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Antique Safes/Need to know the UL rating on an old Shaw Walker Fire Proof Cabinet

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I am trying to determine the UL rating for our 2 fire safes. We are required to have an UL rating of 150 for onsite storage. The cabinets we have are both SMNA rating of 1 Hr. Exposure, Cat. 4071, Spec. F2-ND, SN-4Y332538 and SN-4Y439405

Answer
Hi Steven,

The container doesn't have a UL rating - it was NEVER tested by UL.

The Safe Manufacturers National Association (SMNA) was a testing agency similar to UL.  In this case the cabinet has a 1 hour fire resistive rating.
The Specification "F2-ND" indicates that this is a FILE Cabinet and NOT a safe.
The "serial number" on the label is for the tag and NOT the container.

This "1 hour rating" was for document protection and NOT for data protection.   Fire resistive cabinets and safes are tested for the period specified (in this case 1 hour) at a temperature of between 1500-1750 degrees F.    During this period the interior temperature CANNOT exceed 350 degrees F.    The reason being is that paper chars around 412 degrees and combusts around 451 degrees F.   If the interior temperature remains below 350 you can be assured that your documents will be safe.
Filing Cabinets or document storage cabinets were ONLY rated in two categories - 1/2 hour and 1 hour,  350 degree F.

Data safes/containers - on the other hand, have to have a temperature which remains BELOW 150 degrees F. for at least the period specified (1hr, 2hr and 4hr).  Some data containers are rated as 125 degree F.
These are very specialized safes, designed with a very specific purpose in mind.   This also means that these are going to be much more expensive than standard fire resistive safes.

Ok, back to your Shaw-Walker cabinet.   Based on the SMNA label, if it HAD been tested by UL, it would have receive the same 1 hour - 350 degree F. rating.    HOWEVER, UL rated containers must be recertified every 10 years to maintain their certifications.   Manufacturers don't generally care about this, as they are constantly coming up with newer models.

As SMNA has not even been around for OVER 50 years, your container does not meet ANY current standards for fire resistance.    My advice to you is that this container should NOT be used for ANY overnight storage of cash, valuable documents and especially not DATA storage media.

Bottom line - if you are required to have 150 degree F. rated containers, then it is time to go shopping.    While you are at it, I would also recommend replacing your current two containers with something more modern and appropriate for protecting your business documents.

If you really want to keep using these containers, relegate them to general purpose, NON-important document storage for items that can easily be replaced.

Hope this helps,

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

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Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.

Experience

44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes". Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Organizations
Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

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US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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