Although the bank is the safest place to store your savings or the takings from your business, there will be occasions when you need to store cash. You might want to keep some cash at home for emergencies, or in preparation for making a purchase or giving money as a gift.
Business owners will already be familiar with the need to store cash on their business premises. Storing cash is always risky: it can be destroyed by fire or flooding, or stolen during a burglary, but using a safe to store the cash dramatically reduces the risk of loss.
Using a Safe
All safes should be bolted to the floor or a wall so that they can’t be removed from the premises by thieves. Safes should also be fireproof and flood-proof: it’s no good keeping your cash safe from thieves only for it to go up in smoke. There are many types of safes that are suitable for use in the home. You can choose between safes that use keys, combination locks, or both, to secure your cash. Some safes designed for use in the home are disguised as pictures, electrical sockets, or drains so as not to attract thieves’ attention.
Check your home insurance policy to find out how much cash you can store at home and still be covered. Most insurers will insist on cash being kept in a safe, and the policy might specify the cash rating of the safe that is required. The cash rating is the maximum amount of money that a safe can store securely; the higher the cash rating, the more expensive the safe is likely to be.
Storing Cash for Businesses
Storing cash is especially difficult for businesses. Retail businesses in particular handle large amounts of cash in busy public settings. A retail business should have a well-established cashing procedure, where cash is removed from the cash register and moved to a safe at regular intervals.
A drop safe, also known as a deposit safe, is a convenient and secure way to store cash in this setting – any employee can deposit cash through a slot or deposit drawer, but only those with a key or code can open the safe. If the member of staff who holds the key is not usually on the premises, then the business is protected against raids, as the employees will not be able to hand over the cash in the safe, even if they are threatened. Another option to protect against a robbery situation is to use an anti-raid safe, which enforces a time delay after the safe is unlocked before the door will open – this can normally be set to open in any time span from 0-99 minutes.
Thieves will often flee before the delay has elapsed. If using this type of safe, you need to balance the potential inconvenience of the time delay against the need for anti-raid protection. You can also buy safes that can be opened only at certain times of day, or on certain days of the week. These safes have a “Time Lock”, which allow the authorised user to pre-set the lock so that it can only be opened in any given time slot each day, each week or for instance cannot be opened outside normal trading hours.
The bank is still the safest place for your money, but storing small amounts of cash is a convenient option for many people, and a necessity for businesses. By using a safe with an appropriate cash rating, you can store cash with minimal risk.
Remember that even the best safes are only as effective as the people using them, so you must remember to keep the safe locked at all times, and only give keys to family members or employees who you know to be trustworthy. Keys should not be left unattended in places where they can be found by thieves. If you follow all of these common sense guidelines, then a safe is a good option for storing cash securely.