There are many items around your home that should be kept in a safe place. Your important documents and valuables are often spread throughout the home, so in the event of a fire, it would be impossible to rescue them all.
A general rule is that documents that are needed quickly or on a regular basis should be kept in your fire safe. Items like insurance documents, wills, Social Security cards, and birth certificates should be stored safely at home, rather than in a safe deposit box. This is also true in terms of “power of attorney” papers that enable you to make emergency health decisions on behalf of a sick relative. You can keep extra sets of these important papers, in a safe deposit box, with a family member, or securely in the cloud.
Of course, a fireproof safe is ideal for delicate items that may burn so photos and cash should always be placed in there. It is however, important to note that not all safes are resistant to fire, so you need to check the fire rating on the one you choose.
A good safe should also always be resistant to water however for some extra protection, it is advisable to place documents in plastic containers.
So what exactly should you store in your fire safe?
- Passports and birth certificates.
- Insurance policies and agent contact information. This will be needed immediately if you suffer a house fire
- External hard drive or CD containing copies of precious family photos. These are, of course, irreplaceable
- Doctor’s contact details, a note of any prescription medications and pharmacy contact information.
- Bank safe deposit keys.
- All important papers relating to bank accounts, retirement plans, investments and so on.
- Financial information. It is important to keep these safe in order to keep up payments, repayments and to protect your credit score
- Social Security cards.
- Copies of all important legal documents such as wills.
- Spare vehicle keys and titles.
- Expensive jewelry, cash, etc.
No-one likes to think about the potential of fire damage to their home however, house fires could be more common than you think. The U.S. Fire Administration has estimated that in 2007 there was more than $11 billion in property damage as a direct result of fire.
Thankfully, through being vigilant and having a fire safe in your home, you can provide you and your family with added security in the event of a house fire. Having adequate homeowners insurance in the event of a fire can provide you with further peace of mind.