This piece is on some of the parameters and importance on keeping things safe…inside of a safe, or a “safe space” where they won’t be compromised. The compromise that I speak of means from fires, thieves, floods, or mayhem in general. Every family should consider some kind of safe, as well as a safe/hidden spot to keep the safe in. You have valuable (either financially or holding value due to their nature) possessions and documents that need safeguarding.
All Could Be Lost Without This Home Security Prep
Let’s start by saying it would behoove you to have 2 types of safe: one for larger items, and another one for portable, smaller items, especially in the way of documents. Such documents can include (but certainly aren’t limited to) passports, marriage licenses, birth certificates, land deeds, vehicle titles, corporate stock and/or documents, to name a few. A smaller, more portable type of safe would do in this case, such as those made by Sentry to lock with a key and a recessed handle.
You may want to pick up a fireproof type of safe or box for your ammo, to store in the vicinity of any safe that has firearms, but do not store the ammo in the safe with the firearm.
These small safes can hold your documents and certifications, usually protecting them from fire up to about 1,500 degrees F, as well as being water-tight to protect them from flooding and water damage. Now, the whole point of having this type of safe is to make your documents portable. The fire rating may help you if you’re not able to get to them, and must recover them later, or if they suffer “light” exposure to flame and you are able to grab them…and they’ll be protected.
The other type – a larger, heavier kind may have to wait for you to return after a fire or flood. Sentry makes these guys, too, and I prefer the tumbler kind to the electric. Firstly, if there’s any kind of solar flare or EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse), you may not be able to get into the safe. Secondly, the battery is going to run down eventually. You’re much better off with a “click and tumbler” type of combination lock on the front. The larger safe will also hold documents, but you can also store things such as jewelry, extra cash, a firearm or two, precious/valuable coins and metals…the list is endless.
This type of safe will usually be good up to about 2,000 degrees F, and can be bolted to the floor. This latter detail precludes being able to just lift it up and take it away. This type of safe should be hidden. The possibilities include (but aren’t limited to) a piece of furniture either bought (premade specifically to hide it) or specially made for the occasion, a recessed wall or floor, or a hidden room that only you and your family know about.
This last point is especially if you have paperwork or documents in the safe. You don’t want to “cook off” the ammo with excessive heat inside of the safe and start a fire internally. Another thing to consider hiding the safe in plain sight by installing it inside of a wall. This can be done with masonry or with timber and drywall. The key being you need as much space for the safe as is minimally possible, and it (the space) needs to blend with its surroundings. It is better to go with the ground floor for such a location, as if you have it on the second floor and the house burns down, it’ll probably end up being in the basement after a considerable fall, and this after being weakened by the fire.
Keep a copy of the combination in a place where it won’t be lost if the house goes down and in a manner that will not allow it to be affected by the elements. An index card or portion of one with the combination on it and laminated with heavy-gauge laminate is your best bet in this regard. Make sure your family members (if they’re trustworthy, mind you) know the combination to the safe and where to find it. In an age where safety deposit boxes in banks are no longer inviolate to the IRS or the Federal Government, the home safes may assure you both of security and privacy.
Always learn the fire-rating beforehand, and buy them new, not used. You do not know what the previous owners may have either went through or subjected the safe to prior to you owning it. In this manner, you have quality backed by some type of warranty. There are plenty of websites available with plans and ideas of where in your house to recess one should you wish to do so. Consider one or two for your home. It is a not-so-costly investment that will keep your stuff safe and pay for itself the first time it’s needed. Keep your things safe, and be safe in all you do.
This article first appeared at Tess Pennington’s Ready Nutrition.com.
Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.
Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.
Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.