The world’s governments and organizations are in great need of high-security vaults to protect all manner of items. Whether it’s for the protection of gold and monetary reserves, precious artifacts or government secrets take a look at ten of some of the most secure vaults in the world, better than any home safes.
1. HavenCo Limited
HavenCo’s first iteration was intended as a kind of techno-utopia where the revolutionary potential of the internet could be protected. It was supposed to be a self-contained, hyper-secure data fortress, with servers located on-site in the middle of the North Sea. The company promised it would destroy its servers rather than reveal its clients’ data. But like many dot-com-era schemes, its founders’ fantastical vision overshot what the market, and their capabilities, could bear.
The Principality of Sealand where Havenco was once based, was founded in 1967 by a waggish former British Army Major named Roy Bates took over the rusting World War II-era anti-aircraft platform that became Sealand after the British government had shut down his previous base, another anti-aircraft platform closer to the British shore.
Over the next three-plus decades, Sealand was approached with various outlandish schemes involving smuggling, tax havens, a “pleasure island,” and even an outpost for disgruntled Argentines during the Falklands War. In the mid-1990s, a Spanish businessman claiming to be Sealand’s “prime minister” began soliciting investors for a project to expand the platform and build a luxury hotel and casino, business center, sports complex, medical center, tuition-free University of Sealand, and Roman Catholic cathedral.
2. The Doomsday Seed Vault
The seed bank is located 120 meters inside a sandstone mountain and has robust security systems. This vault serves as the last food resort for almost the entire World. This is a global seed vault that is housed in Norway and home safe. As the name suggests this place stores different types of seeds, which can be used in case of a catastrophic event. This place is so heavily guarded without a key lock that it is almost impossible to get through by the most high-quality burglar. The fact that it is located in a remote Arctic archipelago makes it so protected.
Sparkling amid the gray gloom of the Arctic the jewel-like entrance juts out of the snow and ice. Built of angular concrete it looks like a stylish fire-resistant supervillain’s lair. Millions and millions of seeds are stored here, deep beneath the icy permafrost of Svalbard, midway between Norway and the North Pole and well out of reach of warfare and rising sea levels. It is a biometric bank and one of the best home safes.
Svalbard was chosen to house the vault because it is geologically stable and despite its remoteness, regularly scheduled flights make it relatively accessible. At the end of the tunnel a heavy metal door glints beneath a coat of ice. On the other side the key to mankind’s salvation in a post-apocalyptic world.
3. The Bank Of England Gold Vault
It is one of the World’s largest stores of gold ever. The vault contains over 4 million tons of gold and as you would guess this is one of the most guarded places on Earth, gun safe and security safe. It has bombproof and fireproof doors and a voice recognition system which very few people have access to. The locking bolts can be opened only by six, three-foot-long keys. It is sentrysafe and wall safe.
It is hidden under London’s streets so fire protection, home safe and security safe. Bars of bullion are stacked on warehouse shelves. There are 400,00 gold bars in there. Gold has stirred passions for power and glory and determined the fate of governments for more than 5,000 years. Almost all the gold ever mined in the history of the world still exists and it would all fit inside the base of the Eiffel Tower. It is a very dense store of value.
In 1816 a “gold standard” was officially established in Great Britain. That meant the pound was defined in terms of a fixed quantity of gold and paper money was convertible into it on demand. This responsibility was entrusted to the Bank of England as the guardian of the nation’s gold reserves and under an Act of 1844, the volume of its notes in circulation has to be strictly related to its stock of gold.
4. The ADX Prison
You can be sure that no prison break is going to happen here. The prison is home to some of the most dangerous men in the world. It has the most advanced security arrangements any prison has ever seen. It is fireproof and security safe and a high-quality lockbox. It houses around 490 inmates and is so heavily guarded that no one has a chance to escape. It has been described as the cleaner version of Hell.
ADX Florence in Fremont Country, Colorado, houses the most dangerous inmates in the U.S. prison system and is believed to be the world’s most high-end secure prison. The proper name for the prison in Florence is the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility. It is currently home to 490 convicted terrorists, gang leaders, and neo-Nazis. Many have been transferred from other prisons after killing inmates or prison staff.
The prison was built after the murder of two prison officers at a high-security prison in Marion, Illinois. The perimeter of the 35-acre site is guarded by 12 ft high razor-wire fences, laser-beams, pressure pads, and attack dogs. It is home safe and solid steel. No-one has ever escaped.
