What Should I Look For in a Fireproof Safe?

We all have precious belongings that we need to protect, such as jewelry, personal documents, and more. While theft is often people’s first concern, fire damage causes losses several times greater than burglary each year. While most homes have robust fire insurance, there are some things that insurance can’t replace. Active fire defense systems such as sprinklers can greatly reduce damage to your home, but might not work in time to save fragile items. If you want to protect personal documents, pictures, and other items in the event of a fire, you’ll need a fireproof safe.

Most safes are vulnerable to fires because of the fact that the surrounding heat transfers into the safe. As time goes by, the safe turns into an oven that crosses the critical temperature of 350 degrees, the point where paper begins to char. Fireproof safes make use of a mechanism to produce steam from the heat, which releases much of the heat energy and keeps your safe below the critical temperature.

When you’re looking for a good fireproof safe, here are some guidelines to keep in mind.



What Attributes/Features to Look for in a Fireproof Safe

There are many fireproof safes on the market, each with varying specifications and ratings. The first step to choosing the perfect fireproof safe is to understand your own needs. Once you understand what you’re looking for in a safe, it’ll be easy to choose the right one.

The Right Mix of Protection

Safes have two separate ratings; a fireproof rating and a burglar rating. The first indicates resistance to fire and whether your safe will protect your belongings for one hour, two hours, or more of extreme heat exposure. One-hour heat protection can be suitable if you have other anti-fire defenses, such as fire alarms, but two hours is ideal. However, even a two-hour fireproof safe might still have a low rating for burglar attacks.

The burglar rating indicates how difficult it is to break into the safe. Many fire-resistant safes have a poor burglar rating and are easy to break into. If you only intend to store family photos and other items without financial value, then this is fine. A simple, B-rate safe with no alarm is fine for such usage. However, you also need to keep your future use of the safe in mind.

A Rating for Your Future Needs

A good safe can last for decades, which is why you shouldn’t just think of what you need right now. It’d be a shame to buy a basic safe for sentimental items this year only to find that you need to store jewelry and cash next year. Before making your purchase, you should consider whether or not your secure storage needs will increase in the foreseeable future.

Data and Media Protection

The drawback to the steam defense mechanism against heat is that it creates a significant amount of moisture. Nowadays, we increasingly keep our precious memories on hard drives, but even records and tape are vulnerable to moisture. If you intend to keep items that are susceptible to moisture and humidity in your fireproof safe, you’ll need to seek one with data and media protection features. This feature indicates that the safe will keep humidity below 85%, a safe range for most items that you might want to store.

Avoid Wall or Floor Safes

best features of a fire proof safe - no wall safesFloor and wall safes are both poor choices for a fireproof safe in the home. While people might assume that a floor safe is well-insulated against heat thanks to the concrete surrounding it, this misses one key detail; the metal door. The door of a floor safe will quickly conduct the heat of the fire and spread to the interior, at which point the heat can damage your valuables.

While there are wall safes with flame retardant materials in the door, this type of safe is generally easy to steal and therefore not suited for home use. Free-standing safes typically offer the best combination of fire security and defense against burglars.

Anchor Holes

If you want to use your fireproof safe to protect valuables from burglars, make sure that you anchor it down. Since you aren’t using a floor safe, it’s vital that you prevent burglars from easily moving your safe. Physically strong, determined robbers with simple tools can steal even the largest safe in a matter of minutes. Stealing a safe and breaking into it off-premises is much easier than breaking in on the spot, so choose a fireproof safe with anchor holes that can keep it secured to your home.

WFX Fireproofs Your Home

WFX is one of the top providers of all manner of home security systems. We offer active fire defense systems, passive systems, as well as all of the services you need to keep them running. If you need preventative maintenance for your fireproof safe or any other home protection services, get in touch with us.


