I recently read a great article about an obscure government group called the Mutilated Currency Division (part of the Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing). There are 17 examiners in this group whose job it is to identify mutilated currency and send checks out to the "victims". Good to know, in case your money is ever damaged in a flood, fire, etc., but the amazing stories of how the money gets damaged should also convince you not to try to store it yourself. One important quote:
Despite sales claims, Robinson [a retired director with 30 years experience] has yet to see a fireproof home safe. "We've had quite a few that didn't live up to promises. If the metal gets hot enough, it's going to burn what's inside," she says.
So, right now, go get your money out of the mattress/cookie jar/freezer/flower pot and take it to the bank. You're supposed to be earning interest on that money, anyway!