Every couple of years the folks from IOSafe reach out for me to review one of their fireproof and waterproof NAS devices. Their NAS’s actually incorporate the guts of a Synology inside, so you get a pretty robust software package to match its battle ready hardware.
One thing we’ve never done was actually test its fire worthiness. You’ll find a number of examples on YouTube of various burn tests, including this great one from Linus Tech Tips, but most of those involved placing the NAS in a fire for a short duration as opposed to exposing it to high heat over a longer period of time.
So I reached out to the Essex Fire Department here in Essex, CT who offered us the opportunity to tag along on one of their training exercises. They put the NAS through three rounds of fire training where a fire was lit to high temperature and then put out with water. Each time we moved the NAS around to angle different portions of it towards the area with highes heat.
Each round exposed the NAS to temperatures around 700 degrees Fahrenheit followed by the water from the fire hose to put the fire out. All in the NAS was exposed to fire for approximately 60 minutes. It got so hot that its cooling fan completely melted!
As you’ll see in the video although the NAS hardware is no longer functional the drives inside worked perfectly fine after they were pulled out and placed in another Synology NAS. This is due to the endothermic material used to draw high heat away from the center of the NAS. The drive chamber is also waterproof to prevent extinguishing water from getting inside.
We interviewed the company’s found, Rob Moore, back at CES 2015 to learn more about its design.
Producer Jake and I had a great time putting this piece together. Also a huge thank you to the Essex Fire Department for their help! I set up a YouTube fundraiser to benefit their non-profit that you can find attached to the burn test video but you can also contribute directly to them here.