The nightmare of coming home to find precious possessions missing or destroyed due to a burglary, fire, or flood has flashed through all of our minds. The reality is it can happen to anyone and without warning.

Luckily, buying a safe for your home is an affordable way to protect your valuables. Since sifting through the number of safes on the market can be overwhelming, take some time to review the categories listed below and determine which type of safe is right for you.

What size safe do I need? You might be surprised at how many items in your home should be protected inside a safe. Start by making a list of anything valuable that could be pawned, such as a coin collection, jewelry, or an autographed baseball. Irreplaceable family heirlooms should also be included.

So they remain easily accessible, important documents that you’d need in the event of a disaster also should be kept in a safe, such as hard copies of your home insurance policy, important telephone numbers, and passports.

Weapons and dangerous medications are two more things that should be locked away, both for safety purposes and to avoid theft.

What type of safe do I need? Where you intend to keep your safe will likely determine if it’s freestanding, installed in a wall, bolted to the ground, or portable. You’ll need to research the accredited fireproof ratings and determine your needs based on the contents you’ll keep inside. There are also different lock types to choose from. Digital locks are quick to access but need a battery, so they’re less reliable. Combination locks are reliable but require a professional to change the code. And finally, if you’re storing weapons, you’ll need to choose a specialty safe to minimize risk.

What will my safe cost? The price of safes varies widely. Once you’ve narrowed down the size and type, research the different options available in your price range. Don’t sacrifice the size and type you need to accommodate a lower price; otherwise, you’ll leave yourself and your possessions vulnerable.

When you find the safe that best suits you, think it over. While it addresses an important need, it can also be quite expensive, so make sure you can see your family using it. And then, make it a habit to use it often to take full advantage of your investment.

It’s our pleasure to serve your household. If there’s anything you feel you need to discuss, please don’t hesitate to reach out!