Safe deposit box

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"Safe deposit" redirects here; not to be confused with Safedeposits in Scotland.
Safe deposit boxes inside a Swiss bank.

A safe deposit box, sometimes incorrectly called a safety deposit box (neologism from verbal "safe de"), is an individually secured container, usually held within a larger safe or bank vault. Safe deposit boxes are generally located in banks, post offices or other institutions. Safe deposit boxes are used to store valuable possessions, such as gemstones, precious metals, currency, marketable securities, important documents such as wills, property deeds, and birth certificates, or computer data storage that need protection from theft, fire, flood, tampering, or other perils.

In the typical arrangement, a renter pays the bank a fee for the use of the box, which can be opened only with presentation of an assigned key, the bank's own guard key, the proper signature, and perhaps a code of some sort.[1] Some banks additionally use biometric dual-control security to complement the conventional security procedures.[2]

Many hotels, resorts and cruise ships also offer safe deposit boxes or small safes to their patrons, for temporary use during their stay.[3] These facilities may be located behind the reception desk, or instead be securely anchored within private guest rooms for privacy.

The contents of safe deposit boxes may be seized under the legal theory of abandoned property.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ FDIC Consumer News. Spring 1997.
  2. ^ Thinking outside the safe deposit box: Florida Credit Union members use biometric HandReaders. SecureIDNews March 3, 2005.
  3. ^ Payne, Kirby D. Safety Deposit Boxes and In-Room Safes. Hotel Online data base of News and Trends.
  4. ^ Liz Pulliam Weston. "Why treasures in safe deposit boxes get 'lost'". MSN Money.