by Ryan Allis
The following article is about safes and safe contents: what you should store in your safes, how large a safe should be used to keep your items safely stored, protecting items from fires, burglary, water-damage, via safe usage.
Once you've made the decision to buy a home safe, you may find yourself a bit confused by all the choices that await you. Home safes are available in many sizes and price ranges, and it can take a bit of shopping around to ensure that the safe you choose will meet your needs for many years to come.
The first consideration for your home safe is size. Take stock of what you plan to store in your safe. If you are a collector or own many pieces of jewelry, you will need a bit more space than if you just want to store important papers and one or two jewelry items. If you own guns, your needs are entirely different, and you will need to search for safe that is larger than average. Be sure to plan for the future when deciding what size safe to buy. Manufacturers typically recommend buying a safe about 25-50% larger than you think you need today. Of course, a larger safe will cost more money, but maybe not as much as you'd expect. About two-thirds of the cost of making a safe is in the door; so buying a 25% larger safe will not cost 25% more.
Another consideration in choosing your home safe is the type of protection you are looking for. Safes are typically listed as either fire resistant or burglar resistant, or both. Fire Resistant safes are available with multiple ratings, depending upon the level of fire resistance. Safes with a higher fire resistant rating are, of course, more expensive, however, the extra expense is well worth it if you plan mainly to store important papers. Burglar resistant safes are designed to make it difficult to find and remove your belongings. They typically contain both a key and combination lock, are extremely heavy, and can be bolted to a wall or floor.
The best combination is usually a Burglar/Fire safe that will provide you with both burglar resistance and fire resistance. These are typically a free-standing safe than can be anchored to the floor and should provide you with at least 1 hour of fire resistance. The level of Burglar resistance will depend on the "total dollar value" of the safes contents. Underwriters Laboratory (U.L.) Ratings typically provide better Burglar resistance. The higher the "content value", the higher the burglar rating should be.
Buying a home safe should be a purchase you make only once in your life. Be sure to take the time to carefully evaluate your needs for both today and the future to ensure that your safe provides an effective and long lasting benefit.