We don’t like to think about the possibility that one day we could come home and find all of our most precious possessions destroyed, or missing; but the unfortunate reality is that threats do exist. In 2012, there were approximately 2,103,787 burglaries in the United States - and when you combine that statistic with the risk of fires, floods, and other natural disasters, it's easier to understand why protecting your valuables is so essential. Purchasing a safe for your home is a quick and convenient way to defend your valuables in the case of a crisis. If you've never bought a safe before, you might find that installing the perfect model is a bit challenging. There are a lot of safes on the market; the following list should help you find a safety solution that fits your needs, and protects your belongings.

How Big Should Your Safe Be?

The first consideration when buying a safe is the size or capacity. This will depend on what you store in the safe, so it’s helpful to measure some of the largest items you intend to secure. Once you've got a general idea of how much space your valuables will consume, add at least 25% to 50% of extra space to that amount. Many first-time buyers make the mistake of purchasing the cheapest safe they can find, only to discover that it's capable of protecting just a few of their important possessions. Allowing for additional space ensures that you can store extra items you may have forgotten, or add new items later.

What Kind of Safe Do You Need?

Figuring out how many items you need to store should also help you determine which type of safe you need. Safes not only vary in size and price, but also in degree of protection. Asking your insurance company about their preferred safe ratings is helpful, but you'll also need to consider your own specific needs. Some safes are heat resistant, which is particularly beneficial for storing paper or flammable items. Others are designed for storing guns and weapons, as they're equipped with pry-proof material, high locking technology, and extra security. Remember that you’re not limited to only one safe. If you have a number of possessions that require different levels of protection, you may consider buying numerous safes.

Where Should You Install Your Safe?

Many fire safes and large security safes require floor installation, so you'll need to determine the most reliable location for installation. The ideal fixing position is on a concrete floor, hidden from the majority of people who might visit your home. Be sure to measure the place you choose, and ensure the model you want fits in that area. You should also consider what kind of environment the safe will be in, to determine whether you’ll need protection against moisture or heat. It’s important to think about the load bearing capacity of your floor, and whether it’s capable of supporting your safe. Examine the material of the floor, the joists, and the supports provided; the last thing you want is your safe crashing through your ceiling after installation.

Which Lock Should You Use?

You’ll need to decide which kind of locking security you prefer. Many modern safes use digital locking mechanisms, however there are plenty that use the alternative dial solution. Dial locks open through the rotation of a dial to your chosen combination. These systems, though not particularly high-tech, are often quite reliable as they cannot malfunction through electronic failures or outages. Alternatively, digital locks are the kind often seen in hotel safes - they are easier to open, and provide quick access to your belongings. Some electronic locks can be EMP resistant, which makes them more secure than alternative systems.

Installing Your Safe

Remember, finding and installing the ideal safe requires careful consideration of your needs, and the models available. Be sure to extensively check the size, security rating, and build of any safe you are considering buying, before you make a purchase. High quality is always more important than a low price - because, at the end of the day, it's hard to put a price tag on securing your most treasured possessions.