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A fire resistant bag, also called a fireproof bag, is a lightweight carrying case that is made for transporting documents, money, or other materials that must be protected from possible harm, specifically from fire damage. There are different varieties of materials and fabrics that these types of bags can be constructed of, and they can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with different types of features. They are used mainly when their contents must be transported often, and when conventional types of fireproof containers, such as safes, are simply too difficult to be carried from one place to another.
Since most types of documents and paper money will burn very easily, a fire resistant bag can be a good defense to protect them in the event of a fire. In addition to money, the types of documents commonly contained within these bags can include birth certificates, passports, deeds, titles, paper-based antiques, and many other types of sensitive or one-of-a-kind documents. In addition, a fire resistant bag can be used for practically anything that its carrier wishes to protect, as long as it fits.
The material of a fire resistant bag has to be made from fire resistant material such as asbestos or fiberglass. Several layers of fireproof material can line the pockets and sides of the bag, as well as a layer of metallic material to help deflect heat. Together, these layers may also be helpful in protecting the contents from water damage.
The designs of fire resistant bags range from simple to more complex, and can incorporate one or many zippered pockets. Every aspect must be created to help prevent fire damage; for example, the zippers are usually covered with flaps to help protect them. Many bags are also designed for security purposes, so locks can be an important built-in component.
While the bag may prevent what is inside it from burning, its contents could certainly be affected by extreme amounts of heat. For example, the bag may not keep a compact disc from melting in an intense fire. Since there are different types of fires, the level of resistance will often vary depending upon the material of the case as well as the intensity of the fire. A fire resistant bag could last through a quick car fire, for instance, but not be durable enough to survive a house fire, where a stronger defense may be necessary for much hotter temperatures.
A common use for fire resistant bags is the transportation of money and documents between businesses, banks and other financial institutions. Their use is often mandatory because of the high probability of fires when car accidents occur, even though most types of armored vehicles are built to be somewhat fireproof themselves. The designs of the bags also lend themselves to be more secure against theft than typical carrying cases.
I had seen money bags many times, but I didn't know they were fire resistant until a friend in college took his pocket lighter and tried to set one of the bags on fire in order to show me how money bags protect the money inside of them. I gained a new respect for fire retardant and fire resistant materials.
Traditionally, fire resistant document bags have been reserved for government carriers and other people who handle important official documents. At least that's what I thought until I realized that there are many papers and other items that I would not want to be destroyed in a fire.
Once I thought about how important some of my items are to me, I immediately began to take measures to ensure their well being in case of a fire. In addition to buying a fire-proof safe, I purchased fire resistant bags for some of the items I want to protect.
I wish the bags were better able to withstand higher temperatures, but, as the article says, these bags are worth having in many instances. I feel more secure with my documents at least partially protected.