In addition to taking precautions to prevent a fire or having alarms to catch one early, you should consider using a fireproof safe to store your important documents and keepsakes. Here are just a few things you may consider keeping in one:
1. Identification documents — birth certificates, passports, marriage license, a copy of your driver’s license and vehicle registrations, and power-of-attorney documents.
2. Other personal papers — college transcripts and diplomas, financial documents, wills, and a list of other final wishes.
3. Property documents — home deeds, rental agreements, and car titles.
4. Insurance documents — Your policies, in addition to documentation of your home and personal items that are covered. Receipts for valuable items should be kept as well.
5. Cash and valuables — While it’s rarely wise to keep a large amount of money in your home, an emergency stash could be helpful. Keepsakes that cannot be replaced should be secured too.
While fireproof safes are very effective, they are not completely indestructible. You should also consider keeping an electronic backup of important photos and documents. A safe deposit box is another option for storing items, but keep in mind that only you or anyone you designate can access it, and they are not accessible 24 hours a day. There is also a monthly rental fee involved. Fireproof safes range in price and size. It’s best to determine what you plan to store in yours and where in your home you plan to put it to determine the one that is right for you.