Posts Tagged ‘home safes’

Bank Deposit Boxes, Not as Safe as You Thought!

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

Did you know that there are no rules or laws requiring banks to reimburse customers if valuables in their “safe” deposit boxes are stolen or destroyed?

According to The New York Times, “There are no federal laws governing the boxes; no rules require banks to compensate customers if their property is stolen or destroyed.”

There are countless stories of banks losing customer’s boxes and contents. This isn’t the type of theft that’s easily taken care of in court either. It’s rare that those who’ve been stolen from are compensated much, if any. The banks have the upper hand. In many cases, it’s the fine print that results in the ultimate loss for the customer.

In one such case, a couple in Universal City, CA leased a safe deposit box for their jewelry, cash, gemstones and family heirlooms while their house was being renovated. They paid $246 for a one-year rental. When the wife went to pick up the items just 9 months later, they were gone. The Bank of America location was closing, and all boxes had been emptied. The bank claimed to have mailed notices to all customers, but they never got one.

While a jury initially awarded the couple $2.5 million for lost items and an additional $2 million for punitive damages, Bank of America challenged the verdict, arguing that any recovery should be restricted by the terms detailed in its rental contract: “The bank’s liability for any loss in connection with the box for whatever reason shall not exceed ten (10) times the annual rent charged for the box.” At the end of the day, the judge reduced compensation to $2,460 and cut the punitive damages to $150,000.

The victim recounted the trial saying, “We were shocked, furious and in disbelief that such a thing could happen. The attorneys were throwing stupid counter arguments at us, asking, ‘Why would you put so many valuables in the safe deposit box?’ We were like, where else do you want us to put it? The word ‘safe’ is supposed to mean ‘safe.’”

Bank of America’s terms aren’t unlike many of their competitors. “Wells Fargo’s safe-deposit-box contract caps the bank’s liability at $500. Citigroup limits it to 500 times the box’s annual rent, while JPMorgan Chase has a $25,000 ceiling on its liability.“

In an interview by The New York Times, David P. McGuinn, the founder of Safe Deposit Specialists, an industry consulting firm said, “The big banks fight tooth and nail, and prolong and delay — whatever it takes to wear people down. The larger the claim, the more likely they are to battle it for years.”

A word of advice, don’t depend on banks. Get yourself a quality home safe. Not one from Costco nor Walmart that any smash and grab burglar can break into. Look for UL certification to give you confidence you are buying trustworthy security.

At Maximum Security and Casoro Jewelry Safes we provide high-quality safes and help clients design and select just the right one, providing convenience, protection and most importantly peace of mind.

Fires Prove Time and Again…No Match for AMSEC Fire Safes

Monday, September 16th, 2013

When the only thing left standing after a rampaging fire is your fire safe with precious valuables inside, unaffected by the disaster, that’s the moment of confirmation when you think: “Yes. This is exactly why I invested in a high quality safe.”

Don Koester, owner of Four Lakes Chelan Winery in Chelan, WA, had the same thought when his wine-bottling warehouse went up in flames in May 2013. Koester’s AMSEC safe with fire protection held his extensive and irreplaceable coin and stamp collection, among other valuables.

After the fire, Koester saw his safe, but remained afraid…would the safe’s assured fire protection really hold up to its promise? “I was devastated at my losses and it took this long to get my courage up,” he said.

When he finally did muster the courage to open the safe door, Koester was amazed: “lo and behold, nothing was damaged other than some smoke.”

Pray for the best, prepare for the worst, right?

Many times people think that the primary reason to get a safe is to protect their valuables against burglaries, but the home fire statistics may surprise you. In 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to 370,000 home structure fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association, which is proof why a safe’s fire rating is so important. (more…)

3 Important Considerations for Safeguarding your Valuables

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Success in life has many great benefits, including the ability to invest in objects of value. After working hard to acquire these items, you want to make sure that your valuables are protected, as certain items are easy to carry off and frequently the target of would-be thieves.

