Extra security for silver keepsakes Essay

Whether it’s your baby mug or antique candlesticks, silver
pieces are prime targets for home burglars. “We had full
replacement insurance on everything,” one reader told us, “but
when I realized that they’d gotten the tea service my grandmother
brought with her from Stockholm, I just dissolved.”

Here and on page 120, we show how three homeowners have taken extra
security steps in storing their silver. The owners carry complete
insurance, with each valuable piece recorded and photograhed. Each home
also has a burglar alarm.

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Most thieves work quickly and don’t want to spend time dealing
with hidden or locked storage compartments. The three systems shown
here are designed to stall a burglar, theoretically making the silver so
difficult to get at that he’ll be discouraged from risking a
prolonged attempt.

Double-door cabinet. Situated under a wet bar, tyhe cabinet shown
in the photographs at the top of page 118 would likely be judged to hold
bottled liquor. Even if the outer door, secured by a single lock, were
forced open (one of the many alarm triggers in the house), two deadbolt
locks on the interior door to the silver chest would take time to crack.

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 is
needed. (Oddly enough, robbers tend not to look in any but the most
obvious places in dining rooms. Bedrooms are normally hit hard and
first, then dens and kitchens.)

The closet is lined with tarnish-retardant cloth, sold by the yard
at 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 the
locking doors are welded to the steel frame and secured to the door
frame with long, heavy woodscrews. Still, the owner is philosophical
about the possibility of a break-in: “They’d need a blowtorch
to 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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