If you would like to protect some of those difficult-to-replace items like tax records, passports, birth certificates, and family photos, while having them near, then a safe can be a fairly inexpensive solution.
One simple way to figure out what size of safe you may need is to gather everything you are planning on placing inside of the safe and then measuring it. A fairly common capacity for a home safe is 1.2-1.3 cubic feet.
A majority of home safes have been designed to protect the contents from theft, fire or both. There are some safes that offer water resistance as well. Many safes are tested by independent organizations like Intertek (ETL mark) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
For most buyers, their number one concern is fire. Intertek and UL rate fire-resistant safes on the basis of what kind of material they protect and the for how long. The most common for home safes is 30 minutes worth of protection. For a higher price, there are also safes that provide one hour or more worth of protection. For most items, 30 minutes of protection should be sufficient.
There are not as many burglary resistance independent ratings on home safes compared to commercial ones. In order to determine a burglary resistance rating on a safe, UL testers attack a safe with torches, tool, and even explosives at times. For example, a TL15 rate safe is able to withstand an attack of 15 minutes at least using common tools.
Water protection has a tendency to be an addition home safe feature, to one that is also theft- or fire-resistance. Intertek gives its “verified” mark to a safe that meets is manufacturer’s water resistance criteria.
For around $25 or more you can purchase a fire chest. These are smaller in size than a safe, yet large enough still that it can store a document stack. When it comes to safes, they range in a capacity of 1.2-1.3 cubic feet with a cost ranging from $150 to $300. A larger safe is more expensive, and the total can also be higher when accessories such as shelves and drawers are added.
Where to purchase a safe
Hoem safes can be found at retailers like Sears, Lowe’s, and Home Depot, and also online at sites like simplysafes.co.uk. If you purchase your safe online, remember to factor in shipping costs, although there might be free shipping available. That are also stores that specialize in selling safes.
Where to put your safe
The best location for your safe is going to depend on your home’s design. However, there are a few trade-offs that you should consider. The master bedroom is one of the first places that a burglar tends to visit, so that may not be the best place for your safe. In terms of fire protection, the basement may be a better place. However, if your house is in an area that tends to flood then your safe may be a higher risk if it is located in the basement.