Fireproof and Waterproof Boxes to Keep All Your Most Important Stuff Safe

In case the worst happens, make sure your important documents are safe.

Important documents to be protected from a fire or flood.
Protect your important documents and other objects in the event of a fire.Pixabay

Despite much of our record-keeping moving to a digital system, there are still some items that just have to be on paper. Birth certificates, social security cards, insurance records and many other documents are either often or always physical objects, and physical objects can be burned or water-damaged. A fireproof and waterproof safe is a solid investment to protect this stuff.

SentrySafe SFW123GDC Fireproof Safe and Waterproof Safe with Digital Keypad 1.23 Cubic Feet, Gun Metal Grey
Unlike some of its kind, this product uses a pry-reinforced hinge bar to make it extremely difficult to break into.SentrySafe

There are two main independent testing agencies that provide ratings for these sorts of safes, which you’ll see as UL and ETL. These agencies will test safes and tell you how long and at what temperature the safe can protect what’s inside from fires (and sometimes how long the safe can be submerged in water.) The lowest classification will find your safe protected for a half hour from 1,550 degrees Fahrenheit—that should be your bare minimum.

SentrySafe CHW20221 Fireproof Box and Waterproof Box with Key Lock 0.28 Cubic Feet,Charcoal Gray
With built-in straps on the inside of its lid, this item can keep documents organized as well as safe.SentrySafe

One thing to remember with fireproof and waterproof safes is that they aren’t typically designed to be burglar-proof, as well. For one thing, they’re fairly small, so a burglar could just take the entire safe for easy cracking. The security just isn’t that powerful; these safes are for documents and perhaps a USB stick. For jewels or cash? Get a safety deposit box at a bank.

Honeywell Safes & Door Locks - 30 Minute Fire Safe Waterproof Filing Safe Box Chest (fits Letter and A4 Files), Medium, 1106
This product is the perfect size for hanging standard-size papers; it’s like a protected file cabinet.Honeywell Safes & Door Locks

Water can sometimes be just as big an issue as fire, depending on where you live. Some security experts recommend installing or placing your safe above ground level, to protect against flooding. You should also generally avoid putting them in a master bedroom or garage, in case of burglars—these are the most commonly robbed places in the house. You may have been smart enough not to keep jewels in these boxes, but if you get robbed, you don’t want to count on a burglar knowing that.