media safes are safes that are designed to protect
fragile electronic backup media from the harmful effects
of a fire. They also provide protection from high humidity,
dust, magnetic fields and static discharge - all things
that can cause damage to backup media.
The most important factor in choosing fireproof media safes
is the fireproof rating of the safe. This rating gives an
indication of how long the safe can remain in fire conditions
without there being damage caused to the backup media contained
in the safe. An example of a fireproof rating would be a
1 hour 125 degree F rating. This rating means that the safe
could be exposed to a 1700 degree F fire for 1 hour without
the temperature inside the safe rising above 125 degrees
F. In addition, the humidity would not rise above 80% humidity.
Don't confuse this fireproof rating with one designed for
documents, which is specified at a much higher rate of 350
degrees F for the internal temperature - computer media
would be permanently damaged at this temperature.
As mentioned earlier,
fireproof media safes are
also designed to protect the contents from dust, magnetic
fields, and static discharge. The seals on the door of the
safe provide protection from dust as well as water. The
outer conductive steel shell provides protection from magnetic
fields and static discharge.
There are a number of other factors to consider when choosing
fireproof media safes. One factor is the type of locking
mechanism used on the safe. These include traditional mechanical
combination dials, electronic keypads, and biometric scanners.
The electronic keypad locking mechanism is more convenient
to use than the mechanical combination dial. The user simply
enters the combination on a PIN pad similar to the one used
on an ATM machine. Multiple users can also be granted access
to the safe with this type of locking mechanism. Biometric
scanners provide greater security and convenience. Biometric
scanners use a fingerprint scanner to grant access to the
safe. The user simply places their index finger on the scanner
for about a second to open the safe. Multiple users can
be enrolled simply by scanning their fingerprints.
Other factors to consider include the type and amount of
media to be stored. Most fireproof media safes offer a variety
of convenient drawers designed to hold the different types
of computer backup media. Drawers are available with storage
for 3-1/2" floppies, CDs/DVDs and various sizes of
DAT tapes. The overall size and shape of the safe will be
determined by the total amount of media that needs to be
stored - be sure to plan for growth in the amount of storage.
You will notice that these safes are NOT cheap. Though I
keep a selection of "discount media safes" on
our site, they are still expensive.
Now you are asking "What is the difference between
a "discount" fireproof media safe and UL Fireproof
media safes"? Good question! UL is Underwriters Labratory,
which is a third party source that is paid to test products.
UL may say that a fireproof media safe that lasts 1.59 hours
in a test is only 1 1/2 hour rated. Where the discount ones
are factory tested. 1:59 is as good as two hours for them.
So the UL is a more trusted source. But you will ALWAYS
pay more for a UL rated anything. Whether its a fireproof
media safe or a blender for the kitchen.
As you can see, there are a number of factors to consider
when choosing fireproof
media safes. Be sure to decide which factors
are most important to you in order to choose the safe that
is right for you and your business.