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View Poll Results: Do you have a Bank Safe Deposit Box?
Yes. It is very important to me/us. 87 34.52%
Yes. Not sure why. 25 9.92%
No. I/we am thinking about getting one. 15 5.95%
No. I/we keep the valuables and important documents in other places. 125 49.60%
Voters: 252. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-11-2020, 08:26 PM   #21
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I'd hope someone who had a fireproof safe and had their house burn down will post.

My feeling, and the little news I got from CA fires was that fireproof safes just burn/char everything inside as they are only good for 1 hour at relatively low temps.
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I had quite a few friends lose their homes to the Santa Rosa fires in 2017. A couple of them had fireproof safes at home, and the safes were completely destroyed in the fire. This was a huge regional fire that burned thousands of houses to the ground, though, with no attempt to fight the fire at individual houses. I suspect that the safes are intended for situations where a home partially burns and the fire is put out by the fire department, not where the home burns unimpeded to the ground.

We keep paper bonds, coins, and some jewelry in a safety deposit box at a local credit union. That credit union came within a quarter mile of being engulfed in the 2017 fire. Wouldn't that have been ironic?!
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Old 12-11-2020, 08:36 PM   #22
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We have a fairly large one. Hubster has some artwork. We also keep the passports, data backup, birth and marriage certs.

The data backup is important - it's always good to offsite storage. I've heard that disks/usbs/etc can get damaged, even inside a fire safe, if it's an intense fire.
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Old 12-11-2020, 09:37 PM   #23
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Bank safe deposit box, but there are many problems/risks with bank safe-deposit boxes.

Never liked the idea of an at-home safe because I assume (?) it's the first thing thieves will take, try to break into, or force me to open for them.
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Old 12-11-2020, 09:38 PM   #24
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I have a fire resistant box at home that I keep important papers.


I do have a safe deposit box that was my mom's. Trying to convince DW that we should move stuff to that but without success so far.
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Old 12-11-2020, 09:46 PM   #25
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Our attorneys have an original of the wills, Trusts and POAs. Our originals are in a safe. All files are backed up into Carbonite and on a secure site our attorney has. If we had a fire and papers in the safe didn’t survive, our attorney has them. Deeds are all recorded with the counties.
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Old 12-11-2020, 10:20 PM   #26
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Yep.

Numismatic coins and jewelry.
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Old 12-11-2020, 11:39 PM   #27
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I had quite a few friends lose their homes to the Santa Rosa fires in 2017. A couple of them had fireproof safes at home, and the safes were completely destroyed in the fire. This was a huge regional fire that burned thousands of houses to the ground, though, with no attempt to fight the fire at individual houses. I suspect that the safes are intended for situations where a home partially burns and the fire is put out by the fire department, not where the home burns unimpeded to the ground.
We have a bank safe deposit box, and also a home safe. The home safe is a smaller business safe with a 2 hour fire rating that I installed. The instructions took great pains to say that it is "fire resistant", not "fire-proof". Also that media memory should not be stored in it, as the internal temp can rise high enough in the 2 hours to destroy it. Also to let firemen know where the safe is if present at fire. I had talked with our fire chief at the time about residential fires. He said that unless there is a suspicion that someone is still inside, most residential fire fighting is containment, not structure saving. No entering a burning house to fight from inside. He said that if someone pointed out where a safe was, they could douse that area more after they had a pretty good handle on the fire. And that they could help in the recovery of the safe during ember watch time afterwards, if it would not compromise an investigation as to the source of ignition. And only if it was safe for them to do so, no roof or second story about to collapse on them.

People have told me that they "have a fireproof box at home", and they have been portable boxes with a lid that opens. The only way those are fire-anything is if the person is there, and grabs the box on their way out!

So your suspicions about safes is right on!
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Old 12-12-2020, 05:43 AM   #28
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We don't have one, but we should. Primary concern is digital assets that aren't backed up off-site.
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Old 12-12-2020, 05:46 AM   #29
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I'd hope someone who had a fireproof safe and had their house burn down will post.

My feeling, and the little news I got from CA fires was that fireproof safes just burn/char everything inside as they are only good for 1 hour at relatively low temps.

