Having a safe installed in your home is a great way to keep some of your small valuables secure. When choosing a safe for your home, there are really a wide variety of options from which you can choose. There are built-in wall safes and stand alone safes that you can put in closets or out of the way corners to keep them out of sight. You can even find safes that appear to be a regular part of your furniture and décor, so the options that are available to you are nearly limitless.
Sometimes people place a great deal of fireproof safe emphasis on their personal security, but they really don’t pay that much attention to securing their items such as personal papers, passports, certificates, diplomas, photographs, or recordings. Keeping these types of items in a safe is the best way to keep them secure from a variety of different hazards, including fire, flood, and burglars.
When shopping for a home safe, you need to be sure that you choose one that is fire proof. While most home safes do come with this kind of protection, you should know that there are degrees of effectiveness that the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) provides as accepted standards in the manufacturing process.
The lower the grade number, the higher amount of fire resistance a particular safe provides. For example, a safe that is graded UL 110 means that temperatures will not rise above 110 degrees inside that safe for some defined period of time (the manufacturer will specify how many hours your safe can withstand those temperatures). If you want to protect any type of paper materials, you should only purchase safes with a grade of at least UL 350. The reason for this is that paper burns at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Digital tapes and electronics require a grade of at least UL 125. Take note, however, that safes with this type of grade are not actually fireproof; they are merely fire resistant. This means that if the safe were to catch on fire, it would eventually completely burn.
Ideally, you want to purchase a home safe that can withstand temperatures of at least 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately one hour. You can find safes that are able to withstand temperatures in excess of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit for more than four hours, but these do not generally come cheap.
In addition to looking for safes that are fireproof, you also need to look for those that are waterproof. Any time fires occur, you are going to have massive amounts of water damage from sprinklers and fire department hoses, so you want your home safe to be able to withstand this type of damage.
One way to make sure that your safe is secure from most anything is to have one inserted inside one of the walls of your home. In fact, there are companies that specialize in creating unique, hidden safes that fit discreetly in your wall and are completely undetectable by anyone visiting your home (whether they are invited or not).
You can find these types of companies by conducting a quick search on the web, or if you are particularly handy with construction and do it yourself projects, you might even consider trying to construct one of these yourself. If you are good with tools, you can probably handle it without too much difficulty.