Protecting your important paperwork and valuables like birth certificates, passports, jewelry and other important items is something that many people don’t think about until it is too late. The good news is that you don’t have to wait until something happens before you protect these valuables.
Natural disasters like fire, hurricanes, or tornados may not seem very likely, but they happen to people every day. There are in home safes available on the market that will protect all of your important valuables from these catastrophes and they do not cost an arm and a leg to get.
This combination fire safe from Sentry Safe is the perfect in home safe to keep your valuables safe.
There are many different types of in home safes available so it is important to know exactly what items you want to protect and what you are protecting them from. If all you need is something to protect your items from theft that will be a different in home safe than one that will protect your valuables from fire and water damage.
Top Rated In Home Safes Reviews
There are many things that you want to consider before purchasing an in home safe. It is very easy to purchase the wrong type of safe if you don’t know what the differences are in the various models
This guide will provide you with the information you need to determine your specific needs and how to choose the right safe for those needs.
|Best Fireproof Home Safe|
SentrySafe Combination Fire-Safe
|ETL verified water and fire proof||Mechanical combination lock
|Best For The Money|
Honeywell Medium Steel Security Safe
|Great value for the money||7 year limited warranty
Sentry Safe Water-Resistant Combination Safe
|XX-large storage capacity compared to other safes||Has 6 – 1” bolts for maximum security
|Best Hidden safe for the Home|
Trademark Home Book Safe
|Great for hiding valuables right out in the open||Looks and feels like a real book
|Best Small Home Safe|
AmazonBasics Security Safe
|Provides 2 override keys||Carpeted floor to protect valuables
In Home Safes Buyers Guide
Determining Your Needs
There are several questions that you need to ask yourself before you purchase an in home safe. Below, we have listed these important questions that will help determine what your in home safe needs are and what type of safe will be the best for your valuables.
How much space do you need for your valuables?
This is a very important piece of information to have. In home safes come in all sizes so finding one that will hold everything you want to protect is not difficult, as long as you know ahead of time how much space you are looking for. Think about the things you want to protect.
These usually include important documents like marriage licenses, birth certificates, deeds, stocks and/or bonds, divorce papers, and any other important paper work. Other items that are commonly protected are jewelry, digital media including memory sticks, USB drives, CDs, DVDs, etc. Many people put guns into safes as well.
It is better to purchase a safe that is bigger than you need than trying to cram everything into a safe that is too small. Most safes have two measurements that the company lists; the exterior measurement and the interior measurement. To determine how much space you have, you will be looking at the interior measurement.
Do you want water and fire protection?
Fire and water damage is the most common forms of damage that can ruin important paperwork, jewelry and digital media. Protecting your valuables from these natural disasters is very important. Many in home safes are available that will protect your items from these disasters.
Look for UL and ETL verifications which will tell you how much fire and water protection you will have with that particular safe. If you live in an area that is in danger of frequent floods and/or tornados, you want to find a safe that has a lot of protection in this area. It is important to keep in mind that if you are protecting a lot of digital media, you will need to ensure that the safe is capable of protecting these types of items.
Digital media needs to be kept below a certain temperature and moisture level. You may want to consider purchasing a safe specifically designed for digital media which will have the proper ratings and temperature/moisture levels.
Fire protection is usually measured in degrees for a specific number of hours and water protection is typically measured for a certain level of water for a certain amount of time, usually a 24 hour period. For adequate fire protection, look for a safe that will protect for a MINIMUM of 1 hour. Anything less than that will not keep your items protected.
Where will the safe be kept?
Where you will be putting the safe is also an important consideration. Out of sight is the objective, especially if you do not have a home or business alarm system. To have the best protection against theft, bolting the safe to the floor is a good measure to take.
If you will be accessing the contents of the safe often, make sure you put it somewhere convenient without making it obvious to any burglar. Some people prefer wall safes that are hidden but keep in mind that the only thing holding a wall safe to the wall are the studs and these can be cut if the burglar is determined to take what is inside.
What type of lock do you prefer?
Many customers looking to buy an in home safe have no idea what type of lock is the best. Higher quality safe locks, whether electronic or dial are U.L. rated which provides a higher level of protection. A redundant lock is always a good idea.
