A safe or a file cabinet are secure storage units that can protect the items stored inside it from fire, heat, dust, moisture, and theft attempts. If you have to store something important and valuable in your office, these storage units are the best way to go about it. Unfortunately, choosing the right safe or file cabinet isn’t easy, especially for a regular customer that doesn’t know much about these storage units. There are a number of options available in the market and it's important to consider each one of them carefully before making a purchase. Here’s a brief guide that can help you:
1. What do you need the safe or file cabinet for?
Before you attempt to research or purchase a safe or file cabinet, consider what you need the secure storage unit for. Do you want to store money, delicate but expensive tools, documents, and digital storage devices like hard disk drives and USBs? Knowing what you need the safe for can help narrow down the search results and make research easier. Once you have all the information needed, look at the specifications of the storage units to determine if it fits the requirements.
2. How much storage space do you need?
One of the first things to consider is the storage space. Customers often underestimate just how much space they need and choose smaller safes and file cabinets in order to save some money. It’s better to buy a bigger safe with a little extra money than to buy a smaller safe now and be forced to buy another one later to accommodate all valuable items. A good rule of thumb to follow is to always buy a size larger than what you think you need.
3. Do you need data and technology protection safes?
Some safes are designed specifically to house digital storage devices like hard disk drives, CDs, UBSs, laptops, etc. Manufacturers recommend not subjecting these devices to heat of more than 125°F and humidity of more than 85%. These safes are designed to withstand high levels of heat and ensure the inside environment is relatively cool. If the metal of the safe is too thin, the heat can transfer inside the safe even is the fire is kept outside.
4. Does the file cabinet or safe have an adequate fire rating?
File cabinets and safes available online have different fire ratings, which can make your choice a little more difficult. For the best protection, choose a safe or file cabinet with a fire rating for at least one hour. These are designed to withstand fire and heat for a full hour before they start to transfer heat to the interiors and become damaged. There are safes available with a rating of two hours and 3 hours as well. Higher rated are always a better choice; so if you have some room in your budget, choose a safe or file cabinet rated to be fire resistant for up to three hours.
5. Does it prevent break-ins?
Not all fire-resistant safes and file cabinets can protect valuables from theft. Some of these are quite easy to break into, which is why it’s important to consider the locking mechanism and the resilience of the structure. A combination of mechanical and electronic locking system provides the best protection. Modern electronic locks aren’t susceptible to EMP and mechanical locks are very intricate.
If you take all of these factors into consideration, you’ll find the best product for your office. Don’t hesitate to splurge a little because low-quality and low-priced file cabinets and safes won’t provide the level of protection needed in order to keep your valuable items safe. Good quality safes and file cabinets can easily last for decades so this is a one-time expense.
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