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Old 06-19-2011, 11:50 PM   #41
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I agree that making e-copies of important documents is a great idea. Another item added to my list.

Back to safes...mine was originally bought to keep items out of the hands of those that do not need to touch or have them. That includes firearms, coin collections, important documents, jewelry, family mementos, pharmaceuticals, and e-copies of photographs and backups from the various computers. We made the decision years ago to keep much of these items close by because of our use of Credit Unions, many of which do not have safe deposit boxes (at least years ago when we started using them). It was also a pain to have to remember to go to a bank during their hours of operation to get your stuff and then risk robbery while on the way home.

Call be paranoid but I would rather depend on myself for safekeeping of certain items. BTW, we are not super rich so our stuff is mostly important only to us but the loss of these items would be a major blow to many in the family. The firearms are kept safe for obvious reasons. If someone wants them they have to be really really fast in opening a 4 digit combination lock while under the pressure of an alarm blaring and the police being dispatched. It lets us sleep better at night.

While in the RV we also have a safe mounted under the bed bolted to the frame. Sure it can be defeated but it takes time and a lot of noise. It keeps the snatch and grab crowd at bay (which is mostly what you have to worry about for the most part....strung out druggies, kids, or petty thieves.) The pros will get what they want if they want it. We don't have what they want so we don't really worry about that class of crook. We protect from the bottom feeders...those that are in a hurry and don't have a lot of time or training. We just hope none are stupid enough to try to break in when we are there. Nuf said about that.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:02 AM   #42
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Steve, that is pretty much my situation. Having done some poking around, it seems quite unlikely that I could move a 400 pound safe up or downstairs by myself. So my choices are the garage or hiring a white glove service to move one of these monsters in. I would guess that the garage would be both obvious and easier to break into, so I am less enthused about that location. Thoughts?

BTW, as I was poking around I found out that Colorado has a "make my day" law that specifically exempts homeowners from civil and criminal liability if they shoot an unlawful intruder they believe will do them harm. That is a huge difference from NJ, where even someone shooting at you in your house (or their survivors) could bring a civil suit after you shoot them. Given that I am the one to go investigate strange noises after the (non-idiot barker) dog let's out one of his "something's not right" barks, this is a refreshing change.
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Old 06-20-2011, 08:34 AM   #43
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I have a sentry fireproof and waterproof box that I keep my important documents in. I never lock it as there is nothing in it worth anything to anyone else. just that it is waterproff and fireproof is all I need. I really have nothing that is so valuable that I would spend a lot of time thinking about how to protect it. If I had something like that I would sell it. life is to short to worry about stuff. I had quite a few shotguns and rifles to hunt with and my insurance man said it would only cover 2500. without a rider on my policy, so I thought about which guns I used the most and sold the rest that I had purchased over the years and never sold when I upgraded. problem solved.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:58 PM   #44
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We have a lockbox in the vault in the basement at our bank that we keep our most important paperwork in. We're not too concerned about fire or water damage should something go drastically wrong at the bank, because it has survived both! A couple decades ago the bank experienced a major fire and was mostly destroyed. The fire started in the basement, and spread to the upper 3 floors before it was extinguished. In addition to the fire, the tens of thousands of gallons of water filled the basement over the top of the vault for a couple days before it was all pumped out. There was no major damage to the vault, and no damage at all to it's contents from heat or water.

The bank was completely demolished and then rebuilt....the vault was never moved from it's original position, and was simply rejuvenated to remove any charring or discoloration.

I also have a large HEAVY safe at home for everything else that we don't keep in the lockbox. I originally had a Sentry fire-proof safe. I put the key in to open it one day only to find that the lock was no longer working. I called a locksmith friend of mine to take a look at it. He said I could send it back to Sentry and they 'might' repair it, of course it would have cost a bundle to ship it back. Or he could get it open in about a minute, and I could just buy a new one.

I opted for him to open it. He put a large screwdriver right beside the locking mechanism, and with 2 or 3 blows with a hammer, the lid opened right up!

I found someone who had a big heavy safe and it was free for the hauling!! My locksmith friend hauled it for me for $10. It took 4 of us to dolly it into the house, where he reinstalled the door. The safe weighs in at about 550#....it took 2 of us just to lift the door into place while a 3rd one aligned the hinges. If thieves want to steal it, more power to them....it won't fit through any of our doorways with it's door on, and you can't take the door off with out the safe being unlocked and open!
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:13 PM   #45
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One of the things that some people do not appreciate is the lengths that thiefs will go to try and get something....