5. The Iron Mountain
If you have something that you consider priceless then this is the place for it. Iron Mountain is in Pennsylvania state. The Iron Mountain is home to the most secret vaults in the world. It contains 1.7 million square feet of fireproof vaults. It contains some of the world’s most important and secret documents and things, like Edison’s patent rights for the incandescent bulb. Most of the names of the people who own the vaults, the best home safes with a warranty, are not even disclosed. The U.S. government is the biggest tenant and the identities of 95% of vault owners are confidential but Warner Brother, the Smithsonian Institution, and Corbis all have vaults there.
Thousands of historic master recordings, photo negatives, and original film reels live here as well as the charred remains of Flight 93 and the original photo of Einstein sticking out his tongue all in a fire safe and waterproof safe.
Iron Mountain is also home to Room 48, a data center backing up some of America’s biggest companies and one of the most high-end secure safes. Two waves of armed guards protect the entrance and make it gun safe and it’s said they inspect guests so thoroughly that even the TSA would be embarrassed.
Underground “nuke proof” data bunkers have been used in commercial storage for decades. In recent years subterranean bunkers have emerged as a growing niche in the data center ecosystem. The Iron Mountain is the world’s first and largest underground records storage facility. Its cavernous vaults are part of an abandoned iron mine that was once a huge mushroom farm and later the last refuge from the nuclear holocaust.
Iron Mountain provides high security. Municipal clerks send copies of birth certificates and other permanent records home safe for final, long-term storage in underground vaults that are impervious to fire, theft, water damage, and other deliberate and natural disasters.
6. The Federal Reserve Bank
The vaults are situated almost 80 feet below the street level and fireproof, one of the most secure safes. You may be a little shocked to know that this bank is said to have over one-quarter of the world’s gold. Apart from all high-quality security safe arrangements and an electronic lock, it has a 90-ton cylinder that covers the only entrance.
Gold custody is one of the top picks of several financial services the Federal Reserve Bank of New York provides to central banks, governments, and official international organizations for their peace of mind. The New York Fed’s gold vault is on the basement floor of its main office building in Manhattan. Built during the construction of the building in the early 1920s the vault provides account holders with a secure fireproof location to store their monetary gold reserves with a backup key.
None of the gold stored in the vault belongs to the New York Fed or the Federal Reserve System. The New York Fed acts as the home safe, guardian, and custodian of the gold on behalf of account holders, which includes the U.S. government, foreign governments, other central banks, and official international organizations. No individuals or private sector entities are permitted to store gold in the vault. They must use the best home safes.
As of 2019, the fireproof vault housed approximately 497,000 gold bars with a combined weight of about 6,190 tons. The vault can support this weight because it rests on the bedrock of Manhattan Island, 80 feet below the street level, and 50 feet below sea level. It is a secure safe.
7. Fort Knox
If you thought the rest of the vaults were protected and fireproof home security systems then welcome to Fort Knox. It is considered the most secure vault in the entire world and impossible to break in with high-end burglary protection. The front door alone weighs nearly 22 tons. The door has a keypad combination lock that is changed multiple times a day - better than the best home safes.
Situated in the hills of Kentucky outside an army base it has always been primarily a U.S. gold vault. During World War II it also held the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the English crown jewels, and the gold reserves from several occupied countries in Europe.
One of the few undisputed facts about security is that 30,000 soldiers, tanks, armored personnel carriers, attack helicopters, and artillery sit just outside Fort Knox. It’s said that the turrets built into the fortress were designed to handle the premier weapon of the day: the Thompson submachine gun. It is gun safe and fireproof, security safe and state of the art. The lawn leading up to the vault is said to be laden with land mines. Ground sweeping radar bathes the entire compound. The same radar is used by Predator drones. Body capacitance wires or electric fences are said to criss-cross the grounds.
Laser triggered machine guns are said to ring the perimeter. If someone manages to get past all the external security, inside there is a battalion of Mint Police. The vault door weighs more than 20 tons and is solid steel and no single person has the combination to the electronic lock and each one can be filled with water. Fort Knox employees are sworn to secrecy and will not confirm or deny any of the security measures they employ to keep security safe. For all that security gold is not the most expensive substance around.
