Lock Box for the new house

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Bster13, May 2, 2013.

  1. Bster13

    Bster13
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    Time for the wife and I to secure some things. We're mostly worried about fire and water (from the fire hose?) and less so about security as we're not locking up gold bricks or anything. I'd most likely hide the lock box somewhere in the house and keep indispensable documents in there.

    Does anyone have any suggestions, regrets (size?)?

    Thanks.
     
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  2. Jags

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    Indispensable? Keep them in safety deposit box at the bank. Virtually fire/bomb/alien proof.

    Keep an eye on the fire rating. Most are not fire "proof" as they don't have the mass to ward off thousands of degrees for hours. Most are rated for xx hours at xxxx degrees. This is based off of info that I obtained when I needed to get a fire rated data safe for work.
     
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    zap and heat seeker like this.
  3. lukem

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    Your looking at big $ to get something fire "proof". It usually involves a lot of concrete too. If they are rarely used go with a deposit box.

    That being said I have a fire resistant safe in a relatively non-flammable area. If there's ever a major fire they will be a #itc# to recover, but so is having a major fire.
     
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  4. Panhandler

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    What ever kind of safe you buy,make sure it is one that you can bolt to the floor.
     
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  5. Bster13

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    I was actually hoping not to have to drill into my concrete floors and just hide the sucker well. :p
     
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  6. mywaynow

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    This is my biz area.

    How much do you need to store?
    What is the house layout?
    What kind of items beyond docs?
    What is the chance of flood?
     
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  7. Bster13

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    I ~think~ I'd like one storing cabinet drawer's worth, maybe don't need that much.

    1 story ranch.

    Not sure, no $ for gold or jewelry, haha.

    Chance of flood is low. Though we are in a coastal town, we're in one of the higher parts of the town. We're only own the house for one year, but the basement is bone dry after last year's storms and no water marks from previous storms before we owned the house.
     
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  8. stee6043

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    I went through this a few years back. For me it started with "I should be smarter about how I store my valuables and important documents" and I ended up with a 1,000lb USA Made Liberty safe. For me fire rating ended up being the most important factor. Something that will survive a fire and seal itself up so the firemans hose doesn't destroy what's inside is a great investment in my opinion. And something you can pass down to the kids.

    You can find gobs of info online. And there are several US made brands out there with great reputations (if that's important to you). For what it's worth I ended up with a Liberty Lincoln and couldn't be happier.
     
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  9. Bster13

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    I am thinking the same thing, fire and water, but 1k lb safe that's gotta cost! :eek:
     
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  10. peakbagger

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    I picked up fire rated filing cabinet from a credit union that was shutting down. It had a good fire rating and if anything is of particular value I store it inside in ziplock freezer bags. Not much security just a standard button style lock. If you have a used office supply store around it might be worth checking if they have any. The darn thing is 400 pounds with all the drawers in it so unless someone want ths rating they arent in big demand. The more valuable stuff is kept in the upper drawers.
     
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  11. mywaynow

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    If you keep the safe upstairs, look into American Security Products model UL1512 or larger. Wieghts start around 350lbs, and they have a pre-set bolt down position in the floor. Don't put a safe like that in the basement though as the humid nature of the fire safe will combine with the humidity found in basements and will cause mold. Basement safes should be non-fire rated. The UL1512 rating is a class 350 1 hour. Maintains 350 max internal temperature for fires up to 1700 degrees for an hour. Some cheaper safes out there, but take it from someone that opens them up for clients; the cheap ones open much more easily. Also, the cheap ones have a propensity of failing mechanically which causes lockouts. Always check the time limits and temperature limits on the labels to compare apples to apples. These are not water proof, but resistant if you add some weatherstripping. I would not focus on that factor given your indication of flood chances.
     
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  12. Bster13

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    I was planning on a basement install, but would you still not recommend a fire safe in the basement even if it is a "bone dry" basement with no signs of excessive humidity?
     
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  13. billb3

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    I had a fire resistant safe aside the bulkhead stairs at my old place.
    bulkhead bumpout is supposed to be a relatively cool place in a fire.

    It's just in the basement bolted to the floor now.
    The current bulkhead is filled with rocks and rebar and has concrete steps. .
     
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  14. mywaynow

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    I had a customer that had a finished basement where the safe was. His very expensive gold watch turned green from the humidity. You can do things to thwart that issue like silica blocks, or drying rods (electrical). Humidity is not easily sensed. CT is not a dry state generally speaking.
     
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  15. Bster13

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    Ok fair enough. If a basement install would not be good for paperwork that's cool.
     
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  16. mywaynow

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    Paperwork will only get a bit stinky with mold. Not a big deal unless it is valuable prints/stamps/etc. Other stuff can be damaged.
     
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  17. billb3

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    desiccants are good to keep in a lock box wherever it is
     
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  18. Highbeam

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    We have a suitcase style firebox for documents. Birth certificates, SS cards, car titles, stuff like that. It's not locked and can be carried away. That's sorta the point, it's one of those things to take with you if you think the house will be in danger.

    The other thing is a removable/portable hard drive. I back up my documents, files, and pictures to a portable drive. Ideally I would store this drive in another building. It sure is handy when your computer poops the bed or if some yahoo steals your computer. The days of photo albums are over and you don't want to loose those pictures.
     
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  19. Bster13

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    Being in computers I have Network Attached Storage (fancy computer with multiple hard drives that back each other up) I built with a free operating system (Google NAS4Free) so I'm ok with the data storage stuff, but yeah I'll probably end up with a box of sorts that has some fire and water protection but I don't think a full on safe is in the cards ($$$). One thing to watch out for with a portable hard drive is something called Bit Rot (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bit_rot). Even if you don't touch the portable hard drive after you load documents on to it, the data may be compromised over time.
     
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  20. mywaynow

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    If you use a carry size firebox, leave the key attached to it. Let a thief see what is inside so they don't make off with your birth certificates etc., that are going to be very difficult to replace, and have little value to the typical burglar.
     
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  21. Bster13

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