I worked at a bank.... was told a story by one of the construction people... seemed that a thief thought that some dynamite would break open a drive up ATM that was surrounded by blocks and earth... from what I was told, the ATM ended up across the street in a hardware store... still intact... do not know if it entered through the roof or bounced across the street through the wall.... wish I knew...
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:26 PM   #46
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Smoke alarms don't help much. We were away when our house burned to the ground (Oakland firestorm).
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:59 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Steve, that is pretty much my situation. Having done some poking around, it seems quite unlikely that I could move a 400 pound safe up or downstairs by myself. So my choices are the garage or hiring a white glove service to move one of these monsters in. I would guess that the garage would be both obvious and easier to break into, so I am less enthused about that location. Thoughts?


BTW, as I was poking around I found out that Colorado has a "make my day" law that specifically exempts homeowners from civil and criminal liability if they shoot an unlawful intruder they believe will do them harm. That is a huge difference from NJ, where even someone shooting at you in your house (or their survivors) could bring a civil suit after you shoot them. Given that I am the one to go investigate strange noises after the (non-idiot barker) dog let's out one of his "something's not right" barks, this is a refreshing change.
The problem with the garage is it might be way too easy to wrap a chain around it and haul it into a truck so they can take it away and work on it. Having it in the house proper makes it much harder to get out since the door frequently has to be removed to get it through standard doorways. Harder to remove =more time they are vulnerable. I have always kept mine as far away from a door as possible to slow them down even more.


Yes, the civilized world is a breath of fresh air for you civil liberties and ability to protect yourself. We have a couple of barkers that like to let me know what Fido down the street just told Rover around the block. But that bark is different than their "Daddy! someone is snooping around!" That one gets my attention and 911 is on speed dial which is next to my flashlight which is attached to my 12ga. We also have a panic mode on the house alarm which will dispatch the police. Since we are alone in the bedroom we defend it and let the thief wander around until the police show up. Of course if he enters the bedroom that is a different story. Trying to clear your house in the dark can get you shot. Hunker down and defend a small space if possible. Family members in a different part of the house tips the scales the other way.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:50 AM   #48
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I had a safe. It was a huge safe (about two tons) that was in my basement and the house must have been built around it. It was built in 1872 and was a thing of beauty. After the house was flooded, the safe would no longer open. It was a major job, breaking into that safe, but after burning out piles of cutting wheels and wearing out a jackhammer, I finally did it, only to find that the contents were all destroyed. Now I had a hulk of a safe that was impossible to remove without tearing down my house. We finally came up with the solution of cutting a hole through the floor and excavating enough dirt to drop the safe into the hole, refilling the hole and re-pouring the floor. It is still buried in the basement, by the bodies... oops, nevermind...

BTW, our bank and our safety deposit box was flooded, too. Now, important papers and valuables are put into zip lock bags for additional protection. Only then, are they stored for safekeeping, with the zip-open side down.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:31 AM   #49
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Safes recovered after Japan Tsunami.

Japan Lost Money: Safes, Cash Wash Up On Shores After Tsunami
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:36 PM   #50
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DW's former business was broken into - not that difficult. There was a heavy 2 drawer fire-proof file/safe in which were locked account info and maybe $100 for the cash register. It never looked very impregnable to me. The thieves brought a hammer, nice screwdriver and one other tool (I forget). Apparently, in their attempt to open the safe, one thief cut the crap out of his hand(?) and bled all over the place. In their haste to get out, they left their tools. They did mange to break the pull handle which to this day hangs by the original rivets. Butch and Sundance they were not!

I have a good friend who (prior to his retirement) w*rked in the prison system. He swore that when he did retire he would write a book titled: WE AIN'T IN HERE 'CAUSE WE SMART. So far, I haven't seen the book, but he sure had the stories. Had most of the folks he had to interact with spent half the effort to go straight that they spent being criminals, they would have been successful citizens. I honestly think that much criminal behavior is an attitude rather than anything to do with deprivation.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:46 PM   #51
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I have a small one that I keep some papers, boxes of new checks, some jewelry a bit of extra cash during hurricane season. I also have a safe deposit box.
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:12 AM   #52
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My ex had her business broken into and the safe was stolen. She never had the combination to the safe. The old owner wanted more money for the keys/combination, she said no, so there the safe sat until it was stolen. The money was hidden in a paper towel dispenser outside the office bathroom three foot from the safe.
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