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A home safe is an excellent addition to your overall home security, it will help protect irreplaceable valuables and grant peace of mind. Selecting the safe you want to purchase can take some thought, and you’ll want to start by assessing your needs. When you do, keep each of the following things in mind.

Protection

When considering a safe, there are three main things you want to protect your items from – fire, water, and theft. Whether you live somewhere that is prone to flooding or you’re worried about a break-in, be sure to select a safe that offers the types of protection most appropriate to your needs.

Lock Style

Mechanical locks require periodic maintenance, whereas electronic locks typically don’t. You’ll get the highest level of protection from redundant locks—two different kinds of locks on the same safe.

Size

The more documents and valuables you’d like to protect, the larger the safe needs to be. Before purchasing your safe, gather everything you’re planning on putting in there. See how much space you’ll need for those items. This is a great gage for minimum safe sizing, as you’ll also likely add things to the safe as time passes.

Portability

Home safes come in portable, wall-mounted, and anchored varieties. A recent “U.S. News & World Report” article strongly cautions against portable safes because they’re easily moved, making them more susceptible to theft.

Budget

When choosing your safe, you want to go with the most protection you can afford. You are making this investment to help protect some of your most valuable items, so it’s important to choose a safe that will get the job done. Also, when you don’t go with the lowest grade safe, it’ll be something you can use for years to come.

Now that you’ve made these considerations, it’s time to look at some options. Below you’ll find three recommended safe models, beginning with a basic, budget-friendly safe and ending with a high-end safe that offers premium in-home protection.

1. SentrySafe 0500 Fire Chest

The SentrySafe 0500 Fire Chest is an excellent choice for the budget-conscious, offering fire protection and adequate anti-theft security. It’s rated as the “Best Portable Safe” by Consumer Search and is large enough to store documents and valuables. It locks with a traditional key and is rated to withstand 30 minutes of fire at up to 1,550°F. Keep in mind that this is a portable safe and, as “U.S. News & World Report” found, is easier for a potential burglar to pick up and run away with. If possible, find a way to bolt this to the ground or secure it in some other fashion.

2. Protex PWS-1814E Electronic Wall Safe

Protex’s PWS-1814E wall-mounted safe is a good option for homeowners looking for discrete security. Because it’s designed to be mounted between studs in a standard wall, the safe is shallow, but has enough room for small valuables and even hand guns. It’s worth noting, however, that this model does not offer fire protection and functions purely as a deterrent against theft.

3. American Security AMSEC UL1511

Manufactured by American Security, the AMSEC UL1511 represents a significant jump in price point, but for good reason. This safe is rated to withstand two hours of fire at up to 1,850°F, as well as vertical drops of up to 30 feet. It’s also quite a bit larger than the other recommended models, weighing in at almost 250 lbs. Finally, its electronic lock allows for an impressive one million possible combinations.

The right safe can round out your home security, helping to protect your home, family, and valuables. The key is to do your homework. Decide what level of protection you want, your budget, and what style best suits your needs. It’s also a good idea to check out reviews on sites like Amazon or Consumer Search. With a little bit of forethought, you should be able to find the safe that perfectly complements your overall home security needs.

Written by Hillary Johnston

A proud mother of four, Hillary is passionate about safety education. She holds a degree in Public Health and Disaster Management. Learn more

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