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Schwab - Frequently Asked Questions

Technical

1) How do I find the Serial Number on my filing cabinet, safe or media cabinet?
2) What does it mean to be impact and explosion tested?
3) To what temperature are fire safes, filing cabinets, and media or data cabinet tested?

General

1) How long will it take to get a file or safe once I place an order?
2) Are all fire safe filing cabinets alike?
3) Why do I need a special product for computer media? Don't fire files and safes protect everything from a fire disaster?
4) Why do I need a fire safe file? My standard files are metal - they won't burn.
5) Does the Fire resistant insulation ever lose its effectiveness?
6) Are these products theft or security rated?
7) What is the benefit of a product rated UL Class 350 or 125 when most fires exceed temperatures of 350° F or 125° F?
8) How adequate is a fire safe product rated for one hour during a fire?
9) Why should I buy records protection products? After all, I'm insured.
10) After a fire, how long should I wait to open the fire safe filing cabinet or safe?
11) Can I reuse the Schwab Safe or Schwab Filing Cabinet after a fire?
12) Are these products waterproof or water resistant?
13) Are Schwab safes and filing cabinets considered to be fireproof and waterproof?

 

1) How do I find the Serial Number on my filing cabinet, safe or media cabinet?


Located under the index label on the top drawer of every Schwab Fire File

Serial number placement location 2 can be found by opening the top drawer of the file and looking to the right interior of the cabinet. The product’s serial number should be found adjacent to the right hanger bar on the inner steel drawer vault as shown here.


Location 2


Plunger Lock


Serial number location for Schwab Safes and Media/Record Cabinets

2) What does it mean to be impact and explosion tested?
All UL classified insulated record protection equipment must pass the explosion test. For this test, the sample is prepared in the same manner as for the two previous tests. The test furnace is left empty and heated to 2000°F. The testers quickly open the door and insert the sample. For 30 minutes (20 minutes for units rated ½ hour), the furnace is kept at 2000°F. If no explosion takes place, the sample remains in the furnace until it cools sufficiently to handle.

The sample is then forced to open and examined for heat or moisture damage. The interior finish, insulation, security or interior equipment, locks and fastening between parts, all undergo detailed inspection.

At the option of the manufacturer, the Impact and Explosion tests can be combined. The sample is inserted in the furnace to test for explosion, and then dropped 30 feet. The sample is then reheated and cooled again, and finally, examined carefully.

Possible Classification Labels: In summary, the labels below list the different classifications available, noting the different tests, temperatures, and time limits.

#1 Label Style Record Protection Equipment
Classified By
Underwriters Laboratories, Inc
As To Fire Resistance
Rating: Class_______-____Hr
#2 Label Style Record Protection Equipment
Classified By
Underwriters Laboratories, Inc
As To Fire Resistance
Rating: Class_______-____Hr
#3 Label Style Record Protection Equipment
Classified By
Underwriters Laboratories, Inc
As To Fire Resistance
Rating: Class_______-____Hr
See Marking Inside Unit For Class Ratings
Applicable To Individual Compartments
#4 Label Style Record Protection Equipment
Classified By
Underwriters Laboratories, Inc
As To Fire Resistance
Rating: Class_______-____Hr
See Marking Inside Unit For Class Ratings
Applicable To Individual Compartments
Class or classes to be 350°, 150°, 125° Hr to be ½, 1, 2, 3, or 4

Please remember, all four label styles require that the product has also passed the explosion test.

3) To what temperature are fire safes, filing cabinets, and media or data cabinet tested?
Fire Endurance Test: Contents, which may consist of paper, computer media, or both, are distributed loosely throughout the fire resistant product to be tested. For products testing to meet the Class 350 or 125 requirements, the product is first conditioned for at least twelve hours prior to the test. This conditioning insures that the temperature of the interior at the start of the test will be between 65° and 75° and the relative humidity will be below 65%. This is considered to be equivalent to the normal room conditions where the documents will be stored. Depending upon the classification time being tested, the furnace heat rises at a carefully monitored rate until the specified temperature is reached. Great care is taken to make sure the furnace heat is distributed evenly over the exposed surfaces of the products.

