Having a fireproof safe can go a long way when protecting valuable personal belongings in your home. Fire resistance is the number one concern for safe buyers, so you will need a safe that can withstand the elements.
Your home security system and fire alarm will alert you and the authorities of a fire, your valuables and personal belongings can go up in flames in the few moments it will take the fire trucks to arrive.
What to look for in a safe:
- Size: most safes are 1 to 1.3 cubic feet, and can easily store 8.5×11 sized documents.
- Fire resistance: normal fireproof safes can withstand up to 1700oF for up to one hour, but the best can withstand 1925oF for up to three hours. When purchasing a safe, you can reference its UL rating to view its quality.
- Magnetic protection: this is especially important when protecting digital information from hackers.
What can a heat-based or fireproof safe store?
- Important paper documents that you may need immediately, like passports, social security cards, insurance papers, and legal briefs, need to be kept in a safe that can withstand 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Digital media like memory sticks, USB’s, CD’s, and DVD’s need to be stored in a case that can withstand 238 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Data, such as that stored on external hard drives and tapes, are some of the most vulnerable items when it comes to fire and it is essential that they are stored in a safe that can withstand temperatures of 150 degrees Fahrenheit or more.
Recommended items to store in a fireproof safe:
- Insurance Policy Information: if a fire does occur, this is the exact information you will need to recover your losses.
- Financial Information: If you decide to keep any financial documents in your home, it is important they are kept in a fireproof safe. Anything related to a retirement plan or investment should have electronic copies.
- Estate/house documents: floor plans of your home and documents of your home should be kept in a safe for as long as possible, and make sure your lawyer has copies just in case.
- Identification Cards And Passports: Any forms of identification should be protected in a fireproof safe. This can include you and your family’s birth certificates and social security cards. These are all documents that are difficult to replace if lost or destroyed.
- Medical Information: Important medical information and essential prescriptions should be stored in a fireproof safe to ensure that your family will always have access to them when they are needed.
- Data: Our world is mostly saved on the cloud and other digital devices, but it doesn’t hurt to have the important stuff backed up on an external hard drive.
Valuables: A fireproof safe will keep your family heirlooms and personal treasures safe from both intruders and fire emergencies. You’ll know those important items are always safe.
What can be stored at a storage unit or a bank safe instead:
- Collectible items such as stamps, coins, and baseball cards
- Expensive jewelry and precious metals
- Documents that you don’t need to access outside banking hours such as your deed, will, and car titles
The right safe and the right security systems can help protect you, your loved ones, and your belongings when you need it most.