Imagine there was a terrible fire in your home. Thankfully, everybody could exit the home safely. However, all your possessions were destroyed in the blaze. What would you miss? Perhaps more importantly, what items do you wish you could had saved by exercising a little more foresight? The items listed below are the documents many people wish they could have saved during a house fire. Take the time to store your own copies of these documents in a small fireproof safe!

Birth Certificates
If you want to hear a story about a headache over a lost birth certificate, you can talk to former President Barack Obama! Birth certificates are important documents that are needed for all sorts of different things. They can be used to obtain copies of other lost documents, they can be used to prove relationships, and they also pack a big sentimental punch. Make sure the birth certificates of you and your loved ones are safely locked away.

Social Security Cards
This blue slip of paper is your ticket into adulthood. Sure, you might have the number memorized by the time you get out of college, but you will need that document for a variety of different things in the future. Make sure you keep yours locked away where it can’t be lost in a fire.

Passports
As tensions rise around the globe, having a valid passport is becoming more and more of a necessity. You may need it for business trips, vacations, and more. Keeping your passport locked away in a fireproof box does two things for you. First, you will always know where to locate your passport if you ever need to leave the country in a hurry. Second, you won’t need to worry about it being lost in a fire. However, unlike birth certificates and social security cards, passports need to be renewed. Make sure you don’t forget about your passport that is safely locked away.

Property Deeds
If you own a home, you’ll want to keep your property deed in your fireproof box. Remember, your home is like a savings account. The more equity you build in your home, the richer you are. You don’t want to jeopardize any of this by losing the deed to your home. As an added precaution, you can also file a paper statement from your mortgage lender once a year in your fireproof box. This can provide concrete proof of your equity. Car titles can also be treated in a similar fashion.

Photographs
Precious pictures should be stored in your fireproof box. However, keep in mind that you should be storing two types of photos. First, you should stash any sentimental family photos in your fireproof box. It’s true you can upload copies of them to the Internet, but there is something special about being able to hold a photograph taken over a century ago. Second, you should have a booklet containing pictures of your property. Remember, home insurance policies often replace physical items lost in a fire. However, you will need to prove these items were yours! Having photos of your furniture, appliances, collections, and more will make sure you are reimbursed for any of these items lost in a fire. 

A house fire or a similar tragedy can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially. Don’t make it any harder on yourself by putting these important documents at risk. Find a fireproof box as soon as you can. Put the above documents inside of the box. You can then rest easy knowing these items are safe.