Fire Resistant Products FAQs
Q: How do I protect my audio and video cassettes, photo negative as well as my digital media storage against fire?
Audio and video cassettes, photo negatives, X-ray films and microfiche need more fire and humidity protection than provided by Master Lock fire resistant products. Damage to these types of media may begin at temperatures above 52°C (125°F) as compared to paper products that may withstand heat up to 177°C (350°F).
Master Lock UL rated fire resistant products have been ETL verified to protect data storage products, which include CDs, DVDs, memory sticks, USB drives, hard drives and MP3 players. Depending on the model you own, and it's specific UL fire endurance rating the media protections vary as follows:
- UL Classified 1/2-hour fire protection = ETL verified fire protection for digital media for 1/2 hour up to 843°C (1550°F).
- UL Classified 1-hour fire protection = ETL verified fire protection for digital media for 1 hour up to 927°C (1700°F).
- UL Classified 2 hours fire protection = ETL verified fire protection for digital media for 2 hours up to 1010°C (1850°F).
Q: Do I need to take special precaution for storing delicate items in my fire resistant product?
Yes. Due to the protective insulation in our Master Lock fire resistant products during normal use, moisture may be released into the interior of your product. To protect your items against this moisture, we suggest that you open your unit for a half hour, twice a month to let the air circulate on the inside. If this is not possible, we suggest that you place delicate articles, such as stamps, coins and jewelry, in an airtight, molded plastic container inside your Master Lock fire resistant product.
Pearls or jewelry with pearls should not be stored in any fire resistant product. This is because pearls are more sensitive to damage than the 177°C interior temperature maintained during a typical fire.
Q: What should NOT be stored in my Master Lock fire resistant unit?
Master Lock fire resistant units are not suitable for weapons storage, computer disks, audio or video cassettes media or photo negatives, delicate items which need special protection such as stamps or pearls. Please consult your owner’s manual for additional details.
Q: If I bolt down my fire resistant chest or safe, will it still be fire resistant?
Bolting down your fire resistant product will not affect its fire resisting properties.
However your product will not be water resistant once it is bolted down. The ETL verified water resistance claim applies to product prior to the application of a bolt-down kit.
Q: My keys are locked inside my fire & water resistant chest - how do I get it open?
The keys are required to lock the chest - so this is not possible.
If the chest is not opening (and you are sure the keys are inside), what may have happened is that the gasket that makes the product waterproof is preventing the chest from being opened. The gasket needs to be “compressed” in order to open the chest.
To do this :
1) Put the chest at waist height or on on the floor to get the best leverage
2) Stand beside the chest, then push down hard on the handle area using the heel of the hand. You can place your other hand on top and push down harder. Lean over the chest and push straight down.
3) Curl your finger under the latch and squeeze upwards. Squeeze the latch for 10 seconds while pushing down
4) Keep squeezing the latch and lift up the lid at the same time
Q: My batteries are good (green light), but I can't pull down the handle of my safe - how do I get it open?
First step, replace your battery!
You must use brand new alkaline batteries (open a new pack of batteries), from a well known brand manufacturer with an expiration date of at least 10 years from current date.
In fact, your actual battery might be strong enough to enter your combination (light, bips), but they might not be strong enough to allow the safe mechanism to work properly. For our safes to work properly, the locking mechanism needs to be retracted during 4 seconds. This action requires a high continuous current, which can only be provided by alkaline batteries.
Q: I pulled too hard on the handle of my fire resistant safe and it seems to be broken, what can I do?
If this happens, you will hear a ’click.’
DO NOT be alarmed. This feature is designed to protect the bolts from being over powered by force.
If this occurs, simply exert force in the opposite direction (lifting up) until the handles ’clicks’ back into place.
Q: The door to my Fire and Water Resistant Safes sticks - how do I get it open?
If you own a Fire and Water Resistant Safe, it is not unusual to find that your safe door “sticks”.
This is due to the special gasket associated with the water protection feature. In order to offer the level of water protection desired, our door seal must be very tight. You can also hold the handle up while inputting the code or dialing the combination and then pull down on the handle. It may also be necessary to apply pressure to the upper left-hand top corner of the door when you first begin using your water-resistant safe.
You should soon become familiar with the feel of these specially designed units, and better understand the exact pressure necessary to open the unit with the safe handle.
Q: My fire resistant product looks plastic - how can it be safe in a fire?