8. Area 51
Area 51 is one of the most popular names on the list. Some say it’s located in Nevada, while others think it’s in California. Even if you fly unknowingly over this area then be ready for some extraordinary punishments. Security measures include sensors planted around the perimeter of the base. These sensors detect movement, and some believe they can even discern the difference between an animal and a human being. Nobody knows exactly what goes on there and why it is so protected like the best home safes.
The military classifies Area 51 as a Military Operating Area (MOA). The borders of Area 51 are not fenced but are marked with orange poles and warning signs. The signs tell you that photography isn’t allowed and that trespassing on the property will result in a fine. The signs also warn that security is authorized to use deadly force on people who insist on trespassing. Rumors circulate among conspiracy theorists over how many unfortunate truth-seekers have died as a result of tromping around the grounds of Area 51 though most believe that trespassers are dealt with in a much less violent manner.
Pairs of men who don’t appear to be in the military patrol the perimeter. They usually drive around in four-wheel-drive vehicles keeping an eye on anyone near the borders of Area 51. Supposedly, their instructions are to avoid contact with intruders, if possible, and act merely as both an observer and deterrent. Once in a while, they have confronted trespassers allegedly seizing any film or other recording devices and intimidating the trespassers. Sometimes, helicopters provide additional support. There are rumors that the helicopter pilots occasionally use illegal tactics like hovering very low over trespassers to harass them.
Other security measures include sensors planted around the perimeter of the base. These sensors detect movement. Since Area 51 is effectively a wildlife preserve it was important to create warning devices that could not be easily tripped by a passing animal. One theory held by observers is that the sensors can detect an ammonia signature. While that is yet to be substantiated there are certainly buried sensors all around Area 51.
Some theorists see a need for a stealth plane that is designed specifically to neutralize ground targets. To date, most stealth aircraft are either surveillance vehicles or designed for air-to-air combat. There is also a need for aircraft that can rapidly deploy to any location worldwide in as short a time as possible. Projects like hypersonic vehicles fall into this category. Other rumored research projects range from cloaking technology to proton beams to antigravity devices. Of course, the projects are only the tip of the rumored iceberg. Area 51 is arguably better known for its connection with aliens and UFOs than with any of these aircraft.
9. The Vatican Secret Archives
Even the limited number of people who can get inside cannot view any of the documents without proper authorization. The Vatican Secret Archives is said to contain some unparalleled secrets in their home safe. The Pope is the owner until his death or resignation. Apart from the Pope, only a handful of people are allowed to get inside. The room is placed under climate control and fireproof and has a high-security underground bunker.
Mystery and intrigue are inherent to the Holy See. People will always wonder what religious authorities are conspiring behind closed doors, what treasures lie within the Vatican in their home safe. Despite claims that the Pope has evidence of extraterrestrials and demons tucked away in his deposit box, the truth of the secret archives is much more realistic.
From handwritten letters of historic personages such as Queen of Scots and Abraham Lincoln to papal bulls excommunicating Martin Luther, the contents of the archives are enough to make any scholar’s eyes go wide. Yet, the high-level nature that makes the contents so fascinating is also what makes them so closely guarded and fireproof and security safe. For in truth, it is not evidence of aliens that the Vatin is hiding from the public eye in-floor safes but rather high-security documents that may show the Church was complicit in Mussolini’s state-sponsored terror and possibly even in Hitler’s anti-Semitic pogroms.
10. The Mormon Church’s Secret Vault
The important documents are even protected by temperature control as well as motion and heat sensors so it is fire resistant and impossible to break in with burglary protection. Quite like the Vatican Secret Archives, the Mormon church’s secret vaults are also said to contain valuable genealogical and historical records. The vault is excavated 600 feet into the north side of Little Cottonwood Canyon, located in Utah.
The vault is located under 700 feet of solid mountain stone. There are three tunnels and four cross-tunnels inside the vault and it is over 65,000 square feet. Reinforced deadbolt entrance doors with pry-resistant hinges weigh 9 to 14 tons and each can withstand a nuclear blast. There is also a 33,000-gallon reservoir used for a microfilm reproduction. The vault contains important documents on the family history of its members of the church in secure fireproof safes. It is the world’s largest collection of genealogical records. For security reasons, there is no public access to the vault.
There was an amazing selection of amazingly secure safes and vaults. Fireproof, security safe, gun safe, fire-resistant, SentrySafe, important documents, keypad, key lock, jewelry safe, biometric, combination lock. These are all aspects of the incredible security of the safes and vaults we have looked at.