5 Things to Know about Safe Deposit Boxes and Home Safes

January 4, 2022

Safeguarding your valuables can be worrisome. There are many things you have to consider, including where to put them and how much you want to pay for their safety. Sure, you can hide your valuables under your mattress with all that cash you’ve been stashing away. But that’s probably not a great idea.

Over time, your valuables change, and so do your options to protect them. Here are a few choices, including safe deposit boxes and home safes, along with suggestions on how to assess each option for your specific needs.

  • Think about what should or should not be kept in a bank’s safe deposit box:

Good candidates for a safe deposit box include originals of critical documents, such as birth certificates, property deeds, car titles and Prize Bonds that haven’t been converted into electronic securities.

Other possibilities for the box include family keepsakes, valuable collections, pictures or videos of your home’s contents for insurance purposes, and irreplaceable photos.

  • It’s better to stash cash in a bank deposit account like a savings account or certificate of deposit, than in a home safe or a safe deposit box:

It’s important to know that cash stored in a safe deposit box is not protected by insurance—only money deposited to an account is protected. Also consider that money in a savings account earns interest while any money you keep in a home safe or safe deposit box doesn’t so the ability to grow your cash decreases.

  • Be mindful not to use your bank safe deposit box to store anything you might need to access quickly or when the bank is not open:

That could include passports and originals of your “powers of attorney” that authorize others to transact business or make decisions about medical care on your behalf. For guidance on where to store your original will, check with an attorney about what is required or recommended based on state law.

  • A home safe is a better option for certain types of items:

A home safe may be a better option for keeping replaceable items you may need immediate access to such as a passport. Other items to keep at home would be bank and broker statements, originals of your “powers of attorney” and your original will. You may want to check with an attorney for guidance on what is required or recommended based on state law for storing your will.

  • No safe deposit box is protected from theft, fire, flood or other loss or damage:

Consider taking precautions, such as protecting against water damage by placing items in water-safe, zippered plastic bags or other resealable plastic containers. And, don’t keep identifying information on or near your safe deposit box key, such as the box number and the bank’s name, in case of loss or theft.

Items You Shouldn’t Keep In a Safety Deposit Box

You can access your safety deposit box during banking hours, which means you won’t be able to get into it on holidays and, in some cases, on weekends. Store items you know you won’t need in an emergency. Passports, medical directives, the only copies of wills and powers of attorney, and other documents that you may suddenly need are better kept in a secure spot at home, such as a fireproof home safe that’s bolted to the floor or wall.

Pro tip: Safe deposit boxes can’t be accessed 24/7, so don’t put anything in them that you might need in a hurry.

You’re better off keeping the following items out of your safe deposit box:

  1. Passports
  2. The only copies of important documents
  3. The only copies of your will
  4. Valuables you haven’t insured
  5. Cash
  6. Anything illegal

In Conclusion:

While safe deposit boxes have been offered by banks for about 150 years—with various other types of safekeeping offered long before that—fewer people today are renting safe deposit boxes, opting instead for digital storage and home safes.

Get yourself a domestic safe today! With a wide range of models, locking mechanisms and colors to choose from, Gujrat Steel’s brand, Tejori Safes & Security Equipment, has something for everyone.

Contact us today and let our experts guide you!