Sunday, March 15, 2009

Keeping your belonging in a Safe?

By: Li Bin Chen

NEW YORK (AP) — As the nation's banking industry inhales billions of dollars in government support, the urge to hoard your cash at home might be pounding mightily.

You wouldn't be the only one, judging from the recent spike in sales of home safes.

Keeping loads of money around the house remains an ill-advised step, but a home safe can still be a way to guard against fires, floods and burglaries. Cherished old photos, legal contracts and passports can be difficult to replace.

The key to buying the right safe is knowing what threats you want to guard against. Ultimately, no safes are foolproof — they simply come with varying degrees of protection.

"Safes are like insurance — the more protection you want, the more it's going to cost," said Jim Riccardi, east coast sales manager for Gardall Safe Corp., based in Syracuse, N.Y.

You won't be the only one putting your belongings in a safe.

SentrySafe, the nation's largest safe manufacturer, said sales were up as much as 50 percent over the last five months. They've since leveled off, but were still up as much as 10 percent in the first week of March from the same time a year ago, according to the Rochester, N.Y.-based company.

But before you join the rush, here's what you need to know.

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