Sometimes, a fire can happen at the office. While your paper and documents may be safe from theft inside a file cabinet, they may not be safe from a fire. If you want the best protection for your vital documents, you need a fireproof file cabinet. The best ones are not only fireproof, but they are waterproof too.
And while it’s true that fireproof file cabinets cost more than regular ones, keeping your important documents safe inside one of them can give you added peace of mind. We’ve done our homework and reviewed the best fireproof file cabinets for you, so you can easily choose the right one for your office.
We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide to help make your purchasing decision easier.
Short on time? These are the top picks for the best fireproof file cabinet and safe box:
Best Vertical Fireproof File Cabinet
- Endure 1 Hour in Fire
- Spacious Vertical
- Lifetime Warranty
Best Overall Fireproof File Cabinet
Phoenix Fireproof Lateral File Cabinet
- Fire and Waterproof
- Endure 1 Hour in Fire
- Lifetime Warranty
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How to Choose the Best Fireproof File Cabinet for Your Office
Nowadays, you’ll find a wide range of filing cabinets and safes marketed as fireproof. Like any product, they’re not created equal, even those offered by the same brand. We understand that this can be overwhelming and stressful. Hence, before we help you narrow down your choices, allow us to help you understand the most important factors to consider when buying a fireproof cabinet and safe.
Size and Weight
There’s no point in purchasing the best fireproof file cabinet and safe that won’t be able to fit in your home or business office or will occupy too much space. After all, you want to ensure they won’t catch the attention of criminals.
You’ll find compact and mid-sized models that have enough weight capacity to accommodate most of your valuable documents and items. Also, ensure that the types of documents you plan to keep can fit in the cabinet or safe. For instance, you don’t necessarily need to find a larger version if you have legal-sized documents. You can find compact models that can accommodate such sizes of paper.
Lightweight, fireproof safes or cabinets, usually compact, are convenient options since you can effortlessly move them around your office. However, they can also be stolen easily. Nonetheless, we don’t discourage you from purchasing them. Just make sure you keep the unit hidden. Better yet, opt for a safe that a professional can mount.
Fireproof Ratings and Waterproof Ratings
Each file cabinet or safe will offer a specific degree of protection against fire in terms of temperature and exposure time. Experts say that the time it takes for a fire to spread to another room or area is around 20 minutes.
Thus, industry standards dictate that the average temperature and time for excellent fire protection is 350°F and one hour. Meaning, the product should withstand at least 350°F for at least one hour.
Waterproof ratings seem to be a bit of an odd feature to consider when looking for a fireproof safe, right? Well, remember that homes and buildings usually have sprinklers that automatically switch on when they detect smoke or fire. Likewise, once the fire professionals arrive, they’ll use a considerable amount of water to put the fire out.
A non-waterproof or water-resistant fireproof cabinet and safe only becomes valuable if you’re always around to ensure you take your valuables out before the safe gets exposed to water. Still, this is dangerous, especially when there’s a fire. Therefore, it’s always best to purchase a file cabinet or safe with certified waterproof and fireproof ratings. You’ll usually see these as UL-certified or UL-rated.
One of the reasons you’re purchasing a safe is to keep essential documents, valuable items, and confidential files safe. Not being able to protect them from thieves, burglars, and other criminals, or even from prying eyes, won’t make your investment worthwhile.
The best fireproof file cabinet and safe will have a high level of security and offers enhanced locking features, such as a passcode, biometric, and digital keypad lock. Some modern units have additional security features, combining more than one locking and opening option. Although they’ll usually be available at a higher price range than most models, we highly recommend them.
You might even want to consider those models with override keys. With one, you can open the cabinet or safe if you forgot the passcode or need your trusted person to open it when you’re not around.
Now that you have an idea of some of the essential features you’ll come across when you check fireproof file cabinets and safes specs, let’s now proceed to our review of some of our most recommended units.
Phoenix Lateral Fireproof File Cabinet
FireKing Turtle Fireproof File Cabinet
Honeywell 1112 Safe Box
SentrySafe 1170 Fireproof Box
Best Fireproof File Cabinets Reviews:
1. Phoenix Lateral Fireproof File Cabinet
When it comes to the best fireproof file cabinets, the Phoenix Lateral Fireproof File Cabinet provides the ultimate protection for your files and documents. This amazing filing cabinet leaves nothing to chance and is warranted to protect your important records from fire, water, impact, and even smoke damage.
We like the extensive options to choose from the Phoenix brand. You can choose between 3 colors and 3 widths.
What we like about this fireproof file cabinet: We like the extensive options provided by Phoenix. As of time of this review, you can choose between the 31” wide, 38” wide, and the 44” wide file cabinets. You can also choose between the color black, gray, or putty, so it can seamlessly fit your office design.
