Home safes are increasingly popular now, as a simple and reliable way to protect personal and family items.
People keep a lot of valuables at home, from electronics to documents, and thieves are fully aware of that. A single break-in, or even a house fire, can not only cost you staggering amounts of cash, but also cause you to lose things which can’t be easily replaced; private data, keepsakes and personal data.
A simple underfloor safe is perfect for preventing such a disaster, but people tend to think that it isn’t worth the cost. However, you may not realise just how many items you have which should be kept under lock and key, which altogether make it very worthwhile indeed, especially compared to the cost of replacing them. The following are items best kept in your safe, as well as a few which probably shouldn’t.
21 Items to Keep in a Home Safe
This is just a selection of the precious objects that most people have lying around the house, but could cost a lot of time and money to replace. Installing a digital safe now might prove a lot more cost effective than replacing all these items (and dealing with the hassle of insurance companies).
The most obvious item to keep in a safe, cash is of course extremely vulnerable to theft and fire. Even if you only keep small amounts around the house for emergencies, it’s better off somewhere protected instead of in a sock drawer. This also ensures that if the worst does happen, you know you have a supply of ready cash to help you deal with the aftermath. Also, bear in mind that a safe protects delicate things like this from curious kids, as much as burglars.
A spacious floor safe can easily store a small laptop or a little Asus webbook, or there are specialist laptop safes that do the same. Laptops are rarely cheap and even then, their contents are where the real value lies. A laptop may contain personal information, documents, passwords, browsing history and work-related information. These are not things you want falling into the wrong hands!
This may seem obvious too, but how many precious rings are being stored, right now, on a nightstand or in a jewellery box in your home? Diamond and gold bands are not cheap items and they’re perfect targets for thieves, being lightweight and easy to fence. Thieves don’t care about the sentimental value of a wedding ring. For the effort of opening a jewellery safe each day, they can be kept safe forever.
Debit cards, credit cards, key cards, library cards… whatever they may be, these little bits of plastic are extremely vulnerable to fire and theft. Many cards have important personal information on them, especially in the case of social security or national insurance cards. Those who have teenagers in the house might want to know exactly where their credit cards are at all times!
On a similar note, there’s a very high personal value attached to family heirlooms. Quite often, especially in the case of jewellery, there’s a high price tag attached to these objects too, certainly if they’ve been around a long time. Family mementos are unique objects that cannot truly be replaced, but if they’re small enough, they can be protected from time and disaster by a simple digital safe.
Not only are these pricey to replace, but it’s very unwise to let a personal document with your vital information fall into the wrong hands. Passports are a prime example of what safes are for, being both small and valuable. Besides, it’s always good to know exactly where your passport is, on those rushed mornings before a family holiday.
7 Title Deeds
If you own land or property, you probably have title deeds kicking around somewhere. There can be no doubt that these sheets of paper are important, valuable and difficult to replace. Deeds are especially vulnerable to fire, so a lot of peace of mind can be gained from storing them in a fire safe. Keeping deeds in a safe can also help you avoid the cost of keeping them with a solicitor.
Another pricey bit of equipment which you really don’t want to lose is a camera. For everyday users, they are not only worth cash, but may contain memory cards with photos of family, friends and who knows what else? Not images you want out there! For professionals and hobbyists, a digital SLR like a Nikon D7200 represents hundreds of pounds’ worth of gear and your livelihood. They can be very prone to breakages, too.
9 Insurance Documents
While these don’t tend to be inherently valuable and can be replaced, important documents relating to insurance deserve a little protection. From car and home to personal cover, these papers can contain enough private data for a thief to steal your identity. These items are again at risk from fire, as well as the sticky hands of children! If you did suffer a fire or burglary, the first thing you’ll want to hand is your insurance details.
Small and expensive, watches are a prime target for theft and also prone to accidental damage. Whether you have a Rolex worth tens of thousands of pounds or a gold retirement watch with sentimental value, they are very easily lost and not always easy to replace. An underfloor safe is ideal for this kind of small item.
