Not Just for Gold Investments and Priceless Family Heirlooms: Why Everyone Should Consider Getting a Safe Deposit Box

certis cisco safe deposit box

This post was written in collaboration with Certis. While we are financially compensated by them, we nonetheless strive to maintain our editorial integrity and review products with the same objective lens. We are committed to providing the best recommendations and advice in order for you to make personal financial decisions with confidence. You can view our Editorial Guidelines here.

There is a need to ensure we have a safe place to store our prized items in real life — and no, that’s not the biscuit tin under our bed.

Safe deposit boxes offer an unparalleled level of security for our belongings, and are ideal for storing valuables that you need to safekeep for a long period of time but rarely use, such as birth certificates, keepsakes with sentimental value or expensive jewellery.

Sure, you could keep your valuables in a home safe or turn to digital storage for important documents. But the whole idea of safe deposit boxes is to free you from having to put all your eggs in one basket. It’s always good to be prepared for the unexpected, in the event that something unfortunate happens when you least expect — for instance, forgetting the code to your home safe, your computer gets hacked into, or a fire might consume all that’s valuable to you.

And don’t worry about having to jump through hoops to access an underground vault hidden in some grotto, or trying to locate a hidden safe concealed behind an antique wall painting. Safe deposit boxes are surprisingly convenient and accessible. You will realise how affordable they can be in return for complete peace of mind.

Here are some of the biggest reasons you might need a safe deposit box.


Low crime doesn’t mean no crime

It sounds like a tired platitude, but the saying “low crime doesn’t mean no crime” has never been truer in Singapore, especially now that scores of Singaporeans are falling prey to scams, housebreaking and the list goes on.

In fact, housebreaking is not as uncommon as you might think in Singapore. About a month ago, a man was recorded begging for mercy after getting caught stealing in Ang Mo Kio. In August, a foolhardy thief was caught stealing an entire safe containing $16,900 from a restaurant in VivoCity. So yes, it does happen here.

It’s easy to see why our parents and grandparents swear by safe deposit boxes, and why many others continue to do so today. It’s quick and painless to get a safe deposit box of your own. For example, those applying for a safe deposit box at Certis just need to turn up at any branch to register and they can get their safe deposit box straight away.


What exactly do people put in their safe deposit box?

You can keep anything that’s precious to you in a safe deposit box. Here are some examples of the commonly stored items in safe deposit boxes in Singapore:

  • Investments — High-value items bought for investment purposes such as gold, gems or precious stones, as well as watches and jewellery are typically stored in safe deposit boxes, only to be removed when they are sold.
  • Priceless, irreplaceable items and keepsakes — This can be anything from cherished family heirlooms and milestone items like your child’s first milk teeth to rare Magic The Gathering cards.
  • Important documents — You also need a place to safekeep important documents like your birth certificate, award medals, and title deeds.

As you can see, items stored in a safe deposit box are sometimes of high monetary value, but not always. Some items are there simply because they cannot be replaced or are of high sentimental value to the owner.


Why should I pay for someone else to keep my valuables safe?

There are many reasons why paying for safekeeping is a better idea than simply hiding your items at the back of your closet at home. Here are some of the advantages of using a safe deposit box:

  • No fear of forgetting where your valuables are kept — Some items are valuable but not used frequently, which makes it all too easy to forget where you have kept them. With a safe deposit box, you always know where your belongings are, no matter how cluttered your home is.
  • Protects items against our humid climate — Singapore’s heat and humidity are not kind to precious items, and you can find materials like paper, leather or precious metals discolouring, decomposing, wilting, fading, tarnishing or becoming mouldy. Safe deposit boxes are kept in an air-conditioned environment ideal for storage.
  • Protects items from fire risks — In a densely populated city like Singapore, a fire breaking out in one of your neighbours’ homes can be disastrous for yourself and others living nearby. According to SCDF statistics, there were 2,411 residential fire calls in 2018. A safe deposit box ensures that your valuables are unaffected should anything happen to your home (touch wood!).
  • Protects items from theft — As mentioned earlier, theft can and does happen in Singapore. According to Statista, there were 318 housebreaking and related crime cases in 2018. Safe deposit boxes keep your valuables safe from prying hands.

When you place your items in a safe deposit box, you are paying for very high levels of security and safety. Certis’ safe deposit boxes are protected by 24/7 surveillance, armed officers, a dual-locking mechanism and strict access control (only approved users will be allowed in). Valuables can also be accessed in private viewing rooms to ensure absolute privacy.


What else can a safe deposit box do for me?

Here are some other perks you enjoy as a Certis’ safe deposit box subscriber:

  • Free access to your safe deposit box — Certis does not charge you to access your safe deposit box during opening hours, so you are free to do so as often as you like.
  • Open 365 days a year — Yes, even on public holidays like Chinese New Year and weekends.
  • Long operating hours — Certis might possibly have some of the longest operating hours for a safe deposit box facility in Singapore: 9am to 9pm on Mondays to Saturdays; 9am to 6pm on Sundays and public holidays.
  • 24/7 emergency access — Imagine this scenario: It is 2am and you wake up in a cold sweat because you just remembered that you urgently need to pass an important document to a relative who is leaving for the airport at 6am. Unfortunately, the item is locked away in your safe deposit box. Fortunately, Certis recognises customers’ need for urgent access and will allow you to access your safe deposit box with just 2 hours’ prior notification (for a fee). Phew, crisis averted!
  • Different box sizes — At Certis, safe deposit boxes come in five different sizes, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
  • Alarm and theft detection — One of the many security devices used by Certis is a seismic detector to detect vibrations in the vicinity, and raising an alarm before any burglar gets to customers’ valuables.
  • Items in your safe deposit box are accorded the highest level of privacy — There is no inventory taken for items stored in your safe deposit box, so only you know what’s inside.


Getting a safe deposit box is more affordable than you think

Here are Certis’ safe deposit box fees for individuals paying by GIRO:

Size Price per year (before GST) Price per day (before GST)
X-Small (5” x 5” x 24”) $129 $0.35
Small (3” x 10” x 24”) $199 $0.55
Medium (5” x 10” x 24”) $269 $0.74
Large (10” x 10” x 24”) $439 $1.20
X-Large (15” x 10” x 24”) $749 $2.05

These prices not only get you a safe deposit box guarded with the highest security standards, but also what’s possibly the safe deposit box service with the longest operating hours in Singapore, 365 days a year. Other perks include 24/7 emergency access, the ability to upgrade your box size without paying additional charges, and a convenient location as Certis’ three outlets are all situated near MRT stations.

From 13 Dec 2019 to 13 Jan 2020, you can enjoy one year’s worth of safe deposit box use at Certis for only $1 when you use the promo code SDBMoneysmart. Click here to find out more.

Do you have any questions about safe deposit boxes? Ask away in the comments!