What to look for in a home safe

Have you been looking for a way to protect some of the most precious items in your home, like old family photos, expensive jewelry, and important documents like birth certificates? A home safe may be the perfect solution for you to keep items that you want to protect from a fire or other disaster, especially when it comes to a priceless heirloom or family photos.

You can use a safe for a more secure location to store things like your will, car titles, sensitive computer data, and passports so that in the event of a flood, fire, or burglary, you can ensure these items will likely go untouched. Take a look at what you should be looking for in a home safe.

What to consider before buying a safe

First, you’ll want to consider a few points before making your safe purchase. Things like size, features, and use are important to know before getting a safe for the home.

Do you want a safe with fire protection, water protection, and theft protection, or are you only concerned with one of these areas? What items will you be keeping in the safe? You’ll need to know this so that you can choose the correct size.

Where in the home will the safe need to go? This will affect the safe type, whether it’s a wall safe or floor safe.  Consider the size you’ll need, the budget you can afford, the location, and the elements of protection you want in a safe.  Then talk to your professional locksmith about safe installation to get it bolted down in the home so that a burglar can’t walk off with it.  

A home safe

Types of safes

There are a variety of safe types that you’ll want to consider for your needs. Most people like to have a fireproof or water resistant safe in the home in the event of fire or flooding, but there are other specialty safes that could be beneficial to you, like a jewelry safe, data safe, burglary safe, and gun safe. They can range from anywhere as low as $25 to a few hundred dollars.

Since you’ll want to store documents that are easy to grab in an emergency or important enough that they shouldn’t just be left out, you’ll want to get something that can hold everything from your passports to your tax returns. Get one big enough to store the following:

  • “power of attorney” document

  • insurance policies

  • social security cards

  • a copy of your will, deeds

  • emergency cash

  • camera negatives

  • anything of value!

You’ll want one that can also store important collections like baseball cards or stamps that are irreplaceable. Valuable items like tape recordings or flash drives, engagement rings, computer data, and family heirlooms here need to go here as well. You’d be smart to keep a photo or video inventory of the home in here.

Look for a low UL rating on the safe since the lower the number, the better protection from fire, and be sure to place items into resealable plastic bags to help prevent water damage. You can choose between a dial lock like a school locker would have or a digital lock like you’d see in hotel safes. A safe on the ground can handle more weight and be bolted down while a wall safe is going to hold less weight.

A jewelry safe may make sense in your bedroom closet but a burglar would probably never look for your jewelry in a basement, so the location of the safe is an important decision. While fire is the most common reason for a loss of assets, burglary and water damage follow, making fire protection the most important element in your decision for a safe.

A burglary safe will have a harder lock to pick and more weight to deter a home invader. Consider where in the home you are most likely to have a burglar invade, where you are likely to see flooding, and where you are likely to still be able to access the items without too much trouble.

If you were to lose everything in your home, what would be the most devastating thing to lose? Consider getting a safe for your home to protect those items that would hurt the most to lose. In the event of an emergency, you can focus on your family’s safety knowing that those irreplaceable items are already stowed away in that home safe.