended to select a fire-resistant cabinet according to the value of the documents and other items that it may contain.
An extreme fire may destroy the cabinet as well as the fire retardant materials, but the contents should still remain safe and sound.
Filing cabinets make up just one small portion of your office and its furnishings.
We offer a full range of standard and custom made furniture to suit individual customers or major projects.
Please call us today on (03) 8315 6400 or contact us through our website: https://www.kenn.com.au/contact-us/.