If you're looking to buy a home safe, security against theft may not be your only concern. Some safes may also protect their contents against damage from fire or water. When you're buying home safes, you'll typically find that waterproofing is an additional benefit offered with some fire-resistant safes. Although you may not be worried about flooding affecting your safe, water resistance may be useful if your safe is in a fire. After all, sprinklers and fire hoses may affect a safe's contents, even if the fire itself doesn't damage them.
What kind of waterproofing do safes have and how effective are they at protecting your valuable documents from water damage?
How Safes Protect Against Water
If a safe comes into contact with a lot of water or is submerged, a regular door may allow water into the safe, damaging its contents. Safes that are water resistant typically have advanced seals around the door. These ensure an airtight fit when the safe door is closed and locked, preventing water from getting into the inside of the safe and damaging its contents.
Water Resistant Safes Are Not All Equal
According to Consumer Reports, some safes are tested in water by independent testing companies. If you see a safe with a water resistance accreditation, it has been tested for water damage. In some cases, the safe may have been tested in standing water at a specific height; in others it may have been submerged completely to see how long it can last before it lets water in.
Safes don't all have the same degree of water resistance, and you may need to think about how long you can wait to retrieve your contents after the safe is exposed to water before you choose the right model for your needs. For example, a safe that has been tested in 15cm of water for up to 24 hours may let in water more quickly than one that has been verified in 60cm of water for 72 hours.
- You need to make sure that you close and lock a water resistant safe according to the manufacturer's instructions to make sure that its seals are airtight.
- Some water resistant safes may be prone to moisture building up inside. If your safe comes with a packet of desiccant materials that you are instructed to put in the safe, make sure to do this. The desiccant will absorb any moisture, preventing it from damaging the contents of the safe.