*What's In Your Vault*
By: dog8dog
13 October 2007

You may have seen the show, "It Takes a Thief", on the Discovery Channel. The premise was to use two ex-cons to host a reality-type TV show that would enlighten their "targets" and the audience on home security. The hosts would case a neighborhood and pick a house, based on criteria they expressed would make certain homes better targets. One of the hosts would make contact and offer a home security upgrade if the homeowner agreed to let the Discovery Channel film the other host breaking into their house. Overall, the show did fairly well in debunking some common beliefs about home security and "hiding places".

It is not unusual for people to take on the squirrel mentality and try to stash our nuts in various hiding places. This is not meant to offend, I, honestly, believe that it is human nature. The only problem with it is, the thieves are human too. Unless they are inexperienced, most burglars have a pretty good idea where people tend to stash. In almost every episode, the rooms that were dealt the greatest thrashing, were the bedrooms and kitchens. Bedrooms are common because it is our nest. We FEEL safe there. So, we feel it is safe to hide things there. Kitchens are common because we believe that nobody would think of hiding something in the flour.

Here is an exercise that can be fun and informative. Have a friend or two come over and give them a scenario. You could make it realistic or some fantasy game for fun. Have them walk through your house and pick five places in every room that you would hide something small, such as an ounce of gold. I would not be surprised if they pick out at least some of your hiding spots. I did this once and was very surprised with the results. This can even be disguised as a treasure hunt game for larger groups.

On to the safe. Most people do not know what kind of safe to get. They don't want to waste money on something that will not meet their needs. So, they don't get any. There is no single, best answer on which safe to get, except maybe, get the best you can afford. You want a safe that is good for security and fires. That gets very expensive. Sometimes you can simplify a problem by eliminating one of the conditions. Say, for example, you can eliminate the need for high level protection from a thief. This would mean that you only have to protect from fire, primarily.

Something that I haven't had the displeasure of testing is my honeypot safe. I have a small, about 1.2cu_ft, safe that I picked up at a pawn shop for about half the cost of new. It is located in a not very secure place, but not out in the open. It weighs 135lb empty and I don't bolt it down. It is a pain in the back to move, literally. It is, also, too small for two people to get a grip on. On top of that, I have filled it with rocks and some body washers. I have no idea how heavy it is now, except too heavy.

The idea is to give the burglar something to waste time on. Because I don't bolt it down, I belive he is more likely to take it and open it later. The other purpose is to divert the thief from looking for my real safe, which may be a hollowed out picnic ham in the bottom of my chest freezer. Just kidding, them turkeys ain't full o' giblets, you know. From my experience, it takes at least three hours to burn a turkey.

All materials at this site not otherwise credited are Copyright 1996 - 2007 Trip Williams. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for personal use only. Use of any material contained herein is subject to stated terms or written permission.