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Where to put it The best place for your safe will depend on the design of your house, but there are some trade-offs worth considering.The master bedroom tends to be the first stop for burglars, according to Mc Goey, so it might not be the ideal site for the safe."Fires tend to move through a home, so 20 minutes is about the average in a room or an area." Burglary protection Independent ratings for burglary resistance are less common for home safes than for ones made for commercial users, such as jewelry stores.To determine their burglary-resistance ratings, UL testers go at safes with tools, torches, and even explosives, Drengenberg says.For home safes, 30 minutes of protection is most common, although you can also find safes that offer one or more hours' worth, typically with higher price tags.Generally speaking, 30 minutes should be sufficient, Bonsib says.Your basement could be better from a fire-protection standpoint; there's usually less down there to burn, Soos says.But if your home is located in a flood-prone area, the safe might be at greater risk in the basement.
And the Insurance Information Institute points out that a home safe can be a good place to store an inventory of your possessions... A fairly common home-safe capacity is 1.2 to 1.3 cubic feet, which should easily accommodate a foot-high stack of 8½- by 11-inch papers, for example.Most home safes are designed to protect their contents from fire, theft, or both. We don't test safes here at Consumer Reports, but many are tested by independent organizations such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Intertek (which uses the ETL mark).Computer disks and DVDs are even more sensitive, so if that's what you'll be storing look for a safe whose interior won't exceed 125 degrees.This information should be on the safe itself, and you might see it on the packaging as well.
But if you want to safeguard hard-to-replace items such as family photos, birth certificates, passports, and tax records while keeping them close at hand, a safe could be a relatively inexpensive solution.