Another item which is more valuable than its inherent cost is a key. They aren’t expensive to replace (unless you lose your last copy, of course) but in the wrong hands they provide access to your car, your garage, your shed and even your workplace. Factoring in all the valuable items you store in those places, a keyring is worth its weight in gold.
With technology getting ever smaller, a thieves’ life is getting ever easier. Phone and tablets represent hundreds of pounds’ worth of technology, small enough to slip into a pocket. The thought of losing a £600 Google Pixel phone or even a budget Nexus tablet is not pleasant, especially when you consider the personal data these devices contain. For a few slim and important items like these, a laptop safe is a smart choice.
13 Birth Certificates
This is a great example of a precious document, which can be difficult to replace. This is especially true of older certificates. Birth certificates can often carry some sentimental value, when you hold the original document in your hands. Yours may be faded and ragged from decades of being moved from house to house, or your own child’s certificate might be pristine and new. Either way, this is something worth protecting.
From one momentous life event to another, a will is a vital document to keep safe. This is probably the quintessential item to keep in a safe, as the contents can be extremely sensitive. Getting new copies can be laborious and pricey depending on your law firm. A fire safe might be a good choice for protecting papers like these.
These might be expensive items of jewellery, such as a diamond wedding ring or a jewel-encrusted necklace, or maybe you have loose diamonds kicking around like a Bond villain. Either way, this is not something to hide in the sock drawer. A floor safe at the very least is essential for keeping precious gems secure. You do not want to lose them down the back of the sofa!
16 Designer Gear
Any designer accessories you keep around are worth sticking in your safe. Chanel handbags, Michael Kors sunglasses and similar items are small, expensive and much sought-after, making them perfect for thieves to pick up. They tend to be at risk from household accidents, too. A small jewellery safe is ideal for small accessories.
Small antiques, such as ornaments, jewellery, plates, rare books or photographs are ideally kept in a safe. Some of these things should be on display, sure, but there are others which are better off secure, especially if you only intend to sell them on. The airtight nature of a safe can help to preserve old documents and maps, too.
18 Memory Sticks
On the subject of photographs, both hard copies and digital copies might be wisely kept in an underfloor safe. Photos are often kept on memory sticks and cards, which can also contain everything from important work files to personal documents. While digital files can be encrypted, it’s still worth ensuring that they can’t fall into the wrong hands, or get damaged by fire.
Gun safety is incredibly important and all firearms should be stored in some kind of locked gun cabinet, or a safe. This is not something you want accessible to anyone! Safes can be bought for this express purpose, or a handgun will fit in pretty much any small safe. At Safe Options, we don’t sell gun safes.
Something else which you can’t really be too careful with. If you have important medication, especially something like insulin which you need to survive, you must ensure that it’s kept somewhere safe. Kids will always grab at things like this and that can be really dangerous. Furthermore, prescription drugs like painkillers can be very valuable and a target for thieves. Lock those drugs up!
From war gaming miniatures to rare toy cars and old games, it may be worth keeping these items under lock and key. You might want to display that perfect completed set of Star Wars action figures in their original boxes, but perhaps it’s better to put these delicate objects (which are sensitive to sunlight and air) somewhere safe from the clutches of the Empire.
21 Items You Shouldn’t Keep in a Home Safe
So, there are many things in the average household which deserve a little more protection. Then, there are items like this, which just don’t belong in a safe. Some might seem obvious, but people would surprise you! Just for fun, let’s take a look at some items that don’t belong inside a safe. By the way, some of these are actually serious and might be worth considering.
1 The Combination
Yes, it happens, not just with suitcases but with high end safes too. Making a note of the combination is already quite a risky thing to do, as it could completely undo the time and effort you put into getting a safe in the first place, if a thief finds it. In any case, certainly do not put it inside for safekeeping.
2 House Plants
Probably not suited to environments without sunlight or fresh air. Feel free to conduct an experiment, but don’t be surprised if your begonias are goners afterwards.
3 Car Batteries
Just because it fits, doesn’t mean it should go in. Words to live by! If a battery leaks it will destroy anything else in your safe, so this would just be daft.
