There was a time when owning a safe was something only rich people did, partly because they had the means when others didn’t, and partly because they had the motivation, with assets they clearly needed to protect above and beyond the norm. But now, there are great home safes for everyone to use, often not cost-prohibitive, and they can do a world of good for your peace of mind.
Why Use a Home Safe?
Using a home safe gives you the peace of mind you need that what valuables you have are kept under the strictest of protections. You have a choice of technologies available, making it easier for you to acquire one that meets your needs in terms of performance and cost. Best of all, you can keep those valuables at home rather than in a safe deposit box at a bank. This means there’s no need to make a trip to put something in or get something out. It also means there’s no long-term cost involved, such as bank fees, to keep your assets safe. Finding a safe that suits your needs is really the only battle you’ll face.
How to Choose a Home Safe
Did you know that home safes aren’t really designed to protect valuables such as precious jewelry, but are rather more suited for important documents and stuff you want to protect against thieves and hazards?
In fact, according to SentrySafe’s director of brand management, fire is the main concern of people who spend money on a home safe. That means that the first thing that you need to look into when you choose a home safe is the fire rating. The tricky part is that it depends on what you want to store inside the safe. For instance, if you want to protect old family DVDs, the temperature inside the safe should never exceed 150 degrees, but papers can withstand temperatures of up to 350 degrees.
Water-resistance is another factor that you might want to take into consideration. In fact, the majority of safes that are theft and fire-resistant also offer protection against the water, so make sure that you look into this feature if it’s something you might be interested in. These safes are typically submerged in water to see how they withstand a simulated flood effect.
Burglary protection is another thing you want to look into before investing in a safes, although this is not a common rating for safes designed for home use. When they’re being tested for anti-theft properties, these safes are butchered with all sorts of torches and tools, and even explosives.
Tips & Tricks for Using Home Safes
In case you’re wondering what home safes are most used to conceal, here is a list of items that you want to keep protected not just from thieves, but also in case of a floor or fire:
- Birth and death certificates should always stay in the safe.
- Estate-planning documents should also be in your safe but make sure that you executor has either copies or the code to the safe where they’re kept.
- Life-insurance policies should be kept in the safe until their coverage period ends.
- Savings bonds are also something that people like to keep in their home safe until they are ready to be cashed in.
Are home safes worth it?
Yes, they are, but only if you invest in a quality safe with fire and water-resistant constructions. In case of a floor or fire, there are certain valuables that you want to recover afterwards, so it’s really important that the safe is sturdy enough to withstand high temperatures, but also has a tight seal that could prevent water from getting inside.
How do I hide my home safe?
Throughout the years, people have come up with all sorts of ingenious places to hide their safes. Some of the most original ideas include: a second fridge, vents, inside stair steps, concealed inside shelves, behind mantels, or behind sliding doors.
What things should I keep in my home safe?
It is generally recommended that you keep important documents or personal value items in your safe. For stuff such as jewelry, experts recommend using a safe deposit box in a bank rather than holding such valuables at home. Instead, home safes should be used for items such as passports, birth and death certificate, ownership documents, real-estate papers, etc. Some people like to use safes to keep family pictures and DVDs as well.
What are the different types of safes?
Fun fact: did you know that there are 25 different types of safes out there, depending on their construction, where they are to be placed, and what items are usually stored inside them? You can choose between: security, media, gun and gun concealment, portable, depository, safe boxes, drawer safes, safes for files, diversion safes, and wall safes. Safes are also categorized depending on their locking mechanism, and they include combination dial lock models, electronic lock safes, key locked safes, dual-lock, biometric lock, or card-swipe safes.
Top 5 Best Home Safe Reviews
To help you get started on your search, for the best home safes, we’ve compiled a list of some home safes that offer you the most in terms of performance, ease of use, and value, breaking down the pertinent information on why you might find these the most useful.
The SentrySafe Fireproof and Waterproof safe gives you everything you could ever dream of in regards to the performance of a home safe. It has all the bells and whistles, including five live-locking bolts, four deadbolts, hardware to bolt it down, solid steel construction, and a thicker door for added protection.
The safe is ELT rated as fireproof at 1400 degrees for up to half an hour and waterproof in a flood of up to 12 inches for over 72 hours. It’s also California Department of Justice certified as a gun safe. It’s all controlled with a digital combination you set and program into the keypad for ultimate security. And with 4.7 cubic feet of space, you can store all sorts of valuables inside, ranging from money to jewelry and even firearms. You’ll need two AA alkaline batteries that will likely need to be replaced about once every 3-4 years.
