At Dakota® Safe Company we take fire protection very seriously. We have tested dozens of our safes to ensure the accuracy of our fire test results. These results enable us to assign “Fire Ratings” to each of our safes. The graphs provided below depicts minutes and temperature. This test is used to determine how long it takes for the interior temperature of the safe to reach 350°, the point where interior damage begins. Please feel confident that the graphs depict the actual, accurate and undoctored test results. We encourage you to compare.
Dakota® Safe Company has taken the time and effort to fire test our products to give our customers the finest product available. In this video Dakota® tests three safes representing each line of fire protection provided by us. To establish the fire rating times for each safe, they are placed in a furnace with thermal couplings installed three quarters of the way up inside each safe. The thermal couplings are connected to the main computer system which measures the internal temperature of the safe. The temperature inside the furnace is raised to 1250° F, with in the first ten minutes and then maintained for the duration of the fire test. The computer system records the increase of temperature in the furnace and inside each of the safes. When the internal temperature inside each safe reaches 350° F, the “Fire Test” is considered to be finished for that safe and the “Rating” for that safe is set. This fire test ran for a total of 2 hours or until all the safes in the furnace had reached an interior temperature of 350° F, which is the fail point.
All Safes on the market today are “factory certified”, and the tests are done by the manufacturer themselves or they are done by a third party to the manufacturers specifications. The fire certification or rating given to their safes could be nothing more than an educated guess based on fireboard and other material ratings. There have also been instances of manufacturers waiting until the coldest time of the year to do their fire test essentially freezing the safe before placing it in the furnace. Of course, it will take longer to reach 350° F if the interior temperature is below zero. The placement of the thermal couplings is also important. If they are placed on the bottom of the safe or inside an object, such as a telephone book, the readings will not be accurate. Another trick to stretching out fire ratings is to do a slow ramp up on the furnace temperature; stretching out the time it takes the furnace to reach 1250° F.
Dakota® Safe Company tested these safes in the middle of an Oklahoma summer with a starting interior temperature on each safe, at or above 80° F. The thermal couplings were placed three quarters of the way up inside the safes, completely exposed. The furnace ramp up time was within ten minutes and lasted for a full two hours, until all of the safes had failed. Each safes performance was recorded by the test facilities computer system. The Dakota Safe reached 350° F, at 105 minutes or one hour and forty five minutes (1 hr./45 min.). The Black Diamond® reached 350° F, at 75 minutes or one hour and fifteen minutes. The Black Diamond® 5928 reached 350° F, at 45 minutes. We at Dakota® Safe Company take great pride in giving our customer a product that will perform better than advertised and giving the public an honest result when testing for Fire Ratings.