The days of keeping precious items under the mattress are long gone. In an increasingly sophisticated criminal world, personal valuables – be they diamonds, dollars or documents – need to be properly protected. Cash, jewellery and heirlooms with sentimental value should be stored in safes along with personal documents, which thieves can target for identity fraud. Choosing the right safe is important and will depend on what you are safeguarding.


Important items to store in safes

Wall safes are a typical and sound choice for the home. They’re suitable for jewellery and personal documents such as passports, wills, share certificates, birth certificates and property deeds. However, if any of these are rare or irreplaceable, it’s worth considering fire-resistant safes. Guns are required by law to be adequately housed, but don’t be tempted to store other items in gun safes, especially if you need to access them regularly – the risk of mistakenly leaving a firearm exposed is great.


Keep out of reach of children

If there are children in the home, there is all the more reason to secure irreplaceable documents, as well as medicines. The latter are a particular hazard for naturally curious children, who find pills tempting enough to swallow: they look like sweets and children like to imitate what adults do. Don’t underestimate a child’s ability to unearth what you think you’ve managed to hide.

Both wall safes and more specialised drug safes will keep dangerous substances out of reach of children and, if large enough, there’s nothing that beats a safe for keeping Christmas and birthday presents tucked away from inquisitive children. Where to hide the safe is also important. Bathrooms and kitchens are targeted by thieves less than bedrooms and living rooms, but if you are tempted to hide wall safes behind the artwork, make them posters rather than paintings – thieves watch movies too.