While most homeowners understand the importance of protecting the valuables and important documents in their home, their knowledge of how to do so effectively is limited. Many homeowners believe that a strong lock and home security system is enough to provide them with peace of mind; however, home security systems can be circumvented and bypassed, and such systems do not protect your valuables from natural disasters and those that you let into your home of your own free will.
Fires and floods can rapidly engulf your file cabinet, cause you to lose all of your important documents, destroying your valuables. Even more insidious, people that you voluntarily let into your home, such as housekeepers, babysitters, and even repairmen can snoop around your home while you are not present and steal items of importance to you and your family. Even more troubling, unlike a burglary, which typically leaves signs of entry such as a broken window or lock, theft by a person you trust may not be noticed for weeks or months after the crime was committed.
In addition to practicing smart preventative measures to avoid theft and burglary, it is important to have an effective home security system installed. However, this is often not enough to protect your home and valuables. The last line of defense for your valuables and sensitive documents is the installation of a secure personal safe in your home. Read on to learn more about the top home safes available to homeowners today.
Before you begin to compare the various safes available on the market, it is important that you have a solid understanding of what you need the safe for, where you plan to install it, and what size is necessary to store all of your valuables.
Perhaps the most important consideration when purchasing a safe is where you will put it. Most homeowners predictably install their safe in the master bedroom, often in the closet. While this seems like a good idea for several reasons--this is the room most used and likely to be occupied, and offers quick access to the contents of the safe--it is also the room that most robbers will look to first when searching for valuables.
If you do not live in a coastal area susceptible to flooding, one of the best locations to place your safe is in the basement. Burglars are typically in a rush when robbing a home and are looking to take as many valuables as possible before the owner of the home returns or a neighbor notices that something is amiss. Therefore, they will usually go directly to the master bedroom and office, places where valuables are most commonly stored, in order to extract your valuables as quickly as possible. This makes unorthodox locations, such as a basement, pantry, or guest bedroom, excellent hiding locations. Just make sure not to store your valuables in an area easily accessible from the outside, such as a garage or storage shed.
The next question to ask yourself is what you plan to store in the safe. Are you planning on storing valuable jewelry such as diamonds, gold, and other precious stones? If so, these items will typically be safe in a relatively small safe that will require additional burglary protection. On the other hand, if you plan on storing mostly documents such as birth certificates, stock information, and passports, you will want a fire and flood resistant safe.
Lastly, many homeowners are concerned with safely storing their firearms in their home. While this is largely considered to be a separate category of safes, the safe storage of firearms with protection from burglars is a hallmark of a responsible gun owner.
Depending on the items that you would like to store in your home safe, you may require a vastly different sized safe from your neighbor. A safe used for storing jewelry and precious stones will necessarily be much smaller than a safe designed to store rifles and shotguns. Similarly, a safe designed to store documents for a small business will likely be significantly larger than a safe used to store personal documents for a family of three.
The Stack-On Large Personal Safe is a very reasonably priced and roomy safe that is perfect for firearm and valuable storage. The heavy duty steel frame and door, combined with its pry-resistant features, makes this safe a huge headache for burglars intent on stealing your possessions. In addition, the fact that the lock times out after three incorrect entries makes this a perfect safe for storing dangerous items in homes with children. However, the safe is not fire or water resistant, meaning that it offers little protections against the elements or natural disasters.
The only biometric safe reviewed today, this medium-sized home safe is perfect for gun storage and keeping valuable documents and jewelry secure. The fingerprint pad has been shown to be very reliable in both testing and real-world situations, and the addition of two emergency keys provides homeowners with a sense of security in-case the electronic lock fails. In addition, there is a silence option when opening the safe, which many gun-owners find valuable and which is seldom found on rival safes.
This moderately priced safe comes with a significant amount of fire and flood damage protection, in addition to anti-burglar features. One of the most attractive features of this model is the ability to bolt the unit directly to the floor of your home, making it nearly impossible for a burglar to remove your safe in a reasonable amount of time. It also includes a large interior designed to hold a large amount of items, including a standard size laptop.
While a personal home safe is the bare minimum level of security for your home, a monitored home security system is the key to protecting your family and valuables. Read our comprehensive how-to guide on selecting a home security company for more information. Plus, check out our review of the top home security companies.