No one, it seems, gets into this place without some high-tech help.
Access to the inner sanctum of The Vaults, a safe deposit box company, is gained by first undergoing a retinal scan. That allows access to a foyer-like area. Type in a special code, and that allows you into a buffer room, or a man trap. The door has to be closed behind you before the door in front of you can be opened.
Once a person gains access to the inner sanctum, the high-tech aspect doesn't end there. The safe deposit box room is monitored with video and audio components and ceiling motion detectors. It is fireproof and can be locked down remotely with the click of a button.
If this all seems a little James Bond-ish, the company welcomes the comparison.
"If an Aston Martin comes with it, I'm good," said Tyler Bayne, vice president.
He and his family are co-owners of Total Safety Inc., a security company established in 1998. TSI had been looking for some avenues to expand and added fire safety devices such as extinguishers and automatic ceiling sprinklers to its services. The Bayne family started The Vaults as a separate entity but related service, housed within the unassuming TSI building at 9555 Del Webb Blvd.
The safe deposit boxes can hold "jewelry to guns to whatever you like," said Bruce Bayne, patriarch of the family.
The Vaults opened Nov. 1. The building is occupied around the clock by TSI dispatchers. In the future, a canine component may be added as another layer of protection.
Inside the cavernous safe deposit box room, there are three private viewing rooms and a separate room for safes. Another room is being considered for climate-control measures should patrons wish to store fine artwork.
Not everything at The Vaults needs to be high-tech, it seems. After the retinal scan, the man trap and getting into the inner sanctum, how do patrons unlock their individual safe deposit boxes?
They use a simple, old-fashioned key.
The safe deposit box area covers 2,910 square feet and has 1,000 boxes. There is plenty of room to expand that number.
The boxes are all 24 inches deep. The smallest size is 5 by 5 inches, and boxes go up to 10 by 10 inches. Prices start at $300 per year. For larger items, clients can provide their own safe.
The Bayne family said the retinal scan is the next generation of identity theft deterrents.
"In the past, we had the palm reader," Tyler Bayne said.
He explained how the palm reader required one to press their hand down on a flat surface.
"It worked really well," he said. "But the problem that we had then was that if one person had a cold in the central station, everyone had a cold. So we were looking for some sort of biometric access but didn't involve your face or your hand on something. This works really well. The false detection rate on it is better than a palm reader because everybody's irises are different."
The family said the beauty of The Vaults' concept is that it allows for 24/7 access, even on holidays. The contents cannot be seized because the business is not subject to banking laws. Because the company does not require a name, address or credit card, patrons can remain anonymous.
Marissa Bayne, who is on site to take cash payments and monitor things, said many people tell her they want to store heirlooms for fear of fire or robbery. The only caveats The Vaults puts on taking a box is simple ---- no ammunition and no drugs.
The Vaults is on the edge of Sun City Summerlin. A number of its clients are from the retirement community.
"People in this area, they've talked to me about keeping (valuable items) in their homes," Marissa Bayne said.
She said patrons indicate they also want to store legal papers ---- wills, power of attorney and deeds. Other top items include cash, coins and gold.
Should there be no activity on a box for a year, such as if a client dies, the company has to wait for another nine months of inactivity to pass before it opens the box. Clients are given a "just in case" card to fill out and leave in their box for just that scenario. The card indicates who can claim the items.
Just as the interior is wired and seemingly Kevlar-safe, the exterior was upgraded. The walls cannot be cut through because they are reinforced with a strong mesh material. The skylights are not your typical glass and are smash-resistant. The family was hesitant to give away too many secrets.
"You have to do a lot of physical security with reinforcing the walls and a lot of technological security," Billy Bayne said. "Implementing all of that took some time."
Some aspects are not high-tech. The safe deposit boxes are encased in aluminum metal. If someone were to try drilling through it, or cutting through it, the aluminum would melt, clogging up the tools.
Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at email@example.com or 702-387-2949.