Enjoy the things that matter without fear or worry by taking the following precautions:

1.  Keep an Updated Inventory

Creating a catalogue of valuables will help ensure that everything is where it should be, and to more easily target an absence if something goes missing. In addition, you’ll be able to prove ownership to authorities or insurance agents in case of emergency. Having a dedicated file for receipts and notes about purchases is a great start in protecting these valuables. Keep electronic records by scanning these documents; you won’t have to worry about digging through the hard copies trying to find a proof of purchase. Another great way to start an inventory of your jewelry is to use a video camera to create a visual record. Walk through your house and narrate the video by describing each item as you film it, then upload the final product in a secure place. Make sure to redo your catalogue at least once a year – or more frequently depending on how often the content changes.

2.  Store Valuables in a Safe Location

There’s no better place to store truly irreplaceable items than behind a solid, locking door. You might think that you’ve found the “perfect hiding spot,” or that no one would have the opportunity to access your belongings, but you might be surprised at how many people come and go from your personal spaces on a regular basis. There’s always the chance that a burglar will break in to your home or place of work, but as with other crimes, often the responsible party is someone you know, such as an acquaintance, employee, or contractor. Finally, starting the habit of always putting your valuables in your safe will help you avoid the unfortunate scenario of wondering if you misplaced an important item, or if it was taken.

3.    Insure Valuables for the Right Amount

Normal homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover certain items, even if the value of those items falls within your limit for damages. Expensive items will most likely need to be cataloged and insured separately. An insurance agent will gladly help you find the amount of coverage that’s right for you, and will even come to your home or place of work at your convenience. Make sure to compare several offers and do some research before committing to a policy and prevent ending up with the wrong type of protection.

It doesn’t take a lot to save you the stress, anger, and potential heartache of lost or stolen treasures. Protect your valuable belongings using a secure, quality jewelry safe.

What tips can you give for protecting precious belongings? Give us your answers in the comment section below.

5 Simple Steps to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Dumpster DiveHelping you secure your valuables in quality safes is our primary business, at the same time we want to do what we can to help you stay safe in other areas as well.  Home safes, jewelry safes, and gun safes are an important part of your big picture security plan.  It is also important to protect your good name, your personal identity and your personal valuables.  Approximately 15 million United States residents have their identities used fraudulently each year with financial losses totaling upwards of $50 billion.  That means, 7% of all adults have their identities misused resulting in approximately $3,500 in damages per person.
How do identity thieves steal your personal information?  It could be as simple as dumpster diving; looking for old bills and documents that you haven’t properly disposed of, or as complex as people working in trusted positions such as medical offices or government agencies taking your personal information and using it in inappropriate ways.
While you can’t put all the elements of your personal identity in a security safe, there are ways to protect yourself and your information.

  • Read your credit reports, every 12 months you are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three nationwide credit companies (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion).  Visit Annual Credit Report to learn more about this.
  • Shred all documents that show personal information on them before you throw them away.  Check out Shred Wise to learn more about shredding options.
  • Install and USE a home security system to keep the bad guys OUT!
  • Don’t respond to anyone or anything asking for your personal information, and make sure if you are putting personal information on the web that the website is encrypted. Look for “https” at the beginning of the web address, the “s” stands for secure.
  • Don’t send information over a public wireless network to any website that isn’t full encrypted and secure.

If you are a victim of identity theft, immediately call one of the three credit reporting companies and post a fraud alert.  The first company will then contact the other two companies to ensure the your account is flagged at each of the agencies. Once the alert is posted it will remain there for 90 days.  You may also file a complaint, aka an FTC affidavit, with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).  Take this affidavit to your local police department and file a police report.  These documents combined comprise an identity theft report: for more information visit the FTC’s Identity Theft web page.

Time to Upgrade Your Home Safe to a Digital Lock?

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

MAXIMUM HIgh Security Digital LockDo you have a home safe or gun safe with a mechanical lock? You know it’s time to upgrade to a digital lock when:

  • You need to find your glasses before you can run the combo.
  • A flashlight must be found and used to dial the combo.
  • You lose count while dialing and have to run the combo 3 times before getting it right.
  • You have to pay a locksmith the big bucks to change the combination because you gave it to a friend or family member and now wish you hadn’t.
  • Your spouse closes the safe but doesn’t lock it because it’s too much of a hassle to open it.
  • $350,000 worth of valuables are stolen out of your safe because it wasn’t locked.

