Fireproof safes can give you peace of mind
As a quick glance at the police blotter of any local paper will show, break-ins, fires and floods happen all the time. While no one likes to think about such an event occurring, most people arm their homes with door locks, window locks and fire, smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors as a way to forestall disaster. For many, a fireproof safe that can store documents, jewelry, keepsakes and/or firearms is also an indispensable part of a home-security plan.
Home safes come in a variety of sizes and styles. The best home safes can come with electronic, key or combination locks; some feature multiple locks, allowing owners to double up on security. In addition, some safes have shelves, drawers or compartments, and some sport an interior light. Many safes can be bolted to the floor for added protection from theft.
A portable box safe may be all you need. For those who just want a layer of extra protection for difficult-to-replace documents such as social security cards or birth certificates, or other small items, these highly affordable safes will probably do the trick. They are fire- and waterproof and can be moved fairly easily. They're not the best choice for protection against theft, but many people use them for fire and water protection, and then hide them so a thief can't easily find them.
Large, fireproof home safes with great organization features are available for great theft protection. Those looking to protect electronics, large collections of valuables or a lot of documents may need a larger model. Many of these come with various storage options to store a variety of items at a time, such as CD/DVD storage in the lid, along with divided shelves for jewelry and hanging files for documents. These are heavy, well-constructed safes and can't be easily lifted or jimmied open by a burglar.
Gun safes are a must for the firearms owner. Gun safes are usually large, with plenty of racks and highly secure locks. They often have double locks, electronic and keyed. The best are also fire- and waterproof.
Many safe manufacturers have their products tested by the independent testing organizations Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and Intertek (which awards the ETL mark) to verify claims regarding fire, water and/or burglary protection. They then refer to these certifications in their product descriptions.
In addition, some gun-safe models are described as meeting the California Department of Justice standards for gun safety.
Finally, safe prices vary widely; you can pay as little as $20 for a small fireproof box, and several thousand dollars for a large safe capable of storing dozens of guns. A heavy-duty, medium-size fireproof home safe generally runs between one and a few hundred dollars. Gun safes tend to be more expensive than others.
ConsumerSearch editors look at dozens of home safes, using professional reviews and published ratings and comments from owners to determine top picks. Editors take into account performance, features, size and price -- all to help you find the best model for your home security needs.