A home safe provides security for your belongings and peace of mind for you. While the average home safe isn\u2019t completely impenetrable, it\u2019s an effective deterrent for all but the most determined thieves. Even an inexpensive home safe certainly stops prying eyes and opportunistic hands in their tracks.Before purchasing a safe, you must first decide what it is that you want to protect. Safes intended for irreplaceable valuables have extra security features and cost more than simple, fire resistant document safes.Choosing the Right SizeYour safe\u2019s size and features will depend on its contents. A few family heirloom jewels don\u2019t require much space, but once you add paperwork to the mix, you might want the extra real estate. Safe and Vault Store suggests sizing up if you can, since you\u2019ll find more items to add over time, and replacing your safe in a few years is inconvenient.A safe\u2019s exterior dimensions aren\u2019t an accurate measurement of its storage capacity because the door and walls vary in thickness. Instead, look at its interior size in cubic feet. Use the exterior dimensions to decide where you\u2019ll put the safe.Combination or KeypadChoosing between a dial combination lock and a digital keypad depends on individual preference. If you find the numbers on a dial difficult to read, a keypad might be a better option for you.Both styles have pros and cons. Combination locks are less expensive and don\u2019t require batteries, but it takes a locksmith to change the combination, and they can be difficult to use for people with poor eyesight or shaky hands. Digital locks are easy to open and often have security features for incorrect attempts, but they require batteries and usually cost more.Home Safe Security FeaturesBeyond the two most apparent home safe features \u2014 size and lock style \u2014 there are a number of specifications to research before making a purchase.Product CertificationsUnderwriters Laboratories tests many products to evaluate their performance, including holiday lights, space heaters and safes, although Safe and Vault Store says some safe manufacturers use private laboratories to save money. You may also see safes bear the ETL mark, meaning they were tested by Intertek Laboratories.Safes without a UL or ETL label aren\u2019t necessarily all bad. However, these labels prove that the safe model complies with industry standards. That assurance is reflected in the safe\u2019s price.Waterproof and Fireproof SafesIf protecting paper documents like tax records and birth certificates is your primary concern, you probably want a fire resistant safe. American Security Products Co. explains how home safe fire ratings work.Good fire safes use one or two layers of gypsum board in the body and door. Better fire safes use two to four layers of gypsum board. And the best ones sandwich fire insulating material between steel plates. Better and best fire safes are more likely to be tested by Underwriters Laboratories or Intertek.Any fire safe should list the amount of time it can maintain a safe internal temperature when exposed to a house fire. If your safe has a UL or ETL label, you can read the specifics of what its rating means and how it was tested.Water resistant safes will protect your possessions in the event of a flood or under the spray of a fire sprinkler. These are rated for a certain amount of water and time. If you bolt down the safe, its waterproofing may be compromised.Damage Resistance SpecificationsFire and water certainly post a threat to your safe\u2019s contents, but some home safes are designed to resist other types of damage as well. These safes will thwart thieves with tools and survive higher falls.Underwriters Laboratories conducts burglary testing and classifies safes according to its standards, but you can find damage resistant safes without an official UL sticker. Longtime safe and smart lock manufacturer Yale Home’s\u00a0Product Manager Garrett Lovejoy recommends looking for \u201cterms such as anti-drill, anti-saw, anti-bump and pry resistant.\u201dAnother feature to look for is a tamper alarm. For example, the Yale Alarmed Value Safe \u201cprovides several different alarm types: lock out from entering the wrong code, tampering with the safe and low battery,\u201d says Lovejoy.Installation ConsiderationsFirst things first: Where will you put your safe? If thieves can\u2019t find your safe, they can\u2019t break into it.The bedroom is the first place burglars look. But if your safe is somewhere so inconvenient that you avoid using it, that defeats its purpose. Take stock of your home to find a space that\u2019s accessible to you but out of sight to others.Something else to consider when installing a safe: Can a burglar pick it up and carry it away? If it\u2019s a large, heavy safe, the answer is probably no. However, Consumer Reports says 1.2 to 1.3 cubic feet is a common home safe size, which will usually weight around 100 pounds and cost between $150 and $300. And large safes can still be stolen by a group with the right equipment. That\u2019s why many safes come with holes to be bolted to the floor. Not only does fastening the safe protect it from theft, it may help you save money on insurance.Placing and bolting down a safe can be an arduous process, so it might be worth hiring a professional to do the installation, especially for larger safes. Before making a purchase, ask the retailer if they offer installations.