Yes, it’s true. We have a customer who was so frustrated with the mechanical lock on their home safe that they closed, but didn’t lock their safe and recently had $350,000 worth of jewelry and other valuables stolen. Ouch!

Terminology can be confusing; digital lock, electronic lock, high security electronic lock. These terms are often used interchangeably. The keypad is simply a communication device that allows the user to input the combination and transfer that information to the lock on the other side of the door, inside the safe. The reference to high security indicates that the lock has been tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratory for reliability and security. These locks are easy to use and allow you to set and change your own combination. They have been around for many years and are recognized by most, including Underwriters Laboratory, as highly reliable and secure.

High security digital or electronic locks are different from the electronic locks frequently found on wall safes and small inexpensive home safes. These types of safes often have lower quality electronic locks that have not been through the rigorous testing at Underwriters Laboratories. Lower quality locks may be attractive in price but they are a clear example of, you get what you pay for. They are not appropriate for use with a high quality home safe or gun safe.

Is it time to upgrade your safe to a high security electronic lock? If so, give us a call and we will discuss this with you further or get you scheduled for the work to be done.

Introducing Gun Safes & Home Safes by Winchester

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Winchester Gun & Home Safes

Here at Maximum Security Safes we are pleased to introduce our newest line of gun safes and home safes by Winchester Safes. They offer a variety of different models and sizes that are sure to fit your needs. Winchester is one of the best values in the security industry offering affordable pricing along with great burglary and fire ratings. We carry 2 lines of Winchester gun safes: Silverado Premier Series and Ranger Deluxe Series, and the Home and Office Series.

The Silverado Premier Series gun safes are offered in 3 sizes holding up to 54 guns and are constructed of 10 gauge steel. Silverado come with a 2 hour fire rating @ 1400°F and is less expensive than competitors that offer 30 and 60 minute fire ratings. They also offer great burglary protection with a UL listed lock and UL RSC label. Another cool feature of the Silverado is the power docking system with two 110V power outlets with Ethernet and USB.

The Ranger Deluxe Series gun safes are also offered in 3 sizes holding up to 51 guns. The Ranger Deluxe Series is one of the best valued gun safes on the market today. The Ranger 19 is priced at $999 and comes with a 60 minute fire rating @ 1400°F. This stands in at an impressive 60”H x 28”W x 23”D holds up to 24 guns and has been flying off the showroom floor since we introduced the model. Both the Silverado and Ranger rifles safes come with a very nicely appointed interior door panel to store additional hand guns and documents. The Ranger gun safes also have a UL tested high security lock and carry the UL RSC label for burglar security.

The Home and Office Series are the most popular home safes we carry. They are burglary tested by UL and pass a 75 minute fire test @ 1400°F. This series comes in 2 sizes and offers great value for a multi-purpose office and home safe. These safes come standard with locking drawers, great to store your pistol or other item you want extra secure. The smaller WH7 comes with 1 drawer and the larger WH12 comes with 2 drawers, both include a key lock to secure the drawers giving you even more protection.

We are very excited to introduce Winchester Gun Safes and Winchester Home Safes to you; they are a great value and offer a safe that fits everyone’s needs. For assistance in selecting the Winchester Safe that is right for you call Maximum Security Safes today @ (800) 538-0600.

Fire Season Appears Normal, REALLY?

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

House Fire“Fire Season Appears Normal, For Now”, reads a recent headline in the Orange County Register. The term “normal” sounds ok to me. Normal, not great, not bad, just normal. But, as I began to read the article I realized that in the case of fire season in Southern California, normal isn’t such a good thing. Fire forecasters predict several large wildfires in the region during Summer and Fall, as is typical. What’s more, meteorologists go on to explain that the potential for fires will continue to grow as summer progresses. Changing weather conditions that occur as we get further into summer bring higher risk of blazes. Yikes! It’s time to think seriously about protecting our valuables in a fire resistant home safe .

We’ve all seen the effects of the Southern California wildfires. You may have been lucky enough to be spared personal impact and have only witnessed these fires on TV. Or you may feel this very personally, having been one of the many fire victims. Either way, you know that these fires are very real and extremely dangerous. Thousands of acres and hundreds of homes, not to mention lives, are destroyed each year by wildfires. Homes are often burned to the ground with only their safe for the home still standing.

