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Heavy armored safe door open with gold inside a secure vault.

10 of the Most Secure Safes and Vaults in the U.S.

Without a doubt, some of the coolest scenes from big Hollywood hits feature stars carrying out complicated bank heists. Movies make it look cool, but breaking into a bank vault is no easy matter. We thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the most secure safes and vaults in the United States. You might be surprised to find out what’s behind their armored doors.

1. Fort Knox

Security isn’t synonymous with Fort Knox for no good reason. That facility located in Kentucky has a vault that contains the American bullion depository. A large portion of the country’s gold reserves are stored here. Aside from breaching the granite perimeter and armed guards, a crook would have to break into a 22-ton vault door. The door is secured by a lock that’s so advanced that it takes 10 people to access it. In fact, there are no recorded robbery attempts on Fort Knox. We’re willing to bet it will stay that way.

Bank vault filled with gold bullion.
The American bullion depository inside the vault at Fort Knox.

2. New York Federal Reserve Vault

Known as “the world’s biggest gold depository,” the NY Federal Reserve Vault is located under the bustling streets of Manhattan. Nobody is allowed to enter the vault – instead, pallets are moved robotically. Armed guards also keep watch over the perimeter, and it’s said that they’re more skilled than marksmen in terms of sharpshooting.

3. Coca-Cola’s Secret Recipe Vault

The formula for Coca-Cola’s ingredients is considered the most securely safeguarded secret in U.S. history. For more than 125 years, the company has successfully kept anyone else from knowing exactly how to make the unique soda drink. To this day, the recipe is stored in the high-security “Chamber of the Secret Formula.” But now visitors to the plant in Atlanta can tour parts of the Coca-Cola Vault, without breaking in. Here, visitors are welcome to learn how the company has protected its trademarked formula over the years.

Find out how to Maintain a Residential or Commercial Safe for top security.

4. J.P. Morgan Chase Vault

Located in New York, this vault also holds gold. It’s known for having one of the most advanced vaults on the planet and being virtually impossible to access. The vault is even said to be able to withstand a nuclear blast.

5. Federal Reserve Bank Vault of Cleveland

This vault in Cleveland, Ohio is best known for having the largest vault door in the world. It weighs a whopping 91 tons. Best of luck to any thief who attempts to break into that.

6. Broker Restaurant Antique Bank Vault

Located in Denver, Colorado, the building that is now home to the Broker Restaurant used to house the Denver National Bank. For 45 years, the facility wasn’t known for high security, but for serving delicious surf-and-turf and unique dining experience. Today, the antique bank vault remains intact, though the Broker Restaurant closed in 2017.

Check out the 10 Most Secure Buildings in the United States.

Going beyond safes in the U.S., watch this video about the most heavily guarded vaults in the world.

7. The Mormon Church Vault

Built into the rock in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, this vault is owned and maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Named the Granite Mountain Records Vault, it’s located 600 feet deep into the rock and designed to withstand a nuclear blast. While there are administration offices also located near the vault, it’s not open to the public. The church claims that it houses the world’s largest collection of genealogy records. With the vault so secure, we’ll likely never know what’s really inside.

8. KFC Recipe Vault

Tucked away in the Louisville, Kentucky headquarters of fast food giant – Kentucky Fried Chicken – is a vault which keeps Colonel Sanders’ original recipe safe. It took five months to construct the KFC vault and it’s loaded with state-of-the-art features, such as motion detectors, security cameras and around-the-clock guards. Concrete surrounds the safe and there’s even a backup generator in the event of a power outage. It’s said that only two people have access to the vault, but there’s no word on the identity of these individuals. Thanks to these top-security measures, the KFC vault remains one of the most secure vaults in the United States.

9. Church of Scientology Vault

The vault kept by Church of Scientology is located underneath the New Mexico desert, close to Area 51. It’s housed inside a cave and designed to withstand the impact from an atomic bomb, and is shielded by 5,000-pound steel doors, gates and security cameras. However, from the sky, it’s possible to locate based on crop circle-like formations carved into the ground. The church has not disclosed the contents of the safe, but we’re betting that not even Tom Cruise is allowed access.

10. Iron Mountain Vault

Located in Germantown, New York, this vault securely stores records and information for Iron Mountain customers, which are located worldwide. Formerly a mine, the area is now the biggest records vault on Earth. The bunker where the vault is housed is seven layers deep, buried a quarter mile into the mountain and protected by a security guard and 28-ton door. In order to get past the gate to the vault, you must have two forms of identification and special clearance. It’s reported that Bill Gates is among those who are storing items in the vault.

Find out the Best Location to Install a Safe in Your Home.

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