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Resources > Home Safety > Diversion Safes: Hide Your Valuables in Plain Sight

Diversion Safes: Hide Your Valuables in Plain Sight

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Person holding money they are hiding in their home.

Burglars break into your home. Where do they go first? Studies tell us that thieves don't want to spend too much time trespassing since the longer they’re there, the more likely they are to be discovered. Most thieves will be in and out of your place in just a few minutes so they need to go where they are most likely to find valuables.

Most thieves head straight for the master bedroom and dig through the drawers of your night stand or dresser to find your valuables. They'll check these places first since they are the most likely places where you might have stashed some jewelry, money, or other small yet expensive things. One of the best ways to hinder a thief from finding your valuable belongings in situations like this is to hide them in a diversion safe.

What is a Diversion Safe?

A diversion safe is any type of container or compartment that you can hide your goods in that is disguised as a normal everyday item. A diversion safe can be anything from an empty can of shaving cream or iced tea to a wall safe hidden behind that picture of your family from your vacation to the Bahamas.

8 Clever Diversion Safe Ideas

flower pots

Flower Pot or Planter

One of the most normal sites in or around any home are potted plants or planters. Take advantage of this by purchasing a flower pot that has a fake plant on top. Simply lift up the fake plant to hide your valuables in the secret compartment underneath.

If you don’t want to buy anything new, you can always use one of your real plants. Put your money and other valuables in a container then bury it inside of a pot of soil, and then put your real plant back in. This diversion planter safe can make it difficult to retrieve your valuables from their hiding place without making a mess but it's very unlikely that thieves in their limited window of time will spend their time uprooting your beautiful flowers to look for valuables.

Hair care items

Hair Brush Safe

If you are looking for a small compartment for hiding cash out of sight then this may be a good choice for you. Although the container within the brush is small and doesn't have a locking mechanism it is an unlikely place a robber with a small amount of time is going to be checking for your valuables. As an added bonus you can brush your hair with it since it is a real hairbrush.

power outlet

Surge Protector Safe

Probably the best diversion safe to use to keep your valuables hidden from the sight of unwelcome visitors is the surge protector diversion safe. Now don't start stuffing your Benjamin Franklin's into your surge protector. You'll want to purchase a specifically built surge protector diversion safe and not the genuine product of a real surge protector.

One of the unique benefits of this type of diversion safe is that not only is it in plain sight but a surge protector is also normally located on the ground away from eye level. A Surge protector safe has more horizontal storage than a can safe but it definitely won't fit your passports. If you're looking to hide your passports or other larger objects we recommend the pillow safe.


Pillow Safe

If you're looking for a container with more storage to hide money and protect some slightly larger valuables the pillow safe might be the perfect choice for you. The pillow safe has a larger storage area and best of all it's still a fairly comfortable pillow so you can have the container holding your valuables hidden in plain sight and even sleep on it. Even if you are a heavy sleeper, trying to take the cover off of a pillow your head is on and reaching inside to grab the goods will inevitably wake you up. Even if you're not currently slumbering on your valuables it's still not a place intruders are likely to check first. You can even bring it on vacation with you.


Candle Safe

Another way to keep your valuables safe is through candle safes. The candle safe consists of a metal container inside of a large wax candle with an opening at the bottom where you can conceal your money, cash, a secret note, or whatever else you can fit in the storage space of the candle or candle stick. You might actually be able to light the candle wick might but we don't recommend letting it burn for too long or you might compromise the protection and secrecy of the items in your candle safe hiding place.


Book Safe

You’ve probably seen a movie where one of the characters has opened up a bible, or some other innocuous looking book revealing that the inside of the pages have been cut (such as Disney’s 1993 film adaptation of Alexander Dumas’s classic, The Three Musketeers). In the film, before the bad guys can do anything, Aramis draws the gun out of the bible and fires it at the cardinal’s guards. This form of diversion safe works well not only for guns but for other valuables you want to keep concealed. If you have religious family and friends that read the bible regularly then you’ll likely want to choose a book most people are unlikely to take off your shelf to read it.

One of the most useful but least exciting books you'll find in an average home or office is a dictionary. This makes it a perfect book to use to hide expensive jewelry and other items. Hollowing out the inside of this or any other boring book can make it a great hidden safe. There are even book safes that you can purchase that have a metal container inside that you can secure with a key lock. Great for use as a gun safe to hide your weapon like Aramis for those times when you need to save your friends from the guillotine...or just to keep the weapon out of the hands of children.

