It's commendable that you're protecting your money by stashing it in a savings account.
But what about all the non-monetary valuables that you own?
There's a safe deposit box for items that need extreme security.
What about the high-value items you want accessible at a moment's notice?
A home safe can do the trick.
- Benefits of a safe
- What to keep in it
- Where to put a safe
- How to choose one
- Where to buy
Benefits of Having a Safe at Home
There no hiding it:
A good home safe isn’t cheap, so you might be wondering if it’s worth having one for your valuables.
Here are some benefits to consider against the cost:
Protection against theft
If someone burglarizes your home, you can rest assured knowing that the thief will have a hard time getting some of your most valuable possessions.
Most home safes are equipped with fire-resistant materials that can keep valuable documents and items from getting destroyed in a home fire.
By placing these items in the safe, you wouldn’t need to focus on retrieving them before getting out of the house if a fire does occur.
No home safe is entirely waterproof, but most having varying levels of water resistance that can keep your valuables safe in the case of a flood.
Keeps your family safe
Only 35% of gun owners with children keep their firearms in a safe, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
If you own one or more guns, keeping them in a safe is essential to keeping your family and others safe from potential misuse.
Cheaper than a safe deposit box
While a safe deposit box at your local bank branch may be best for some things, you’ll have to pay a monthly or annual fee to keep it.
With a home safe, on the other hand, you have a one-time expense for something that can last years.
What to Keep in a Home Safe, and What Not to
Depending on the size of your home safe, you may be limited in how much you can store in it.
Some items may be better off in a safe deposit box in a bank instead of in your home safe.
Of course, it’s up to you to determine what to keep in a home safe and what to store in a safety deposit box.
But here are 10 things you should consider keeping in your home safe:
- Insurance documents. If your home suffers damage from a fire or other disaster, you’ll want to keep your insurance documents safe, so you know your coverage and have the right information to file a claim.
- Personal documents. Passports, Social Security cards, and birth certificates can be a hassle to replace. But you may need access to them outside of banking hours, so it’s best to keep them at home.
- Legal documents. If you’ve drawn up a living will, power of attorney or health care directive, it’s best to keep those forms close rather than at a bank, which might seal your safe deposit box upon your death.
- Financial documents. It’s wise to hold onto certain financial documents, including tax returns, property records, brokerage statements and debt records. By keeping them in your home safe, you can prevent identity theft.
- Prescription medications. Keeping potentially addictive medications in your safe can prevent abuse or overdose.
- Cash. It’s always a good idea to keep some cash on hand in case of an emergency, especially if the area you live in is prone to natural disasters that can knock out bank and ATM networks.
- Certain valuables. If you have jewelry, a coin collection or other valuable items that you want access to from time to time, you might prefer to keep it close rather than at a bank.
- Guns. Your local bank may not allow firearms in its rental agreement. Even so, it’s best to keep your gun in a home safe if you want easy access or you want it for general home safety.
- Old family photos. If you have any family photos that you want to keep but don’t display on your walls, your home safe will protect them from fire and water damage. It’s also recommended to scan them, so you have a digital copy.
- Safe deposit box keys. If you choose to get a safe deposit box with your local bank, store your keys in your home safe to always remember where they are and to keep them safe from thieves.
As for things you should keep in a safe deposit box instead of in your home, here are four:
- Valuable heirlooms. If you have family heirlooms or other valuable items that you don’t need regular access to, it might be better to keep them in a safe deposit box rather than a home safe.
- Home inventory. Property insurance companies typically require that you keep an inventory of what you have in your home in case of a burglary or damage. By keeping this in a safe deposit box instead of a home safe, your list will be completely safe.
- Certain important documents. While it’s good to have some documents in a home safe, you can keep others in a safe deposit box if you don’t need easy access to them. Unless you’re planning to sell your car soon, for instance, you likely don’t need to keep your vehicle titles at home.
- Sensitive computer data. If you have a USB drive or external hard drive with sensitive information on it, it’s best to keep it in a safe-deposit box where it likely won’t be subject to intense heat, potential water damage or magnetic interference.
Where to Put a Home Safe
To be frank:
There’s no single best answer to this question because it can depend on what you plan to store in your safe and your personal preference.
For example, if you mainly store jewelry and other personal possessions, you may want your safe in your bedroom or closet.
If your main priority is to keep your documents safe from flooding, it’s best to keep it as high off the ground as possible.
As you consider where you want to place your safe, think about the safe’s purpose and what’s most convenient for your needs.
One place where you should avoid placing your safe is in your garage.
Not only is your garage easier to access than your home, but potential burglars may catch a glimpse of your safe when you open your garage door throughout the day.
How to Choose a Safe
As you shop around for a safe, there are a few different factors you should consider, including the type of safe, cost and size.
There are many different types of home safes, each with different features.
As you shop around, you may come across one or more of the following safe types, and some could be a combination of two or more:
- Fire safes
- Burglary safes
- Floor safes
- Wall safes
- Gun safes
- Commercial safes
- Key safes
- Combination safes
As you compare safes, consider the reason you want to get one and pick the type that best serves your needs.
The fact is...
A more expensive safe will have better features and stronger protection.
But depending on what you need a safe for, you may not need the best of the best.
Think about your budget and what you can afford instead of getting caught up in the size of the safe and its features.
If you haven’t already determined what you’re going to put in your home safe, make that list now.
This will help you determine how large of a safe you’ll need.
Also, think about where you plan to put the safe.
If it’s going in your bedroom or closet, you may prefer to have a smaller, less conspicuous model.
If it’s going in your basement or somewhere else out of sight, however, you may be able to afford to have a bigger safe.
Where to Buy a Home Safe
Here's the deal:
If you’re serious about getting a quality safe, it’s best to purchase one from a company that specializes in them.
Large retailers like Walmart, Target and Home Depot all offer home safes, but many of their safes are on the lower end in price and features.
Do an internet search to find safe manufacturers in your area or national manufacturers who are willing to ship a safe to you.
Check for customer and product reviews to make sure you’re getting a good deal and a good quality safe.
Having a home safe is an important way to keep your personal documents and valuables safe.
They can also keep your family and others safe by keeping dangerous items away from inexperienced hands.
But knowing how to pick the right safe, what to put in it and where to put it in your home isn’t always easy.
As you follow these tips, you’ll have a better idea of how a home safe can serve your needs and how to get the right one.