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"Safe" recommendations to store important documents?

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  • "Safe" recommendations to store important documents?

    I am just starting to look for a secure safe and was wondering if the group had any specific recommendations. Here are some of the items I'm looking for.

    -Fireproof.

    -Waterproof

    -Size: I only have to store passports, social security cards, a few secure pieces of paper, a small thumbdrive, etc... so I don't need anything too large. I don't have expensive jewelry, guns, etc... Although I'm sure I'll put more things in there over time, I really don't need it to be that large. Most of my existing paperwork (which gets less and less with everything digital) is in our filing cabinet which currently isn't fireproof but is plenty of room to store everything we have so far. I'll continue to use that for the paperwork that doesn't need extra security/fire protection (although there is a lock on there).

    -Secure: obviously this is also very important. I don't need Fort Knox security but enough that would deter anyone from trying to break in. The ability to bolt it to the floor or some other security features that I'm not thinking of may also be of some benefit. Do most people use a combination or a key for their safe? What features should I be looking for?

    -Anything else that I should be thinking of?

    I'm certainly willing to pay a little bit of premium to get something of quality that fits some of the requirements listed above. My hope is one great purchase to last a lifetime.

  • #2
    safety deposit box?

    my parents have a safe. its full of non important items. thats the deterrent.

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    • #3
      I bought my safe at office depot years ago.  I originally bought it for my office to keep petty cash, medicolegal paperwork, and blank checks.  Now it is at my house with some paperwork.  It is heavy so unless you are storing significant gold coins, guns etc I think bolting it to the floor is overkill.  If it is just documents you can buy fireproof small file holders at office depot.  Costco also carries a lot of this stuff.

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      • #4
        As SHS would say about growing into the available space of a house, I've grown into my safe.  Never thought I'd use all of the space, but now it is stuffed to the gills and that baby is about as mobile as Yosemite's El Capitan.  In other words, buy bigger than you'd imagine you'd need--this is a one-time purchase.

        Brand?  Fort Knox.  It might just be an an oversold advertising campaign, but this is a case that I'll buy into the "you pay for what you get" mantra.  Nothing is fire/theft proof, but the money buys you extra time.  As far as waterproof...maybe buy a pelican case to put inside your Fort Knox.

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        • #5
          If you get a safe, make sure you put it somewhere non-dusty. I had mine in a concealed space that was dusty. This must have gotten into the key mechanism and I had difficulty opening it one day. Which was a terrible shock.

          So I got another one and bolted it to the floor. But the bolt must have warped the casing slightly so it would only close with difficulty. Which was a bugger because it was very heavy.

          The dust affected one I threw out. The one bolted to the floor was so heavy I didn’t have the energy to remove it. I just have it there as decoration/decoy. It does close with some effort but I tend not to use it because I think it will not open one day.

           

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          • #6
            to waterproof it you can just put all your documents in ziplock bags, then place that in the safe.  Fireproofing not as easy.

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            • #7
              You need to be careful about fireproof safes.   They are actually fire resistant for a certain period of time only, and that time varies.  If the safe is in a closet, you can line the closet with fireproof sheet rock which will help the safe.   I was told that the safes have the same substance inside them as fireproofing, but I haven't confirmed this.

              My safe is hidden and is bolted to the floor.  However, many safes seem to be easy to break into.  Research the safe you're interested in.  Lots of videos on youtube showing how easy it is to open many safes of all kinds by using  a magnet or banging with a hammer.

              A safe deposit box is good for some things, but not your will and trust documents, as the heirs won't have access to the box unless they were listed on the box and have signatures on file.

               

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              • #8
                Fireproof is a bit of a misnomer as I think fire-resistant would be a better term. If you're putting a thumb drive in there, you'll want a safe that is made for digital media.

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