I am eligible for a free safety deposit box, but will admit, being too lazy to go claim and use it. Pretty stupid of me really.
This is why we haven't pulled the trigger on a fire-proof safe. I started to do research, and it was very fuzzy whether paper/hard drives would survive.
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Old 12-12-2020, 05:57 AM   #30
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I have a "fireproof and waterproof" box in the house and retain copies of documents at my parents house out of state as well. I have a monitored alarm and am 3-5 blocks from police and fire. I have minimal valuables so any thief will be largely disappointed.
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Old 12-12-2020, 06:17 AM   #31
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Yes. It is free since DW used to work there (retirement benefit).

I answered "not sure why" because I'd like to migrate most of the stuff out of there. What is important is an inventory and set of photos of our house and stuff in case we have a complete loss. What isn't important are some coins. They have value, but I'd like to just get rid of them for a fair price. I'm done with the coin thing.
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Old 12-12-2020, 07:51 AM   #32
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We have one but I'm considering dropping it. We have a bunch of silver coins, some important papers, and our rotating data backup. Increasingly using cloud backup so maybe we will eventually stop using the box. Currently, thousands of photos are not really part of our cloud backup so our off site backup for those is in the box.
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Old 12-12-2020, 08:04 AM   #33
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Yes, we have one in a bank for important documents. When I researched fire proof boxes I was not impressed with how much heat at various lengths of time they would be effective. So, we think something off-site is better for us.
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Old 12-12-2020, 08:27 AM   #34
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We gave it up years ago. I can't think of single document we have that can't be replaced relatively easily. All data is backed up in the cloud. No jewelry that DW would for some reason want to squirrel-away at a bank and no coins.
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Old 12-12-2020, 10:56 AM   #35
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I have a safe deposit box at our bank where I keep a computer backup drive and our passports. I backup to a local external drive nightly, then swap that drive with the one in our safe deposit box about once a month.

Remember, there are more risks than fire, including floods, tornado, hurricanes, theft, landslides, etc. In the case of a backup drive, the drive itself can fail even if you don't encounter a major disaster. Multiple backups in multiple locations is key.

I do have a small fire safe here at home too. We keep things like our wedding certificate, death certificates, home records, etc. in it. Important papers for sure, but nothing that couldn't be replaced if needed. Whenever possible, I scan and digitize these papers so I have a digital copy I can backup regularly.

The home fire safe is only rated for one hour, so it certainly wouldn't survive a forest fire if we weren't here to take the safe before the fire got here. It's also not rated for media. It may prevent paper from burning, but flash drives or optical discs don't stand a chance. They do make media fire safes, but you're still vulnerable to the situations listed above.

These days I try to have a digital version of every document possible. That's all of our bills, property tax statements, birth/death/wedding certificates, etc. Once it's in digital form, I have a copy on my computer, two backup drives (each in a different location), and the most important documents get burned to a BluRay data disc as another layer of protection.
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Old 12-12-2020, 11:09 AM   #36
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We have a very well hidden fireproof safe.
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Old 12-12-2020, 11:27 AM   #37
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Our (former) bank discontinued safety deposit boxes about 15 years ago, and our new bank doesn't have them. So we bought a fireproof safe, and we've never looked back.

We have backups of everything possible, and valuables are insured. Good enough for me.
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Old 12-12-2020, 11:33 AM   #38
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When we moved here a decade or more ago and transferred our account to a local branch, we were offered a no charge box and took it. (Never used, and the key's still around here somewhere.)

In the interim we keep whatever valuables in the top drawer of the.......Oops, never mind
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Old 12-12-2020, 11:36 AM   #39
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Yes, it's cheap and easily accessible. DH and DS #3 are also authorized to access. Told DS, if either one of us is terminally ill, go down and empty the box.

That's the one draw-back. Had to do that with DM. DF and I were down at the bank crying. Bank staff - "Did anyone die?" Us - "Not yet."

Wills/ POAs should be easily accessible.
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Old 12-12-2020, 11:40 AM   #40
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Yes, it's cheap and easily accessible. DH and DS #3 are also authorized to access. Told DS, if either one of us is terminally ill, go down and empty the box.



That's the one draw-back. Had to do that with DM. DF and I were down at the bank crying. Bank staff - "Did anyone die?" Us - "Not yet."



Wills/ POAs should be easily accessible.

Another drawback is where to keep the key? They can easily be lost in a fire, flood, tornado or other catastrophe. In my family, it could just be lost!
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