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A fairly common home-safe capacity is 1.2 to 1.3 cubic feet, which should easily accommodate a foot-high stack of 8½- by 11-inch papers, for example.Most home safes are designed to protect their contents from fire, theft, or both. We don't test safes here at Consumer Reports, but many are tested by independent organizations such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Intertek (which uses the ETL mark)."Once they get their arms full," he adds, "they're out of there." A 1.2 or 1.3 cubic-foot safe probably weighs about 100 pounds empty, making it a less attractive target than jewelry, cameras, small electronics, and other more portable items a burglar might spot.Many safes also come with bolt-down kits, a further deterrent to thieves in a hurry.Computer disks and DVDs are even more sensitive, so if that's what you'll be storing look for a safe whose interior won't exceed 125 degrees.This information should be on the safe itself, and you might see it on the packaging as well."Fires tend to move through a home, so 20 minutes is about the average in a room or an area." Burglary protection Independent ratings for burglary resistance are less common for home safes than for ones made for commercial users, such as jewelry stores.To determine their burglary-resistance ratings, UL testers go at safes with tools, torches, and even explosives, Drengenberg says.
If you plan to store old tape recordings or 35mm slides, however, you'll want a safe that's rated not to exceed 150 degrees inside, he says.For home safes, 30 minutes of protection is most common, although you can also find safes that offer one or more hours' worth, typically with higher price tags.Generally speaking, 30 minutes should be sufficient, Bonsib says.Dale Soos, an engineer with Intertek, says his organization confers a "verified" mark on safes that meet their manufacturers' criteria for water resistance.Some safes are submerged to simulate the effects of a flood or broken water line.
If you buy online, don't forget to consider shipping costs, although free shipping might be available.