Although there is little we can do to prevent these wildfires, we can do our best to prepare ourselves and protect our possessions. Owning a fire safe for your valuables and important papers is a good step in the right direction. A good home safe will give you a bit of peace of mind knowing that key documents and valued heirlooms have a fighting chance even if the rest of your house doesn’t.

In addition to using an in home safe, having an evacuation plan can literally be a life saver. The plan should include specific instructions on the fastest exit route for each room in the house. Document the escape routes and review them with all members of your household. Be sure all of the people are able to get out quickly, your critical documents will be safe being left behind in your 1 or 2 hour fire safe.

An out of state contact person is another important idea. Identify a close family member or friend who lives in a different state, as your emergency contact person. Make sure all members of you household have their number handy. In case of an emergency local communications may be overloaded with only out of state calls able to be made.

Fortunately we live in a day and place where fire service is fast and effective. While we trust that our local fire authority will respond quickly, it makes sense to be prepared. Preparation includes protecting our valuables in a fire resistant fire safe, documenting an evacuation plan and educating family members on that plan and an out of state contact. For assistance selecting a quality home fire safe call Maximum Security Safes at (800) 538-0600 today.

Thieves Outwit Alarm Systems

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Home BurglaryA recent run of home burglaries in Texas suggests that thieves have learned to outsmart residential security systems. With knowledge of typical installations crooks are able to quickly enter the home, gather their loot and escape. When home safes are in use, protected valuables are secure while other items are easily snatched up.

Police indicate that homes are being broken into through back doors and windows. This way crooks can gain entrance without passersby seeing them. Once inside the thieves stay to the back of the house avoiding any visibility through front windows. Staying out of front rooms also means they are clear of locations where motion sensors are most frequently positioned.

There are plenty of valuables to be found in bedrooms, offices and family rooms that are often located in the back of homes. Should they run across a security safe, they may try briefly to open the safe but any quality safe will hold it’s own. Burglars will quickly move on to more accessible items.

While an alarm system will deter some burglars and shorten the stay of others, a home security safe will provide you that last line of defense that can make all the difference for the heirloom jewelry you look forward to passing on to your granddaughter.

When shopping for a good home safe consider one that provides quality burglar and fire protection. Simply the word SAFE on the box is not enough. A plastic interior is a sure sign of a safe to avoid! At a minimum look for a safe that is certified by Underwriters Laboratory as a Residential Security Container (RSC) and also includes 1-hour of fire protection.

The experts at Maximum Security Safes would be happy to consult with you by phone or in person in our showroom. We can help you select the right home safe for your specific needs. Call Maximum Security Safes at (800) 538-0600 today!

7 Most Common Causes of House Fires

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

house fire

House fires, not something I want to think about, but they are a real possibility. The National Fire Protection Association reports that there are as many as 400,000 house fires every year in the United States. It isn’t something we should ignore. With our most valued possessions at risk, the old adage, prepare for the worst and hope for the best, is a good approach. That means, take precautions to prevent the most common causes of house fires, and consider a home safe to protect key valuables as your last line of defense, just in case.

A recent National Fire Protection Association report indicates the most common causes of house fires. Below is that list and suggested precautions.

Cooking. The #1 cause of house fires, accounting for 42% of reported incidents, is cooking. Open flames from the stove and intense heat in the oven easily result in a fire when unsupervised. Most often food or cooking tools catch fire and quickly lose control. While giving up cooking all together may be a bit extreme, paying extra attention and never leaving the kitchen while preparing food is an easy way to reduce this risk.

Christmas Trees. Every winter families all around the world bring large trees into their home to celebrate a beloved holiday. However, Christmas trees can easily become a significant hazard. Dry tress combined with strings of lights quickly turn into fire sticks. Before placing the tree in your home cut off an inch or so from the bottom of the trunk, removing any dead wood that would prevent the tree from soaking up water. Be vigilant about watering your tree, keep it hydrated! Also be sure to turn off Christmas lights when you go to sleep at night. Or, avoid the risk altogether by getting an artificial tree!

Smoking. Smoking is the source of many of house fires leading to almost 1,000 deaths a year. Lit cigarettes accidentally dropped on any number of household items can quickly become large fires. Only smoking outside will reduce this risk significantly.