Can goods

Can Safe

Like other types of a diversion safe a can safe has some pros and cons that go along with it. Although cans are so commonplace that a thief is likely overlook it, one of the cons to it is that your family members or cleaning lady might assume this soda can on your shelf is just garbage and throw it out while cleaning. If you do choose the can concealment route make sure it's in a safe but natural place for it to be. For this reason we recommend putting it inside a lunchbox stashed away somewhere in your room.

stylish water bottle

Water Bottle Safe

One diversion safe that might be difficult to make yourself but can be easily purchased is the bottle safe. The bottle safe consists of two main parts. The first part is the top where it is actually filled with water. The bottom part has a compartment covered by the label of the bottled water company. It's a small size compartment that can be used for hiding valuables such as coin, cash, and jewelry in plain sight. The only drawback would be if the thief pops the lid off the bottle for a refreshing swig of water and ends up discovering your secret safe.

Man with a purple shirt wearing a hat and a belt outside with greenery in the background.

Belt Safe

This diversion safe is also wearable, making it usable at home or when you're out. The belt safe, also known as a money belt, looks like a regular belt but with one main difference: you can hide money, credit cards, etc. in it. Some money belts offer a hidden space in the buckle while others are even more covert, concealing small items in a zipper found on the inside of the belt itself.

A can of liquid wrench oil.

Liquid Wrench Can

The idea behind this diversion safe is using a can that no one really notices. A can of liquid wrench, for example, appears to be a common household item. But it's a great side and shape to hide valuables inside. It's perfect for hiding keys, jewelry, money, passports, etc.

White bookshelves with lots of books.

Hidden Bookshelf Safe

We've offered many ideas for diversion safes that can hide smaller valuables. But what if you have bigger items to hide from prying eyes? Things like gold bars, multiple files, heirloom pieces, etc. One option is so out of sight, you may even forget it's there: a hidden bookshelf safe.

It appears to be just like any other bookshelf, but it is actually a "door" to another room or small closet where items can be hidden out of sight. Don't have a spare room or closet? Find a pocket of space under the stairs or a portion of space at the end of the living room, etc. The bookshelf can become either a door or even a false wall. There are countless options that can be customized to your needs.

Cute teddy bear with brown stitching.

Child's Toys

This safe diversion is a great option because there are plenty of old toys out there. If you have children, you can use one of their old toys (just make sure you know which one it is and it stays off limits to kids). Or if you don't have kids, you can easily get a toy new from a store or even a used one. We recommend an antique mall. Lots of older toys are also decorative, so using them around the house is natural and blends in.

One great option is a stuffed animal. Simply open the stitching on the back of the toy, place items inside, and secure it closed with a safety pin or even hand stitches.

A pair of brown hiking boots.

Old Shoes

What could be more hidden than shoes? It would probably be the last place a burglar would look for valubales like cash, cards, documents, etc. Yet, there are plenty of shoes all over the house. Simply find an old pair you don't wear anymore, and designate them as your old shoe safe. Just make sure they aren't high value shoes that someone would try to steal in order to resell.

Front yard with flowers, trees, tree stumps, grass.

Wood Log or Tree Stump

Want to hide items outside? Forget about fake rocks, as those are super common and easy to spot. Instead, try a piece of wood. If you already have wood items in your yard, great. Hollow one out and place your valuables in a protective bag or box and hide them inside the wood log or tree stump.

In Yard

Another option outside is simply burying a spot in your yard and placing a container (pill bottle, canister, baggie, box) or your valuables in the ground, then covering them up. Be sure it's not a high-traffic area where people will step on the area and compact it over time. You may also have other hidden parts of your front or backyard that are perfect for hiding, like under a bench or up a tree. Be creative and go scout out some possible locations.

Inside Overhead

When a burglar enters a home and looks for valuables, it's highly unlikely that they'll look up. That's why these areas inside your home that are out of reach are the perfect spots to hide valuables. If you live in a home with architectural details up high, you may be able to hide items behind or inside them. High kitchen cabinets are another option, as well as high shelves inside a closet. You could even tap into extra ceiling space and add a false air vent as a disguise.

How Do I Get a Diversion Safe for Myself?

There are a few businesses that you can find online that will sell you diversion safes but you can also take the diy route and create your own diversion safe from real objects in your home.

By far the simplest would be to use any can of chips (such as Pringles), or remove the batteries from a flashlight and use that, or cut the top off of an Arizona Iced Tea and stash your cash inside.

So there you have it. Diversion safes are not perfect but depending on which type you have they can still be a decent way to keep your goods hidden from burglars in the few minutes before law enforcement arrives. Just make sure you remember where you hid your stuff or you might accidentally throw it away.

But what about the things you can't secure in a small hiding container? Larger objects you can't hide from sight such as sculptures, furniture, or paintings.

In order to protect all of your items we recommend that you have a monitored security system as well. Cove boasts faster response times than any other company so even if the burglars aren't scared off by the alarm they'll have even less time to snag your hard earned goods before the police show up and arrest them.

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