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Fireproof Safes & Data Storage FAQs

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.

View all fireproof safes & data storage FAQs


(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.