Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Anybody got a home safe?
Old 06-18-2011, 04:46 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
kyounge1956's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,171
Anybody got a home safe?

I'm closing my account at Chase Bank due to the outrageous $10/month service charge they slapped on checking accounts earlier this year, so today I went and emptied my safe deposit box at Chase and went looking to rent another one at B of A, where I still have an account. Well, I had to wait 45 minutes at Chase to get into my box, and while canceling the rental discovered that I would not get a refund for the 6 months remaining of the year I paid in advance. Then I went to B of A to rent a new box. At first the banker said the only one she had was a larger (and of course more expensive) box than I need. Can you see if they have the size I'm looking for at other nearby branches? No, not on the computer, you have to go into the branch and ask. (Which century is this again??) After several efforts to sell me other bank services, extended perusal of computer records and three or four trips by the banker into the vault, I was told there was a box available the size I want. So I filled out the paperwork to rent the box, got the keys, and went into the vault to put my things in the box. Lo & behold, the box I've just signed for is only half the size I was expecting, and definitely not wide enough to store a legal-size document flat, which is what I said I wanted. The banker said this had happened to her before, which is why she made so many trips into the vault—to see if the box was actually the size the computer said it was. By this time it's at least 15 minutes after closing, so I crammed my stuff in the box, and the banker promised to have someone find a box the size I was offered and contact me so I can move my things from one to the other (she's on vacation next week). The crowning blow is she now says the rental she quoted for the size box I wanted is really the price for the undersized box I actually have. I'll end up paying half or more of what I save by eliminating Chase's exorbitant service charge in higher box rental. What a pain in the neck!

All of this has me wondering about buying a home safe. No more box rental, no more waiting to get in, and I know what size it is before I pay for it. So, does anyone have a home safe in addition to or instead of a safe deposit box? Has it ever been put to the test by burglars, fire or flood, and if so, did it do the job of protecting its contents? Some of what I need to store is literally irreplaceable—original family documents and the like.
__________________

__________________
kyounge1956 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-18-2011, 05:08 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
I'm closing my account at Chase Bank due to the outrageous $10/month service charge they slapped on checking accounts earlier this year, so today I went and emptied my safe deposit box at Chase and went looking to rent another one at B of A, where I still have an account. Well, I had to wait 45 minutes at Chase to get into my box, and while canceling the rental discovered that I would not get a refund for the 6 months remaining of the year I paid in advance. Then I went to B of A to rent a new box. At first the banker said the only one she had was a larger (and of course more expensive) box than I need. Can you see if they have the size I'm looking for at other nearby branches? No, not on the computer, you have to go into the branch and ask. (Which century is this again??) After several efforts to sell me other bank services, extended perusal of computer records and three or four trips by the banker into the vault, I was told there was a box available the size I want. So I filled out the paperwork to rent the box, got the keys, and went into the vault to put my things in the box. Lo & behold, the box I've just signed for is only half the size I was expecting, and definitely not wide enough to store a legal-size document flat, which is what I said I wanted. The banker said this had happened to her before, which is why she made so many trips into the vault—to see if the box was actually the size the computer said it was. By this time it's at least 15 minutes after closing, so I crammed my stuff in the box, and the banker promised to have someone find a box the size I was offered and contact me so I can move my things from one to the other (she's on vacation next week). The crowning blow is she now says the rental she quoted for the size box I wanted is really the price for the undersized box I actually have. I'll end up paying half or more of what I save by eliminating Chase's exorbitant service charge in higher box rental. What a pain in the neck!

All of this has me wondering about buying a home safe. No more box rental, no more waiting to get in, and I know what size it is before I pay for it. So, does anyone have a home safe in addition to or instead of a safe deposit box? Has it ever been put to the test by burglars, fire or flood, and if so, did it do the job of protecting its contents? Some of what I need to store is literally irreplaceable—original family documents and the like.
Open any account at Washington Federal, and get a standard size box for $12, likely somewhat more for oversized ones.

A good home safe is nice, but expensive, and needs to be installed well. Since you plan on being a short timer at your residence, you might sink a lot of money that you would never get back. Plus, if you look like you might really have something worthwhile to put into it, the sellers/installers have at times been known to share information with less upstanding members of the community.

