A home safe can mean the difference between losing everything and just losing some things during a tragic life event. You never know what could happen.

Accidents and crime can change your life unexpectedly and set you on a path you weren’t hoping to take. However, with a home safe you can salvage some valuables or prized possessions from even the most disturbing disasters. If your home were to burn down you’d definitely be glad you kept all the necessary insurance documents in a fireproof document safe. If you get cleaned out by burglars then you would most likely appreciate your decision to keep your grandmother’s pearls in a secure jewellery safe.With the variety of home safes on the market today, there is one that is well suited to keep whatever you’re trying to protect safe. There are three main home safe categories and each one has a variety of quality safes. First you should decide which type you need:

Fire safes are designed to withstand heat and flame for longer than home fires typically burn before emergency personnel arrive.  That means, even though a fire may burn a home for hours, a flame typically consumes one particular spot and burns out within minutes. Good fire proof safes can withstand heat for around an hour.

Water Resistant Safes and Chests are another protection against the elements. Typically, water safes are an added function of certain fire safes. Some Fire Water Chests are popular for use on boats and ships because they can float.

Security safes are specifically designed to defend against the human element. The best security safes are fixed to the ground or have enough bulk that they can’t be carried off or cracked in a matter of minutes.  A veteran burglar may be an experienced safe cracker so your safe should be too much of a challenge for any burglar to bother with.

Typically the best safes in each category will focus on just one function but a few hybrid safes are resistance to both fire and thieves. Now that you know a bit about each category here are the top safes of 2014.

The Fire Proof Category

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There are plenty of items in your home that you would probably like to keep safe from a fire. Things like important documents and sensitive hard drives are great items to store in fireproof safes.

Some of the best fire safes out there are made by Phoenix and with one of these, your valuables are sure to rise from the ashes after a fire. The Phoenix Firefox SS1623K can last up to 120 minutes in heat and flame, making it one of the most fire resistant safes available. Its large cabinet style allows for the storage of many important documents and electronics. Plus, it is also fairly burglar resistant for a fire safe, earning a Robert’s Rating of Silver 1. However, the size is so large that it may be more practical for businesses or people who work out of their homes. Also, this high-end safe comes with a high-end price tag. However, it’s well worth the money if you are looking for the very best.

If you are looking for something that takes up less space in your home, check out these smaller options with just as much might. The Phoenix Fire Fighter II FS0441E is 720mm by 500mm and ideal for home use. It can withstand 90 minutes of heat and flame, which is great for a safe of this size. Its sturdy build and its digital LED lock give it a decent security rating as well, earning a bronze 2 Robert’s Rating.

The Waterproof Category

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Fire and Waterproof safes protect items that fire and water would destroy like birth and marriage certificates, deeds, national insurance cards and important electronics. Chests and Safes of this category are great for protecting valuables in the case of flooding but they are even more common on boats.

For home use, any fire/waterproof safe will do and it is more a matter of other factors like size, security and fire resistance. The Sentry HD2100 Fire/Water Chest  is designed to securely store a variety of items and protect them from fire and water damage. You can also look at fire safes that are also water resistant like the Sentry OA5835. It can withstand fire for up to 120 minutes and also has a waterproof seal the keep out any damaging moisture.

The Security Category

Security safes come in all shapes and sizes with many different functions. The best ones will have a Eurograde of 6 and a Robert’s Rating in the platinum range.

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For the very best in security, the Chubbsafe Trident is hard to beat. This safe has a Eurograde 6 rating which means it is certified to effectively protect up to £150,000 or valuables worth up to £1.5 million. It also has the Highest Robert’s Rating of Platinum 3. Not only does this safe secure your valuables by withstanding a substantial amount of physical damage that burglars could muster up, but it also can withstand fire for up to 60 minutes.

If you are looking for a smaller, more economical security safe, the ChubbSafes Cobra Pro is a good option. It has a EuroGrade 1 which is good for small safes and earns a Roberts Rating of Gold 2.