Author Topic: Safe or other item to keep important items?  (Read 2029 times)

goober

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Safe or other item to keep important items?
« on: April 17, 2015, 09:49:02 AM »
I've been thinking of looking into getting a small safe to keep mine and DW's passports, social security cards, marriage certificates, and other important documents/items to keep it centrally located, but also safe in case something were to happen.

What do each of you do to keep these items safe and secure? Is a small safe too ridiculous? Just a file cabinet with a lock? Anyone know where to find cost effective safes or cabinets? Craigslist wasn't too promising from what I saw initially.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Safe or other item to keep important items?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2015, 10:59:44 AM »
Why don't you just get a safe deposit box?

Clean Shaven

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Re: Safe or other item to keep important items?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2015, 11:08:01 AM »
I have a small safe in my basement for papers like these.  IMHO the important things to look for on home safes for document storage are fire rating (how long will it keep the contents from burning if the house burns down around it) and, if possible, waterproofing -- or just place it somewhere that it's unlikely to get flooded. 

I have something like this, but search on Amazon for lots of other options too:
http://www.amazon.com/SentrySafe-SFW123DSB-Combination-Fire-Safe-Medium/dp/B005P12F2K/ref=sr_1_5?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1429290406&sr=1-5&keywords=fireproof+safe

I'm not terribly concerned about someone breaking in to my house and cracking the safe.  It could be picked up and carried away as it currently sits.   It has provisions to be bolted down, but I haven't bothered. 

Or, if you have a firearms safe, you could just put your papers inside it.

goober

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Re: Safe or other item to keep important items?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2015, 11:57:48 AM »
Kriegsspiel, I thought about that, but I use online banking and would like to have the documents more accessible without having to worry about bank hours.

Clean Shaven, Good point. Thanks for the link, I'll definitely look into ones that meet fire and flood specifications!

Thank you both!

Clean Shaven

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Re: Safe or other item to keep important items?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2015, 12:04:46 PM »
One thing I didn't mention, but maybe it's obvious --

The water resistance feature on a safe is important not just because of flooding from a rainstorm, or a plumbing issue -- it's also because if there's a house fire, that fire is (hopefully) going to be extinguished, and probably by water.  So you'll want the safe to withstand the house burning down for 30-60 minutes, but also to withstand the firemen putting out the fire around it.

Hank Sinatra

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Re: Safe or other item to keep important items?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2015, 01:30:39 PM »
I use a bank safe deposit box because I want a place that sis geographically removed from my house.  Break-in, fires, lootings etc are more likely to happen at my house (although the percentages are way low) that they are  to happen at a bank.

On another board I hang at a similar discussion is going on. Someone said a relative had one of those safes in their home that can be bolted to the floor. The thieves unbolted it or completely ripped it off the floor and made off with it.

Granted that house was likely cased for valuables to go through all that trouble. I, however don't have that much stuff so a small safe would be easily carried off and/or ripped out. Not only that but if somebody breaks in and SEES a safe somewhere they will conclude they've hit some kind of jackpot.  WOW! That stuff must be important/valuable!!  It just attracts the attention from of, an otherwise, run-of-the-mill smash-and-grab burglar

I'm a red panda

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Re: Safe or other item to keep important items?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2015, 01:30:55 PM »
Why don't you just get a safe deposit box?

For me, I wanted something I could grab and take with me in an emergency.
When our city flooded, I was surprised to hear banks call to have safety deposit boxes emptied- because contents of lower boxes would be destroyed in a flood.


(We have a fire-safe/water safe lock box for important documents- to keep them together and to protect them from reasonable issues. It is not bolted down though, so it does not protect things from being stolen.)

Capsu78

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Re: Safe or other item to keep important items?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2015, 01:52:39 PM »
I like having levels of security, so I have a safety deposit box (with most of the "original" originals- BC's, marriage stuff, passports for periods of non travel savings bonds.  We are fortunate enough to be able to share with 2 adult children and spouses, so it does tend to be full at most times.  I have scanned nearly every document in it so that serves as my emergency backup, and the scans are backed up on 3 external drives that I rotate around to the kids houses.
On premise I have a safe (rarely locked), a fire resistant cabinet and a locked down place for firearms (want to upgrade to a proper gun safe at some point).  I keep the insurance papers, pension info and tax returns in the file cabinet, passports near travel times in the safes and firearms/ ammo all hang out in there designated spaces.

I have found that the very nature of organizing everything has made "missing items" a thing of the past.  My daughter recently needed to provide her measles vaccination from 1990 to her daycare center (she is the Director).  Dear old dad, who has been roundly mocked for his "scanning habit" was able to produce said document in under 10 minutes... big win for Dad here!

From a larger perspective, having come professionally from the Business Continuity space, I steer interested people to this deep, deep website written by a guy who lost his home in Katrina.  I have not put into place nearly 80% of what he suggests, but what I have put in place to manage critical documents came largely from his perspective.  His "experiences" have been actually tested:

http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/index.html

Rubic

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Re: Safe or other item to keep important items?
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2015, 03:07:37 PM »
I installed a floor safe to keep some cash and important documents:

http://www.deansafe.com/floor-safes.html