Data vanish into thin air … Provide protection against fire and heat – Use certified data cabinets

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The article below is taken from the ECB website.  The original text can be found at


FRANKFURT/MAIN – June 2011. We are living in a data world. CDs, DVDs, memory sticks and hard disks, the iPhone and iPad store everyday life and mementos: Documents, letters, addresses, family photos, videos … What many forget to consider: All these electronic data are extremely susceptible to heat and fire damage – if they are not protected, they will vanish into thin air in the event of fire  …


 A “physical firewall” for the growing data volume

Firewalls protect against attacks from outside, back-ups against losses caused by damaged systems. Only the risk of fire often falls by the wayside. “The data volume is growing day by day – and, as a result, the need for a `physical firewall`. Nowadays, nearly every household needs a certified fire protection product,” says Falko Adomat from the European Security Systems Association (ESSA) e.V. in Frankfurt.


 A certification mark shows the way to secure data protection

The neutral certification body for burglary and fire protection products shows the way to secure data protection with its blue certification mark. For: A safe does not always protect against fire as well – it`s recommendable to use a special data cabinet. It can accommodate everything that is at risk in intense heat. The ESSA certifies these products according to the European Standard EN 1047-1. Users can see this by the ECB·S certification mark with the designation “S 60 DIS” or “S 120 DIS”. It stands for, respectively, fire protection for 60 and 120 minutes.


 Products according to EN 1047-1 are tested in several ways

Manufacturers of data cabinets according to EN 1047-1 furnish proof that their products provide resistance in several ways: The cabinet must keep the temperature in the interior at a temperature that is safe for data during the exposure to flames and also after the flames have been extinguished.  “In most cases, it is not possible to take the contents out immediately. During that period, the heat may reach the interior through the walls of the cabinet so that the temperature will rise,” explains Falko Adomat. The wider test according to EN 1047-1 makes this impossible. In addition, there is the drop test from a height of more than nine meters simulating the collapse of a building.


Cabinets for the protection of paper – not for electronic data

For users wishing to store documents in a safe place there are also ECB·S certified cabinets according to EN 1047-1 specially designed for the protection of paper against fire. They are marked with an ECB·S certification mark with the designation “S 60 P” or “S 120 P”. For paper documents, there are also products according to the EN 15659 standard providing lower fire protection for 30 to 60 minutes on the market. In contrast to the EN 1047-1 standard, they are not subjected to a drop test. Furthermore, their behaviour during the cooling phase is not tested either. Fire protective cabinets for paper documents are in general not suited for electronic data media.

Electronic data are highly sensitive to heat and fire. Protection is provided by special data cabinets.


The blue ECB·S certification mark of the ESSA shows the way to secure data protection.

Photos: ESSA/ECB·S

Background ESSA/ECB·S

The European Security Systems Association (ESSA) e.V. with headquarters in Frankfurt/Main is a neutral certification body in accordance with EN 45011. ECB·S is the “brand” of the ESSA. Pursuant to its guiding principle “Quality provides Security”, the ESSA with its ECB·S certification mark guarantees maximum security properties to European standards. At present, the number of valid ECB·S certificates in the global security market is approx. 950.

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