Fire at National Archives highlights need for document protection

Sentry-SFW123CSB-fire-and-waterproof-safe-1A recent fire at the National Archives in Kew, home to some of the UK’s most important historical documents, was tackled by 20 firefighters. The blaze was caused by two disused water towers at the site in Richmond, South-West London.

The National Archives is the official UK government archive and publisher and holds 11 million historical documents of national importance, some dating back more than 1,000 years. Among its collection are the Domesday Book, parchments, electronic records, photographs, posters, maps and paintings.

Fortunately everyone was evacuated from the building safely and no documents were damaged although the building was closed to the public for a short period for recovery.

This type of incident focuses people’s attention on the importance of preserving key documents and items of irreplaceable value, not just for large national institutions but also for businesses and individuals. For this reason more and more people are looking at ways to preserve such items in the event of a fire.

Safelincs has a range of solutions ranging that start with fireproof document boxes for under £30 and go right up to high capacity fire safes for storing computer media and files.

And, in the light of recent floods we are increasingly being asked for safes that will provide water protection as well. We have a range of fire and waterproof safes for paper documents and digital media that start at under £200. These fireproof safes with water protection have UL certification and have passed submersion testing to ensure their suitability.

Business Continuity: Protecting business data against floods and fire

USB ConnectionThe recent floods in the south and south west of England have made businesses from all over the country re-assess their plans for business continuity. Bosses are considering what the vital elements of the business are and what needs to be preserved at all costs. Top of the list is usually preserving the IT and computer systems. Many organisations backup their systems offsite but there is still a need to ensure any onsite digital media and key documents are secured safely.

At Safelincs we are experiencing more customers who are asking for safes that are not only fireproof but will also resist water. We can offer them a range of safes that offer protection against both. Documents, CDs, DVDs and other valuables can be secured with fireproof safes that have UL certification and have passed water submersion testing to ensure their suitability. One particular range of waterproof and fireproof safes can protect hard drives which are still connected to the computer system. This is achieved with a USB connection to the safe and allows a business to protect hard drives without having to move them daily from the computer system to a secure storage location.

Prices start at under £160 for a smaller safe whilst the top of the range fire and water resistant safe has a capacity of 221 litres.

New fire and waterproof safe section

Traditionally, Safelincs focused on the fire protection for valuables, paper and electronic data, offering a substantial range of fire safes to meet customers’ needs. Through discussions with our customers it emerged that there was a need for fire safes with additional water protection, protecting documents and electronic data carriers in case of floods or in fact from the water used for fire fighting in a blaze. The intumescent seals used in most fire safes, whilst performing fantastically in case of fire, do not help in case of flooding, as they require intense heat to fully seal off the safe.

We have therefore introduced a category of fire and waterproof safes to address this requirements. These safes, certified by ETL, can sit in water for over 24 hours and will remain sealed and dry inside.

We are always looking to improve our product range; should you have a requirement or idea for improved or new products, please let us know and we will try our best to make the changes or introduce new products to meet your needs.