All the accessories are included to file both legal and letter size documents, either hanging or standard folders from front-to-back or side-to-side. This Phoenix filing cabinet comes with two keys (one spare) to keep your documents confidential. The lock is located on the top drawer and immediately unlocks all drawers at once.
We are also in love with the FREE After-a-Fire Replacement deal. A file cabinet is ruined when it is in the heat of a fire. Even if it looks okay, the insulation will have swelled and the fireproof integrity will have been compromised for future fires. If your Phoenix filing cabinet is ever in a fire, it will be replaced at no charge.
What about its fire resistance? The Phoenix Lateral Fireproof File Cabinet is tested to the Swedish NT Fire 017-60 Paper standard, providing 60 minutes of fire protection for paper documents. It is also impact-tested from 30 feet for resistance to the impact of falling through the burning floors of a building.
But what makes this file cabinet truly special is its water resistance. Water can do as much damage as fire, and that’s why it is important to have this protection. The water resistant seals prevent water damage to the contents when the Phoenix filing cabinet is subjected to sprinkler systems or fire hoses.
If you buy this Phoenix Lateral Fireproof File Cabinet, your purchase will include a 3-Year Parts and Labor Warranty on the entire cabinet and lock. Additionally, the Lifetime After-a-Fire Replacement Warranty ensures that your file cabinet is replaced at no charge after a fire, so you always have a file cabinet in your office.
VERDICT: Boasting superior protection against fire and water, the Phoenix Lateral Fireproof File Cabinet is simply the best. Its water resistance is what makes this file cabinet truly special. Overall, it’s hard to beat the value offered by the Phoenix brand. If you want the best fireproof file cabinet, just buy this product.
2. FireKing Turtle Fireproof File Cabinet
Coming in at a close second as one of the best fireproof file cabinets, we have the Fireking Turtle Fireproof File Cabinet. It is well-equipped to protect files from fire and explosion. And while the main focus of the FireKing’s filing cabinet is their fire-rated design, it is also attractive, making it an ideal asset for your business.
What we like about this fireproof file cabinet: The FireKing Turtle file cabinet is considered a vertical file cabinet. You can choose between the two-drawer or four-drawer option. Each file drawer is legal-sized with high sides compatible for use with hanging folders, so no additional frames are needed.
Moreover, this file cabinet is equipped with a heavy-duty key lock to keep vital records confidential. The key lock is located in the top drawer and controls all the drawers below it. So if the top drawer is locked, all of the bottom drawers will be locked as well. As long as you have the key, your documents are safe and sound.
In terms of design, this fireproof file cabinet is beautiful. Not only is this file cabinet superior against fire, but the design is surprisingly pleasing to the eyes. Thanks to the scratch-resistant finish, you can expect the FireKing Turtle Fireproof File Cabinet to provide you with a lifetime high-quality appearance.
What about its fire resistance? Just like the previous entry, the FireKing Turtle Fireproof File Cabinet has a UL 1-Hour Class 350 Fire Rating. This means that when this file cabinet is exposed to external temperatures of over 1700°F, the internal temperature of the file cabinet will not exceed 350°F for at least one hour.
The FireKing Turtle Fireproof File Cabinet can also survive a loaded fall from 30 feet without compromising its integrity. All FireKing file cabinets passed both fire and explosion hazard tests conducted by Underwriters Laboratories. This means you can expect the very best protection from the FireKing brand.
In addition to its amazing fire resistance, this file cabinet is protected by the FireKing’s 2-year limited warranty and the limited lifetime warranty with a free replacement after-fire guarantee. So after the FireKing Turtle Fireproof File Cabinet has done its job against a fire, the manufacturer will replace the filing cabinet for free.
VERDICT: The FireKing Turtle File Cabinet came second because it’s not water-resistant like the Phoenix brand. But in terms of fire resistance, the gap between number one and two is close — just choose the design you like better. If you want the best fireproof VERTICAL file cabinet, then buy this product from FireKing.
Best Fireproof Document Safe Box
1. Honeywell 1112 Safe Box
If you are looking for something smaller to store your documents, then the Honeywell 1112 Safe box is a splendid option. It is both fireproof and waterproof, allowing you to keep important letters, A4, and legal size hanging files fit inside this sturdy safe, all protected from the most disastrous fire and flood.
What we like about this fireproof safe box: We love the “modern treasure box” design. It feels like whatever is stored inside will be safe from prying eyes and harmful disasters. Additionally, the safe comes with 2 keys for security so that you can give access to one other person, in case one of the keys is lost.
After inspecting the safe box thoroughly, we can see how well-made the product is. It can even serve as a file storage box, accommodating files of different sizes. And since the product is made in the USA, you can expect the very best quality. Your purchase will include a 7-year limited with a lifetime after-fire replacement.