Ha
__________________

__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2011, 05:48 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Mulligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,376
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha
Open any account at Washington Federal, and get a standard size box for $12, likely somewhat more for oversized ones.

A good home safe is nice, but expensive, and needs to be installed well. Since you plan on being a short timer at your residence, you might sink a lot of money that you would never get back. Plus, if you look like you might really have something worthwhile to put into it, the sellers/installers have at times been known to share information with less upstanding members of the community.

Ha
I don't have a home safe, HA. But I feel like I have a safe home after purchasing my first Glock 9mm a few months ago!
__________________
Mulligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2011, 06:08 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,591
I have a home safe (two of them, actually).

One is for firearms, and that just provides basic protection.

The one I think you're talking about does double duty. Good burglary protection, but I'm not so concerned about that, where I live. The more important aspect is good fire protection. Safes are rated on both parameters, and you need to know what you're getting.

Think about how long the safe could withstand the efforts of a determined burglar. Can you bolt it to a concrete floor to prevent simply carrying it away? How hot would the fire get if your house burned down while you were away. How long would the safe have to withstand that kind of heat? How well could it cope with hundreds of gallons of water from the firefighters? All these things are manageable, but you have to think about them.

About ten years ago, I found one that exactly met my needs while shopping online. I bought it from Staples, and they delivered to the house. There are certainly better choices available, but the one I got gives me enough peace of mind.
Fairly similar to this one:
Sentry Fire-Safe 2.0 Cubic Ft. Capacity Water-Resistant Safe

Things that need this kind of protection?
Wills, powers of attorney, etc.
Original Social Security cards (believe me, in Ohio you need these).
Passports
Insurance documents
Tax documents
All sorts of miscellaneous documents.
A few pieces of DW's jewelry.

Total volume stored: Maybe half a cubic foot, with plenty of space left for future expansion.
__________________
Pas de lieu Rhône que nous.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2011, 07:45 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Coach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 1,127
When my bank decided to remodel 10 years or so ago, I lost my safe deposit box. After giving it some thought I decided to not rent another. I ended up getting a wall lock box kind of like this one. I think it's enough to defeat the kind of thieves that are likely to bother with my house.

It's not waterproof or fire resistant, but I decided I didn't have anything that wasn't either reasonably easy to replace like SS cards, passports and auto titles, or not of a value that a pretty rare event like a house fire was worth worrying about like a few jewelry items, some cash and some credit cards. My lawyer and a family member have copies of my will, POA, and living wills.

I know this is contrary to what you usually see recommended, but it works for me.

Coach
__________________
"Comprehensive health insurance is an idea whose time has come in America." President Richard M. Nixon, February 6, 1974
Coach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2011, 08:04 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Ah, that reminds me of a classic thread:
Opening a Sentry safe

I think the safe keys were eventually found with some of Gabe's other toy keys.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2011, 08:53 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,038
I have a home safe that looks similar to the one in Braumeister's post.

I think it will do the job of protecting my valuables in case of fire or a smash and grab by crackheads. But a determined burglar would have no problem cracking this baby open IMO. If you plan on storing digital media in the safe, make sure the safe is rated for that.

Overall we keep very little in our safe. Our valuables are protected by "valuable personal property" insurance. Photos and important documents have been digitized and the digital copies are backed up on a disk stored offsite. Less sensitive computer files are stored online. Our lawyer keeps copies of our legal documents. That leaves things like passports, SS cards, marriage certificate and property titles that can be replaced fairly easily. So I feel like we have an adequate amount of protection even though we live in one of the top 10 counties in the country for burglaries. I worry more about what would happen to our cats if someone broke into our house than what would happen to our stuff.

If I had anything that was truly irreplaceable, however, I would get a safe at the bank.
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2011, 09:01 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
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?
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2011, 11:21 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,197
Mine is bolted to the floor; it's not going anywhere.

