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Old 06-19-2011, 06:25 AM   #21
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I will be in the market for a safe or gun cabinet after we move. I think pretty much anything in it will be coverable by insurance, since this will mosly be for firearms. Is it worth bothering with a full on 400# safe, or would a more most steel gun cabinet do the job?
I'd suggest a visit to your local gun store, which should have a range of safes for you to consider. Any large locksmith place should also have a wide selection. Keep in mind that, as others have mentioned, all you're really trying to do is to defeat the amateurs and slow down the experts.

Here's that section from my local store:
Target World - Safes Page
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:57 AM   #22
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We have important documents in a fireproof home safe. We don't keep it locked since the documents are not valuable to others. We fear a locked safe would temp burglers to haul it away. Unlocked they would quickly see there is nothing of value (to them).
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:12 AM   #23
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We get a free SD box at our local S&L due to our age, and the assets we have there.

I keep those items (birth certificates, marriage license, life insurance policies, etc.) there that would be a PIA if we lost our home to flood, fire, weather.

Heck, the price is right, and if I visit once a year it is a lot....
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:57 AM   #24
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We get a free SD box at our local S&L due to our age, and the assets we have there.

I keep those items (birth certificates, marriage license, life insurance policies, etc.) there that would be a PIA if we lost our home to flood, fire, weather.

Heck, the price is right, and if I visit once a year it is a lot....

Just remember that you can lose everything in a safe deposit box.... that happened to everybody who had one in the World Trade Center...


Also, if a bad fire occurred at your bank.... or a flood.... their is a possibility you will lose your stuff.... I think it would have to be a major event, but I don't think they are foolproof....
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:27 AM   #25
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We have a heavy fire proof portable safe so in the event of a hurricane we can just grab that and go . The chance of my house being robbed is pretty slim. It's elevated seventeen feet so any robber has to walk up two flights of stairs pass a flood light and then figure out how to take stuff down two flights of stairs .
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:30 AM   #26
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It's elevated seventeen feet so any robber has to walk up two flights of stairs pass a flood light and then figure out how to take stuff down two flights of stairs .
Throw it over the rail and pick it up off the sand?

Ha
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:30 AM   #27
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Just remember that you can lose everything in a safe deposit box.... that happened to everybody who had one in the World Trade Center...


Also, if a bad fire occurred at your bank.... or a flood.... their is a possibility you will lose your stuff.... I think it would have to be a major event, but I don't think they are foolproof....
Wow! Can you sleep at night just thinking about this stuff?

BTW, one of the planes that hit the WTC passed over my house (yes, it is on the flight path to NYC, since I'm about 80 miles west of the WTC site).

As far as the bank (and floods)? The area is on a plateau, far away from any major water source.

As for myself? I had more concerns when I lived in the Texas Panhandle (with windstorms, tornados, and other concerns)...
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:49 AM   #28
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I have a deposit box and home safe. The home safe, a Liberty Conlonial is for both firearms and important papers. It has 45 min @ 1200 degree fire rating, is 3 sided with 11 bolts and weighs well over 600 lbs loaded. Its rather nice looking with a glossy dark green paint job: here is a brief overview

Also, I bought it at a gunshow at a substantial discount.
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:30 PM   #29
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We have a heavy fire proof portable safe so in the event of a hurricane we can just grab that and go . The chance of my house being robbed is pretty slim. It's elevated seventeen feet so any robber has to walk up two flights of stairs pass a flood light and then figure out how to take stuff down two flights of stairs .
A portable safe? Seems that in any evacuation space and weight would be tight, I think I'd rather stick the goodies in a baggie and hide it in the car than lug a safe around. If it's too inconvenient for a thief to take, it would be too inconvenient for me to take. But, that's just me. I would think the valuables in a house would be more secure in a well hidden spot in the home than in any portable safe.
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Old 06-19-2011, 02:34 PM   #30
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Thanks but after filling out all those college applications and financial aid forms I had my number memorized. Nobody has ever asked to see my original card since it was stolen, so I've never bothered to get a replacement.
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Old 06-19-2011, 02:45 PM   #31
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Just remember that you can lose everything in a safe deposit box.... that happened to everybody who had one in the World Trade Center...


