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One of the saddest stories that inevitably comes out of a house fire is that of the sentimental items lost: pictures, mementos, souvenirs -- not necessarily valuable, but all irreplaceable. To help diminish these kinds of losses, many companies offer fire safes, locked cabinets or boxes that keep valuables safe in the event of a fire.
Homeowners can usually get small fire safes starting at about US$50. These are usually small boxes, sometimes with compartment dividers to keep items organized. There are larger fire safes that resemble filing cabinets in the US$90 range and up. These safes are usually used for storing vital documents and other items of value. Most home fire safes are small enough to be tucked away in a closet or under a bed, and the homeowner must be able to tell the fire fighter exactly where to look for them.
Homeowners also need to think about fire safes if they own firearms. These safes will not only help keep their firearms from being damaged, they will also keep the guns secure in storage. Good quality fire safes for guns will start at about US$500. If a homeowner wants to own firearms responsibly, he will keep them in a secure area. Using a fire safe also protects his investment. Some homeowners insurance will offer a discount for firearms kept in fire safes.
Shoppers looking at fire safes should consider price, size and fire ratings. Fire ratings indicate how long the safe will stand up to a certain temperature for a certain amount of time. The higher the rating, the more heat-resistant the safe.
Many businesses also benefit from fire safes. This is especially true for any organization that stores valuable archives. Most newspaper offices, for example, store their past editions on microfilm, and it would be a tremendous loss to the paper and the community if the microfilm was destroyed in a fire. State archives buildings and museums often have the most valuable pieces in their collections stored in fire safes.
Those who store archival material may consider fire safes that are waterproof as well. This will prevent the items inside from being destroyed by floods or by water used to extinguish a fire.
Home and business owners who store valued items should certainly think about keeping them in fire safes.
The term "fire proof safe" is a misnomer. There is in fact, no "fire proof safe" on the market. Steel begins to disintegrate at 2300 degrees and any safe will begin to melt at that temperature. A fire rated safe can provide a certified time period of fire protection before the initiation of any disintegration takes place.
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