Peace of mind for valuables at the gym

PortableSmartSafe_hero612.jpg

I have for some time been concerned about leaving valuables in the locker at my gym (DW Fitness) – not specifically because of any problems reported at the branches I use but because lockers in such locations are clearly vulnerable and there have been reports of gyms being targeted by thieving gangs.

There are not many portable lock boxes with movement alarms around. Frankly, this is the only one I found that looked at all substantial in the UK. It is the Xitel mySAFE.

I purchased two, one for myself and one for my wife. Not at the Amazon price of over £70 though: I bought from SCAN at £45 inc VAT each but I see they are no longer available from SCAN. So, are they worth the higher price …

Bottom line: I use mine every visit to the gym, it takes me seconds to use, has never gone off accidentally when knocked, has gone off when someone moved it (without realising) and alerted everyone in the gym, fits into the locker easily (in front of my shoes) and comfortably holds my wallet, car keys, money, and an iPhone as well as a few other odds and ends.

When I first received the two units, I had problems with one of them. It turned out that the supplied batteries were poor with one of the units.

The box is pretty solid. It is not a safe though. If someone gets hold of this and removes it from the deposited location, then they are going to get into it without any trouble (a screwdriver and hammer should do the trick). From my point of view, the box:

1) prevents the opportunist just grabbing a small valuable item whilst your back is turned;

2) makes removal of the box from a reasonably public location impractical – too noisy.

It has TWO locks: a physical three digit combination lock. Once turned, the box cannot be opened without tools/force/violence.

A movement sensor lock, which uses a 4 to 6 length pin entered on a 3 digit pad (nos 1, 2, 3). Once set, movement will cause the reasonably loud alarm to go off and it will only end when the correct pin is re-entered. There are alarm settings to choose how the alarm is triggered: instant alarm if moved or alarm only if movement continuous for a short period are the settings I use (there are others). The former is handy if you have larger valuable items in the locker that you want to protect by putting the box in front/on them. I mostly use the second setting so I can move it / knock it a little when putting things in/out of the locker.

Obviously, the two locks can be set to codes of your choice.

Clearly, a 3 digit lock and a 4-6 digit code alarm from the numbers 1,2,3 is not going to win any security awards. These are trivial to crack. That is not the point. The point is that there is no opportunity for a thief to crack the codes if used in appropriate locations. So, a beach, poolside, gym are all appropriate uses. A hotel room is probably not (although given that hotel room safes are almost completely useless, it might help) – too isolated, box can be smothered, opened violently and the alarm silenced. I have used it for extra protection in a busy car park (don’t forget to turn off alarm before driving away). You can even use it just as a movement alarm to help protect your bag at the pub (a common laptop theft location) – although it is a bit large for that.

Note that there are small cut-outs in the box to allow charging or security cables to be passed through the box.

I would be tempted even at the higher price. It gives me considerable peace of mind.

Leave a Reply