The very irreplaceable items that should never be kept in a home safe are often the ones that are kept there. Items such as large amounts of cash, insurance documents, priceless items that have been inherited for generations, and items that have not been inventoried are examples of things that should not be kept in a home safe. A good rule of thumb is to only keep items that may be valuable to you, but will not be valuable to a thief in your fireproof home safe.
“A burglar could more easily break into your home, force you to open the safe or haul off the entire safe than get inside your safe deposit box,” according to Luke Reynolds, Chief of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s community outreach section.
Some experts suggest that as long as the safe is fireproof and somehow attached to a wall or floor, that it is Ok to keep personal documents and other items there. Here are some items that may be acceptable to keep in your home safe:
- Documents you could need in a rush, such as social security cards, passports, insurance policy documents, “power of attorney” documents that could be needed to make an emergency medical decision, and an original copy of a will.
- Vintage photographs, camera negatives, flash drives, stamp collections, and some emergency cash. Experts suggest putting these types of items in sealed waterproof bags before putting them into the safe, to prevent any possible water damage. To prevent any damage from heat, there are media storage safes that prevent the inside of the safe from going above certain temperatures.
Items that should be kept in a bank safe deposit box include:
- Heirlooms, precious metals, jewelry and other items that are not replaceable.
- Documents that you would not need to access during any non-banking hours.
- Photos and videos, which offer personal property inventory and can offer proof of ownership in case your home is damaged in a fire or other catastrophic situation.
- Sensitive computer data and backups for critical data