A media safe is one that is designed for the safe, secure storage of various forms of computer and electronic media. Electronic media is more fragile and easily damaged than paper media, so there are special requirements for a media safe.
The fire rating for a media safe is different from that of a standard fireproof safe. The rating is still given in number of hours, but the maximum temperature that can be reached inside the safe during the test is 125 degrees F, rather the 350 degrees F allowed with standard safes. So a good media safe would be rated 1 hour at 125 degrees F, meaning that the safe could be exposed to a 1700 degree F fire for 1 hour, and the temperature inside would not rise to more than 125 degrees F. In addition, there is a humidity requirement for a media safe – the maximum humidity inside the safe cannot reach more than 80% humidity during the specified time of the test.
A media safe also needs to provide protection from unauthorized access – some media safe also carry a burglary rating. The burglary rating indicates how resistant the safe is to tampering with common safecracking tools. In addition, computer media requires protection from dust, magnetic fields, and electrostatic discharge.
As you can see, the design requirements for a media safe are much more difficult to meet than those of a standard safe. The walls and doors have layers of heat absorbing material. They also have layers of fireproof insulating foam that expands when heated to protect the contents from water damage. In addition, the conductive steel casing provides protection from magnetic fields and electrostatic discharges.
A media safe offers one other feature to simplify media storage. You can specify the type and arrangement of the interior for the storage of the various types of computer media. For example, you can choose drawers designed to store 3.5″ floppies, 4 or 8 mm dat tapes, or CD ROMs.
So there are a number of factors to consider when choosing a media safe. You should first decide on the type(s) of media and amount of storage that you will need. This will determine the overall size and interior configuration of the safe. Next, you should decide on the amount of protection you need – the fire and/or burglary rating of the safe. In addition, you will need to determine which type of lock best suits your needs – a key, mechanical combination or electronic keypad lock.
Choosing the right media safe is an important decision. Make sure that you consider all necessary factors when deciding which media safe is right for you.