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Are there any designs for FIREPROOF-WATERPROOF diversion safes? Answered

Some of the diversion safes are great but I would like any idea about how I could protect the contents in the event of fire or flood.




8 years ago

Making a container fireproof requires insulation. A fair amount insulation; a house fire can easily hit 1700 degrees and stay there for an hour -- and may involve floors collapsing and dropping the container onto the next floor down. And, if it falls into the basement water resistance does become an issue; if the house is being hosed down, expect the basement to completely fill with water.

It's going to be difficult to make a "diversion safe" which can withstand all of that without it being bulky enough to draw attention to itself. And it's going to be tricky to homebrew something really effective at all of that.

My advice would be to get a fire chest -- a good basic rating for home use is the UL 1-hour 350-degree rating; there's a Japanese equivalent rating which *may* be trustworthy -- and then build diversion furniture around it. The cheapies from Sentry and such *DO* work as fire chests -- but should never be confused with safes, despite their appearance; they really aren't secure enough.

Note that a 1-hour/350 rating is fine for paper and for optical media but NOT for film or magnetic media. The inexpensive boxes work partly by releasing moisture to actively cool themselves, and film and magnetic media are both more sensitive to temperature and really don't like high humidity. For those, you need a fancier (and more expensive) container.