Author Topic: Safe or safe deposit box?  (Read 5369 times)

Prepube

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Safe or safe deposit box?
« on: January 03, 2015, 08:32:02 PM »
At Christmas, one of my very nosy houseguest family members was rooting around in my home office and found my passport and a few other things I should have put away in a safer place.  A long and alcohol distorted discussion ensued about where to keep "important papers" and id's.  Please help settle this argument.  Do you have a safe at home, or use a bank safe deposit box?  Is there any paper you have that is not replaceable?  I was accused of being careless, but all my financial stuff is backed up or entirely online at my banks or in the cloud, and I really don't have that many valuable things I don't feel safe leaving on a shelf (other than a 5000.00 bottle of tequila that was a present: I keep it locked up to prevent someone from opening it accidentally).

So, what say you?  Lock papers up in a safe, or just throw them in a drawer?

geekette

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Re: Safe or safe deposit box?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2015, 08:35:14 PM »
Fireproof safe, at home, mostly so I (and others) know where to look for important papers.  Nothing like searching for your passport the night before a trip!

James

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Re: Safe or safe deposit box?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2015, 08:39:58 PM »
I keep my valuables in a fire safe, just a fairly inexpensive one from Sam's club I got about 12 years ago. It has a keypad for quick access and can be bolted into the floor if you wish.

I don't keep any bank statements or other financials in there, just passports, birth certificates, etc. Also a handgun, the safe keeps it away from the kids, yet still provides quick access to a loaded gun if needed.

Really it's a pretty personal question, no right or wrong answers. Much like data backup, need to make it fit your circumstances and needs.

Prepube

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Re: Safe or safe deposit box?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2015, 09:05:48 PM »
I agree it's a personal decision that needs to fit the circumstances.  And yes, please lock up the guns away from the kids.  But really, is there anything else that must be kept so secure?  Bad guys can pretty much have what they want in today's world, so why worry about it? 

Spork

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Re: Safe or safe deposit box?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2015, 09:56:39 PM »

I have both a fireproof "safe" and a safety deposit box.  I use quotes because... you can pick it up and carry it off.  It isn't a real safe.  (We've considered a real safe... never pulled the trigger.)

The fireproof safe has a few papers: passport, social security card, flight log
The safety deposit has things we don't access much: life insurance stuff, car titles, house deed, quarterly computer backups on dvd

waltworks

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Re: Safe or safe deposit box?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2015, 10:10:55 PM »
IMO, basically anything printed on paper that you might need now is also on a computer somewhere and as such, inherently not secure. I might make some minimal effort to protect documents from fire just to save some hassle but really, if someone wants to steal dusty old car titles and mortgage docs, more power to them. They'd be better off stealing the TP.

Property crime is so crazy low at this point in the US it's ridiculous, too (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/1tabledatadecoverviewpdf/table_1_crime_in_the_united_states_by_volume_and_rate_per_100000_inhabitants_1993-2012.xls) The chances of your house being buglarized are pretty darn low unless you live in the ghetto somewhere (cue anecdotes...)

If you have some portable family heirlooms that have some actual value or like to hoard cash, I'd probably do the SDB at the bank, just to reduce clutter. But that's just me. If you're going to have a gun, I'd do a dedicated gun safe/locker of some kind rather than putting all my other crap in with it.

-W

DCJrMustachian

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Re: Safe or safe deposit box?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2015, 11:26:06 PM »
As for the gun safe, kids are amazing at figuring out their parents "security" systems and if it is in the house the kids essentially have unlimited curiosity and physical access to the safe door.  Best practice is to keep the gun unloaded, and the ammunition locked separately (perhaps in a locked case within the safe?) 

If you are worried about needing the handgun for home defense, you may want to go with a less lethal method that is more readily accessible such as a baseball bat / stun gun.

surfhb

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Re: Safe or safe deposit box?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2015, 12:57:46 AM »
All my important papers are put in a drawer next to my bed.    It's extremely rare that the avg person would be burglarized and even more rare they'd take your house deed, car title or passport.   

Americans love to live in fear of some non existing boogie man.....spending millions on needless security measures, walking around with concealed weapons, ect

Also, a baseball bat is 100x more effective than a locked up hand gun.    If you really feel a gun is warranted for home protection than you will have more success with a shotgun.

Btw..... Tell us more about your tequila please.   I'm intrigued
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 01:06:14 AM by surfhb »

DCJrMustachian

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Re: Safe or safe deposit box?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2015, 02:31:39 AM »
Funnily enough, I got into an argument about the safety of safes the other day, too. The person I was talking with claims that those "fireproof" home safes are not actually fireproof. They said they meltdown at a certain point, or that the contents inside aren't protected from high temps and will incinerate. What do you all think about this claim? I rolled my eyes, but maybe I don't know enough about fire science/melting points/whatever.

