Are Fireproof File Cabinets Also Waterproof

Are Fireproof File Cabinets Also Waterproof?

You’ve just invested in a top-of-the-line fireproof file cabinet to safeguard your important documents. But wait, what if a flood hit, or a pipe burst? Is your fireproof cabinet also waterproof? Are all fireproof file cabinets waterproof by default? The quick answer is:

Not all fireproof cabinets are also waterproof. But some models do have water-resistant design and materials, that proved protection from water and moisture.

Find out what makes a cabinet waterproof, the materials used, and how to choose the reliable cabinet that can provide protection from moisture and water.

What Are Fireproof File Cabinets?

When we talk about a fireproof file cabinet, we’re referring to a storage unit designed to protect its contents from high temperatures and fire damage. In accordance to the latest industry standards, a good fireproof cabinet should withstand temperatures of up to 1,800°F for at least one hour. If it’s less than that, the protection can’t be considered reliable enough.

Materials Used

Fireproof cabinets are typically made from a blend of metals treated with fire retardant substances like zinc borate, vermiculite, and silica to enhance their fire-resistant properties. In some cases, fine-pore concrete may be used as a layer.


To ensure you’re getting a genuinely fireproof cabinet, look for certifications from trusted organizations like Underwriters Laboratories (UL). A UL Class 350 label, for example, indicates that the cabinet can withstand a fire for one hour without the internal temperature exceeding 350°F.

What Is a Waterproof File Cabinet?

A waterproof file cabinet is a specially designed storage container, that can keep water out, ensuring the safety of its contents. It’s achieved through a combination of design features and materials to create a barrier against water.

What Makes a Cabinet Waterproof?

Design and Materials. Such cabinets utilize seals, coatings, and construction techniques aimed at preventing water entry.

  • Plastic Coatings: Some cabinets come with a plastic layer that acts as a water barrier.
  • Rubber Seals: These are often used around the edges of the cabinet doors to prevent water entry.
  • Stainless Steel: Less common but highly effective in preventing rust and water damage.

Certifications of Waterproof Cabinets

Just like with fire-resistance storage containers, waterproof file cabinets have special certifications, also known as water-resistant ratings. These are given by independent organizations like Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and are awarded after thorough testing.

Are All Fireproof File Cabinets Waterproof?

No, not all fireproof cabinets are waterproof. While some fireproof cabinets come with additional features that make them water-resistant or even waterproof, it’s not a standard feature across all models.


A common misconception many consumers have is the assumption that “fireproof” automatically means “waterproof.” This misunderstanding can lead to costly mistakes, as you may store valuable items in your fireproof cabinets thinking they are also protected against water damage, which is not always the case.

File Cabinets That Can Be Waterproof

While not all fireproof cabinets are waterproof, there are specific models designed to offer both protections. You will need to read the description provided by the manufacturer or the retailer to confirm the water-resistance feature.

Here is a few examples of such waterproof cabinets:

Phoenix 2-Drawer Fireproof File Cabinet with Water Seal (LTR2W25)

Phoenix 2-Drawer Fireproof File Cabinet with Water Seal B(LTR2W25)
Phoenix 2-Drawer Fireproof File Cabinet with Water Seal G(LTR2W25)
Phoenix 2-Drawer Fireproof File Cabinet with Water Seal (LTR2W25) Warranty
Key FeaturesDescription
BrandPhoenix Safe
Model NumberLTR2W25
Weight253 lbs
Dimensions28″H x 16.88″W x 25″D
Interior Dimensions10.5″H x 12.25″W x 20″D per Drawer
Lock TypeKey
Fire Rating350-1 Hour
Water ResistantYes, labyrinth sealing system and special gaskets
WarrantyThree-year materials and labor warranty
Phoenix 2-Drawer Fireproof File Cabinet with Water Seal (LTR2W25) Main stats. Provided by
Best Price for Fireproof File Cabinet at Official Authorized Dealer G

Fire King 2 Fire & Water Resistant File Cabinet

Fire King 2 Fire & Water Resistant File Cabinet b
Fire King 2 Fire & Water Resistant File Cabinet w
Fire King 2 Fire & Water Resistant File Cabinet brown
Main FeaturesDescription
BrandFire King
Model Number2-2130-2
Dimensions29 7/8″ H x 21 5/16″ W x 32 1/16″ D
Interior Dimensions11 13/16″H x 15 1/4″W x 26″ D
Weight548 lbs.
Fire RatingUL 2-Hour Class 350
Water ResistantYes
WarrantyLifetime limited warranty
Additional FeaturesETL Electronic Media – 30 min, 30-Foot UL Impact Rating, 2000 Explosion Hazard Rating, Made in America, High Security Key Lock
Fire King 2 Fire & Water Resistant File Cabinet Main stats. Provided by
Best Price for Fireproof File Cabinet at Official Authorized Dealer G

Why You May Want A Waterproof Cabinet

Choosing the wrong cabinet can have more consequences than you might think. If you assume your fireproof cabinet is also waterproof, you could be setting yourself up for a nasty surprise. To avoid those problems you may want to choose a model that has the necessary rating.

