Posts Tagged ‘Home Security’

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.

Home Security Audit Checklist – Just For You!

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Print it out and do your own home security audit!

Burglary Numbers on the Rise in California: Be Prepared

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

For some reason lately, it feels like we’ve been hearing more stories of local burglaries than in the past. So naturally, we went to Google to find out what’s going on and look what we found!

Top headlines over the past few months:

And the list goes on! Although it will be awhile before we see actual stats for the current year, one fact is stunning: According to the FBI crime statistics, a burglary occurs somewhere in the U.S. every 15.4 seconds, and 87% of those burglaries are considered to have been preventable. So what can you do to best be prepared? To help with your home security, we’ve come up with some easy burglar entry protection tips to start implementing at your home right away. (more…)

It’s “Safe at Home” Week!

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

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.

Six Most Effective Safety Measures to Protect your Home from Mishaps

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Are you planning to go for a vacation? Or perhaps you stay outside home for long hours and sometimes even for a couple of days and get worried over your home and family’s safety? To have your home safe from dangers like future break-ins, fire break out and also to restore your peace of mind, here are some tips you may find most helpful:

As reported to KUSA, the media channel based in Denver and also according to the local reports from Times-Picayune, Colorado and New Orleans police are taking the burglary offenses most seriously and providing the residents with effective tips to prevent such mishaps.

1. Protect your Vacation Home: Use Home Security Systems

Colorado police is especially emphasizing on the home security systems to help protect your home from those stealing hands. Automatic timers on laps can be really effective to create the illusion of your home remaining occupied when it is actually vacant.
Here, any kind of home automation system can come to your big help. With the provision of auto-adjusted lighting system you can preset the time for your lights to go on and off automatically. Even from outside home you can arm or disarm the security system.

2. Install Audible Burglar Alarms & Buzz

And as we are told in brief, the local police of New Orleans have recorded a 13% raise in the burglary rates and strictly prescribed the residents to install an audible security alarm. Most importantly, the advertising of these anti-intrusion alarms come as a favorable deterrent for burglars.
As is the case with yard sign and window decals. These safety equipments scare away the thieves informing them your home is under supervision. Moreover, to your assurance, the current FBI report states that 9 out of 10 convicted burglars have admitted they would avoid stealing from a house that has a monitored security system. So when your home is under professional monitoring, the intruders get a clear threat on how dangerous it can be if they ever try to sneak into your house.

3. Other General Tips to bar away Intruders

For further safety tips, you can follow some basic guidelines to have your vacation home full proof from burglary.
• Have your daily subscription cancelled while you will not be home. You can either receive them on mail after coming back or can just discontinue the service temporarily. Otherwise the piling newspaper in front of your door gives the potential thieves clear indication of none is home as of now. Or, you can ask your neighbor or friend to collect them for you every morning and get them while you are back.
• If situation permits, you can leave your car in the garage so that it seems like someone is always home. For this you can hire a taxi or rent a car to reach your holiday destination or up to the nearest airport.
• You can ask a friend or neighbor to sleep at your place while you are away. Keep the arrangements for food and snacks sufficient so that they do not need to leave the house unprotected to arrange for some.
• Also make sure you have plugged off your landline and answering machine while you are gone. When the messages keep on popping up on the answering machine none to receive them, the burglars get clear idea of you absent from the house.
• Avoid sharing your holiday plan with friends or relations where you may be overheard. And most importantly, do not share your personal detail on social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter. The tech savvy burglars take the easiest way like getting information on these sites and them making your vacant home their soft target.
• Emphasize upon locking all your doors and windows properly. Seal all the places that might be crawled under and don’t forget to check the locks if they are working properly. Moreover, install professionally monitored door and window sensors.
• It would be best if you go for professionally monitored door/ window sensors. The sensors come up with loud alarm sounds detecting unrecognized activities at the entrances. That will inform your neighbor of the potential risk and also the person you may have asked to sleep over at your place.


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.

10 Steps to Protecting Your Home During Summer Vacation

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Beach SceneSummer is here and many of us are looking forward to getting away for a break from the pressure of work and school. Any time we are away our homes are more vulnerable to burglars. Knowing this certainly doesn’t help us to the transition from the stress of everyday life to a restful, relaxing vacation.

The good news is, there are a few simple things we can do to protect our homes and our valuables allowing us to more fully enjoy vacation. While securing your valuables in a quality home safe or gun safe is a good step in the right direction there are a number of other helpful things you can do to protect yourself.

Generally, making your home appear that there is someone living there is a big step in the right direction.

  1. Invite a trusted college student to house sit while you are away. Students often appreciate the opportunity to get away from home for a week or two and sweetening the pot with a bit of cash in exchange for watching over your home, watering plants and/or caring for animals is a great investment.
  2. Put your newspaper and mail on hold. If you are concerned about alerting the paper delivery person consider cancelling the paper and restarting it when you get back in town. Piled up papers in the driveway are a sure sign to a prospective burglar that this home is a hot target.
  3. Park a car in the driveway. Ideally one that will come and go. See if a neighbor is willing to park in your driveway at night when they come home from work.
  4. Install one or more motion sensitive lights around the exterior of your home.
  5. Put multiple inside lights on timers, going off and on at different times.
  6. Add a radio or TV on a timer as well, the sound will be an excellent deterrent.
  7. Make sure your yard is mowed while you are away. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, splurge and pay someone to do it for you while you are away.
  8. If you trust your neighbors, let them know you will be away with the dates you will be gone and a contact phone number in case something suspicious occurs that you might want to know about. Be sure to let them know if you expect anyone to come to your home while you are gone or they and you may be alarmed unnecessarily.
  9. 9. If you don’t already have one, consider a home security system that will notify you and local law enforcement if there is an unauthorized visitor enters your home.
  10. Secure your valuables in a quality home safe or gun safe as your last line of defense against burglary and fire.

At Maximum Security Safes we are concerned about the overall security of your family and valuables. We recognize that the home safes and gun safes we sell are just the last line of defense and that there are a number of other important security measures we all should take. Consider the steps above and before you leave home check out our educational information and selection of home safes and gun safes at Maximum Security Safes or call us at 800-538-0600.