Safes are traditionally used to prevent the theft of valuable items. A fireproof safe, however, provides the additional benefit of protecting your valuables against fire. With an average of 358,500 homes experiencing a structural fire each year, it’s not unreasonable to prepare accordingly. Here’s a list of 10 things you’ll want to gather from the corners of your house, car, and drawers, to put in your fireproof safe.
1. Insurance Information
Should your house go up in flames, the first thing you’ll have to deal with is your insurance company. It’ll be important to have immediate access to your current insurance policies and the appropriate contact info.
2. Personal Identification Documents
Protect your passports, original birth certificates, social security cards, and other personal documents such as a marriage license or name change in your fireproof safe. Not only are these a hassle to replace, but you also can’t do anything official in today’s world without them. Traveling, enrolling in school, applying for jobs, and many other daily transactions will be extremely difficult if not impossible without these vital documents.
3. Medical Documents
If you or anyone in your home regularly uses any medications, keep your family doctors, prescriptions, contact information for pharmacies, and medical insurance cards on hand. These will be especially important if your emergency necessitates hospital visits or ambulance rides.
4. Important Legal Documents
Keep wills. That is living wills or any wills in which you are the designated executor, powers of attorney, and/or any health care proxies. This will help uphold the legal protection these documents provide.
5. Financial Documents
You may need to access funds quickly in the event of a house fire. If you keep investments, retirement plans, bank account information, and/or associated contact information at home, these would best be stored in your fireproof safe. You may also want to include information on any outstanding debts and their due dates, along with appropriate contact information so as not to fall behind on payments or accumulate late fees.
6. Property Deed and Car Title
These are proof of what you own. Your insurance company may ask for these documents when it comes time for them to payout. Additionally, losing these would make it impossible to sell, refinance, or transfer the title for estate-planning purposes until you are able to get replacements.
Guns should be safely stored regardless of the risk of fire. But it’s also wise to protect your guns against fire. This is mainly due to the fact that your guns along with their ammunition and accessories can quickly rise into thousands of dollars.
8. Spare Keys
It’s likely that you have other locations where important items are locked away. Ensure that you have continued access to your safety deposit boxes, cars, additional properties, and padlocks to sheds or storage units by keeping spare keys to these within the maximum-security walls of your fireproof safe.
9. Valuables & Heirlooms
You may have your grandmother’s precious wedding ring, a fancy watch, or rare collectibles in your possession. Be sure to lock up these and any other jewelry, coins, cash, designer gear, or heirlooms as these often carry sentimental value and/or are impossible to replace.
10. Digital Storage Devices
While most of the photos taken on our smartphones today are automatically backed up to “the cloud,” you likely have CDs, thumb drives, or other external hard drives that contain family photos that are irreplaceable and otherwise inaccessible. Store these in your fireproof safe. It’s especially important to protect your external drives when they contain personal information or device back-ups.
We trust that this list will help you get a better idea of the size safe you should be looking to buy if you haven’t already decided. And an important closing note is that safes can vary in “fireproof-ability,” so it is crucial to read up on these differences before securing away your selected valuables.
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North American Safes assists our customers through repairs, lock changes, and relocations. When it comes to safes, we are there to help in any and every way. Contact us today with any questions you may have