Monday 4th April 2016

by admin

Bank vaults, often referred to as strong-rooms, are modern storage facilities for valuables, records, money, and even vital documents. A securely fashioned door with a complex lock mechanism and armored walls make today’s bank vaults an integral component for protection over valuable and sensitive assets. And these the most fundamental qualities that makes bank vault security systems unique from bank safes.

Each closing decade has overseen pragmatism in the need for espousal of watertight securing of such valuables against catastrophes both of human and natural design and make (atomic bomb, earthquakes etc.). In the security world it has always been termed as a type of arm race against bank robbers. Each side desires to stay ahead.bank vault security system

The question still remains, is total security conceivable within our banks? While the debate will go on into the future, it is a huge achievement, as according to a report by the Global Finance Magazine in 2014, Europe has been labeled as the home to the world’s safest banks.

These banks include: KFW in Germany, Zurcher Kantonalbank in Switzerland, and L-Bank in Germany. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Fort Knox (The U.S. Bullion Depository) have been celebrated as among the leading bank vaults in terms of security system technology. For further digestion of what essentially it involves to make bank vault security systems accurately branded impenetrable, we look at the assorted security features of Fort Knox.

Defining the “Impenetrable” Bank Vault

Fort Knox, the home of the U.S. Bullion Depository, houses the largest ounces of gold approximated at over 147.3 million with their total worth estimated at over $270 billion. First, its walls are 4-foot-thick granite believed to be lined with cement, fireproof material and steel.

Secondly, it has tinted windows sealed from the inside out that is fire-proof, bullet-proof and blackened to impede on discernibility. Thirdly, it has a solid foundation composed of cement with 10 feet of solid granite on top. The granite principally deters any form of infiltration while the granite is used to backing the weight of the vaults structures.

At every corner of the depository is what is termed as multiple big brothers. It refers to a system of surveillance, which allows highly-advanced bank surveillance systems to oversee every square inch of the Depository. There is presence of barrier within a barrier in the vaults composition. These barriers, more than three in number have been built for specific purposes such as for patrolling guards. There are also more than four fortified sentinel stations located on the ground level with Thompson submachine guns.

Lastly, a military backup exists. It is guarded by the specially trained U.S Mint Police and several other regiments. Last but not the least; the Fort Knox depository is positioned in an area where it is far enough inland to circumvent a sea assault and the Appalachian Mountains shields it from the East. There also use of biometric IDs, use of vibration sensors and help from satellite for imaging of potential burglars. It is imperative to note that, what makes bank vaults even more secure is their secrecy in defense.

The Design of Modern Bank Vaults

Modern bank vaults are usually designed as custom orders, and are the first component if a bank is to be built. A design is usually made after incorporation of the desired shape, vault size and location of the door, coupled with other factors. This is usually done through consultation between vault manufacturer and a customer. The main raw materials are concrete, steel rods for reinforcement and proprietary additives, for the concrete to be stronger. With every century, these features kept on being improved.

In the 21st century, the “thermic torch” or “burning bar” has been acknowledged as the biggest threat to bank vault security systems. It burns liquid oxygen ignited by an oxyacetylene torch that has been noted to be much hotter than acetylene torch. A series of small holes can be me made from its burning that can form a gap, thus combating this burning bar has been main cause of worry for industry players. The level of security in due course should be progressive, to be able to stay ahead of bank criminals. It is encouraged that for that to happen, law enforcement and the banking industry must work closely together to mitigate these risks.

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