Peace of mind

By Mir
May 11, 2010

Do you own a fire safe? Lord willing, none of us will experience a flood or fire and the heartbreak of losing items to that sort of devastation, but everyone should have at least a small safe in which to store important documents. To my mind, it’s not even so much to protect them in the event of catastrophe—it’s just a good way to make sure I know where that stuff is!

Ours contains our marriage license and passports, the kids’ birth certificates, social security cards, and vaccination records, plus various other important things.

And sure, you could get a safe deposit box at the bank, but that’s not only expensive, it can be a hassle when you want to retrieve something. (Although it’s a better option if you have a lot of items to protect which you won’t need all that often.)

For home use, check out one of these: Amazon has the First Alert .62 cubic foot File Chest available for $58 shipped. That’s the one I own, and I think I paid about $75 for mine. The real bargain here is the free shipping, because that puppy weighs a whopping 42 pounds! (Yes, I lugged mine home from the store, years ago. Still bitter.)

Alternatively, if you don’t have much to protect (and/or if you’re short on space), the First Alert .19 cubic foot chest is currently just $24, and ships for free with Prime or on $25+ with Super Saver Shipping. I’m considering picking that one up, too, at that price. Again, the price is excellent, but it’s the shipping savings that really make it a great bargain.

Did I mention about still being bitter about carrying mine home from the store? I think I did. Ahem.


  1. A few of the reviews on Amazon mention how they were upset because their documents molded. Have you ever had that problem?

  2. Karen – I noticed one time that I opened mine up (several years after purchase) that it was a bit damp-ish in there, so I threw in some of those desiccant packets from a shoebox (fortunately I had just bought shoes) and I haven’t had any trouble since! When I buy new shoes and I happen to think about it (almost never) I save the packets to toss in there. I don’t know if there’s anything in those packets that will harm my documents, but to far it seems fine!

  3. Karen, mine has had some moisture corrosion on the latch on the outside, but has remained completely dry on the inside. I keep it latched so I don’t really know how moisture could get in, you know?

  4. Thanks. It seems to be more a problem with the smaller box and not the chest. I guess condensation is worse in a smaller space? I will have to try the silica packets.

  5. I used to work at a shoe store and people would come in asking for any spare desiccant packs to put in their camera cases on holidays to humid areas.

    Thanks for this one! We have been needing to keep information required during green card applications safe – as well as all the others you listed. I didn’t order the ones you mentioned but did order one that was 66% off!

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