Valuables

Another random question. How do you secure valuables (e.g. papers, cash, etc) at home in DR? Home safe, lock box at bank or attorney...?  We currently have a small home safe here in North America but it cannot be bolted to the floor so will not be taking to DR. I am not real confident of a home safe since if anything happens to the lock mechanism I will have a problem. This does happen, and with high humidity I suspect this is more of a risk.  I don't suspect we will have much to protect, but there are always important papers to keep, and some cash on hand is always a good thing.

My friend has a safe in her closet that is bolted to the floor. It is key operated and is about the size of a small t.v. It is concealed behind the clothes. She has been in that house for 10 years.

She exercises caution when answering the door or providing information about her BnB to strangers who are checking prices. It has survived the 100% humidity that comes with hurricanes and this tropical climate without any mechanical issues ever....

Your random question is food for thought.

Actually thinking about it, I have never felt insecure in any of my many places of residence in DR and never taken any specific precautions. I guess it maybe something to do with the security provisions of a typical Dominican residence compared to other places. I was just thinking that when I travel to other islands and stay in private residences without security bars on all doors and windows, I do hide my valuables during my stay there.

I guess if your home is breached here, and during my time here since 2005 I have not had one instance of even an attempt, the delinquents are going to be so determined having made it into the residence that they will threaten you to discover/get your valuables. Of course you could be out at the time of the robbery but from what I have read the favourite manner of access is to follow the victim or draw the victim to the entry point to gain access. Or an inside job with persons of knowledge of you or your premises or even security guards involved.

I believe the greatest risk to an expat will always be when they are out of the home and it is at these times your valuables need to be limited to what are needed for those moments away from home and where you are going.

All manner of safes can be purchased at places like Unidos or Plaza Lama in Santo Domingo.

My way of thinking is that one should ideally have important documents readily at hand to remove from your residence quickly in the event of a storm, earthquake, fire or other peril too. I keep those documents and some cash in a small travel bag.

Thank you both. Excellent advice, as always. I think, admittedly, a safe is like insurance....just helps me sleep a bit better at night. Whether it is really necessary, as you've pointed out, is debatable.

Good to know I can get a decent one there and that it will last. Some Amazon reviews indicate some of the lock mechanisms can jam, which then poses a potential problem of getting into the darn thing. Our first year of so will be in a rental property. Our own home will be adequately secured once built, but I am just a bit concerned about the rental situation. I'll deal with it when the time comes though.

My understanding is that you are going to reside in Las Terrenas and my experience is that it is a safe community to be part of. Not just expats but locals too which include the many middle class from Santo Domingo who have made a second home there.

I spent over two years living there in Coson hills, Playa Bonita and Playa Las Ballenas and in each case without the security bars so common in DR with zero mishap. I do think LT has that community spirit which does not exist in other resorts popular with expats. Maybe it is because it is a much more relaxed resort with far less commercialism, little of a gated and segregated society, more Dominican with a touch of European in nature and very little bar culture and that which goes with it.

One very significant security factor we all forget is that the whole Samana peninsula is only accessible by one road with security points at it's entry.

I do hope it works out for you Rocky. I think you have made a good retirement choice. A few good and big dogs would be a good addition to the family. Dominicans are wary of big dogs.

Lennox, totally agree with your description of LT. We are very happy with it. We've never once felt uneasy about security. We will be living in the Coson hills area. A safe is just a safeguard. I have one here in the states and we live in a very "non-threatening" area. Thanks again.  :0)

And yes to the dogs. We are crazy dog people. We'll have a couple. Love the DR dogs.

I rented a place in Loma Ana in Coson hills. Isolated with a couple of villas as neighbours with one small road in and out. Didnt have dogs but the next neighbours did and they were big animals who barked at any visitor. It was eerily silent at night living up there with super views away from it all. Having to pass the local colmado and a few local houses on the way up to your villa was security of a kind. Nobody could get up there without being seen so they were your security too and it was an incident free ungated place.

I have always had a home safe, bolted in, with both digital and backup key entry.  They are easy to find here and not overly expensive.

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