Potential Problems from Choosing a Non-Waterproof Cabinet

Potential Problems from Choosing a Non-Waterproof Cabinet

  • Water Damage to Documents: Important papers like contracts, deeds, or certificates could be ruined.
  • Electronics Failure: If you store electronic devices or media, water can cause irreversible damage.
  • Mold and Mildew: Moisture trapped inside the cabinet can lead to mold and mildew, which can further damage stored items.
  • Financial Loss: Replacing damaged items can be costly, not to mention the loss of irreplaceable items.
  • Insurance Complications: Some insurance policies may not cover water damage if you’ve stored items in a cabinet not designed for water resistance.

Benefits of Fire & Water Resistant Cabinets vs Ordinary Ones

Being aware of true capabilities of your file cabinet can not only save you from potential losses but also grant you more benefits. Here’s a list comparing the benefits of fireproof, waterproof, and non-fireproof & non-waterproof cabinets:

Fireproof Benefits:

  1. Protection against fire damage
  2. Thermal insulation for sensitive documents
  3. Enhanced security features
  4. Durability and long lifespan
  5. Often come with fire safety certifications and warranty

Waterproof Benefits:

  1. Protection against water damage
  2. Sealed design to prevent moisture entry
  3. Suitable for flood-prone areas
  4. Often come with water resistance certifications

Non-Fireproof & Non-Waterproof Benefits:

  1. Generally, more affordable
  2. Easier to move due to lighter materials

Here’s a handy chart of key benefits for each type of cabinet:

Benefits of Fire & Water Resistant Cabinets vs Ordinary ones
  • Fireproof Benefits: 5 key benefits
  • Waterproof Benefits: 4 key benefits
  • Non-Fireproof & Non-Waterproof Benefits: 2 key benefits

How to Choose a High-Quality Waterproof File Cabinet

Choosing the right cabinet is not just about picking the first fireproof model you see. You should carefully consider both fireproof and waterproof features. Here’s how to make an informed decision:

Check Certifications

  • UL (Underwriters Laboratories): Look for UL Class 350 for fireproof cabinets and additional water-resistant certifications.
  • ETL (Electrical Testing Labs): Another trusted name for both fire and water resistance.
  • IP Rating: For waterproof cabinets, an IP67 rating or higher is desirable.

Read Reviews

  • Consumer Reviews: Online retailers offer customer reviews that can provide real-world insights.
  • Expert Reviews: Look for articles or videos from trusted industry experts who have tested the cabinets.

Consult Experts

  • Industry Professionals: Speak with professionals in the field of fire and water safety for personalized advice.
  • Retail Consultants: In-store experts can offer tailored recommendations based on your specific needs.

Additional Tips

  • Size and Dimensions: Make sure the cabinet fits in your designated space.
  • Locking Mechanisms: Consider cabinets with robust locking systems for added security.
  • Budget: While it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option, remember that you’re investing in the safety of your valuable items.


To sum it up, not all fireproof file cabinets are waterproof. But if you have some important documents to persevere, it’s always better to spent a little bit of time and find a cabinet that is. Don’t leave it to chance. Do your research or if you want to get the most benefits for the money, check out list of the best Best Fireproof and Waterproof File Cabinets on the market.

FAQs : And here we answer some of the other common questions on the topic.

  • What certifications should I look for in waterproof cabinets? Look for cabinets that have a UL (Underwriters Laboratories) rating for water resistance.
  • Can I make a non-waterproof cabinet waterproof? While you can’t make a standard cabinet fully waterproof, you can enhance its water resistance using sealants and water-resistant coatings. However, for guaranteed protection, it’s best to invest in a UL-rated waterproof cabinet.
  • What should I look for to determine if the fireproof product I am purchasing actually passed the UL tests? Check for a UL label on the product. If it says “UL tested,” it may not have passed the test. Look for terms like “UL Classified” or “UL Rated” to ensure the product has passed UL’s stringent tests.

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