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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 during the current health crisis."

What Makes Safe Deposit Centre Environments So Dangerous?

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. The safe deposit box environment, usually inside a strongroom, is by its very nature restrictive, artificially ventilated, away from sunlight and will have predominantly smooth metal and plastic surfaces. Deposit box columns are usually two meters apart but often less and form parallel metal corridors two meters high. If you consider that two keys are required to open a deposit box, a “guard key” held by staff and a “client key” held by the customer, it is clear that by both design and operation a safe deposit centre remaining open during a virulent coronavirus pandemic is risking the lives of both staff and clients.

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

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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