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What Kind of home safe do I need?

How to select a Home safe?

Home Safe Suppose to offer several types of protection for what stored in it.

What to store in it? Home safes are not meant to replace banks; if you have valuables lying around in the house then you might be better off storing them in a safe. But if you want to safeguard hard-to-replace items such as birth certificates, passports, family photos, and tax records while keeping them close at hand, a home safe could be a relatively inexpensive solution.

Home Safe Size: A simple way to determine how large a safe you might need is to pile up everything you plan to put in it and measure. A fairly common home-safe capacity is 1.2 to 1.3 cubic feet, which should easily accommodate a foot-high stack of 8½- by 11-inch papers, for example.

What Kind of home safe do I need?

A) Fire resistance Home Safe: According to The National Fire Protection Association, during an average lifetime, there's a one in four chance of experiencing a household fire large enough to warrant calling the fire department.

UL and Intertek rate fire-resistant safes in terms of what type of material they'll protect and how long they'll protect it. For example, safes rated to protect paper documents shouldn't get any hotter than 350 degrees on the inside during a fire, according to John Drengenberg, consumer safety director at UL in Northbrook, Ill. If you plan to store old tape recordings or 35mm slides, however, you'll want a safe that's rated not to exceed 150 degrees inside, he says. Computer disks and DVDs are even more sensitive, so if that's what you'll be storing look for a safe whose interior won't exceed 125 degrees. This information should be on the safe itself, and you might see it on the packaging as well. For more details on UL Rating you can see our UL Guide - What Is Safes UL Ratings Means

Home Safe Fire Ratings: For home safes, 30 minutes of protection is most common, however, you can get safes that offer one hour protection, 90 minutes fire protection or 2 hours protection home safe , that comes in with higher price tags. Generally speaking, a 30 minutes should be sufficient, since "Fires tend to move through a home, and usually it takes about 20 minutes to move through a room or an area."

B) Burglary protection Home Safes: Independent ratings for burglary resistance are less common for home safes than for ones made for commercial users, such as jewelry stores. To determine their burglary-resistance ratings, UL testers go at safes with tools, torches, and even explosives, Drengenberg says. A TL-15 rated safe, for example, can withstand an attack of at least 15 minutes using common tools.

While most home safes don't carry a rating for burglary resistance, they do, as a practical matter, provide some protection. Chris E. McGoey, a security consultant in Los Angeles, says that burglars generally go for what they can grab in one run through a house. "Once they get their arms full," he adds, "they're out of there."

A 1.2 or 1.3 cubic-foot safe probably weighs about 100 pounds empty, making it a less attractive target than jewelry, cameras, small electronics, and other more portable items a burglar might spot. Many safes also come with bolt-down kits, a further deterrent to thieves in a hurry. Other safes can be concealed in a wall or anchored in a concrete floor.

C) Water Resistance Home Safes: Protection against water tends to be an added feature of home safes that are also fire- or theft-resistant. Dale Soos, an engineer with Intertek, says his organization confers a "verified" mark on safes that meet their manufacturers' criteria for water resistance. Some safes are submerged to simulate the effects of a flood or broken water line.

Other considerations When Picking a Home Safe

What the Cost of a Home Safe: Home safes prices vary, depending on the size, fire ratings, type of lock, additional shelves and drawers.

Where to buy a Home Safe? : You can find home safes at your local retailers as well as online. The most selection is found online with the price is usually lower than your local retailers, Some online stores offers free shipping and no tax.

What is Best Place for a Home Safe?

  • The master bedroom tends to be the first stop for burglars, according to McGoey, so it might not be the ideal site for the safe.
  • Basement could be better from a fire-protection standpoint; But if your home is located in a flood area, the safe might be at greater risk in the basement.
  • So, The best place for your safe will depend on the design of your house, and you probably be the one that know the best location for you home safe, but there are some trade-offs worth considering.

What to Store in your Home Safe? A home safe gives you easy access any time to documents you might need from time to time without requiring a trip to your bank’s safe-deposit vault. The table below lists some important documents you might want to keep in a safe.  

Document

How long to keep

Birth and death certificates

Forever.

Estate-planning documents

Forever. (Unless your executor knows how to get into your safe, also make sure he or she and your lawyer have copies.)

Life-insurance policies

Until the term of coverage ends.

Savings bonds

Until you cash them in at maturity (30 years in the case of Series EE bonds).

Stock certificates

Until you sell the stock or have it converted to direct or street-name registration.

Tax returns

At least seven years.

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