Most home users will use their safe to keep valuables such as jewellery, watches, certificates, cameras and small amounts of cash secure but for businesses of all sizes it is vital that they have a secure safe for their data.
Data, both electronic and physical paper records are the lifeblood for any company. Without their customer records, financial information, employee records, back-ups of network drives etc many businesses would struggle. For example in the event of fire or water damage how would your company manage to get back on its feet and start again if the data had been destroyed?
The best way to ensure your company is fully protected is to invest in a good quality data safe which has been specifically designed to ensure back-up drives, CD’s, DVD’s, USB sticks and paper records are protected. However with so many models available it can be hard to get your head around what features you do and don’t need, so with this in mind below we’ll take a look at some of the main features you should be looking out for when choosing a data safe.
Fire damage is the worst thing that can happen to a business and dealing with the aftermath of burnt out buildings, computers and office furniture is devastating. Overall most of these items can be replaced or rebuilt but if your data has been kept in a fire proof data safe you’ll be able to get back to business quicker.
There are many different fire ratings and certifications (including NT017 60D and 90D) but the simple rule is that when you are looking at data safes all the good ones will come with either 30 minutes, 1 or 2 hours fire resistance (be very wary of any that don’t!). Ideally you should go for a safe with 2 hours resistance as the more protection you can get the better, they can be more expensive but are worth the money. Also have a look around at the various manufacturers as some offer deals such as Phoenix Safes who will replace any safe involved in a fire free of charge.
Water proof data safes aren’t as common as fire resistant ones but are worth looking into should you have had problems with flooding in the past. There are varying levels of water protection on offer; some will keep contents dry when subjected to fire-protection sprinklers while others will protect the data safes’ contents for up to an hour when the safe is fully submerged. If you are storing paper records we’d recommend getting a water resistant safe for that extra level of protection.
If your business isn’t located on the ground floor or if you plan on keeping the safe upstairs then finding a drop tested safe is essential. During a fire, safes can fall through the burning floors of a building and be damaged during the fall. By choosing a safe which is drop tested you are getting a safe which can survive the fall and more importantly protect the valuable content within the safe. On average most data safes are drop tested to 9.1 metres.
Another good feature that is worth investing in is a lock with an audit trail. As you’ll want to control who accesses the data within the safe an audit trail lock is a proven deterrent for reducing internal fraud. Ideally you should look to get an electronic combination or biometric lock which can be easily reprogrammed, which is vital for keeping your data protected when an employee leaves your company.