4 Types of Things You Should Keep in Your Safe at Home

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Whether you have a hidden or visible safe in your home, it’s no secret that there is a wide variety of important things to stockpile in it. There are many reasons to own a safe such as, protection of the items against theft or disasters, store proof of ownership of your possessions, preservation of collections, and/or ensuring the safety of people within your home.

Here are four kinds of things that should be kept in a home safe:

Important Documents:

If possible, keep originals in your safe, then carry or display copies. Many entities will request or require original documents as proof of ownership or possession for legal and financial transactions. However, if you are required by law to carry originals (e.g. a hunting/fishing or driver license), keep copies in the safe. Be sure to check your local statues or laws to be aware of what is expected in your area.

One other thing of note is the use of digital and cloud file storage. These can be implemented to a degree, but may not always be satisfactory for all entities’ requests. Consider uploading hard copies to the cloud and keeping an external hard drive or thumb drives in your safe as well as the paper versions.

Personal Documents – This is a large list, but very important to think through! Keep licenses (e.g. for pets), certificates (marriage, divorce, birth, death), passports, wills/testaments/living wills, power of attorney papers, car titles and bills of sale, life/home/auto insurance policies, tax returns and records, a list of computer/internet account passwords, PINs, or login information, names and contact information for advisors (medical professionals, accountant, or attorney), investment forms, a list of the contents of an off-site storage unit, photographed proof of your intellectual property (original manuscripts or artwork), photos and appraisals of purchased original artwork, military enlistment or discharge records, medical conditions or immunizations records, proof of antiquity/authenticity for furniture or other inherited items, and home purchase/sale records.

Business Documents – Store any self-employment or business filings such as client or vendor contracts, lease/purchase documents for office space, board meeting minutes, tax records, licenses or certificates, a list of computer/internet account passwords, PINs, or login information, names and contact information for business advisors (accountant or attorney), and entity creation forms (articles of incorporation or non-profit status).

Valuables:

Valuable liquid assets that you don’t use every day should be kept in a safe, including expensive or antique jewelry or loose stones, cash, stocks, bonds, comic books, rare first edition books, Matchboxtm or Hot Wheelstm toy cars, vinyl records, Disneytm or McDonald’stm toys and collectibles, antique maps, sports/entertainment memorabilia, vintage board/video games, and coin, stamp, or trading card collections.

Dangerous/Hazardous Items:

When it comes to protecting your home and family, many people overlook the following things, but they should be considered carefully in the list of objects to store in a safe. These articles include handguns and/or ammunition, explosive or flammable items (think fireworks), and opioid based medications.

(Note: The best way to store guns securely is in a UL certified [UL Class 350-1, UL Class 350-2 and UL Class 350-3, which include fire protection] gun locker. At a bare minimum, use a firearm trigger lock on each and every weapon and keep them far out of the reach of children. If there are children in the home, pro-actively teach them about gun safety and respect for all firearms and weapons.)

Memorabilia:

This is a broad category and may consist of things like diplomas, sports letters/pins, photo albums, a family Bible, special children’s clothing/stuffed animals/books, genealogical research, and writings by or ashes of deceased loved ones.

When deciding what else you want to store, a good question to ask yourself is, “What things would I be sick over being destroyed or stolen?” Let your answer be the guide your decisions.

Whatever your reason for owning a safe, it is clear that having a safe in your home may be the greatest asset you own aside from the assets you put in it.