Fireproof home safes and gun safes keep your valuables secure
While no one likes to think that events like break-ins, fires and floods might happen to them, the truth is that these things can happen to anybody. Most people arm their homes with door locks, window locks, and fire, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as a way to forestall these disasters; so it makes sense to add a fireproof safe that can protect hard-to-replace documents, currency and large and small valuables in case of fire or flood. Safes designed specifically for handguns or long guns like rifles and shotguns will not only protect your weapons from fire, water damage and theft, it will keep them safely out of the hands of small children or unauthorized adults.
Quality should be your priority. Because safes protect your most significant investments and possibly irreplaceable records, it may be tempting to head straight for the cheapest models. But if there was ever a time to invest in quality, this is it. However, price is not always an indicator of quality either, and we read plenty of reports of pricey or even custom-made safes that owners felt seemed cheap or tended to collect condensation in spite of their cost. Regardless of price point, look for home safes that are rated by Underwriters Laboratory (using the UL mark) or Intertek (using the ETL mark). Testing from these third-party companies gives you an honest gauge of just how much fire or flooding the safe can withstand, and how well it will hold up against break-in attempts.
Home safes come in a variety of sizes and styles. You can buy everything from tiny lock boxes to giant military-grade safes -- if you have the money and the space to store the latter. The general rule when buying a safe is to get the largest safe you expect to be able to fill -- that way, you won't have to invest in a second safe in the future. Many larger safes come with a range of organizational features, like shelves, door organizers or hanging file holders, to help keep your electronics, collectibles, documents or other precious items organized.
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, birth certificates or other small items, these highly affordable safes will probably do the trick. They're fireproof and can be moved fairly easily; some of them are waterproof, too. Although these small boxes aren't the best deterrent against theft (because the burglar can just carry them off), many people choose these small, portable safes primarily for their fire and water protection, then hide them so a thief cannot easily find them.
Gun safes are a must for the responsible firearms owner. Although the federal government doesn't require you to lock your firearms up, some states do; and some states levy penalties or criminal charges for allowing children access to firearms, even if that access doesn't result in a tragedy. Always check your local laws regarding firearm storage.
Also, remember that even if your state doesn't require you to lock your guns up, doing so is a great example of responsible gun ownership that can protect your second amendment rights, the lives of innocent children around you who don't understand the danger of playing with firearms, and, of course, safeguard the firearms themselves against theft.
If you live in California, the California Department of Justice has a specific set of standards for which gun safes are acceptable. They also provide a roster of approved the gun safety devices.
Finding the best fireproof home and gun safes
There aren't a lot of expert reviews of safes, but we found a couple of useful roundups by the editors of GunsandAmmo.com, as well as the thorough reviews done by Richard Nance at GunSafeReviewsGuy.com. With such a scant list of expert sources, we paid very close attention to the hundreds of owner reviews posted at retail sites like Amazon.com, HomeDepot.com, Cabelas.com and others. The result is our recommendations for the home and gun safes that will keep your valuables secure and undamaged.