You may have your important papers in a file cabinet, but what happens if fire sweeps through that room?
Could a Fire Protection Bag that costs less than $10 save your valuables? The label says its made of fiberglass.
The instructions are simple: Put what you want to save inside the bag and tuck down the flap.
Captain Stu Bevis of the Wichita Fire Department puts the bags through a series of tests. First, we put papers in the bag, and the bag in the middle of a burning fire. That simulates the bag being at "ground zero" of a fire in your home.
But when the fire burns out, we have bad news. The seams on the bag have busted open and let fire inside. All our papers are charred.
Captain Bevis says the bag might survive a fire when it's not in the middle of it, but instead, gets heat from close by. So he puts the next bag (filled with papers) on the side of the fire. It still gets direct heat and some flames, but isn't fully engulfed all the time.
In the middle of that test, we see smoke coming from inside the bag. Sure enough, the seams have blown open again. When the fire goes out, we find half the papers are gone. Those that are left are still burning on the edges.
In the last test, we put the bag (again, with papers inside) at the end of the fire rack. It's away from smoke and flames, but still gets some heat. We also put one piece of unprotected paper in front of it.
The bag survives, but so does the unprotected paper. In fact, Captain Bevis says the heat was nothing more than you'd get around a campfire.
The Fire Protection Bag only survives one of our tests.
We contacted the magazine where we bought it, to get their reaction. A representative told us the bag is tested up to 1,000 degrees.
That's the temperature the Fire Department estimates our fires got to.
Does It Work?
Captain Bevis says with what he knows, he has a fire safe instead.