The following chart gives the temperature and time durations:

Time in Minutes Celsius Fahrenheit
5 538° 1000°
10 704° 1300°
15 760° 1400°
20 793° 1460°
25 821° 1510°
30 843° 1550°
35 860° 1580°
40 877° 1610°
45 893° 1640°
50 904° 1660°
55 916° 1680°
60 927° 1700°
75 954° 1750°
90 977° 1790°
105 993° 1820°
120 1010° 1850°
135 1021° 1870°
150 1038° 1890°
165 1044° 1910°
180 1052° 1920°
195 1060° 1940°
210 1071° 1960°
225 1082° 1980°
240 1093° 2000°

After the temperature and time is reached, for example an hour - 1700°F, the furnace is turned off. The test product must then cool in the unopened furnace until a significant decrease in the internal temperature is noted. This cooling process can take as long as 68 hours. During this cooling period, the tested product continues to absorb the heat in the furnace and the interior temperature of the product can continue to rise rapidly. It is during this critical point of the test that many manufacturers fail the test, particularly at the 125°F 80% humidity level. Only products whose internal temperature and humidity level remains below the test limits during the entire heating and cooling processes are awarded the label. It is important to note that products which are "tested to UL standards" have not necessarily met or exceeded those standards, and may have actually failed the test. Be careful interpreting sales jargon. ALL SCHWAB CORP. PRODUCTS HAVE MET AND EXCEEDED UL STANDARDS.

Finally, the product is opened and examined to determine whether the contents are still in usable condition. The interior walls and components are checked for any evidence of heat or humidity damage.

One year after this initial test has been conducted; a sample product may be pulled out of production for retesting. The product must once again pass the original classification it was tested for to keep its UL label.

 

1) How long will it take to get a file or safe once I place an order?
We maintain a quick ship program for our most popular models and colors which can be shipped the next business day. Please contact Dansanna for more information.

2) Are all fire safe filing cabinets alike?
No, there are a lot of differences. The Schwab design is recognized as being superior in appearance, security and fire protection. At Schwab every file drawer is completely insulated, making each one independently fire resistant. If a drawer is accidentally left open and fire strikes, this feature will halt the spread of fire throughout the entire file. The Schwab files also have an inner-steel drawer jacket that prevents entry into a locked drawer from an unlocked compartment. It also keeps insulation dust from contaminating your files. One of the biggest differences in a Schwab file compared to others is Insulite™, the most effective insulation in the industry. Insulite provides maximum protection with thinner walls and less weight than competitors' insulation. Because Insulite does not contain free water it will not dry out and lose its ability to provide fire protection over a period of time as compared to competitor’s files utilizing gypsum as an insulating material. Gypsum being the same material as that used in drywall, makes it vulnerable to water and decomposition.

3) Why do I need a special product for computer media? Don't fire files and safes protect everything from a fire disaster?
Fire resistant files and safes are available with different ratings, because paper and media require different levels of protection. During a fire, paper is more durable than media and can tolerate a wide range of humidity levels and heat up to approximately 400°F before igniting. Media such as diskettes, CDs, and tapes cannot survive either the higher temperature or the humidity levels found in the paper rated products. They must be stored in an environment that will stay below 125°F and 80% humidity in order to be protected. Schwab media products are designed to meet these strict requirements.

4) Why do I need a fire safe file from Schwab Corp? My standard files are metal - they won't burn.
Standard metal files may not burn, but they will directly conduct the fire's heat inside, where your records will ignite and burn. In a sense, your metal files become incinerators.

5) Does the Fire resistant insulation ever lose its effectiveness?
Only Schwab's unique, chemically dry insulation will maintain its effectiveness over time, since it has no free water to evaporate. Upon heat the Insulite material goes through a reaction that generates moisture. Some of our competitor’s insulation loses its effectiveness over time. All insulation designated as "wet", "oven-baked" or "oven-dried" loses its free water over time, thereby compromising its fire-resistant capabilities.

