Recently, wildfires have raged across the Pacific Northwest, causing widespread devastation and destruction. And, according to the U.S Forest Service "Wildland fires are a force of nature that can be nearly as impossible to prevent, and as difficult to control, as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods."
When these fires spread, families often flee with only a few minutes of notice. As wildfires increase, families are taking precautions to preserve valuable goods in case of an evacuation by using a fireproof safe.
What to Store in a Fireproof Safe
You can use a fireproof safe to store important documents, family heirlooms, memorabilia, and other precious or irreplaceable items. Here are some ideas for items to store in a fireproof safe as you prepare for a potential emergency.
First, you can store important documents in a fireproof safe such as:
- Original birth certificates
- Social security cards
There are options for safes that are both fireproof and waterproof to provide additional protection for your documents.
Next, you can store memorabilia, such as:
- Photo albums
- Sentimental items
- Family heirlooms
Then, you can gather important documents to store such as:
- Copies of prescriptions
- Trust and/or will
- Investment information
- Bank account information
- Insurance policies
Lastly, you should store some emergency cash and back-up credit and debit cards in your fireproof safe:
Don’t depend solely on your cash and cards in your wallet or purse. If you must evacuate quickly due to a fire, you may not have time to grab any material items at all.
What About My Digital Media?
If you have digital media such as images, videos or documents on a removable storage device such as a flash drive or an external hard drive they can be stored safely in a digital media safe. And don't forget about your photo prints, you can scan those photos, store them on a storage device, and keep them protected inside the safe.
Data media safes such as the Honeywell 1104 Molded Fire/Water Chest are specifically made so that the heat on the inside will not exceed 125 degrees fahrenheit, keeping both paper documents and digital media safe and protected. A standard fireproof safe can reach up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit internally, which is extremely harmful to digital media.
Items that should be stored in a data media safe include:
- Cell phones
- External hard drives
- Flash drives
- Memory cards
- CD & floppy disks
Learn More About Data Media Safes vs Standard Fireproof Safes
Choosing the Right Fireproof Safe
Once you have considered all of the items that you need to store in your safe, you should make sure that you pick the right fireproof safe to fit your needs. Your fireproof safe should be the right size to fit all of the items that you need to store, and it should include all of the features you need to properly protect the items you have chosen to store.
Here are some features to consider:
- Fire ratings
- Water-resistant door and cabinet design
- Dual dial and key lock protection
- Double steel wall construction
- Removable shelves
- After-fire guarantee
- Digital media protection
Remember, If you plan on storing electronic media in a fireproof safe, be sure the safe is designed to protect electronics. Unless the safe's description specifically states it protects electronic media then flash drives and electronics won't survive a fire.
Ideally your fireproof safe should be a combination of waterproof and fireproof.
Waterproof safes are often sold on their ability to withstand floods and complete water immersion. So, in most situations, a water-resistant safe protects against the onslaught of water used to fight fires as well. A waterproof safe should be independently certified as water-resistant for a certain number of hours and to a certain depth.
Fireproof safes can also include additional security features like an assortment of lock technologies to ensure that your items are safely stored and inaccessible to strangers. When you choose your fireproof safe, you should consider the safe’s fire rating and the burglar rating.
By taking the simple step of purchasing a fireproof safe, you can find peace of mind by knowing that your items will be safeguarded in an emergency. You can call the professionals at Safe & Vault Store at 800-207-2259 for assistance with choosing the right fireproof safe to fit your family’s needs.
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