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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 12-19-2020, 06:36 AM   #81
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Well my next step is getting rid of these coins. Younger family members don't really care. It is a collection of proof sets (some silver) and lots of older silver coins. I'll still keep the gold, which I only have a limited amount of.

I don't feel like dealing with the problem during Covid. And I'm not sure how to even start once it is done.
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Old 12-19-2020, 07:52 AM   #82
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With a home safe, I think you need to keep in mind the risks you are trying to guard against. My brother had a fairly large combination safe. Burglers broke in and ripped out the safe and took it away to open at their leisure. Turned out it just had legal papers in it - nothing of value. They were ultimately caught but not before they dumped the remains of the safe and its contents into the river. They did a lot of damage removing the safe. I have a not-too-big fireproof safe for semi-important paperwork at home but I leave the door closed but not locked. Figure that if someone breaks in I'd rather have them open it easily and see that there's nothing of value rather than stealing it. Since it is fireproof, at least I have some protection against that risk.
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Old 12-19-2020, 08:17 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by misanman View Post
... I have a not-too-big fireproof safe for semi-important paperwork at home but I leave the door closed but not locked. Figure that if someone breaks in I'd rather have them open it easily and see that there's nothing of value rather than stealing it. Since it is fireproof, at least I have some protection against that risk.
I think leaving it unlocked makes it less fire safe. It may not be properly sealed. More importantly, if hit with a water hose, or if the floor it's on collapses, the safe would likely come open. I'd suggest locking it, but leaving the key in the lock, or on top of the safe, in the hope that the thief would open the safe and pretty quickly see that there's nothing worth taking.
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Old 12-19-2020, 08:21 AM   #84
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For improved fire protection, do you think putting your most important stuff in a fireproof bag would help? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WVC24BP

My thinking is that it takes some time for the safe to be compromised, and once it is, it takes additional time for the bag to be compromised. Maybe by then the firefighters would have settled the fire down, or the fire might have burned itself down. Nothing is totally fool proof, but this seems like a reasonable and inexpensive way to add some protection.
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Old 12-19-2020, 08:38 AM   #85
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I'd suggest locking it, but leaving the key in the lock, or on top of the safe, in the hope that the thief would open the safe and pretty quickly see that there's nothing worth taking.
Great suggestion. I'll plan to do that.

The guys that broke in weren't the brightest. They took his computer and printer but they didn't bother unplugging them, they just used side cutters to cut the cables. Also, he had stickers on the equipment with his name and phone number. They didn't bother to remove them. So the next day they cart this equipment into a pawn shop and there happens to be a state police investigator in the pawn shop on another matter. He notes the cut cables and the labels and he calls my brother from the number on the sticker, finds out that there was a break in the night before and detains the thieves. They recovered the equipment but it was too late for the safe.
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Old 12-19-2020, 08:41 AM   #86
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I have one also. However, please note that virtually all banks limit their liability for any items in a safe deposit box to around $10,000.00. I recently read the Wells Fargo Lease when they sent me a new one and I was surprised to see the $10,000 limitation on their liability. The Lease also included the following disclaimer:

YOU AGREE THAT BASED ON YOUR AGREEMENT NOT TO PLACE CONTENTS IN YOUR BOX
AT ANY TIME WITH AN AGGREGATE VALUE IN EXCESS OF $10,000 WELLS FARGOíS MAXIMUM LIABILITY WILL BE
LIMITED TO $10,000 WITH RESPECT TO ANY CLAIM ARISING OUT OF, OR RELATED TO, THE LEASE AGREEMENT

REALLY!!!!

REALLY AGAIN!!!!

I checked with my insurance carrier and paid for additional coverage for the items of value in the box.

Check your safe deposit box lease carefully!
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Old 12-19-2020, 10:00 AM   #87
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I have followed this thread hoping to find a better way.. Here are my issues.

1) Yes I have a short skinny box at the bank. I keep original Birth Certificates, Marriage Licenses, DD214, Saveings Bonds waiting for full maturity, some gold coins...

I have made copies of all of the certificates. Recently had to renew a DL in TEXAS. They would not accept a copy of my birth certificate so I had to go to the bank.

If I kept these at home what would happen if home is broken into? They would steal the box unless it is in some very hidden/ heavy box. Crooks can ransack a place in no time.

What home box do you use to prevent the box from being stolen?
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Old 12-19-2020, 10:23 AM   #88
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Some other ideas I have, none of which I do:

- Get a big heavy safe that they won't be able to carry

- Cement a safe to an unfinished basement floor

- Put it behind a wall in a way that's accessible but behind the studs so it can't be lifted out without taking down the wall. Better to do this pre-construction, but it could be done later with a little carpentry. Where you could do it might be an issue. Perhaps on a wall to a closet or under the stairs, and you also box in the closet side.

- Have a "dummy" safe that's easy to find, with some faked paperwork you won't miss if it's gone, and hide your real safe as best you can, hoping that don't go looking for a second one.