This means that the lock consists of both electronic and mechanical locks. If one fails there is a back up lock that you can use to access the safe. Mechanical locks should be serviced by a professional every five years. The only maintenance an electronic lock needs is to have the batteries changed.
Do you care how the safe looks?
Safes are not usually designed to be out in the main part of the home so how it looks is probably one of the least important items of consideration unless you are considering a disguised safe. Many safes have powder coated exteriors to protect them from scratches and abrasions. The main consideration should be the quality of the material and not how stylish the safe is. Most look the same in terms of outer appearance with some being black and others being gun metal gray or steel.
What are you putting in your safe?
If you are not sure what items you can store and protect in an in home safe, consider the following common items: jewelry, digital media, documents of all kinds, photographs, baby books, coins, collectible books, CDs, DVDs, Albums, small important knickknacks, and anything else you want to protect in the event of a fire, flood, or theft attempt.
Set a Good Budget
Having a budget that you want to stick to is understandable, but buying an in home safe is one area that you do not want “cheap” to enter the picture. A cheap in home safe is just that…cheap, and you will not have the protection or quality that you need for protecting your valuables. This doesn’t mean you have to purchase the most expensive safe on the market, but you need to look at the other factors first and foremost when choosing and don’t base your decision on cost alone.
Do you want theft protection too?
Just because a safe is fireproof and water proof doesn’t mean that it is burglar proof. In addition to anchoring the safe to a concrete floor, you want to look for a safe that has a high security TL rating in addition to the fire and waterproof ratings.
The Different Types of In Home Safes
There are five basic types of in home safes that you will encounter when you start researching. You are not locked in to only one type of safe, so if you feel purchasing a couple of different types to keep all of your valuables safe, that is better than purchasing only one safe and not properly protecting everything you want to keep safe. We’ve listed the three basic types of safes below.
Wall safes have a certain amount of intrigue or wealth associated with them since you see this type so often in the movies but if you want to store a lot of valuables, a wall safe may not be a good choice due to the fact that they don’t hold a lot of weight. If you want to use a wall safe, look for a safe that will protect your valuables against fire and do what you can to secure it to the studs well so it is not as easily removed by a determined burglar.
A floor safe is the least portable of all the different types of in home safes on the market. If you are storing a lot of valuables, a floor safe is going to be able to handle the weight. Make sure that if you are storing digital media that you get a smaller, digital media safe that is designed to protect this type of thing and place the smaller box inside the floor safe. Also make sure your floor safe is fire rated and waterproof as well. You should still consider bolting a floor safe to the floor despite its weight.
If you want to protect weapons, it is recommended that you purchase a safe specifically designed for storing weapons. These specialized safes have extra locks, are burglar-proof and have locking bolt technology that will help keep your weapons out of the wrong hands. It is very important to keep your weapons safe and out of the reach of children so never leave your weapons safe open and the children should never have access to it even if you feel your child “knows better”. It just isn’t worth the risk.
There are many safes that are designed to look like other items so people don’t know they are actually safes. These types of safes can be created to look like books, clocks, bookcases, filing cabinets and much more. While these hidden and disguised safes are really cool from a spy lover’s standpoint, the majority are not fire or waterproof. They can deter a burglar who does not typically spend a lot of time looking through books and other things to find the hidden safes, but the protection is limited at best unless the safe specifically states that it has the required UL and ETL ratings and verifications.
Digital Media Safe
Digital media has special needs when it comes to being properly protected. You want to look for special digital media safes that will keep the inside of the safe below 135 degrees and the humidity below 85%. This is important to keep all of your digital media safe.
The majorities of digital media safes do not offer any type of burglar protection so it is best to purchase a small digital media U.L. rated fire lock box to place all the digital media in and then place the smaller safe inside a larger one that is also U.L. fire and waterproof rated. Wondering what digital media to protect? Most people include hard drives (portable and regular), DVDs, CDs, photographs and negatives, Flash drives, SD cards, memory sticks, credit cards, etc.
What to Look for When Safe Hunting
When you start researching different in home safes, there are some considerations you want to think about to ensure you choose the right safe for your needs. We’ve listed some of these considerations below so you can add them into your research process.
- If you are looking for specific features for your safe, make sure that they are listed clearly in the description of the safe you are looking at. If you are choosing a safe that has water and fire protection, ensure that the proper ratings are printed clearly so there is no question as to the level of protection you are purchasing. If it is not listed, do not assume it will have fire and water protection. You are looking for U.L. and ETL certifications.