"Fireproof" is certainly a relative term.  A fireproof safe won't combust and insulates the contents to a certain degree but a sustained, high amount of heat will still raise the temp of items in the safe to the point that things inside will reach combustion or melting temps.  My sister's house burned down to the ground and the guns they had in the "fireproof" safe melted.  (she and her husband, and all the cats made it out in time.)

Also certain types of fires such as fuel and gas fires will burn hot enough to melt items in a safe.

surfhb

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Re: Safe or safe deposit box?
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2015, 02:37:20 AM »
All my important papers are put in a drawer next to my bed.    It's extremely rare that the avg person would be burglarized and even more rare they'd take your house deed, car title or passport.   

Americans love to live in fear of some non existing boogie man.....spending millions on needless security measures, walking around with concealed weapons, ect

Also, a baseball bat is 100x more effective than a locked up hand gun.    If you really feel a gun is warranted for home protection than you will have more success with a shotgun.

Btw..... Tell us more about your tequila please.   I'm intrigued

YES. I love this whole post.

One thing I do fear, though: Fire. You don't worry about that with the papers in your drawer? Maybe you have electronic backups or something.

Funnily enough, I got into an argument about the safety of safes the other day, too. The person I was talking with claims that those "fireproof" home safes are not actually fireproof. They said they meltdown at a certain point, or that the contents inside aren't protected from high temps and will incinerate. What do you all think about this claim? I rolled my eyes, but maybe I don't know enough about fire science/melting points/whatever.

I'd imagine a fire destroying my home is an even more unlikely event.    My passport, SS card, home deed and birth certificates are worthless and can replaced easily.    What do I care?   My house just burned down.   Haha.   

If I owned anything of value it would go in a safe deposit box..... But I don't so don't worry about it :)

Fishingmn

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Re: Safe or safe deposit box?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2015, 06:19:15 AM »
We have a safe deposit box. Titles, wills, Certificates, USB with all of our pictures, passports. It's like $30/year for peace of mind.

Spork

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Re: Safe or safe deposit box?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2015, 07:26:01 AM »
I agree it's a personal decision that needs to fit the circumstances.  And yes, please lock up the guns away from the kids.  But really, is there anything else that must be kept so secure?  Bad guys can pretty much have what they want in today's world, so why worry about it?

Just a testament to a nice gun safe.  (And these are made to hold much more than guns.)   My wife's best friend had their house burglarized.  They managed to drag the massive gun safe about 3 feet.  They wailed on it with a Sawzall and a pry bar.  The safe was effectively destroyed, but the contents were not lost.

They are also useful (to a point) in a fire (depending on fire rating of the safe). 

GizmoTX

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Re: Safe or safe deposit box?
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2015, 07:44:39 AM »
We installed a large safe when we had our present house built; it is very heavy & impossible to remove without removing a wall. Since it is also fire safe, we discontinued our safety deposit box, & it's much more convenient. We store all identity items, like passports, birth & marriage certificates, titles, estate planning documents, some cash, backup drives, guns, & some items when we travel: laptops & jewelry.

Spork

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Re: Safe or safe deposit box?
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2015, 08:23:58 AM »

"Fireproof" is certainly a relative term.  A fireproof safe won't combust and insulates the contents to a certain degree but a sustained, high amount of heat will still raise the temp of items in the safe to the point that things inside will reach combustion or melting temps.  My sister's house burned down to the ground and the guns they had in the "fireproof" safe melted.  (she and her husband, and all the cats made it out in time.)

Also certain types of fires such as fuel and gas fires will burn hot enough to melt items in a safe.


Ah. Good to know. I guess it's good that I have one external HD offsite, then. My digital backups are the main thing I want to protect since I haven't gotten around to doing a cloud-based backup service yet.

Yeah, I would say you shouldn't count on a firesafe for a hard disk/tapes/dvds/etc.   You can buy a safe rated to hold them...  but it's going to be very expensive.  Safes are rated for internal temps per hour.   So you'd be looking for < 100 degree internal temps for some number of hours.   Most folks are looking for < 350 degrees for X hours.  This handles paper, guns, etc.

OSUBearCub

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Re: Safe or safe deposit box?
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2015, 09:42:24 AM »
I think the more important lock might be the one on the door to your office when drunken family is welcomed into your home! That was terribly rude for anyone under any circumstances to be rummaging through your desk. :-/

I live "hood adjacent" and have invested in a portable fire safe but plan to upgrade to a bolted-down safe.  I'm only going to store the items that would be super easy for a 16 year old gang member to use/pawn (physical credit cards I don't carry, grandpa's watch, college ring, etc) and the things that would be a PITA to replace (auto title, passport, computer usb backup stick/insurance photos).