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Should you store your gold in a fireproof file box or chest?

Fireproof document box for storing gold.

Fireproof file boxes and chests are becoming increasingly popular. You see them in office supply stores, Wal-Mart and elsewhere. They are designed to protect important documents from heat and fire in the event of a house fire.

The idea is tempting, because a fire can melt your stash of gold coins or bars very quickly, and make it hard to recover your gold from the ashes.But are they a good place to store your gold at home?

But there is a downside to this idea. Fireproof file boxes and chests are portable. Many of them have handles and offer no means to secure them to a concrete wall or floor.

The problem with their portability is that they are an easy target for a burglar. First, the fact that you have such a box or chest signals to the burglar that there might be something valuable inside. Second, because they are small and often have handles, they are easy to carry out of your home.

Do you really want to make it that easy for a burglar to steal your gold?

Here is the question you have to ask yourself: Is your home more likely to be burgled or more likely to burn down?

According to U.S. statistics from 2005, there were 2,154,126 burglaries and 396,000 house fires nationwide.

In other words, your home is five times more likely to be burgled than it is to burn down.

To me, that suggests that you should not store your gold or other valuables in one of these fireproof file boxes and chests.

Use them for documents if you want, but don’t use them for storing your gold coins or gold bars.