- 176 pounds of solid steel with bolting hardware for added security
- Technologically advanced
- Fireproof and waterproof
- Large capacity
- Self-programmed keypad pin
- May be too large for some homes
- Quite high in price
As with most Amazon products, the AmazonBasics Security Safe Box isn’t riddled with excessive bells and whistles you’ll never use but has a number of important details that make it the ideal purchase for a vast majority of homeowners. This standalone safe has a cubic foot of space, which is about all most people need, providing enough room for some expensive jewelry and other items.
The bolts to mount to a wall or floor are included, and the steel construction is sturdy, with 2 live door bolts as well as hidden pry-resistant hinges. The digital access requires four AA batteries and is reprogrammable at any time, but the safe also comes equipped with two master override keys, in case you forget your combination. The door is 2 inches thick, and the interior is scratch resistant with a carpeted floor. There is also a removable shelf.
- Small enough to fit almost anywhere
- Digital programmed pin of your choice and 2 override keys
- Steel construction and bolts for added security
- Hidden hinges and thick door
- Smaller than average
- Not waterproof or fireproof
AmazonBasics also offers the Home Keypad safe, which is constructed of carbon steel – an 8-gauge steel door and 14 gauge steel body. It’s slightly larger than the Security Safe box, at 1.52 cubic feet, and it’s ideal for storing anything from documents to jewelry. Like the security safe, the Home Keypad safe has 2 live door bolts and hidden, pry resistant hinges. In addition to being small so you can hide it virtually anywhere, this adds another level of security and safety.
There is a programmable electronic keypad, with a backup master key in case of emergency. There are predrilled holes for mounting to the wall or floor, and the hardware to mount is included. Best of all, the safe is backed by the AmazonBasics 1-year limited warranty, so you can rest assured that, if there are any defects from the manufacturer, it’s fully replaced.
- Programmable keypad with back up key for emergencies
- Perfectly sized – big enough to be useful, small enough to hide anywhere
- Reasonably priced
- Easy operation and installation
- Backed by excellent warranty
- Not waterproof or fireproof
When it comes to the right size, the right details, and the right price, the SentrySafe SFW123GDC is an ideal choice. It’s extremely easy to install and use, with plenty of added benefits above and beyond the basics, such as security in a fall. It’s ETL verified to withstand a 15-foot drop during a fire and remain closed. It’s also fireproofed, UL classified to be safe at 1700 degrees for up to an hour. In addition, it’s ETL verified to be waterproof in up to 8 inches of water for up to 24 hours in a flood.
The keypad is electronic and operates on 4 alkaline AA batteries, best chosen with a long expiration date, as they will be in use for quite some time. Rechargeable batteries are not recommended. The safe itself is quite heavy, weighing nearly 90 pounds, making it a hindrance to try and steal the entire device as well.
Fireproof safe is UL Classified to endure 1 hour at 1700°F and keep interior temperatures safe for irreplaceable documentsView Deal
- Battery operated electronic keypad with override key
- Large interior space – plenty of room for valuables
- Impact-resistant and water/fireproof
- Pry resistant hidden hinges
- Weight may make it difficult to install
- Higher priced than similar models
The Stalwart Digital Electronic steel safe is the perfect solution for a versatile, cost effective way to protect your important things, including documents and assets. The safe is small and easily portable, so it’s not just great in your home.
The digital keypad is LED lit for easy use without having to blast the lights, even if you have it stored in a dark corner. You can program a master and guest code, changing them at will, and there are 2 master keys in case of emergency. In addition, 3 wrong entries will cause a 20 second alarm, with 3 more incorrect pins sounding a 5-minute alarm. The solid steel construction makes it secure, and the use of 4 AA batteries means you never have to worry about a power source.
- Lightweight for portability
- Low price point for ease of accessibility
- LED lit keypad with master and guest programmable codes
- 2 override keys
- Smaller than others with thinner steel
- Requires 4 batteries to function
The Bottom Line
Safeguarding your assets and important documents is important for everyone, and having multiple options that fit your space, your lifestyle, and your budget makes it easier to accomplish that level of security. This list can help you assess what makes the best home safes the best so you can find the right solution to help you get some peace of mind.