If you’re concerned about losing your cash or documents in a fire, buying a fireproof cash box to put them in can give you some peace of mind. However, not all fireproof cash boxes are created equal, and you can bet that if you just go to the store and pick up the cheapest one, you are not going to get a lot of protection for your valuables.
Here are some features you should look for when buying a fireproof cash box.
The most important thing you need to make sure of is that your fireproof cash box will be able to withstand the heat of a fire. If you buy a cash box that is rated for fire resistance for up to 30 minutes, there’s a good chance that your documents will not be salvageable if it takes longer than that for the fire department to put out the blaze. For this reason, it’s best to choose the highest fire resistance rating that you can afford.
Even if you think there is no way that your cash box will be subjected to flames for an entire hour or longer, keep in mind that many companies test their boxes under different conditions that what are sustained in a typical house fire. The fire resistance rating is just a guideline, not a guarantee.
In addition to fire resistance, your fireproof cash box also needs to be flood resistant. It should have a waterproof seal to keep any liquid from getting into the box. If the fireproof box is ever in a fire, it is likely to be subjected to a large amount of water from the firemen’s hoses.
Having a flood resistant box may not be so important if you are only storing cash in the box since US currency holds up well when washed, but if you have any checks or other paper documents in the box, they can be destroyed by water just as easily as by fire.
Size is another thing to take into consideration. If you need to be able to move the box around easily, small fireproof cash boxes are the way to go. Just make sure that the box you choose is big enough to store all of your important documents. Most people don’t really need a large cash box. In fact, if you’re going to be moving cash from one location to another, you also have the option of using a lightweight a fireproof cash pouch during transport.
These pouches do not provide the same level of fire protection as a fire proof box, however, so they are best used when transporting cash and documents. Putting documents inside of a fire resistant document bag or pouch inside of your fireproof box can also provide an additional layer of protection for your valuables. FirePouch and US Patrol both produce a good fireproof cash pouch solution.