Very good information. I do like the idea of leaving a secure fire box/safe at a trusted family members house. I admit I'm not to keen on the bank idea though since they may be subject to some type of goverment seizure or other action at any time that might compromise my information.Keep in mind (as a former volunteer firefighter) when you discover your house is on fire chances are you won't have time to grab paperwork, unless you keep it at the door. Family members are first, second and third on my list, we have a meeting place and are friendly with our neighbors so shelter is not an issue at that point.
One thing people should think about doing is keeping a copy of important papers at a trusted family members home in another location, fire boxes are cheap and you can retain the keys to keep your info secure. I know many people that keep things in a safety deposit box at the bank, if you and your better half D) get your own safety deposit box put your items in their box and their items in your box, that way if there is a death and the bank finds out and freezes their information or access to their info, you can still get what is needed.
Considering that after the kitchen, more fires start in the garage than any other room of the house, that might be a poor idea. Gasoline is a very flammable thing and that's why they require firewalls between homes and garages. I'd say a good firesafe mounted to an exterior wall (possibly in a closet) would give your items the best chance of survival. How about putting a couple 2.5 gallon water jugs on top of it, too?Speaking of that if you have a detached garage or shed would be another place to keep a fire safe with copies of important papers, still on your property but not in the same location as the house.
Our two cats woke up my wife when my drunk nephew came home late one night, put some frozen pizza in the oven and fell asleep. The fire and smoke freaked out the cats who jumped on to the bed and woke up the wife (I was at work-- 3rd shift). One cat started licking her face, and the other scratched her leg to awaken her. She got the fire out and proceeded to give the nephew holy hell!With a fire there's presumably no time. Wife, me, cats in proximity. Nothing else is worth losing our lives for.