6) Are these products theft or security rated?
Most Fire resistant products generally use relatively light weight steel, which in turn prevents the products from attaining a security rating. However, Schwab’s unparalleled seamless outer wrapper, sealed back panel, and inner steel drawer vault, is the only design that makes forced entry impossible to conceal. Security locks are also useful if you want to prevent someone from breaking into your file or safe without leaving obvious physical proof. We offer various locking options to increase security.

7) What is the benefit of a product rated UL Class 350 or 125 when most fires exceed temperatures of 350 degrees F or 125 degrees F?
The Underwriter's Laboratories class rating signifies the maximum internal temperature allowed during the fire test. Depending on the length of the UL fire test, the external temperature to which the product is subjected will range from 1550°F to 2000°F; yet the internal temperatures cannot exceed 350°F or 125°F- for paper or computer media, respectively.

8) How adequate is a fire safe product rated for one hour during a fire?
A typical fire burns at around 800°F. As it passes through the building, the fire's intensity changes as flammable items are consumed. Fires usually average only 20 minutes in any location. This intense burn is comparable to the burn portion of the UL test. After the flammable items are consumed in the fire, the overall temperature decreases, leaving items inside the fire to absorb the radiant heat. This part of the fire is comparable to the cool down portion of the UL test. Depending on the product being tested, the cool down portion of the test can last as long as 15-25 hours, during which the internal temperature and humidity levels cannot exceed the standards set forth by the test. Most products that fail the UL test fail during this cool down period. Be wary of marketing hype that says "tested to UL standards" - tested doesn't necessarily mean the product passed the test. A one-hour rating means the product will also survive the cool down period.

9) Why should I buy records protection products? After all I'm insured.
Insurance can and will only cover the portion of your losses that can be documented. Some records may be priceless to your family, or imperative to the survival of your business, and not easily reconstructed no matter what dollar amount insurance may award you. Real insurance is the use of protection products that will preserve rather than replace those valuable family keepsakes or business records.

10) After a fire, how long should I wait to open the fire safe filing cabinet or safe?
For maximum protection, please allow the file or safe to cool completely, where you can comfortably rest your hand on the product before opening. Artificially cooling the outside by pouring water on the product will cool the surface temperature, but may give a false impression of how cool the insides are, so use extreme caution!

11) Can I reuse the Schwab Safe or Schwab Filing Cabinet after a fire?
Once the product has been exposed to fire, the insulation loses its protectiveness. There is no way to re-insulate the product, and it should be discarded. If you are the original owner of a Schwab file, record/media cabinet or safe, and have registered the product with Schwab Corp., you may be entitled to a free product replacement under our Limited Lifetime Replacement Warranty. Contact your Schwab representative for further information.

12) Are these products waterproof or water resistant?
No, water resistance can be a concern. When a file is in a fire there is a positive pressure on the inside of the file along with the expansion that tends to keep water out. This is true of all makes of fire files. It is when there is no fire that a file is vulnerable to water intrusion. However, only Schwab's design with a superior combination of seamless outer wrapper, sealed back panel, interlocking drawer joints and inner steel drawer vault help aid in preventing the entry of water. Schwab's Insulite™ insulation is cleaner and lighter weight than that used by competitors because it contains no free water and conversely, does not absorb water. Schwab Corp. is the first and only fire protection product manufacturer to further address the issue of water protection when fire is not present. We have developed and have released a revolutionary design to the industry, Trident, which is the Next Logical Step™in water resistance.

13) Are Schwab safes and filing cabinets considered to be fireproof and waterproof?
The actual UL classification is for fire resistance. Virtually no product on the market has been tested and proven to survive against every possible fire, so Underwriter's Laboratories has devised a rating system to determine a products ability to withstand fires of specific temperatures and lengths and will only issue certification based on a product's proven ability to meet or exceed these standards.

2008 Dansanna International