Don’t Get Burned when buying fireproof safe….

November 25th, 2008

Below is a great article on cheap fireproof safes.  Long after the savings of cheap quality and cheap workmanship…..the disaster of your stuff will wear on….. 

Fires can destroy lives, home and all your most valuable possessions. So it’s important to protect them. But what you may think is “safe” could be anything but! 7’s Sorboni Banerjee puts portable safes to the fire test so you “Don’t Get Burned.”

It happened in a flash… from sunshine to thunderclouds.  Before the family knew it, lightening struck their house.  A fierce fire ignited.

Mike Saraceno, fire victim
“It burnt basically all of upstairs and through the roof.”

The Saraceno family lost a lot. But the things they’d put in that safe were safe.

Mike Saraceno, fire victim
“I would have lost all that stuff.”

But 7News found that not all safes are the same when it comes to protecting your valuables in a fire. We chose three different styles and put them to the test.

The first safe is fire retardant, which means it’s resistant to catching fire. It sells for about twenty dollars. The second safe is labeled fireproof. That means it should never catch fire. This safe cost 26 dollars. And our third safe advertises it’s both fireproof and waterproof.. It’s our most expensive, at over 40 dollars.

We’re putting the same exact things in each of the safes; money, pictures inside an airtight container, DVDs, important documents, and then locking them up.

With the help of the Springfield Fire Department, we place the safes in a specially designed room and light a fire.

The room is about 1500 degrees and we have our safes on the floor though so it should be a bit cooler.

Sorboni Banerjee, 7News
“In a real house it would be even worse?”

Captain Mike Richard, Springfield Fire Department
“Yes, it would be definitely worse.”

About ten minutes later, firefighters douse the flames.

The first safe, the fire retardant one, looks like it held up ok on the outside. But inside, the contents tell a different story.

Sorboni Banerjee, 7News
“Everything is really, really wet.”

The second safe, the fireproof one shows signs of melting.

Sorboni Banerjee, 7News 
“This one is a little less damp, important documents, pictures, money is good, DVDs and other papers are pretty soggy, but not burnt.”

The third safe, which is supposed to protect valuables from fire and water, melted shut. But it’s what’s inside that matters.

Sorboni Banerjee, 7News
“Everything in the big black safe is completely dry.”

Fire experts say for maximum protection, the best bet is a fireproof and waterproof safe.

Captain Mike Richard, Springfield Fire Department
“The water can do as much damage as fire can.”

And it’s important where you put your safe.

Captain Mike Richard, Springfield Fire Department 
“The best place to put any valuables is as close to the floor as possible as long as they’re waterproof.”

For the Saraceno’s, their safe proved to be a saving grace.

Captain Mike Richard, Springfield Fire Department
“It’s a very minimal expense to give you a little piece of mind.”

And now they encourage other families to get the proper protection so you “Don’t Get Burned.”

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