On a sticker on the outside, write a combination and instructions for opening it. Write the wrong combination, of course. Thief will waste time trying to follow the directions.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2011, 11:59 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
SteveR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,803
I have a 400# gun safe that is fire resistant to 2000 degrees for two hours and has several safeguards against forced entry into the safe. It is stored in our bedroom near an outside wall so that if the house were to ever catch fire it would be protected from the bulk of the heat and be easily found after the fire. A burglar would waste a lot of time trying to get into it and the police would have already been alerted due to our house security system alarm and monitored system. The safe would take 3 strong men to move which eliminates most drug addict break ins. We house all our important records and most firearms in it as well as historical records, data CDs, wills etc. It was a good investment and is a great storage spot for DW's jewelry and tax records. We don't have a deposit box at a Bank...don't need one with our home system...did I mention the dogs sleep next to the safe?

Small safes can be easily picked up and taken away to be forced open at a later time. Large safes cost more but make it very very difficult to carry off and forced entry actually locks the safe even further. We got ours at Sportsman's Warehouse a few years ago. It holds a lot of stuff and we feel confident having it in the house.
__________________
Work? I don't have time to work....I'm retired.
SteveR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2011, 12:20 AM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,263
My BIL installed a floor safe in his bedroom closet.... it was hidden under the carpet...

I had the combo... but after he died my sister tried to get in... and I tried... the combo did not work for some reason...

She would try every once in awhile.... and finally it was opened.... she moved her stuff to a safe deposit box....
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2011, 12:25 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,263
As to your problem.... I would say you did this in the wrong order.... find the replacement first and THEN move the stuff...

Also, have you talked to Chase about why you are being charged From what I can see, all you need is a $500 auto deposit to not get charged... (it says my fee would be $12 if I did not have this)...

OR... $1500 minimum... or $5000 in total deposits/investments....


BTW, I am surprised that they would not let you see the box PRIOR to you signing anything... the one time I went to price boxes.... they had a sample of all the sizes on display...
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2011, 12:29 AM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 113
Some random thoughts on safes...

Nobody ever - not once - bought a safe that was too big.

Safes bolted directly to concrete, will eventually rust out. Use some sort of vapor barrier.

Speaking of bolting safes down - it's a great idea, however most folks overlook something not so obvious. Most home safes I've seen that were bolted down, were done so near the edges, which is easily overcome. A prybar and a long sawzall blade, will easily get between the safe and concrete, cutting through the bolts like butter. If you're going through the hassle of bolting it down - put the bolts in the center of the safe where a sawzall blade can't reach them.

Safes most homeowners will be looking at, are typically not waterproof. The door will likely have a strip of fireproofing material, but water will easily get by it. The best thing you can do for water protection, is keep it off the floor as much as practical. If practical where it's being installed, consider pouring an additional 6-8" slab to use as a pedestal. Not only will this raise it up to avoid water intrusion from minor flooding, but it will make access easier for items you may place on the floor of the safe.

Don't skimp on humidity control, regardless of where you live or where in your home the safe will go. Dehumidification rods and desiccant are dirt cheap, compared to your safe contents. I run two rods, and two large boxes of desiccant.

Fireproofing is simply sheetrock - nothing more. If you want longer fire protection, buy a bigger safe and add more sheetrock to the interior.

While safe design is important, there's relatively little difference between safes from reputable manufacturers. A rule of thumb, true more often than not - when looking at safes of roughly the same size, judge quality by weight.

As to specific manufacturers - there are many good ones, but Sun Welding has an excellent reputation, and last I checked (many, many years back), they were competitive with other high end safe manufacturers.
__________________
Da Nag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2011, 12:52 AM   #14
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Nag View Post
Some random thoughts on safes...
I think I'd rather continue to have little of value.

