Having a safe in your house only makes good sense if you're utilizing it appropriately. Different safes have different strengths based on their size, materials, locking features and fire rating, so not every safe will be right for every application. To choose the best safe suited to your situation, it's important to know what kinds of materials can be safely stored in each one and where in your home is the best place to store it.
Keeping Small Safes Safe
Not everyone has large items, or even a large volume that they need to keep locked up. For most homeowners the most important things they can put into a safe are personal documents, mortgage and property paperwork, birth certificates and social security cards. In a few cases, there may even be some hard currency that needs to be secured as well.
Just because a safe is small doesn't mean its contents aren't important, so when looking at smaller safes make sure to focus on fire ratings over burglar resistant models. Since they are small, these safes take well to unique hiding places such as in your attic or under your kitchen sink. Avoid basements, closets, drawers or other obvious places, unless you plan to tuck your safe into a box labeled "Books", and hide it under some heavy hard covers.
Mid-sized Safes and Major Security
Ranging between the size of a home printer and a small foot stool, mid range safes are still small enough that they hold documents comfortably, but they're also large enough to store things like jewelry and bullion. Consider storing digital media in larger safes, along with passports and small firearms, as you'll have the room to spare. Credit cards and financial documents should also fit inside a mid-sized safe, and even with all the rest of what's mentioned above you should have plenty of room.
The problem with mid-sized safes has mostly to do with your perception of them. They look big and sturdy, and extremely heavy, and while some live up to this that isn't necessarily a deterrent for ambitious thieves. Make sure these safes are mounted securely to floor joists, your foundation or structural wall beams. Both the fire rating and the burglar resistance rating should be as high as possible, since you won't be able to carry this out of your home and neither will thieves.
Most homeowners don't end up needing large safes, but if you do purchase one its size alone is enough of a deterrent to keep it from being carried off. The same rules apply as those for mid-sized safes, but with a great deal more room. To find out pricing or to have a safe installed, contact a licensed locksmith and ask about options that fall within your needs. One company that offers this service is Legal Locksmith.