Another aspect of the Honeywell brand we would like to highlight is the exceptional customer service. One customer in our community lost his key by accident, but the Honeywell support team worked with him to make sure he got a replacement key. This is a testament to the excellent service offered by Honeywell.
What about its fire resistance? Just like the previous two entries, this fireproof safe box has a 1-Hour UL Fire protection rating for up to 1700°F (927°C). On the other end of the extreme, it also has a 24-hour waterproof seal that is verified to keep contents dry, even when submerged 39 inches/1 meter underwater!
Don’t be fooled by its cute appearance, as this fireproof safe box can hold its own against fire and water. It can last for up to 60 minutes under fire and up to 24 hours underwater! Now that’s what we call durable. Hopefully, whatever you store inside will be safe long enough before the rescue team arrives!
VERDICT: If you’re looking for the best fireproof file box that is both compact and portable, look no further, the Honeywell 1112 Safe Box is the product to buy. Boasting superior resistance against fire and water, you can expect to keep your USB hard drives and important documents safe from potentially harmful disasters.
2. SentrySafe 1170 Fireproof Box
Last but not least, we want to include the SentrySafe 1170 Fireproof Box as the most affordable option on the best fireproof file cabinet list. It is able to endure up to 1/2 hour at 1550°F, allowing you to keep important files like medical records, business records, and financial paperwork more organized and protected.
What we like about this fireproof safe box: Honestly, the best thing about this product is how affordable it is. Fireproof file cabinets can be expensive, and the SentrySafe 1170 Fireproof Box did an amazing job of keeping fireproof safe boxes accessible for everyone. You’ll be surprised at how affordable it is!
But don’t let the cheap price fool you. Humidity can be a problem, especially for long-term storage. Sometimes you need to periodically open your safe box to dry the contents inside. We’ve had this SentrySafe model in a high humidity area of the US, and we’ve never had a problem with humidity inside the box.
As far as storage space goes, the SentrySafe 1170 Fireproof Box can accommodate 40 standard hanging folders. Because of its compact size, it is also the perfect file cabinet for small spaces, especially if you work from home. Even if you use cloud storage, you always need a small file cabinet for irreplaceable files.
What about its fire resistance? The SentrySafe 1170 Fireproof box is fireproof for up to 1/2 hour at 1550˚F (843˚C). Unlike the three previous entries, this product can last in a fire for only half-an-hour, hence the cheaper price. If you’re willing to compromise safety for a lower price, then this product will do just fine.
VERDICT: Thanks to its cheap and affordable price, the SentrySafe 1170 Fireproof Box is the best value for its price fireproof file cabinet. Think of it as the “starter item” for basic document storage furniture. However, please note that it can only last for up to 30 minutes against temperatures as hot as 1550˚F (843˚C).
FireKing vs. Phoenix Brand Comparison
The biggest difference between the FireKing and Phoenix brands is the key lock. FireKing uses the Medeco key locks, which are known to be pick-resistant. Phoenix uses high-security key locks, but they are not Medeco key locks. However, both of their qualities are excellent, and they don’t cut corners in their manufacturing process.
There are only two brands of fireproof file cabinets in the United States: Phoenix and FireKing. Unfortunately, Schwab and Sentry went out of business in 2015. So if you’re looking for the best fireproof file cabinet, then you should choose one from either the FireKing or the Phoenix brand. That’s why we recommended both!
And there you have it, the complete list of the best fireproof file cabinets. Our team had an amazing time researching and testing every single one of these filing cabinets and safe boxes. We’ve narrowed everything down to make your buying process easier. With that said, here’s a quick recap of our reviews:
The best fireproof file cabinet is the Phoenix Lateral Fireproof File Cabinet. Not only is this product fireproof for up to one hour, but it is also waterproof too. Because water can cause as much harm as fire, it’s always a good idea to invest in a file cabinet that leaves nothing to chance. Buy this one if you want the best.
If you like vertical file cabinets, then the best fireproof vertical file cabinet is the FireKing Turtle Fireproof File Cabinet. This product can hold its own against fire thanks to its UL 1-Hour Class 350 Fire Rating. This means that this fireproof file cabinet can endure fire as hot as 1700°F for up to one hour.
The most affordable fireproof file cabinet/safe box is the SentrySafe 1170 Fireproof Box. If you’re looking to protect important documents without having to dig deep into your wallets, then this product is for you. Just keep in mind that it can only last for 30 minutes against temperatures as high as 1550˚F (843˚C).
By taking the time to choose the best fireproof file cabinet, you are doing your part to keep important and irreplaceable documents safe from potentially harmful disasters. While cloud storage is a convenient way to store files, you always need to diversify your storage solutions by owning one fireproof file cabinet.