4 Your Only Keys
Now, keeping keys in a safe is a smart idea, as mentioned above. They’re valuable and definitely at-risk. But please don’t keep your only set of keys in there (car keys being the big one), because if you forget the combination, then you’re stuck without a car until you can get it sorted out.
5 TV Remote
It may be tempting to lock away the remote to stop your wife or husband putting on the latest annoying reality show, but this is probably not a good idea. What if the football’s about to start and you’re on the wrong channel?
This is just wrong! You might think a hibernating tortoise is just getting in the way and want him kept safe and sound, but that’s probably overkill. Maybe even literally. A goldfish bowl might fit in your safe, but the poor thing needs something to look at.
7 Ice Cream
There’s nothing worse than opening the freezer to find that someone else in the house has nabbed the last Ben and Jerry’s. The thought of losing it to a house fire is just tragic! But this probably doesn’t belong in your safe, because it would melt and that’s unforgivable.
8 Game Pads
The other half or the kids won’t come off the Xbox? You might be tempted to hide the controllers in your safe, but if you did such a cruel thing, then Mario will come around and jump on your head. Have a heart!
Your safe will be 100% less fireproof if you fill it with petrol. Plus, the goldfish won’t like it.
10 Another Safe
Yes, it may be tempting to double down on security by putting a smaller safe inside your current safe, like Russian dolls, but this is a bad idea. Just invest in a stronger safe to start with, or don’t watch so many cartoons.
11 Frozen Sperm/Eggs
You want to ensure that your future offspring are far away from harm, untouched by fire or thieves (who would steal that?!). That’s understandable, but these should probably go in some kind of specialist device, so they don’t go funky.
Sometimes, when you’ve worn a pair of pants all four ways (normal, backwards, then same again but inside-out) for several days, you’ll be tempted to lock them in the safe and forget about them. This is ideal for reducing unpleasant odours… but you don’t want that smell hitting you when you next open the safe to grab your designer Ray Bans.
13 Fire Extinguishers
These can be expensive, they’re very important and they must be kept in top condition, so keeping them safe makes some sense. However, extinguishers should probably be somewhere in easy reach, too. It’s no good if your house burns down and you lose everything, except for the fire extinguisher kept pristine inside the fire safe.
The phrase ‘lock up your daughters’ is not meant to be taken literally, plus it’s a really tight squeeze.
While some medication is definitely best kept away from children, there are others which are probably best kept on hand at all times. Lock up your painkillers, but don’t lock up things like EpiPens which you need in case of a severe allergic reaction. It’s really hard to remember your combination while you’re choking to death.
Yes, it may be tempting to lock your emotions away so that nobody can judge your or hurt you. We all feel like that, sometimes, but it’s just not healthy in the long run. Plus, you’re thinking of metaphorical safes.
17 That Unfinished Novel
Come on, don’t give up on that great idea for a book! Tempting though it may be to put it off forever, hiding it for ‘safe keeping’, it’s better to dust it off and get typing. The world is waiting for your Die Hard/Harry Potter crossover fanfic. It’s probably time to go digital, too.
The truly security conscious among us, also known as paranoid nutters, may be tempted to hide devious traps inside their safes to thwart burglars. A hidden dart gun or a big spring-loaded spike would serve them right. Only thing is, you might forget one day. Probably not worth it.
19 Schrodinger’s Cat
The poor little guy has suffered enough, hasn’t he? Or has he?
Household chemicals like cleaners, solvents, superglue, bleach and so on can be dangerous for kids and it may cross your mind to store them in your safe. The problem with that is that if anything leaks and causes a reaction, you could find yourself opening a safe full of toxic gas.
All other considerations aside, how’re you going to lock it? Seriously, if your safe is somehow big enough, don’t be tempted to try this for a laugh.
We hope this tongue-in-cheek guide helps you see the diversity of the home safe. It also will give you a greater peace of mind and a more secure home. For further advice on safes, key boxes or any of the other security products that we supply, please call our friendly experts for a discussion: 0800 567 7549.