How to Protect Important Documents From a Fire?

Fireproofing for documents becomes even more important when the documents are kept in a location that is vulnerable to catching fire. For instance: 

  • One might have a cabinet to keep documentation in a workshop, close to incandescent solvents. 
  • Corporate offices may also be vulnerable to minor fire hazards, which may be caused due to short-circuiting of electrical connections. 

Overall, fireproofing important documents is a good idea, irrespective of where you keep them. An important advantage of fireproofing documents is that it does not consume too much time, effort, or investment of money. So, it is better to fireproof the documents and be sure, just in case.

This way, even if a fire happens to break out, one has instant access to original copies of important documents, such as passports and money. But, will paper money burn in a fireproof document safe?

Before you proceed, here’s the best fireproof document safe and the best fireproof document bag in the market this year.

DocSafe Document Bag with Lock

When we assess the most important ways of fireproofing documents, using a fireproof document safe is the first among them. It safeguards documents not just against fire, but against theft as well.

A few of the other most important ways to fireproof documents are to maintain an online copy of them, renting a safe deposit box, or using a fire-resistant file holder.

Fire damage insurance is a potent safeguard against fire hazards

Overall, fire is an unlikely disaster that people often prefer to not dwell upon. But when safeguarding your assets against such natural disasters, it is better to invest in fire damage insurance for your home, which will provide peace of mind.

Similarly, storing your documents in a safe location also helps to prepare you for such emergencies. One of the ways to go about it is to store your documents in a location that is safe and accessible. To go about the same, one should consider the documents that are the most important. This may be the type of documents that you will want to keep with yourself in case you were required to leave your home in the event of a fire hazard. (1)

Once you have the list of the most important documents ready with you, we can start looking for the safest places to store them.

Legal documents frequently make the best candidates for fireproofing

Under hazardous circumstances, such as a fire hazard, the requirement of important legal documents is going to be pronounced. One would want to make insurance claims, file police reports, and ensure business continuity. Fireproofing the document is hence a reasonable safeguard against additional hassle in such testing times.

One of the ways of fireproofing documents is to use the services of a third-party vendor, such as a bank or a security deposit box services provider. But there are some ways of fireproofing and securing important documents at your home or workplace, such as a shop, showroom, workshop, or office as well. Let us take a look at them: (2)

1. Fireproof Bags

 

JUNDUN Fireproof Document BagsFireproof bags that look similar to an envelope are one of the best ways of storing identification documents, cash, and small-sized valuables. But such fireproof bags are small, and to store paper in them, you’d be required to fold the papers. Hence, it is a fine idea to go for a folder-style bag to keep your paperwork. 

Folder-style bags that can hold 100 or 50 sheets of paper are easily available. In a few cases, they can store oversized documents comfortably as well.

A fireproof bag is made using superior materials, such as silicone-coated fiberglass and aluminum foil lining that makes it fire resistant. They may be fire-resistant up to temperatures of 2500 F in some cases. 

2. A Fireproof Safe instead of a Fire Deposit Box

 

It is a fine idea to invest in a fireproof safe for the home. This makes a feasible alternative to storing the documents in the bank. The access to important documents such as insurance papers and passports will then be instant. One will not have to rely on the bank opening. 

A homeowner should then be meticulous regarding the fireproof safe that he wants to go ahead with for storing his documentation. The safe chosen should correspond to the materials that he intends to store in the safe. For instance, for storing paper and documentation, you’d require a safe that can withstand temperatures of 350 F and more. Similarly, for storing internal hard drives, a fire-resistant safe rated at 150 F or more should suffice.

For storing the items that you do not need to access frequently, storing them in a bank is a fine alternative.

3. Commercial Flame Retardants

 

Anderson's Black Flame Retardant Gossamer FabricUsing commercial flame retardants is a relatively new method for fireproofing documents. A flame retardant may be classified as a chemical that either slows down the fire or prevents it from getting to the materials that have been earlier treated with it.

Paper and cardboard boxes that are untreated are generally highly flammable. Treating them with commercial flame retardants makes them less flammable.

Commercial flame retardants are safe to use on most paperboard materials and papers. They are odorless, colorless. Being water-based makes them soluble and easy to use.

4. Use Homemade Wax Coating

 

homemade wax coatingDocuments can be fireproofed by coating them with wax. While wax does melt, it requires high temperatures to burn. To use this method, the first slice opens a candle lengthwise using a knife or hammer and remove the wick. Place the wax in a plastic bag and seal the bag. Use a hammer for grinding the wax into small pieces. 

Now cover the ironing board with a soft towel. Place the wax pieces on parchment paper and fold the paper. Use a warm iron to melt the wax. 

Now open the parchment paper and place the document over which you want to apply the wax treatment. Fold the parchment paper away. Your document now has a fire-resistant coating. Dry your document by placing paper towels on either side. When you wax both sides of your documents, the fire resistance will be better.

Conclusion

With the tips mentioned over here, your documents will have the best chances of surviving in case a hazard strikes.

References

(1) fire hazard – http://fire.nv.gov/uploadedfiles/firenvgov/content/bureaus/FST/2-ifipp-FHsm.pdf
(2) third-party vendor – https://securityscorecard.com/blog/what-is-a-third-party-vendor

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John Fox

John Fox

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is John Fox and I’ve been working as a security consultant for over 20 years now. During my time in the industry, I’ve learned about what it takes to ensure your home and family are always safe. With Safe Now, I’ve tried to take those two decades of experience and share it with others. My goal now is to help others figure out how to make the right choices for their businesses and families. On my website, you’ll find tips and guides on how to prevent crimes, as well as product recommendations. What’s more, my readers can learn more about what to do in case of an emergency and how to protect themselves at all times. So, if you want to know everything there is about security systems and home safety, I invite you to join me and my team and help us build a community together.

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