Extra security for silver keepsakes Essay

Whether it’s your baby mug or antique candlesticks, silverpieces are prime targets for home burglars. “We had fullreplacement insurance on everything,” one reader told us, “butwhen I realized that they’d gotten the tea service my grandmotherbrought with her from Stockholm, I just dissolved.” Here and on page 120, we show how three homeowners have taken extrasecurity steps in storing their silver. The owners carry completeinsurance, with each valuable piece recorded and photograhed.

Each homealso has a burglar alarm. Most thieves work quickly and don’t want to spend time dealingwith hidden or locked storage compartments. The three systems shownhere are designed to stall a burglar, theoretically making the silver sodifficult to get at that he’ll be discouraged from risking aprolonged attempt. Double-door cabinet. Situated under a wet bar, tyhe cabinet shownin the photographs at the top of page 118 would likely be judged to holdbottled liquor. Even if the outer door, secured by a single lock, wereforced open (one of the many alarm triggers in the house), two deadboltlocks on the interior door to the silver chest would take time to crack.

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Camouflaged closet door. A painting partly obscures the door seam and hides the lock to the silver closet shown at bottom on page 118.Located in a dining room, the closet is close at hand when silver isneeded. (Oddly enough, robbers tend not to look in any but the mostobvious places in dining rooms. Bedrooms are normally hit hard andfirst, then dens and kitchens.

) The closet is lined with tarnish-retardant cloth, sold by the yardat large fabric stores or available by special order. Steel-mesh lockup. Behind the wooden pantry doors at left,steel-mesh doors secure the owner’s silver service. Hinges for thelocking doors are welded to the steel frame and secured to the doorframe with long, heavy woodscrews.

Still, the owner is philosophicalabout the possibility of a break-in: “They’d need a blowtorchto cut through this, and all the while the alarm should be blaring away.If they get it anyway, I guess they’ve earned it!”

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