No Call Out Fee
Fast Response
DBS Checked
Logo of the uk locksmiths association featuring a key overlaying the union jack on a blue square background.
Logo of fsb with stylized letters inside a laurel wreath, featuring a shield with a book and sword at the bottom, set against a dark green background.

The Fascinating History of Security Safes and Bank Vaults

Security Safes and Bank Vaults
Written by :



Table of Contents

The Fascinating History of Security Safes and Bank Vaults

Security safes and bank vaults are essential components of any secure storage system. They have evolved over time, from simple wooden boxes to advanced steel structures equipped with advanced lock and alarm systems. The history of security safes and bank vaults is rich with fascinating stories and events that highlight their significance in shaping modern banking systems.

Origins of Security Safes and Bank Vaults

The use of safes and vaults dates back to the ancient civilizations of Rome and Greece. These early versions of safes were made of wood and lined with metal or other hard materials. The purpose of these safes was to protect valuables from theft or damage during wars or invasions.

During the Middle Ages, merchants and bankers began to use more advanced safes made of iron and steel. These safes featured locks that could only be opened with a specific key or combination, making it difficult for thieves to break in. Bank vaults were introduced during this period, providing a secure space for storing important documents and currency.

Evolution of Security Safes and Bank Vaults

The Industrial Revolution brought significant advancements in the construction and materials used to make safes and vaults. Cast-iron safes became popular during this period, featuring thicker walls and stronger locking mechanisms.

In the early 20th century, new technologies such as automatic re-locking devices, combination locks, and time-delayed locks were introduced, further enhancing the security features of safes and vaults.

Modern-day safes and vaults are made of high-quality steel and feature advanced electronic locking systems, biometric scanners, and alarms. These security features make them nearly impossible to break into, providing maximum protection for valuable assets.

Types of Safes and Vaults

There are several types of safes and vaults that have been used throughout history, each with its unique purpose:

  1. Fire safes: designed to protect documents and data from heat and fire damage.
  2. Burglary safes: made of hard materials and equipped with advanced locking and alarm systems to prevent theft and break-ins.
  3. Gun safes: used to store firearms and ammunition, featuring special locking mechanisms to prevent unauthorized access.
  4. Bank vaults: large, secure rooms inside a bank that are used to store valuable documents, currency, and other assets.

Real-Life Events Involving Safes and Vaults

Safes and vaults have played crucial roles in many historical events. For example, during World War II, the Germans looted valuables from occupied countries and stored them in secure safes and vaults. The Allies later recovered these items and returned them to their rightful owners.

In another incident, a bank robber named Willie Sutton gained notoriety for his successful attempts at breaking into bank vaults. He was eventually caught and spent several years in prison for his crimes.


The history of security safes and bank vaults is a testament to their importance in protecting valuable assets and shaping modern banking systems. They have evolved over time, becoming more secure and advanced, and are now a vital component of any secure storage system. As technology continues to advance, it’s likely that we will see even more sophisticated safes and vaults in the future.

Contact Info


11 Evesham Road Pittville Cheltenham GL52 2AA

Send Us a Message

Get in touch with us