I wonder why a state would insist on an original Social Security card. Ours are nearly falling apart after 40 years and the signatures bear no resemblance to our current autographs.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2011, 01:56 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
kyounge1956's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
As to your problem.... I would say you did this in the wrong order.... find the replacement first and THEN move the stuff....
There's a method in my madness. I wanted to get the box cleared out today without fail, so I can get the account at Chase closed before the next month's service charge hits. At worst I thought maybe all the boxes at my local B of A branch would be rented already and I'd have to take the stuff home with me for a while. This is my second experience in the last few weeks that a bank has messed up something I never would have imagined possible. The other one is that Chase, where I also have my home mortgage, didn't pay my homeowner's insurance when it came due, despite several notices from the insurance company that the policy was about to expire. When I got back from my trip to NY there's a letter in my mailbox saying, "You are required to show proof of insurance and if you don't we will arrange coverage (which will cost you an arm and a leg)." Of course this letter came while I was out of town, so I didn't respond by the deadline. Fortunately my insurance company was able to reinstate the policy—they straightened the whole mess out. I have had a mortgage on one house or another since 1985 and to the best of my recollection this is the first time my insurance coverage has ever been botched in this fashion.

Quote:
Also, have you talked to Chase about why you are being charged From what I can see, all you need is a $500 auto deposit to not get charged... (it says my fee would be $12 if I did not have this)...

OR... $1500 minimum... or $5000 in total deposits/investments.....
I don't meet the minimum requirements on this account. I only use it for one purpose, and only every few months. It never has the minimum balance in it. My automatic deposit goes into my B of A account, so I can avoid a service charge there.

Quote:
BTW, I am surprised that they would not let you see the box PRIOR to you signing anything... the one time I went to price boxes.... they had a sample of all the sizes on display...
This is only the third time I've rented a box. The first time ever was at Chase, and the second was to go from a small box at Chase to a larger one. I don't think I got to see the boxes first there either, they just had a list of the available sizes. The difference was unlike B of A, they knew what sizes they had available. It never even occurred to me that it was possible to make such a hash of a simple box rental—I've been grousing about the fact that you can't go online and find out which branches have which size boxes instead of traipsing all over town to find out that information. I have to wonder about the banker I was dealing with, too. From what I overheard on my way out, she may have shut the door of the vault behind her and locked her keys inside. Oops!
__________________
kyounge1956 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2011, 01:57 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
kyounge1956's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
(snip)I wonder why a state would insist on an original Social Security card. Ours are nearly falling apart after 40 years and the signatures bear no resemblance to our current autographs.
I hope nobody ever asks for mine. It was in a wallet that was stolen from my backpack in the UC library, going on 40 years ago.
__________________
kyounge1956 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2011, 04:51 AM   #17
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,851
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
I hope nobody ever asks for mine. It was in a wallet that was stolen from my backpack in the UC library, going on 40 years ago.
Here U go:

Application for a Social Security Card
__________________
rescueme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2011, 05:58 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,969
I bought one years ago when my local small home town bank eliminated safe deposit boxes from our local branch. Mine is not that large, a typical Sentry unit, I didn't bother to bolt it down (though I probably should) because I didn't want to leave the screw holes but it's heavy enough that I seriously doubt anyone would steal it. I agree with the post above on getting at least one size larger than you think you need, ours is full, and I've thought about buying another...
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2011, 06:21 AM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
I wonder why a state would insist on an original Social Security card. Ours are nearly falling apart after 40 years and the signatures bear no resemblance to our current autographs.
Some years ago, Ohio allowed us to remove our Social Security numbers from our drivers' licenses. That was fine, but now when we renew them, we have to bring in an original SS card to prove who we are. Stupid, but that's the law.

Fortunately, you can easily get a new "original" card with a visit to your local SS office.
__________________
Pas de lieu Rhône que nous.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2011, 06:24 AM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: anywhere usa
Posts: 246
I would not consider a home safe for security reasons. It's an obvious target and the home owner and/or their family are the obvious key.

It makes me think of this kxcd:

xkcd: Security
__________________

__________________
pimpmyretirement is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can 95% Safe = 100% Safe? halo FIRE and Money 3 10-14-2008 07:56 PM
Is 4% really safe? Jim666 FIRE and Money 75 04-04-2006 09:06 AM
where safe 2% plus searcher FIRE and Money 9 02-09-2005 01:55 PM
Safe and how much searcher FIRE and Money 3 01-07-2005 01:33 PM
"Is the Safe Withdrawal Rate TOO Safe?" Nords FIRE and Money 13 10-20-2004 11:36 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:13 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.