The plastic parts on the inside and outside of our Master Lock fire resistant product assist in the fire-protective process.
Our Master Lock fire resistant security chests have an outer coating and key-lock guard, which will usually melt in the event of a fire. This helps to seal the exterior/interior of the product in the process, ensuring an airtight seal to keep the heat out, and interior cool so your possessions remain protected.
The interior plastic lining on our Master Lock fire resistant products allows us to build in interior features which allow you to better organize its content.
During a typical fire, the interior of your fire resistant product will not get hot enough to damage this special liner. And, this liner allows the humidity usually found in most fire-resistant products, to dissipate better - reducing the moisture in your unit during day to day use.
During a typical fire, the interior of your fire resistant unit will not get hot enough to damage this special liner. And, this liner allows the humidity usually found in most fire-resistant units, to dissipate better - reducing the moisture in your unit during day to day use.
Q: Can Moisture build up in Master Lock fire resistant products?
Master Lock fire resistant products contain insulation, which in turn, contains water crystals; thus the high content of moisture.
In addition, Master Lock fire and water resistant products close airtight to offer water resistance, which may also cause moisture to accumulate inside your safe.
We suggest that you open your product at least once every two weeks for approximately 20 minutes.
To alleviate any musty odor, we suggest that you remove the items from the safe and wipe the interior with a paste of baking soda and water.
In addition, do not store your safe unit in areas of your home or business with already high humidity levels.
Q: What is the insulation made of?
The insulation in our Master Lock fire resistant products is a proprietary mix.
It is a concrete base / water mixture with special additives to enhance the fire protective nature of our products so they meet stringent UL standards.
Q: What is the powder in my Master Lock fire resistant product?
Master Lock Company is proud to be a leader in its community and industry as it relates to environmentally safe products. Master Lock products contain no toxic or harmful substances and are constructed with the greatest regard for health and safety. Master Lock’s patented insulations, which make Master Lock UL classified fire resistant products, are concrete-based. It is not unusual for dried concrete dust to be evident in your product’s interior, as a result of jostling during shipping. Again, any such dust can be easily wiped from your fire resistant unit with a damp cloth and poses no health hazard to our customers.
Would you have any further question, please contact our helpline.
Q: What is your Lifetime After-Fire Replacement Guarantee for fire resistant products?
After a fire the outside of the Master Lock fire resistant safe/chest will be destroyed: the outside melts, burns up, and seals the safe shut and keeps the inside unharmed. If your Master Lock fire resistant safe product is damaged by fire at any time, Master Lock will ship a replacement free of charge.
Please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org with a photo of the burnt item and join a copy of the insurance claim. Master Lock will dispatch a new item directly to you, free of charge.
Q: Who/What is UL?
U.L. stands for Underwriters Laboratories. This is US based independent testing facility that certifies various public safety products.
They test our Master Lock products to ensure they meet stringent standards for performance as claimed.
In reference to Master Lock products, UL classifications apply to our fire resistant products, and their fire-protective classifications.
Q: What is the UL Classified fire protection?
The 1/2 hour UL classification indicates that the interior of the unit will remain at or below 177°C (350°F) when exposed to fire at temperatures of 843°C (1550°F) for 30 minutes.
The 1-hour UL classification indicates that the interior of the unit will remain below 177°C (350°F) when exposed to fire at temperatures of 927°C (1700°F) for 1 hour.
The 2-hours UL classification indicates that the interior of the unit will remain below 177°C (350°F) when exposed to fire at temperatures of 1010°C (1850°F) for 2 hours.
It should be noted that fires usually travel through a structure, and that the average house fire ranges in temperatures of 482°C (900°F) to 649°C (1200°F), for approximately 20 minutes.
Q: What is ETL ?
ETL stands for Electrical Testing Laboratory, which is a division of Intertek Group, specializing in electrical product safety testing and performance testing. They are an independent testing and verification organization that tests to manufacturers specifications. More information is available on www.intertek.com.
Q: How do I get into my safe after a fire?
If a fire occurs, do not try to retrieve your possessions from your Master Lock fire resistant product. It is UL-classified to protect even papers from loss.
During the fire, tell the fire-fighters where your safe is so they can keep it cool and retrieve it when safe.
The safe should be allowed to cool for several hours, before the contents are retrieved.
Do not be alarmed if the outer lock plate has melted - it is designed to do so in a fire to further seal the exterior of the unit from fire and heat. They can be broken off with the appropriate tools once the unit has properly cooled.