Home safes have risen in popularity since the beginning of the recession. If you have made the decision to purchase a fireproof safe for your home, the following steps can assist you in determining which one is right for you.
Even with considering the extensive variety of models with various features such as vault doors, choosing the right home safe is a relatively straightforward process. Because you are protecting capital, essential documents and sentimental items, make sure to pick prudently and consider these six fundamental points.
- Fire Resistant: Understand that a fire rating reflects the amount of time the safe can endure a fire without the contents combusting. Calculations are in terms of hours, and the ideal measurement is a minimum of a one-hour fire rating. It is necessary to realize that no safe is 100 percent fireproof. There are limits on any safe as to how long it can protect its contents and what items it can protect from fire. A list of classifications can be found here.
- Research the cash rating. This measurement shows the degree that the safe is burglar-resistant. Calculations indicate the complexity of the locking mechanism, the strength of the door and walls, and how difficult it is to remove the safe from its location. The higher the cash rating, the more secure the safe.
- Determine the volume of objects going in the safe. Standard home safes are eight inches high, 10 inches wide and 10 inches deep. Make sure that you plan enough room for future items. This gives you an idea of the size of safe you need to purchase. Smaller safes are easier to hide and more versatile for environments such as apartments, recreational vehicles and boats.
- Decide if you want a portable or permanently installed safe. For instance, you can bolt a safe to the floor or set it in a wall. Choose a model and size according to your decision. Make sure that each adult in the household can easily carry a portable safe in the event of an emergency.
- Instead of a keyed lock, opt for a combination lock. Combinations are easy to remember or record in a confidential or off-site location. Locking systems are a principal cause of concern for safe buyers. Systems employing combination locks offer the highest degree of protection. In addition, locking bolts prevent the door from being pried open.
- Consider your budget. Purchase the highest-grade safe to meet as many of your needs as possible. The MSRP for most home safes start at approximately $150 and range up to $800 or more. Choose a top-rated safe and sacrifice a few cubic inches.
Documents to Keep in Your Safe
Safes protect valuables, cash and essential documents. Resist the temptation to save too many sentimental items if space is at a premium. Documents that you should keep in your safe include:
- Birth and death certificates
- Estate-planning documents
- Life insurance policies
- Savings bonds
- Stock certificate
- Tax returns
In the end, a good safe is secure, well concealed and just a piece of your larger family security plan. Make sure that all of the adult members of your family know where you place the safe and that everyone understands an emergency plan that focuses on personal safety first.