Candles. An estimated 18,000 house fires are caused by candles each year. Most of the incidences are due to negligence. Leaving a lit candle unattended can quickly lead to a fire. Numerous flammable materials in the vicinity of a candle can easily catch fire. Reduce this risk by trimming the wick of your candle to help limit the size of the flame, or use battery operated candles.

Appliances, Heaters, Children Playing with Fire. Other common causes of home fires include over use of appliances, home heating, and children playing with fire. Faulty or over-used appliances can easily cause a fire with just a few sparks. Heating systems, especially space heaters and wood stoves, can ignite household items nearby. The curiosity of young children can also lead to threatening fires. Playing with matches, lighters, and candles led to 56,300 fires between 2005 and 2009. Keeping these items out of the reach of children and educating them about the importance of fire safety can help reduce this risk. In the event that a house fire does occur a home safe, in particular a fire safe for the home, will keep important documents and precious valuable safe while you focus on getting your family to safety.

While we can’t eliminate all potential causes of house fires there are some basics that are well worth keeping in mind. Take these precautions and consider purchasing one of the many home safes to protect your most important valuables. Safes for the home are an excellent barrier for items of both monetary and sentimental value.

Treasure your Jewels in a Luxury Jewelry Safe

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Small Jewelry SafeWhether your jewels have monetary or sentimental value, they are treasures that you want to have forever. The best way to ensure this is to lock them up in a luxury jewelry safe. Overstuffed drawers, multiple hiding places, and unorganized pouches can easily lead to missing rings, tangled necklaces, and earrings without their match. Typical hiding places around the home do little to protect your gems, and bank security boxes leave them out of your reach when you are dressing. Safes for jewelry are a much better solution. Here are a few tips for keeping your pieces organized and easily accessible to only you.

  • Customize your set-up. Think through how you choose your jewelry when getting dressed. Do you prefer to have sets of items together or organized by category or color? Should casual everyday jewelry be kept more accessible than pricier pieces? You may decide the right solution is to keep your casual every day items in a conveniently located wall safe and choose from one of the better quality jewelry safes to secure the high value items.
  • Location, location, location. Where do you have enough space to hold your gems? Do you have enough dresser top space to showcase a jewelry box, a dresser drawer for dividers, or eye-level closet space? These places might be convenient but now take security into consideration – jewelry safes can fit in many convenient locations as well. Keep in mind how much light you will require to fully take stalk of your collection and match your jewelry to your outfit. Safes for jewelry can be configured with lighting. Also consider how once you have chosen the location and conceptualized the best way to organize your collection, you can purchase containers that fit your personal preferences. Consider a home safe that includes a jewelry chest inside.
  • Eliminate worry.Losing track of your grandmother’s pearls or the pendant your mother-in-law gave you can cause unending headaches. You can cure that pit in your stomach by investing in various degrees of protection.
    • To avoid losing rings in the bottom of your purse keep a small velvet pouch in your handbag so you can safely stow your items if you have to take them off mid-day. Also, place a small ring saucer by your bathroom sink for when you wash your hands.
    • When traveling, transport your jewelry in a protective pouch or case and lock it up in the hotel room safe if possible. Hint: Wrap necklaces and chains around small pieces of rolled up paper towel to prevent tangling.
    • If you have only a few precious pieces you can purchase a small jewelry safe and bolt it down to a shelf in your closet. This can be a relatively inexpensive option and will deter the average burglar or nosey construction worker.
    • For your more expensive pieces of jewelry we recommend keeping a file of appraisals and receipts. Put these items along with their appraisals in a high quality burglar and fire home safe.
    • Finally, think about splurging on a luxury jewelry safe. Instead of having to run to your bank deposit-box every time you want to wear your nice jewelry, keep them in an equally secure safe in the convenience of your own home. Maximum Security’s high quality luxury jewelry safes provide a solution to all of your jewelry nightmares. A secure fire proof safe will not only protect your jewelry from jealous hands but will also hold a luxurious chest to serve as an equally beautiful home for them.

For more information about keeping your jewelry safe visit Maximum Security Safes on the web or at our Southern California location.