18 Jun

Safe deposit boxes provide a secure haven for your most valuable items, including important legal documents such as business papers, birth certificates, and adoption papers, as well as cherished family heirlooms and valuable jewellery.

Whether you're a Singapore resident needing temporary storage during a move, or a foreigner seeking a secure space for valuables while exploring Southeast Asia, this guide offers practical tips on how to maximise the use of your safe deposit box.

8 Tips on How To Make Best Use of Your External Safe Deposit Box

1. Choose the Right-Sized Safe Deposit Box

Safe Deposit Box with Cash and Gold

When selecting a safe deposit box, think long-term about your storage needs. It’s essential to choose a safe deposit box size that not only fits your current items but also leaves room for future additions. You may start with storing important documents but end up accumulating family keepsakes with sentimental value, or adding on physical investments like gold.

Choosing a safe deposit box provider with a range of safe deposit box sizes to accommodate everything from small documents to larger items would help to accommodate your changing needs.

2. Store All Your Important Documents Properly

Storage for Important Documents

Proper storage of important documents such as an original will, birth certificate, marriage certificate, and hard drive is crucial. Use sealed plastic pouches to protect your items against moisture and humidity, especially in Singapore's tropical climate. For added security, consider using tamper-proof bags as a secure container for your items.

Alternatively, you can also look for a safe deposit facility equipped with 24/7 air conditioning to maintain a low-humidity environment, safeguarding your valuables from damage.

3. Keep an Inventory of Your Safe Deposit Box

Inventory List for Safe Deposit Box

Maintaining an inventory of the items stored in your safe deposit box helps you stay organised. Create a list detailing each item’s size and quantity, and review and update this inventory periodically. This simple practice provides peace of mind and helps effectively manage the valuables stored in your safe deposit box.

4. Consider Single Access vs Joint Access Safe Deposit Boxes

As with a bank account, it’s wise to share your safe deposit box access only with trusted family members or executors to ensure the safety of your valuables.

That's why understanding the access options for your safe deposit box is critical:

  • Single Access: Allows only one person to gain access to the safe deposit box. This option is straightforward and limits who can reach your valuables.
  • Joint Access: Requires two-person authentication, enhancing security for your safe deposit box. This means two people must be present to access the safe deposit box using both their PINs and cards. At a bank, this may also involve having a staff to escort you and using a physical key for the bank vault, in addition to your personal safe deposit box key.

5. Consider Joint Accounts vs Single Accounts

The administrative control of your safe deposit box is another key consideration that impacts how you manage and access your stored valuables. This choice determines who has the authority to access and make changes to the account, affecting both the security and convenience of using your safe deposit box.

  • Single Account: Provides one person with full control over deposits, withdrawals, and changes to the safe deposit box account. This option simplifies management but concentrates the responsibility over the safe deposit box on one person.
  • Joint Account: Requires joint decisions for adding users, moving out, or changing the safe deposit box account details. While each user has their own access card and password, both owners are required to approve any changes to the safe deposit box account together.

6. Study the Security Features of the Safe Deposit Service

STARVAULT Safe Deposit Box Service

Before committing to a safe deposit box service, thoroughly examine its security features:

  • Access control: Consider who can access the safe deposit box. Ensure that no one can retrieve the contents without your authorisation.
  • Moving out: Understand who can close your safe deposit box. Verify the procedures for closing the safe deposit box, such as how much notice is required, and whether your physical presence is needed.
  • Other security features: Look into the safe deposit box vault’s security measures, such as surveillance, alarms, and restricted access areas. A multi-layered access control system with multiple steps such as access card, pin code, fingerprint and a physical key would ensure better security for your safe deposit box.

7. Account for Emergency Access

STARVAULT Safe Deposit Box Service

Consider your need for urgent access to your items as different providers have varying operating hours. If you need quick access to personal papers or the only copy of an important document at short notice, you might want to choose a safe deposit box that offers 24/7 access.

  • Banks/Financial Institutions: Typically have standard business hours, and access to their safe deposit boxes would be during these hours.
  • External Providers: Organisations like CISCO also have specific business hours, and your safe deposit box can only be accessed during these times.
  • STARVAULT: Offers 24/7 access, ensuring you can retrieve your safe deposit box whenever necessary, which is particularly useful during emergencies when you have short notice.

8. Account for Alternative Contact Person

People Registering for Safe Deposit Box Services

In case of an emergency where you cannot be reached, an alternate contact can manage your safe deposit box according to your wishes. Ensure this person is someone you trust, and specify whether they should have access to your safe deposit box or merely act as a point of contact.

Protect What Matters Most: Explore Our Safe Deposit Box Services

STARVAULT Safe Deposit Box Service

By following these tips on using a safe deposit box, you can ensure that your important documents and items are stored securely and efficiently.

At STARVAULT, we offer easy registration for quick move-in, flexible contracts (starting from 1 month), and multi-layered security features, making us a reliable choice for a safe deposit box.

If you're interested in learning more about our safe deposit boxes, book a tour of our facilities or contact us today!