Are you one of those people who uses your basement as a storage area? You’re not alone. While many people choose to use their basements in this way, oftentimes, basements tend to evolve into entertainment rooms or—if you have a family—playrooms.

No matter how you choose to use your basement, you should always remember that there are certain items that you should never store there.

Here’s what you should avoid storing in your basement.

Printed photos: It’s easy to damage printed photos. Consider converting your personal stored photos to digital, so that you always have them.

Important documents: Personal documents such as birth certificates, passports, financial documents, or a will should always be stored a secured area. Consider storing them in a secure safe with a combination that only you know. That way, only you can access these documents when you need them and don’t have to worry about someone stealing them.

Antiques or family heirlooms: If your family has passed down certain items through the generations, you certainly understand how precious they are. While they could hold monetary value, they certainly hold sentimental value that can never be replaced.

Highly flammable or hazardous items

Firewood: In the event of a housefire, firewood will only help the fire spread faster and wider. If it gets wet, you are looking at a situation in which it can get especially smokey when you burn it. On top of all of this, it presents an open invitation to insects and rodents.

Paint, chemicals or household liquids: Basements are typically where your furnace, water heater, and dryer are located. If you have flammable liquids stored in this area, you are potentially writing an excellent recipe for disaster.

Book and magazines: Books can have both sentimental and monetary value. Don’t store them in the basement if you want to make sure they remain well-preserved.

Electronics: Climate issues and moisture control can present dangers in most unfinished basements. Additionally, they can leave your electronics exposed to water and moisture risks.

Furniture or artwork: If you’re a collector or art pieces, you’ve probably spent a pretty penny or at least a few in your collection. It’s not worth the risk of damaging them by storing them in the basement.

Clothes, shoes and jewelry: If you’ve ever splurged on shoes or jewelry for yourself or a significant other, you’ll want to make sure that where you store these items is secure and able to protect these items from the risk of damage.

Call us at 301-948-2010 to discuss adding the Extended Water endorsement to your homeowners insurance policy with ERIE. It’s great protection to have in place to give you the peace of mind knowing you’re well protected against an insurance claim.