You don’t have to be wealthy or live in a big house to need a home security safe. If you don’t think you need one, ask yourself why. Ask yourself if you don’t have any valuables—not necessarily something that would be valuable to a burglar, but something very dear and special to you, such as a vintage photo of your great-grandfather.

5HA crook will grab a small safe, not knowing that it contains sentimental items to the owner, and hoping it contains jewelry items he could resell.

So the ideal home safe should be large enough to deter a burglar from grabbing. It should also be fireproof: You wouldn’t want your sentimental belongings to go up in smoke, would you? A safe is also a good place for emergency cash.

An article on community.homeclick.com provides information on choosing a home safe, beginning with the three kinds of locking mechanisms: keypad combination, cylinder dial and keyed lock.

Keypad Combination

This type, which uses batteries, provides fast access and can be customized. The downside, other than having to replace the batteries, is that it’s small enough for a burglar to grab. But if you prefer this system, then bolt this little safe to the floor.

Manual Dial

The manufacturer of this type of lock provides a preset combination, but if you have skill with tools, you can change the combination.

Keyed Lock

The downfall is that these can be picked with a paperclip. Thieves know how easy this is, so if this is your preferred lock, then bolt this safe to the floor—but that won’t stop the burglar from picking the lock. However, it’s fireproof and waterproof, so once the thief sees it’s filled with your children’s birthday cards to you of years ago and old photos of your great aunt Mollie, he’ll leave it alone, I’m sure.

The best safe is a big heavy one. A burglar doesn’t want to hassle with the chore of lifting it and carrying it out of the house. At the same time, it should have a locking mechanism that will stump a burglar. A large, heavy safe is ideal even if you have only a small quantity of valuables; you don’t have to fill it up.

The third feature is the ability to withstand heat. Safes are rated, such as being able to tolerate 350 degrees for one hour. This will surely protect photos, keepsakes and the like, but probably not sensitive electronic equipment. The safe should also have a good rating for resistance to water damage.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

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