- Heavy and large safes are good when it comes to discouraging burglars. It is also a good indication that the safe is sturdy and well made. Safes that are made from solid steel are extremely heavy so beware of a large safe that is not heavy. This indicates that the materials used in construction are not very good quality.
- Look for in home safes that can be bolted to the floor. Anchoring your safe deters burglars from taking it. A large safe anchored to a concrete floor is not going to be able to moved or taken.
- You want to find a safe that will protect your valuables from fire for at least 1 hour. It is better to purchase a safe that has a fire protection rating of 2 hours but do not go less than one hour or your valuables will not be protected from fire damage.
- If you are going to be storing delicate items that can be damaged easily, look for safes that have a carpeted bottom. This is not as important for floor safes or safes that are bolted down, but if you have a safe that is moved around or carried, items inside can be damaged sliding across a solid steel bottom. The carpet prevents this.
- You want to make sure that your in home safe is made in the United States. The reason for this is to avoid safes that have low quality materials and counterfeit UL seals, a common problem with safes made in other countries. United States safes may be more expensive than the foreign varieties but you are assured that the U.L. ratings are legitimate and your items will be properly protected.
Common In Home Safe Features
There are several features that you will want your in home safe to have to ensure that you have a good quality safe for your belongings. We have listed the most common features seen on in home safes.
This is a rating that determines how much fire, water and theft protection the safe offers. If it does not have this rating you should not expect this type of safe to protect your items from fire or water damage.
These keys override the combination lock if you forget the combination. Don’t keep both the override keys in the same spot.
Solid Steel Construction
Most safes will be made with solid steel but some of the fire proof safes will use a thinner, fire resistant metal that is much easier to break into.
Carpeted interior bottom
This feature is great for when you want to protect fragile items that can be scratched or damaged.
Heavy duty locking bolts
Safes will have 2-6 heavy duty bolts that are used to keep the door locked. Some manufacturers, such as Sentry Safe, use bolts that are larger than traditional safes. These heavier gauge bolts will offer even more protection.
Door pockets are on the inside of the safe door and are very good for holding smaller items.
Some safes have an adjustable shelf that you can adjust to different heights or remove completely so you can make room for the items you are putting into the safe.
This feature makes it a lot easier to bolt the safe to a concrete floor or other immovable surface. Don’t attach the safe to something that can be easily removed or it defeats the purpose of bolting it down.
Warranties are important because it protects the consumer from any damage the safe might have when it arrives and also because it shows the company’s dedication to their products. Warranties will vary from company to company so you will need to read to find out what they are offering.
Hardware that allows the safe to be bolted to the floor or wall. Not all safes have this mounting hardware but it makes anchoring it a lot easier.
Powder Coated Finish
This prevents the safe from being scratched up if it is moved around. This isn’t always necessary, but it can prevent rusting and keeps the safe looking good.
Low Battery Alert
This is very handy to keep you informed as to the battery power you have. When the batteries die in your lock it can cause problems so having this alert will prevent you from being locked out of your safe.
Having an in home safe can give you a lot of peace of mind when it comes to protecting your documents, jewelry, and other valuables. By taking the time to determine your needs and research all of the available in home safes you will be able to select the perfect safe or safes for all of your valuables.
The information in this buyer’s guide is designed to help make the research and selection process much easier. With so many different choices, it is easy to choose the wrong safe if you do not understand the differences between them.
Some safes are designed strictly for protecting your valuables from theft. Others protect from fire and/or water. The high quality in home safes are constructed from heavy duty steel and are U.L. rated to protect against fire, water AND theft. We have provided you with all the information you need to look at the different models and determine which type will meet your needs the best.
Many people choose to get several safes especially if they have a lot of valuable to protect. Those with guns will want to get a dedicated gun safe since the need for increased security and protection is greater. Whichever safe or safes you decide to get, the five excellent choices we have reviewed above are a great place to start.
Sentry Safe Combination Fire-Safe – http://www.sentrysafe.com/
Honeywell Medium Steel Security Safe – http://www.honeywellsafes.com/
Sentry Safe Water-Resistant Combination Safe – http://www.sentrysafe.com/
AmazonBasics Security Safe – https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics/pages/2528919011