No one wants to consider the possibility of something happening to their home, but for the same reason that we purchase Homeowner’s insurance, it’s wise to keep a fireproof box in your home containing some of the necessities you would need if your home were to catch fire. If you have a fireproof box, however, it can be difficult to know what items are worth keeping secured in the fireproof box. There’s only so much room in the small box, so it’s imperative to prioritize your items. Here’s what we recommend keeping your home’s fireproof box—just in case.
Birth certificates, social security cards, and passports are at the top of the list of items you should keep in your home’s fireproof box—not just your own, but your spouse’s and those of any children who live in the house. In an emergency, this is some of the first information that you’ll need. It can also be both difficult and costly to replace.
The nice thing about these items is that on a day-to-day basis, you don’t need access to them all the time. Keeping them in the fireproof box also ensures you know exactly where they are when you do need them. You can even keep your passport in its passport cover so that you can grab the whole thing when you’re traveling without having to look for it.
Insurance Policy Information
The last thing that you want to do after your house burns down is scramble to find your insurance policies online. Keep a copy of any relevant insurance policies, including not only your homeowner’s insurance but also any car insurance and medical insurance policies, in your fireproof box so that you have ready access to them in an emergency.
Keys may not be at the top of your mental list of things to keep in your fireproof box, but there’s a chance that even if your house were to burn down, your car may be fine. Having spare sets of car keys in the box can ensure you can get to where you need to go next with minimal hassle. Other important keys to keep in the box may include keys to friends or relative’s homes, if you have them, and keys to any security deposit boxes you may own.
A fire is a stressful time—and not the best time to count on yourself to remember which of your kids is allergic to penicillin. Additionally, if something were to happen to you or your spouse, you would want to be sure that information about your family’s health was readily available. Keep relevant medical information in your fireproof box for each family member. Stick to the basics that paramedics may need to know in an emergency, such as medicinal allergies, chronic conditions, and medications needed.
In addition to this standard medical information, your fireproof box is a great place to leave a copy of your living will, if you have one, or even just a written statement about where you want your kids to go in an emergency if you don’t have a will yet.
One of the things you may not consider when planning for an emergency is how you’re going to access the cash you need while waiting for your home to be rebuilt. While your homeowner’s insurance will help with the cost of damages, it can take some time for that money to get to you and your family, and in the meantime you’ll need—at a minimum--money for a place to stay, potential hospital bills, groceries, and clothes.
Keep a wallet in your fireproof box with a couple hundred dollars of emergency cash as well as a backup credit card and debit card to ensure that you have access to whatever you need in an emergency.
Once your fireproof box is outfitted with everything you need in an emergency, make sure that your family knows where the box is located and what’s inside of it. This can ensure that if something happens to you in an emergency, your family is at least taken care of.