With time and tools they could probably defeat any of these, but I'd think that a thief would rather limit their time inside.
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Old 12-19-2020, 10:50 AM   #89
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We just donít have such valuable stuff to worry about. Important papers are in a fireproof lock box in the basement.
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Old 12-19-2020, 11:11 AM   #90
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Auto titles, instance policies,valuable coins?
Titles would be there as well. Insurance policies are just in our file cabinet. We do have some coins, but itís mostly inherited jewelry that we have that weíre trying to come up with a place to keep
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Old 12-19-2020, 11:15 AM   #91
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A friend told me she hides jewelry in her kids games!

Another said she attached a flat file behind her filing cabinet and stores some valuables in there. She figures no one is going to move the cabinet away from the wall.

Both said they have small fire boxes and they do leave a little money and trinkets in it so a thief will hopefully think thereís nothing else hidden.

Still trying to come up with our best option
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Old 12-19-2020, 11:25 AM   #92
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To protect against water getting into a SD box or safe, keep items in ziploc bags. And note that most bank SD rules specifically prohibit keeping cash in the box (so they can't be liable if there's an issue). You can get your own insurance for items but it's unlikely it would cover cash beyond a modest amount.
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Old 12-20-2020, 10:20 AM   #93
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We have a safe, large enough important docss, coins, cash stash, passports, jewelry etc.

My late father had a safe deposit box, luckily my name was on his account. But he lived in Florida and the safe box was in Maine. I live on neither. five hour drive each way to empty and close the account.
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Old 12-20-2020, 10:32 AM   #94
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No, closed it years ago. Have a safe at home.
How does one keep the bad guys from just picking up the safe and leaving with it? Or is it just for fire protection? Or is it a huge gun safe that is not going to be carried away?
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Old 12-20-2020, 11:50 AM   #95
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You can bolt down any size safe to slow down a thief.
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Old 12-20-2020, 01:19 PM   #96
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You can bolt down any size safe to slow down a thief.

I don't want to slow down a thief. I feel that the sooner a thief finds and takes what he wants and gets out of my house, the better off DW and I are. The shorter the time they are in the house, the less likely we are to come home to them in the process. If they get what they want while we are sleeping, the less likely they will be upset and wake us up to get other valuables. Paper can be replaced. Life cannot.

Car titles, birth certs etc can be replaced with certified ones. Those are just as good. We have our closing papers from our home purchase 16 yrs ago. I never received a clear title after paying off our mortgage. Nor did I ever hand over a home title when selling. I think all the real important docs are just recorded at the county courthouse.

Precious metal coins (not collectibles) are essentially worth their metal value. A blob of gold from a fire is still worth the same as a nicely. Collectibles that are kept in a bank SDB are not worth collecting IMO.

I'm sure others don't feel the same as I.
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Old 12-22-2020, 09:45 AM   #97
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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.


I have a fireproof safe and two bank safe deposit boxes at two different banks.
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Old 12-22-2020, 10:18 AM   #98
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I'm not so much worried about fires. Can get the aforementioned fireproof box for that. Or theft. Small probability plus you can hide it in under the floorboards or something. Most burglars want in-and-out, hit-the-road-jack. They only ransack houses if they have some reason to think you have something grand in there. The big stamp collection. Lotta guns. Massive guitar collection etc.

I'm worried about my house getting hit by a tornado. Well, I don't actually worry about it. It's a smaller probability than getting robbed I guess, but I see it as one thing I really can't do anything about. BOOM! S....tuff goes flying for miles. There's no "there" left to go back to and retrieve it from.

That's the main reason I have some irreplaceables in a bank vault miles away. Less likely two places get hot by the same twister and if the bank gets hit it's all concrete and steel which is stronger than wood and vinyl siding
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Old 01-01-2021, 08:04 AM   #99
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I'm not so much worried about fires. Can get the aforementioned fireproof box for that. Or theft. Small probability plus you can hide it in under the floorboards or something. Most burglars want in-and-out, hit-the-road-jack.They only ransack houses if they have some reason to think you have something grand in there. The big stamp collection. Lotta guns. Massive guitar collection etc.
Many recommend a two-tiered approach:

Small safe in the bedroom closet with things you can afford to lose.

Plus the real safe...preferably flush-mount in the concrete slab floor, with carpet and a big piece of furniture over top of it.
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Old 01-01-2021, 08:18 AM   #100
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Many recommend a two-tiered approach:

Small safe in the bedroom closet with things you can afford to lose.

Plus the real safe...preferably flush-mount in the concrete slab floor, with carpet and a big piece of furniture over top of it.

I think some here have mentioned that the in-floor/concrete slab thing isn't always feasible however, the general approach is worth doing it twice. Have the low-value safe conspicuous, the red herring that appears to make their job easier, and that way they probably won't go looking for the real goodies. My brother uses a decoy. The safe with the keyes in it and phony papers marked "old insurance Documents." Having grown up with the police and hearing all the safety first / cop-talk, smash and grab burglars want it fast and easy and they're 99% of break-ins. They won't spare the time to look for anything that doesn't fit the profile so to speak. There's always the exception but that would vary by location
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