Knowledge or rather the absence of it is the first layer of protection for your valuables.

During my time in the Marine Corps, security and the protection of information was an ongoing topic of discussion.  Often during training we received a number of key points over and over again on the biggest threats to security.  When you are considering installing a floor safe, a few of these points seems to apply.

First and I believe the most critical is that EVERYONE knows someone they can absolutely trust with a secret.  I want you to think about that last sentence and what it implies. If you are uncertain about what I just said, let me explain using the following example:

A man returns from work one day and expresses a secret to his loyal wife.  He knows he is not supposed to discuss the subject with anyone, but he knows he can trust his wife not share this information.  He even tells her before discussing the secret that no one can ever know what he is about to tell her.  Since the secret is interesting his wife decides that she is going to share this information with her best friend Jessica.  After all she knows she can trust Jessica to always keep a secret.  Once Jessica learns the secret, she shares it with her husband Frank… This goes on and on.

So what does this have to do with installing a floor safe?  Well consider this, the security level or strength of a safe is rated in estimated “Net Working minuets” to open.  This is because no safe is impossible to open given the correct tools and enough time to work on it.  The next point to consider is when installing a floor safe, you hide the location of the safe from plain view, correct?  Why do you do that?  Because you know that if your home is being robbed that any home safe will be a priority target.   You hide it from plain view in the hope that any potential criminals will overlook it, because if they discover the safe, given enough time they WILL open or remove the safe from your home.

The average person can clearly see that the first level of protection for the contents of your home safe is just protecting the very knowledge that a residential safe is on the property.

Makes sense right?  However that is exactly the opposite of what most home owners do.  In most households, the presence & location of the family safe is common knowledge of the family members.  In the late 80’s a caregiver in a well-known child care chain with a branch location in a rather affluent neighborhood showed her group of 4 year olds a VHS tape of an old cartoon.  In the cartoon, the main character, playing a police officer, was foiling the efforts a group of criminals as they attempted to open a safe to rob it.  Afterward, the care giver discussed the cartoon and during the discussion she asked the kids how many had a safe installed at home.  A good number of the kids raised their hands.  Over the next 9 months more than 40% of the homes of the kids who raised their hands were robbed while the family was out of town, and the family safe was located and broken into. During the same period of time none of the homes of the kids that did not raise their hands were broken into.  While investigators never established a direct link between the care giver and the crimes, this story does serve to demonstrate two key points.  The first being if the criminals know a safe is present on the property, they will locate it.  The next and maybe of much greater import, knowledge of the safe on the property was clearly the determining factor that made those homes the target of the criminals.

So in closing:

  1. If you have not yet mentioned to your friends and family (except maybe your spouse) about plans to install a safe, don’t!
  2. If you have, tell them you have changed your mind.
  3. If you have a safe installed already, don’t call attention to.  Little statements tossed about like, “A safety deposit box would be a good place for the car title”, may serve to set the perception that no safe is present in your residence.
  4. Be very selective of the contractor you use when installing a floor safe.  Saving money on the cost of installation may cost you a great deal later on.