Tips for Buying a Personal Home Safe
Conceal your important documents and valuable belongings in a home safe.
Chances are, you’ve accumulated a hefty stack of personal documents. And you’ve most likely gathered a few valuables too. Protecting these belongings is of utmost importance.
A personal home safe can help safeguard paperwork and other items from fire, water damage and burglary, and comes in a variety of options. Keep the following in mind if you’re considering investing in a safe.
Check on the package labels to make sure the safe has been tested by Underwriters Laboratory (UL), Intertek or another independent testing facility.
- Fire resistance. Safes are tested for fire protection based on the intended materials to be safeguarded, and for how long. For instance, if you store paper documents, which burn at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, look for a UL rating of 350; that means the safe’s internal temperature won’t rise above 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you store sensitive computer media, look for a UL 125 rating.
- Water resistance. Labels indicate whether safes can withstand being submerged or sprayed by water—and for how long.
- Burglary resistance. Safes are rated by how they’re constructed and by how long they can withstand attack with standard mechanical and electrical burglar’s tools.
How you access your safe depends on personal preference. Lock types range from simple privacy key locks and three-number combination locks to more advanced mechanical-dial locks, electronic locks and dual-lock methods.
Bells and whistles
If you plan to store keys, money, CDs, DVDs and different-size documents, make sure your safe accommodates those items. Stepped-up safes offer interior accessories, such as key racks, bill clips, trays and shelves, for better organization.
Location, location, location
Once your safe is home, store it strategically. Basements—unless they’re water-prone—are often recommended. More elaborate hiding spots are under floors or in walls. If you invest in a hefty safe, make sure your floor can support it. Regardless of where you put your safe, bolting it to the floor can add another layer of protection against theft.