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Why Safe Deposit Box Centres Are So Dangerous During This Pandemic

Posted by   Alan Redd
01.05.2020
Safe Deposit Box Vaults

Having worked in the design of several safe deposit box centres in the UK and Europe, it is inexplicable to me that a safe deposit box provider would remain open, even “by appointment”, during the current health crisis.

Access to a safe deposit box centre usually involves bio-metrics and man trap systems which many other businesses, such as data centres, have decommissioned due to obvious Covid-19 risks.

Safe deposit box centres are restrictive, artificially ventilated environments, away from sunlight with predominantly smooth metal and plastic surfaces.

Inside a safe deposit box centre, deposit box columns, usually two meters apart, form parallel metal corridors two meters high.

Studies, most notably by Aalto University in Finland, have shown that in such environments, one infected cough will contaminate surfaces over a large area for over a week. Droplets, arising even from speech, can remain suspended in air for up to three hours.

Finally, if you consider two keys are required to open a deposit box. One “guard key” and one “client key”, it is clear that by both design and operation a safe deposit centre remaining open during Coronavirus lockdown is risking the lives of both staff and clients alike.

Alan Donohoe Redd M.Sec.I.I.
European Standards Committee (CEN)TC263 Group Member
NSAI “Secure Storage” Expert - Safes, Vaults, Data And Locking
Convenor of the Irish Safes Ratings Group

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