Are Metal Filing Cabinets Fireproof?

Metal filing cabinets are not fireproof, however, there are fire-resistant options when looking for a metal storage cabinet that will help to keep your documents as safe as possible in the event of a fire. 

Why Aren’t Metal Filing Cabinets Fireproof? 

Whilst many filing cabinets are made from steel, a non-combustible material, steel is also a good conductor of heat. This means that if there is paper (a highly flammable material) stored inside, this could easily catch fire as a result of heat transferred to the inside of the cabinet. 

With this in mind, there are fire-resistant options which will protect your documents. Filing cabinets with fire-resistant qualities will usually contain a layer of fireproof insulation between the layers of the cabinet walls. These layers slow the rate in which internal temperatures rise, providing more time for the fire to be extinguished before the cabinet becomes too hot. This extra amount of time can be crucial in ensuring that your important documents are kept safe.

Things to Look for When Choosing a Fireproof Filing Cabinet: 

How much protection does it have? 

Storage cabinets will have varying levels of fire protection. It is important to check the heat levels it can resist, as well as the amount of time it can last. Some cabinets will also provide individual protection for drawers so that if one is accidentally left open, the others will not be affected by this. 

The fire protection standard (paper) is NT017- 60, which will provide 60 minutes of fire protection. Similarly, the fire protection standard (digital media) is tested to MTC-DIP120-60DM, which also provides 60 minutes of fire protection for digital media such as USB memory sticks and hard drives. Make sure you check that products meet these standards so you have the best possible protection.

Does it have water-resistant seals? 

It is equally important that your filing cabinet is also water-resistant. Look for water-resistant seals that help to prevent water damage, so if sprinklers are triggered during a fire, your documents will remain safe and dry. 

How Should Flammable Materials be Stored? 

You may also be wondering about the best ways to store flammable materials. A flammable storage cabinet, such as a COSHH cabinet, is designed to meet the standards of the Health and Safety Executive Guide HSG51 and DSEAR 2002 so that any hazardous substances in the workplace are safely stored. It is vital to restrict access to hazardous substances in the workplace as they can pose a threat to health. 

Flammable storage cabinets will have varying features to protect their contents. This could include fire-resistant steel walls, vents and flame arresters with insulating air space for fire resistance and a design that can withstand the early minutes of exposure to fire. It is also important that your flammable storage cabinet has a flammable label visible, as this will ensure that those in the workplace are aware of its dangerous contents. 

Looking for a Metal Storage Cabinet? 

Whether you’re looking for a metal storage cabinet to keep your documents and assets safe, or a COSHH cabinet to safely store your flammable materials, Manutan has a broad range of protective cabinets to suit you and your business’s needs.

Thomas Hewitt