Think your valuables are secure in a safe deposit box stored in a vault at a trusted facility? Think again.
When the FBI raided the US Private Vaults in Beverly Hills, reportedly looking for drug cartel money, some customers were outraged whentheir valuables—silver coins, priceless heirlooms, jewelry, and cash—were also confiscated. About 800 safe deposit boxes were opened and over $86 million in property was seized. Unfortunately, innocent customers had their items seized along with the alleged cartel money. Some customers have filed a class-action complaint against the acting US attorney in Los Angeles and the head of the FBI’s LA field office. They simply want their property returned.
June 2021 Update: Judge blocks FBI from keeping valuables seized from safe deposit boxes in Beverly Hills raid.
Renting a safe deposit box to keep valuables secure should have bought peace of mind; instead, it resulted in stress and worry. One way to alleviate concern about asset forfeiture is to find a safe deposit box alternative.
Safe-deposit box alternatives
Depending upon what you need to store, there are excellent safe deposit box alternatives available. For example, if you are concerned with protecting documents such as passports, birth certificates, or tax records, a fireproof/waterproof safe will be a great choice. If you store a flash drive or DVD with sensitive digital media, consider a data media safe that offers protection from fire, water, and theft. Jewelry and cash should be kept in a burglar fire safe for an extra layer of protection.
Burglar fire safes make a great alternative
Storing items worth less than 50,000? A burglar fire safe is the gold standard in home safes—it protects items from theft and shields the contents from fire damage. These composite safes are specifically designed to meet both threats. They undergo rigorous testing before earning fire-safe ratings and UL burglar ratings. Once you anchor the safe to concrete or wood floors, you’ve made it much more difficult for a thief to make off with the safe and crack it later. And with a fire-rated safe that passed laboratory testing and demonstrated it could maintain an internal temperature below 350 degrees, your documents and money will be secure for the specified number of minutes/hours.Storing valuables that are worth more than $50,000? A high-security safe is the ultimate in protection--an incredibly burglar-resistant choice designed to protect high-value property 50,000 and above.
Burglar ratings consist of manufacture standards and Underwriters Laboratory burglar ratings. Of course, for insurance purposes it's always suggested to reach out to your broker for additional recommendations on content value storage.
There are many types of Fire Ratings. Safe Manufacturers will provide testing from a variety of sources such as:
- Private Laboratory Testing
- K.I.S. (Korean Industrial Standard) Fire Test
- U.L. (Underwriters Laboratory) Class of Fire Protection
Consider all of your options
No storage solution is 100% secure from loss; therefore, the best way to leverage the odds in your favor is to do your research, reach out to a home security and safe professional, consult with your insurance broker, and diversify your storage locations.
As times change and people are looking for safe places to stash their valuables, safe deposit boxes at banks or vaults are losing their appeal. Some American banks aren’t even installing them in their new branches. Therefore, now is the time to consider an alternative to a safe deposit box.
Pro Tip: Don't forget the more valuables you accumulate, the more you should utilize several methods of storage.
Please give one of our safe professionals a call at 800-207-2259 today! We can help you find just the right safe-deposit box alternative at a price you can afford.