Also, if a bad fire occurred at your bank.... or a flood.... their is a possibility you will lose your stuff.... I think it would have to be a major event, but I don't think they are foolproof....
This is one reason I wonder whether a box at the bank is much better than a home safe. The most likely major disaster in this area is earthquake, and if it's a big enough quake to knock down my house it may very well be big enough to knock down the bank, too, especially if it the latter is in an older masonry building. I don't recall offhand what type of construction the B of A branch in Aberdeen is. I think I recall the office of the credit union (where I have opened an account in anticipation of my move). If it's the one I'm thinking of, it's ordinary frame construction and not particularly new, so it may not be very quake resistant. Is there some sort of compressive strength rating for home safes that would give an idea of how much weight could fall on it without crushing the safe?
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Old 06-19-2011, 02:59 PM   #32
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This is one reason I wonder whether a box at the bank is much better than a home safe. The most likely major disaster in this area is earthquake, and if it's a big enough quake to knock down my house it may very well be big enough to knock down the bank, too, especially if it the latter is in an older masonry building. I don't recall offhand what type of construction the B of A branch in Aberdeen is. I think I recall the office of the credit union (where I have opened an account in anticipation of my move). If it's the one I'm thinking of, it's ordinary frame construction and not particularly new, so it may not be very quake resistant. Is there some sort of compressive strength rating for home safes that would give an idea of how much weight could fall on it without crushing the safe?

The good side of the bank is that they are usually in a vault that has thicker walls than the one you will buy.....
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Old 06-19-2011, 03:02 PM   #33
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Wow! Can you sleep at night just thinking about this stuff?

BTW, one of the planes that hit the WTC passed over my house (yes, it is on the flight path to NYC, since I'm about 80 miles west of the WTC site).

As far as the bank (and floods)? The area is on a plateau, far away from any major water source.

As for myself? I had more concerns when I lived in the Texas Panhandle (with windstorms, tornados, and other concerns)...

I watched the second plane out of my window as it flew over the building I was living at the time... I think I hit the ceiling when it did... it scared the bejezzsus out of me....
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:53 PM   #34
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Ah, let me tell you about my "safe". It is an old fishing tackle box that belonged to my father. I keep stuff like my SS card, will, car titles, birth certificate, marriage license and passport in there. I gave my son all his paper "stuff" when he left years ago...let him worry about it.

I haven't had a safety deposit box in several years. I kept one for a few years in joint with my son after my husband died, but the bank was very clear that if one of us passed away, the other would not be able to access the box as we were mother and son, not husband and wife. A box audit would be required.

I gave all my husband's guns and ammo to his brother. I gave my late father's and husband's small coin collections to my son. I did not want to burden myself with ownership of these things.

My little worn "nice" jewelry is stuffed into a hidden drawer in a piece of antique furniture. I don't even bother insuring these baubles...if they got stolen, so be it. I would not miss the stuff.

My attorney and my son have copies of my will. My long-time accountant keeps many years of my tax documents. Maybe I am being too laissez-faire, but I think I could get copies of any supporting documents with some effort if lost or destroyed.

I have 6 smoke and carbon monoxide detectors hard-wired into my electrical system in my newer home, and I live in what I believe to be a safe neighborhood. I keep my doors and windows locked and put my mail on hold when I travel, gardener keeps lawn mowed and snow removed year round and two trusted friends have keys and keep an eye on the place for me when asked. I also have a small dog who barks his head off if a leaf blows across the lawn or the doorbell rings. I also have good, observant neighbors who I think would report unusual activity to the police.
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:22 PM   #35
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Following WhoDaresWins thoughts,

The cost of a safe would be greater than the cost of any valuables I could fit in it, in my case. I don't have guns or coin/stamp collections, and I don't have any jewelry worth over $25. I keep my car titles, birth certificate, divorce papers, and so on in a file called "important papers" with all my bazillion other files. I keep my tax documents files called (ever so imaginatively) "taxes 2006", "taxes 2007", and so on.

During hurricane season all of my files reside in rolling travel file cabinets like the one in the photo below. They are either in a big pile of things by my side door, ready to take during an evacuation, or else they are in my vehicle ready to go.

My parents had a safe. My mother kept her jewelry in it, as well as some papers. It was never anywhere near full.
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:52 PM   #36
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Thanks but after filling out all those college applications and financial aid forms I had my number memorized. Nobody has ever asked to see my original card since it was stolen, so I've never bothered to get a replacement.
I'm in the same situation. I haven't seen my SS card in many years. I do have the thing it was punched out of, that also has my number. I actually went to an SS office a few years ago to get a new one, but they were on number 22 and I got number 87 (or something like that), and I waited about 10 minutes and they got all the way to number 23, so I left.

