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Home Fire Proof Safes: Why Have Them & What to Put In Them

Home Fire Proof Safes: Why Have Them & What to Put In Them Accidents happen. I’ve known some people whose homes have been completely burned or ruined by natural disasters. Other people I know have suddenly lost the bread-winner or financial leader of the family. These unfortunate incidents although rare, do happen at random. It really is a wise thing to prepare in case such incidents do occur to you or your loved ones.

Having a home fire proof safe and filling it with documents and items that you will want and need if the worst were to happen is a great way to prepare. For your own use, safety, and peace of mind, it is also handy to have these items in one secure place—instead of littered around the house in different drawers and cabinets. I like to know where our important documents are when I need them. So having them in the safe helps with the organization aspect as well!

Home Safes VS Safe Deposit Boxes

Many may wonder why I’m emphasizing a home safe instead of a safe deposit box. Home safes (for personal and important documents) are often better than a safe deposit boxes at a bank for a variety of reasons:

  • With home safes you can access important documents at a moment’s notice. With safe deposit boxes you are subject to the bank’s hours of operation (and if there is a threat or disaster banks do not have to open at all).
  • Bank safe deposit box items are not typically insured. The items in your home (including in your home fire proof safe) are, for the most part, insured with your home insurance. If you have questions on this, contact your home insurance agent.
  • If you were to die and your original copies of important documents were in a safe deposit box it could take weeks, even months to secure a court order to open the box. With a home safe, your loved ones would have immediate access.
  • Banks are also susceptible to natural disasters, robberies, etc. neither homes nor banks are 100% safe.
  • A safe deposit box could cost $40-$200+ a year for rent. A home safe costs about that as well and will last for years.

What to put inside:

  1. Passports

  2. Birth Certificates

  3. Social Security cards

  4. Home insurance information

  5. Life Insurance paperwork

  6. Car insurance paperwork

  7. Wills

  8. Trust documents

  9. Power of attorney

  10. Titles and deeds to valuable property (like vehicles, homes, etc.)

  11. Valuable jewelry that you only access from time to time

  12. Cash

  13. Coins, gold, silver (precious metals)

  14. Medical details (doctors, prescriptions, diagnosis, etc.)

  15.  A “what if I were to die list” with your bank account numbers, when bills are due, etc. so loved ones (or a spouse that may not know these details) can keep up in case of death or accident.

  16. Family heirlooms

  17. Journals that mean a lot

  18. Business documents

  19. CD and external hard drives with valuable files (including photographs) on them

  20. Negatives of photographs you don’t want to lose

  21. Paperwork related to any investments you may have made

  22. Extra check books you are currently not using

  23. Marriage or divorce documents

  24. Military records

  25. Degrees and training certificates

  26. Extra keys

  27. Other valuables

Important- Making copies of these items (or scanning them all and putting it on a flash drive) and storing them with a family member or lawyer you trust will give you an extra level of protection and preparedness.

Bonus 1- Having a list of items in your home and their values (even receipts) will help speed an insurance claim if there ever is one.

Bonus 2- Having someone (maybe a beneficiary or parent) know about the safe and what the safe code is can also help in case of death or accident.

Note- Fireproof safes are not indestructible. You will want to place yours in an area where it will not fall far distances if the floor could burn out from under it (and potentially bust open or become damaged). I recommend putting it on the lowest level of your home. Further, securing your safe to the floor and putting it in an inconspicuous area will help keep your valuables and important documents protected as well. Amazon sells a lot of different highly-rated fire proof safes (you can find them here).

Most importantly don’t put this task off. I’m not a ‘doomsday’er’, I just know that accidents come when you are least expecting them. So don’t wait.

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6 Responses to Home Fire Proof Safes: Why Have Them & What to Put In Them

  1. This is convincing. Maybe I’ll look into it!
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is so smart! I have been wanting to get one, and we probably will next year when we get a house. We have everything important in two giant binders right now, but it will be so much better to have them in a fire-proof safe!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Yes they are super important to have, but waiting till you have a house is probably a good decision for a larger safe. There are fire proof small briefcase sized safes as well if that works for your situation better too!

  3. Pam Lassila says:

    Fireproof safes are a great idea! You never know when an accident will happen. You don’t want the things that are most important to you to get destroyed in a fire. Those are devastating enough already.

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