What You Should and Shouldn’t Keep in Your Safe

It might seem like a question with a straightforward answer, but in fact, many US citizens aren’t clear as to what should and shouldn’t be kept in a safe, and hopefully the following guidance will help clarify the matter:

What are fire-rated safes designed to hold?
From life insurance policies to jewelry and guns, fire-rated safes can help protect the items you hold dear - whether for their personal, sentimental or monetary value - but simply stuffing everything of value inside one, might not be the best idea. In fact, some items may be more secure and better protected when kept apart.

What should you keep in your fire rated safe?
There are a variety of items that definitely benefit from being stored securely in a high-quality safe, and while the following list isn’t exhaustive by any means, it should give you some clear ideas as to what is recommended to be kept inside one:

  • Guns

A fire rated gun safe is the ideal place to store your firearms; designed to withstand break-ins and fires up to a certain degree, your guns will be protected for longer and kept out of harm’s way, in a gun safe. Note that your ammunition is best kept separately though.

  • Ammunition

As mentioned above, while your ammo is well protected in a safe, wherever possible, you should try to store it in a separate safe, away from your guns.

  • Knives

Knives can be expensive items, and in the wrong hands, can be extremely dangerous. To that end, it’s important to keep your quality knives inside a fire rated safe, and remember that if the knives handles are made of wood or bone, they’ll require the highest level of fire protection.

  • Keys

Pretty much anything of value and made of steel would benefit from being kept in a fire rated safe, items such as your home key, P.O box or safety deposit box keys.

  • Jewelry

A fire rated safe can help keep your precious jewelry protected from the risk of theft or from the damage a fire can cause, and many come with jewelry friendly storage options, too.

  • Important documents

A fire rated safe is the ideal place to store legal documents and many others, such as birth certificates, social security cards and tax returns.

What shouldn’t you keep in a fire rated safe?
While some may disagree as to what exactly you shouldn’t keep in your safe, experts in the security industry recommend that the following two items are instead, stored in a safety deposit box:

  • The deeds to your home

It’s ultimately up to you where you choose to keep this document, but it’s generally agreed that a fire rated safe is not the best place, and that a safety deposit box would be more suitable.

  • Data/media storage

Sensitive data that you don’t access frequently but need to keep protected, such as that which might be stored within plastic and heat sensitive items such as floppy disks and CD ROM’s, is probably best kept inside a safety deposit box, since they can be more delicate than paper in some ways.

For more detailed advice and guidance about what items to keep inside a safe, or for general information with regards to buying a safe, talk to your local locksmith and security expert.