As far as a safe goes, I've got a Sentry lock box, the size of a small file drawer, to put important docs in. I'm not sure of the fireproof/water rating, but it's better than keeping it in a regular file cabinet. It also keeps that stuff in one place to grab if there's a fire on the mountain and I need to evacuate. My problem is that the lock is balky, and I have to tilt it to get the latch to release. I might just get a new one, and find a different brand.
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:26 PM   #37
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Like everyone else, I've got important documents that I want to be preserved across a disaster. I've taken a different approach, though. I've noticed that there really doesn't seem to be much in the way of 'unreplaceable originals' any more. Deeds, birth, and death certificates are recorded, with certified copies available for a fee. Duplicate documents of various sorts can be reproduced with official seals or stamps. The key is to know what these documents are, and where to go to get the duplicates.

I've gone to electronic storage. I've scanned in the deed and mortgage paperwork, the birth and death certificates, and the supporting tax documents. For the past dozen years, when I prepared a tax return I used software, and 'printed' the return to a PDF file, which I then printed and submitted (until we moved to electronic submissions). I've even scanned the contents of wallets and purses, capturing all those cards, front & back (the phone number to report stolen cards is on the back of many cards).

All this data, along with electronic copies of financial records, statements, and whatnot goes into files that are on an encrypted disk image on the computer. The encrypted image is backed up automatically, to external storage, and to flash drives. One of the flash drives is on the little keyring I always have with me.

This way, I can always make copies of important documents immediately. If I need to get a certified copy, I know which bank, county recorder, or other agency to contact, as that's on the image of the documents.
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:42 PM   #38
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Turns out my Sentry fireproof box (not really a safe) opens easily if I sit on it. Something to do with the waterproof seal.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:32 PM   #39
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Like everyone else, I've got important documents that I want to be preserved across a disaster. I've taken a different approach, though. I've noticed that there really doesn't seem to be much in the way of 'unreplaceable originals' any more. Deeds, birth, and death certificates are recorded, with certified copies available for a fee. Duplicate documents of various sorts can be reproduced with official seals or stamps. The key is to know what these documents are, and where to go to get the duplicates.

I've gone to electronic storage. I've scanned in the deed and mortgage paperwork, the birth and death certificates, and the supporting tax documents. For the past dozen years, when I prepared a tax return I used software, and 'printed' the return to a PDF file, which I then printed and submitted (until we moved to electronic submissions). I've even scanned the contents of wallets and purses, capturing all those cards, front & back (the phone number to report stolen cards is on the back of many cards).

All this data, along with electronic copies of financial records, statements, and whatnot goes into files that are on an encrypted disk image on the computer. The encrypted image is backed up automatically, to external storage, and to flash drives. One of the flash drives is on the little keyring I always have with me.

This way, I can always make copies of important documents immediately. If I need to get a certified copy, I know which bank, county recorder, or other agency to contact, as that's on the image of the documents.
The irreplaceable items I was talking about are family heirlooms--originals of photos and documents, some over 100 years old. My mom has these things now, but I think the role of family archivist is likely to devolve upon me in the future. Of my parents' four children, I'm the one most interested in genealogy and so forth, which is a little ironic since I'm the only one that won't be leaving any descendants. Most of these items aren't worth much in terms of dollars and cents, the information in the documents could be preserved by digitizing them, and it is likely that copies of many of them could be obtained, but in terms of family history they are priceless, because they are the actual documents dating back to the time of the actual people and events they record, or items actually owned by my ancestors. There is no way such a thing can be replaced. Once lost, it is gone forever.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:12 PM   #40
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The irreplaceable items I was talking about are family heirlooms--originals of photos and documents, some over 100 years old. My mom has these things now, but I think the role of family archivist is likely to devolve upon me in the future. Of my parents' four children, I'm the one most interested in genealogy and so forth, which is a little ironic since I'm the only one that won't be leaving any descendants. Most of these items aren't worth much in terms of dollars and cents, the information in the documents could be preserved by digitizing them, and it is likely that copies of many of them could be obtained, but in terms of family history they are priceless, because they are the actual documents dating back to the time of the actual people and events they record, or items actually owned by my ancestors. There is no way such a thing can be replaced. Once lost, it is gone forever.
How wonderful that you have these items, photos, and documents! They are indeed priceless.

Might be a good idea to have the photos and documents scanned. Then you could send copies to other branches of the family too. Even if your brothers and/or sisters aren't interested, some day their children might be.

I am the keeper of such things in my family too, and I nearly lost them all after Hurricane Katrina. Now that I have rescued them, I should get the photos scanned as well and send a copy to each relative as I had planned to do years ago. I just haven't done it and I do feel guilty about that. Almost all of mine are old photos.
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