Understanding Ratings of a Sentry Fire Gun Safe
How much fire protection do you need for your Sentry fire gun safe? And what do all those ratings mean anyhow? All Sentry safes undergo UL fire testing. This means that safes are tested by the independent Underwriters Laboratory. One very important thing to realize is that you want a safe that is “UL Listed”. This means that the product has actually passed a UL test. If a product is labeled “Tested to UL Standards” that means that the product has been submitted for testing, but does not mean that it passed the test. All Sentry Fire Safes are subjected to fire by UL for either 1/2, 1 or 2 hours. In order for a safe to earn a UL classification, documents stored inside must remain completely undamaged. Here are some of the different tests that a Sentry Fire Gun Safe may endure.
UL 1/2-Hour Fire Endurance Test - Subjected to temperatures of 1550° F for 1/2 hour, and interior remains below 350° F (necessary to preserve documents). UL 1/2-Hour Class 125 Test - Subjected to temperatures of 1550° F for 1/2 hour, and interior remains below 125° F and humidity below 80%. This is necessary to protect media files.
UL 1-Hour Fire Endurance Test - Subjected to temperatures of 1700° F for 1 hour, and interior remains below 350° F.
UL 2-Hour Fire Endurance Test - Subjected to temperatures of 1850° F for 2 hours, as well being subjected to a flash fire of 2000° F for 20 minutes without explosion or rupture. The interior remains below 350° F.
UL Explosion Hazard Test - All UL Classified Sentry safes pass an explosion hazard test, as well as being subjected to a flash fire of 2000° F for 20 minutes and do not explode or rupture.
UL Fire-Impact Test - Many Sentry fire Sentry gun safe models also pass a UL Classified Fire-Impact test. In this test, after the safe is heated to 1550° F, it is then dropped 30 feet onto rubble, cooled down, inverted, and then reheated to 1550° F for 1/2 hour. To pass this test, the safe must remain intact and locked with an interior temperature below 350° F.
A Sentry fire gun safe may also have an ETL rating. This means that the safe has undergone independent testing by the firm ETL Semko. ETL Semko verifies that the product complies with the manufacturer's specifications for fire endurance.
Depending on the model, SentrySafe products can carry the following ETL ratings:
ETL verified 15 ft. Drop Test
ETL verified 1-hour fire protection for CDs, DVDs, USB Drives and Memory Sticks up to 1550° F
ETL Verified 1-hour fire protection for CDs, DVDs, USB Drives and Memory Sticks up to 1700° F
ETL verified for 2-hour fire protection of CDs, DVDs, USB Drives and Memory Sticks up to 1850° F
ETL verified to manufacturer's fire protection specifications. Up t 1200° F for 30 minutes, interior temperature remain below 350°.
ETL verified to manufacturer's fire protection specifications. Up t 1400° F for 30 minutes, interior temperature remain below 350°.
So, as you decide which Sentry fire gun safe is best for you, now you will have a better understanding of what the ratings mean on the various Sentry safes available.