A Guide to Restaurant Fire Suppression Systems

A Starter Guide to Restaurant Fire Suppression Systems

Establishing safety measures for fires is a critical priority for all businesses and residents. Still, it is especially vital for operations that regularly use fire and flammable materials. Restaurant operations engage in a host of activities that carry a high risk for fires. The regular use of heat, deep fryers, open flames, and hot ovens combined with the use of fat, grease, oils, and smoke. These various elements make for a volatile environment for fire safety and create a demand for a restaurant fire suppression system.


The risk of a kitchen fire getting out of control is a constant threat for restaurants. Kitchens present ample opportunity for a tiny spark or random flame to grow into a full blaze quickly. These conditions threaten to ruin expensive equipment and valuable resources while also risking the building and its staff. There are few business operations that necessitate a capable and dynamic fire suppression system more than a restaurant.


This article offers an essential guide to restaurant fire suppression systems, including recommendations on how to choose a system and what types of designs are available.



What to Know about Restaurant Fire Suppression Systems

Let’s first spend a little more time understanding the unique nature of risk to restaurant fire safety. The use of grease, oils, and fats is a specifically high threat since they function as abundant fuel for a fire. To make matters more complex, traditional fire suppression systems such as water sprinklers are ineffective at dispensing fire that results from these elements. In fact, applying water to hot oils, grease, and fat often makes the threat worse. Water commonly displaces the elements of fuel, spreading them around and causing a fire to grow.


For these reasons, restaurant fire suppression systems have been uniquely developed to quell the rapid spread of fire fueled by the elements of oil, grease, and fat. Fire suppression systems for restaurants use a unique set of formulas and designs to be effective against fire in these environments.



How Restaurant Fire Suppression Systems Function

Many fire suppression systems are built directly into an exhaust hood. These integrated builds require specific configurations to remain compliant with safety protocols. For instance, large flat surfaces require nozzles to be installed directly overhead. In contrast, enclosed or partially enclosed equipment requires nozzles are pointed directly inside the equipment.


Through a device called a fusible link, the suppression system is designed to identify a specific temperature. It will then trigger the deployment of wet chemical to extinguish a fire and prevent it from spreading.  This allows for automatic operation of the system.   In addition, the system can be manually activated by a manual pull station – similar to how a building fire alarm is activated.  Upon activation, the fire suppression system will discharge wet-chemical to all protected appliances and into the exhaust hood area above the filters and into the exhaust duct.  It also cut off the fuel flow to any equipment upon activation– whether it be gas or electric.  This helps prevents re-ignition after the fire system discharge is complete.


The wet-chemical is delivered to each individual hazard thru a specific nozzle that is designed for that appliance, exhaust hood or exhaust duct.  A properly installed and maintained fire suppression system ensures proper extinguishment in the event of an appliance fire – and also provides protection in the exhaust hood and duct to prevent the fire from spreading into additional areas of the building, roof, etc.



Suggestions on Choosing a System


Our WFX team can assist in helping you identify the correct choices for your restaurant fire suppression system. Often, experts with diverse experience and training should handle selecting the proper plan for your business needs. These are critical decisions that take into consideration the security of your business and employees, and there are many safety and compliance protocols to consider.


In general, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind when making your decision. For one, consider the size of the area that needs to be covered in your restaurant. Secondly, clarify what kinds of cooking equipment is in use by your restaurant, including gas or electric stoves, open flames, fryers, wood-burning and electric ovens, or other types of cooking mechanisms. And, finally, you will want to identify any custom additions that you may need for your specific kitchen.



Before You Go…

At WFX Fire, Lock, & Security, we are committed to ensuring you have the most reliable and trustworthy resources for your restaurant fire suppression system.


Our team can guarantee that your installation is conducted with the utmost professionalism. We can also provide maintenance to ensure your systems keep you safe in the long run.


You can schedule a consultation or call us today at 855-WFX-1978.

Understanding How Access Control Systems Operate

We all have some level of exposure to access control systems. The most rudimentary of these systems are the metal keys we use to access our homes. In this sense, a basic understanding of these systems relates to controlling who enters an area. More recently, access control systems can also control at what time a person can enter an area. These areas may be a parking structure, complex, building, room, or other small spaces like closets and cabinets.


