FAQs > A guide to storing valuables

Even if you don’t have Van Gogh paintings, gold bars and diamonds in your home or office securing you valuables should be something you think seriously about.
 
Burglars are just as likely these days to take an expensive piece of equipment or valuable information as they are cash and jewelry. Irrespective of what items you own there is a great deal you can do to safeguard them.
 
Secure your home/Office
 
If a burglar can’t get into your home or premises then they can’t steal anything. Often just making sure the building looks secure will be enough to put off all but the most determined thieves. Never leave desirable items on show, through a window or even letterbox and always secure windows and doors before leaving.
Phoenix Home safes start at under £40 - not bad price to pay for a good nights sleep. When it comes to office security there is a wide range of office safes on the market, llo out for brands such as Phoenix and Sentry.

 
Marking Property
 
Any item that is valued should be marked in someway for identification. This not only helps the police in identifying stolen goods and returning them to their rightful owners but also acts as deterrent to thieves as marked goods are very difficult to sell on. Police guidelines state that valuables are marked with your home or business postcode and house number or name.
 
Methods of Marking Items
 
  • Etching or engraving - visible and permanent deterrent, but not advisable for delicate items or items you wish to show.
  • Professional Schemes for high value items such as antiques - DNA, chemical or microdot systems available from specialist security firms.
  • Electronic marking - some electrical goods such as TV’s store data electronically which cannot be removed without a key code.
  • Ultraviolet pens – only visible under ultraviolet light
  • Ceramic pens – visible and permanent
 
Lists
 
Always make a list of your valuable items making sure to note down any distinguishing features or serial numbers etc. Back this up with photo’s and notes of the markings you have made.
 
I.T. Equipment
 
Computers now contain more valuable information than most wallets thanks to saved passwords and banking information store on them. Where possible try not to store passwords on your computer as this is just like leaving your keys on top of your safe. With ID theft now at record levels you should take as many precautions protecting computers, laptops and blackberries as you would a cash till. Computers should be fixed to tables or desks to prevent their removal and laptops locked away either in a secure cupboard or with back up tapes and CD's in a data security safe.
 
Photograph Your Goods
 
For items you don’t want to mark or tag it may be better to photograph them. This not only helps with police identification but can also be used for insurance purposes.

Keep your Keys Safe

Its no good having documents locked away in filing cabinets only to have they keys accessible! Key safes make sure they are safe and don't get lost.
 
 
Where possible you should always keep your valuables and cash in a safe. Safes should always be bolted down or in some way attached to the building to prevent thieves simply walking off with them.Safes come in several different styles and protection levels such as Security Safes, Fire Safes and Deposit Safes.
 
For more help and advice on which safes to choose check out our Jargon Buster or Ask an Expert sections.