Although more and more data is stored digitally these days, much of your vital information is still recorded on paper: Deeds, birth certificates, tax receipts, and wills are examples of documents containing information that might need to be retrieved when least expected. These articles could be lost in a fire or some other disaster with no way of easily replacing them. Preservation of sensitive documents is only one of many reasons to own a fireproof safe.
At one time it was thought that only a bank could adequately protect important materials by storing them in safety deposit boxes. While this practice is still followed, it can prove inconvenient and unduly expensive for some. Making a trip to the bank to get the articles and paying monthly fees for using safety deposit boxes have led many families to consider alternatives like buying a safe for their home.
In addition to protecting vital papers and documents, a safe can hold valuables like jewelry and precious metals. Gold can melt easily, damaging both its appearance and value. Heat and fire can damage pearls and precious gems. Heirlooms can be lost, destroying family traditions. And while certain heirlooms do have a high monetary value, such items are often viewed as priceless due to their sentimental value.
A fireproof safe can also preserve stamp collections, coin collections, rare books, sports cards, and comic book collections (Superman might be made of steel but his comic books are made of paper). Collectible dolls, toys and items like vinyl records can easily melt or burn.
If you’re licensed to carry a firearm, your family’s safety could be compromised should the weapon be lost or damaged due to fire. And there’s the risk of injuries, possibly severe, should the intense heat cause ammunition to discharge in your home. You can minimize the chances of such a hazard occurring by keeping the firearm stored safely.
While you won’t earn interest on it, keeping cash in a fireproof safe can be a good idea. There might be transactions that can’t be paid for with a debit or credit card (repaying a loan to a friend, for example) and it isn’t always convenient to run to the ATM. In the event of an emergency or a disaster it can prove beneficial to have cash on hand for food or medicine. (Don’t advertise the fact that you’re keeping cash in your home. Losing valuables to a thief can be as devastating as losing them to a fire.)
If you decide to buy a fireproof safe, choose one that can be installed under the floor or in the wall. Select a location in your home that’s inconspicuous but easy to reach. Check the warranty to see what kind of replacement policy is offered should the safe be damaged. Make an inventory of your valuables and determine the storage space that best fits your needs.
With a safe in your home your vital information and valuables are always nearby and protected from calamity. For many, the security and peace of mind afforded are the major reasons to own a fireproof safe. For others, it’s the assurance of knowing they won’t see their information and valuables go up in smoke.