A fireproof safe is an invaluable investment that could save the day in the event of a fire or burglary. Not only does a fireproof safe offer the security that a bank safe might, it keeps your valuables close at hand should disaster strike.
A fireproof safe is important, not only for storing your valuables at home in the event of a fire or theft but for ensuring that your valuables are covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy should you need to replace anything if the safe is somehow damaged. Some valuables – cash particularly – stored elsewhere (like at the bank) are not insured against damage or loss during a disaster.
Fireproof safes are widely available from many popular retailers and come in many shapes and sizes. Bear in mind that larger safes are often more expensive and heavier than their smaller counterparts. If a smaller safe can suit your needs, you may be better off going that route.
Once you get a fireproof safe, store it in a secure location where it’s not easily discovered. If you’re particularly concerned or live in an area with frequent break-ins, consider storing it within another locked compartment such as the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet.
While you may wish to store a lot of items in your fireproof safe, there will probably not be room for everything. There is, however, some essentials that you definitely want to keep in your fireproof safe.
Have your copies of relevant insurance policies at the ready as you begin to dig out and assess the situation following a disaster. Keep your homeowner’s insurance policy and your agent’s contact information in the safe so that you can get in touch as soon as it’s safe to do so.
Keep your birth certificate – and those for any other members of your family – in the safe. While you can get copies of these if you need to, it’s better to maintain the originals if you need to establish your identity following a disaster.
Keep your family’s original passports in the safe as well. Again, these are replaceable, but getting one quickly, should the need arise, can be expensive and challenging.
Keep everyone’s original Social Security cards in the safe. They are important for providing documentation for many legal and organizational purposes, and getting a replacement card is not simple. Plus, you should never keep these on your person.
Keep the deed to your home and titles to each of your vehicles in the safe so that they’re preserved in the event of a fire. While these documents can be replaced, it’s often a pain to get new ones. Do yourself a favor and keep the originals safely locked away.
Information for your financial accounts, including any loans which you have, should be kept in your safe. If you need to withdraw money after the disaster, you’ll want your information on hand right away. Additionally, you need the information for reaching your creditors should the emergency delay any payments you owe.
Medical information, including the names of the family’s doctors, medications and dosages, and any other relevant information should be kept in the safe. Keep copies of your current health insurance policy in the safe, especially if you are unable to access the usual place you keep them and require medical care after the event.
Leave your safety deposit box keys in your safe so that you can access your valuables after a disaster.
Keep copies of your current home and car keys in the safe in case you are unable to locate your originals after the disaster.
Maintain copies of any and all legal documents that you hold, or to which you are a proxy or surrogate. It’s your job to keep these items secure, so your fireproof safe should make this happen.
Copies of your wills and any to which you are an executor go in the safe. Wills protect your family in the future and ensuring access to them after a disaster is a smart idea.
Keep a chunk of cash and any valuables that you want close at hand in your safe. You never know if they’ll come in handy after a disaster situation.
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