As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started taking steps toward becoming a more responsible adult. On my list of to-dos was seeing my accountant (he’s great; I’d recommend), who, during our meeting, suggested I buy a safe to stash my most important items. The notion had never occurred to me. “As someone whose building burned down, I can tell you it really sucks to have to get your passport and Social Security card reissued,” my adviser, Shane, told me. It struck me that he’s actually not even the only person I know whose home turned to cinders; I have four other friends who lost their homes in New York City alone (and who can forget freak accidents like the East Village apartment building in 2015?). I bought a safe that night.
The one Shane recommended and owns himself is the medium-size SentrySafe, which is both fire- and waterproof (you can watch a short video on the Amazon page of its being engulfed in flames and submerged in water). Though my idea of safes were only the hulkish black boxes with combination locks I’d seen in cartoons, the SentrySafe isn’t nearly as cumbersome. The exterior measures 8.5 inches by 12.8 inches by 4.4 inches, plus a handle, so you can carry it like a 22-pound briefcase. The interior is roomy enough for small valuables and documents, like passports, jewelry, and various mementos (if you’re looking to store legal documents, though, you may want to size up to a large, as the medium’s interior only fits up to A4-size paper). You get a set of two keys for the lock — small ones that are reminiscent of bike-lock keys.
One thing you may have noticed: Its lock system is not the most sophisticated thing in the world. If you’re looking for a truly theftproof security box, I’d go elsewhere. If, however, you’re not looking to prevent some Danny Ocean–style robbery and are instead seeking peace of mind in the event of a natural (or even not so natural) disaster, the SentrySafe is for you. These are the things that I’ve decided belong in my safe: Social Security card, passport, gold jewelry I never wear, loose diamonds, old coins, my dad’s childhood journal, and irreplaceable family photographs. Which reminds me, let me know if you have a recommendation for renter’s insurance.
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