With technological advancements, our access control systems now mainly involve electronic security systems. A familiar example you may have experienced is the digital key cards used to swipe on door locks at hotels. But the world of access control systems is considerably broader and more complex.


A common means of access control systems involve a type of access card programmed specifically to authorized people’s requirements or restrictions to enter certain areas. These control systems can govern who and when people log into specific areas, and they can provide vital tracking data for your site, buildings, room, and more.


In this article, we identify a few examples and discuss how access control systems operate.



How Does an Access Control System Work?


First, let’s begin by first understanding how traditional access methods have shortcomings that can hinder your business operations and security. There is a tendency for conventional metal keys to get lost, or a former employee may fail to return a key. In these cases, locks must be replaced or professionally re-keyed. Stolen keys may end up being used for unauthorized access, and this poses significant security risks. There is also the issue of carrying a large diversity of keys to access various rooms, areas, or other spaces, becoming burdensome, confusing, and time-consuming.


However, there are numerous alternatives to access control systems that offer considerably more reliable security, flexibility, organization, and convenience. In contrast to the standard lock and key, entrances can be outfitted with access control systems that feature automatic, programmable sensors for door locks that permit entry to authorized persons with a simple scan.


Let’s examine a few types of access control systems:



Three types of access control systems

building access controlThere are various types of access control systems for different kinds of environments and operations. Understanding the following types of systems can assist your organization in determining what system or combination of systems will be best suited to your requirements.


Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

If you’re looking for the most popular type of access control system, the Role-Based Access Control is the option. The RBAC is very commonly used in households, but it is also quickly gaining popularity with businesses. These systems are less restrictive than Managed Access Control, but they offer more customization than Discretionary Access Control systems. Primary features offered by RBAC allow permissions to be assigned to roles and times of the day. For example, a manager can be given more access permissions than an assistant manager.


Managed Access Control (MAC)

Managed Access Control (MAC) systems provide a more rigid approach that is commonly useful for organizations dealing with highly confidential or classified data like military or government agencies. As the most restrictive option for access control, MAC only gives control and management to the system owner or administrator. But settings are programmed into the system. An administrator cannot go around these parameters, restricting the system administrator from permitting or denying access. These are accountability measures built into the MAC system. Every user in the MAC systems is categorized based on their permissions wholly relative to their role.


Discretionary Access Control (DAC)

The least restrictive access control system is the Discretionary Access Control (DAC). A great deal of flexibility in this system allows administrators to be changed to another person easily, and this administrator has full access to create permissions. DAC is simple and easy to use, but permissions cannot be assigned based on an employee’s role.



The primary components of access control systems

Access control systems are comprised of a few core functions that produce an integrated and automated set of security resources. The core components consist of the access control panel, lock, tag, and tag reader. Below is a more detailed explanation of each component.


Access control panel

keycard access control systemThis is the primary controller of an access system. The panel takes in data from the reader, translates the encryption, and verifies the data against what is loaded into the system. If the data received matches with the data in the system, a lock would open and grant access.



This is an electrical version of the traditional lock. It is operated by the access control panel to permit or deny entry.



A tag essentially replaces the mechanical key with a different physical item such as a fob, keycard, or a credential that can be programmed into a smartphone. Using radio frequency identification (RFID), the tags send digital signals to the access control panel. These tags offer an administrator a great deal of range to make alterations, granting the ability to change permissions from a remote position. In addition to the physical tags, a biometric signature can also be used, such as a hand, thumb, or face scan.


Tag reader

The reader is equipped with an antenna that can receive information from a tag and transmit it to the access control panel. Readers can be installed on either side of a door to regulate entry and exit.



Parting Words on Access Control Systems

At WFX Fire, Lock, & Security, we are committed to ensuring you have the most reliable and trustworthy resources for building and door access control systems.


Our team can guarantee that your installation is conducted with the utmost professionalism. We can also provide maintenance to ensure your systems keep you secure in the long run.


You can schedule a consultation or call us today at 855-WFX-1978.