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Fireproof Safes & Data Storage FAQs

Does bolting down affect the fire and water resistance of my safe?

The fire rating of your fireproof safe will not be affected by bolting it down if the installation is carried out according to the manufacturer's instructions. Safes that also offer protection against water are no longer water tight after bolting down.

What can I store in a fire safe?

There are three main categories of items that can be stored in a fireproof safe:
  • Paper (e.g. passports, certificates, insurance policies, deeds and cash)
  • Digital media (e.g. USB / memory sticks, DVDs, CDs, digital cameras, iPods, MP3 players and external hard drives)
  • Data / magnetic media (e.g. computer back-up tapes, floppy disks, traditional internal hard drives and video / audio tapes)
It is important to choose the correct specification of safe, according to the type of item(s) you wish to protect. See our fireproof safes guide for more information.

NB: If you require a fire proof safe to store your valuables as well as your paper documents, digital and magnetic records, please see our range of Fire and Security Safes.

Will my safe require installation?

No, installation is optional unless you are required to have the safe bolted down for insurance purposes for example. In this instance we stock a wide selection of safes that can be bolted to a wall or floor. Although installation can usually be carried out by yourself, it would always be best to employ a professional installation engineer to ensure security and ensure that you have met your insurers requirements.

What happens if the batteries run down or I have dead batteries on a safe with an electronic lock?

All electronic locks are designed to save your key combination through an internal memory even if the batteries run completely flat. For some safes, the batteries are accessible from the outside and are very easy to replace by following the manufacturer's instructions. Once replaced, you will be able to enter your code and unlock the safe.

Some safes however, have the battery compartment accessible via the inside of the safe. In these circumstances, the safe is often supplied with a manual override key which will allow you to open the safe to replace the batteries if they are depleted and the electronic lock is non-functional. It is a good idea to keep the override key in a secure location and not inside your safe.

Can I change the electronic lock combination myself?

Yes, full instructions on how to change the key code will be in your safe manual. Changing your combination differs from model to model If you no longer have your manual or require any assistance then please contact us for further information.

Can safes be bolted down?

Some safes can be bolted down and fixed to either the floor or a wall. To help you chose the right safe we have included this information in the product description for all our safes. Those that do offer this option will usually be pre-drilled, or supplied with instructions for drilling, and a fixing kit for a professional to carry out the installation.

Are there any additional charges for delivering to an upper floor?

Yes, there are additional costs to deliver a safe to an upper floor via steps. Our Free Delivery includes the delivery of the safe to your door, only. This applies to any UK mainland location.

If you require the safe to be transported to different floor levels via stairs, please contact us for a quote on 0800 612 6537 or e-mail us on

What is a cash rating on a safe and how is it determined?

The cash rating of a safe is the amount of cash for which an insurance company will offer overnight insurance cover. Different insurers may vary their levels of cover based on other factors such as the location of the safe. Cash ratings are determined by the thickness of the door and walls, the type of lock used, and the general build quality of a safe. The higher the cash rating the more secure the safe is.

Use our cash/valuable cover filters in our safe section to find the right safe for your needs.

What does 'water resistance' mean?

Having a fireproof safe or box with water resistance adds protection for documents and valuables against water damage from flooding, fire-fighting hoses, burst pipes or other water hazards. Water resistance means that the safe or box will protect its contents for a specific period of time when the safe is sitting in water.

Waterproof safes, in addition to their water resistance testing have also been proven to protect safe contents when submersed in water for 72 hours.

Do fireproof filing cabinets actually work?

Yes, our fireproof filing cabinets do work as long as you choose the correct type for the item(s) you wish to protect. Each type of media starts to degrade at a different temperature. Please see our fireproof safes and storage help guide for more information.

Please note: if you require protection for cash and valuables, our range of fireproof safes are more suitable.

How do I prevent mildew build-up in my fireproof safe?

Fireproof and waterproof safes are airtight and items stored in the safe are likely to contain moisture that will cause condensation to form over time. You should regularly air your fireproof and waterproof safe or box to avoid mold or mildew build up and moisture damage.

What does ‘humidity level’ mean?

The humidity level inside a fireproof safe or fireproof box refers to the amount of moisture that occurs inside the safe in the event of a fire. It is important to select the correct safe for the type of medium you want to store inside to ensure the humidity level does not effect the contents.

How do fireproof safes work?

Fireproof safes work by releasing steam inside the safe to protect contents during a fire. The extent to which the safe is ventilated to release this build-up of steam will determine what items can be safely stored inside. Data safes should have a humidity level that does not exceed 85% for film or 80% for data.

Data or media items that are at risk in humid conditions include:

  • Floppy discs
  • Cassette or video tapes
  • Hard drives
  • Photos and film negatives
  • CDs or DVDs
  • USB drives

Fireproof and waterproof safes are airtight and items stored in the safe are likely to contain moisture that will cause condensation to form over time. They should be regularly aired out to avoid mold or mildew build up and moisture damage.


(doc:541 V1.0). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.


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