Countries around the globe have gone to extreme lengths to secure locations that are under threat of a potential break in, or break out in the case of prisons. You would surely expect this for the Federal Reserve Bank that houses a quarter of the world’s gold, but would you expect it for a humble public parking lot?
Read on to find out more about the 6 most secure locations on our planet and what makes them so well protected…
1. United States Bullion Depository
When you have 4,500 tons of gold to keep safe, you’re going to do a bit more than just pop a padlock on the door. This fortress is actually built to protect the underground vault below where the gold is kept (and where the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence were stored during World War II). It is patrolled 24/7 by armed guards.
No one in the world knows the vault combination – instead, 10 people each know a small section and so must all be present in order for it to be opened.
If a robber did somehow circumvent the guards, de-wire the CCTV and get passed the wired fences that surround the area – the 30,000 soldiers armed with helicopter gunships, artillery and tanks who reside at Fort Knox just next door are authorised to protect the depository and could be on the scene in mere minutes if needed.
2. Svalbard Global Seed Vault
On the remote, icy cold Norwegian island of Spitsbergen lies this purpose built vault that holds over 250 million seeds ready to repopulate the earth’s flora should a cataclysmic disaster wipes out the world’s crops.
The vault is housed 390 feet inside a frosty mountain, 430 feet above sea level to ensure that it will not flood even if the polar icecaps melt and the sea level rises.
3. Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Surprisingly, this bank holds far more gold than the US Bullion Depository – a whopping 25% of the entire world’s gold and yet requires just 3 people to enter the vault’s combination. Still, it’s probably not going to be that easy to break in…
The vault is 80 feet below street level and many locks are also on timers so they don’t open straight away when the code is entered, meaning that the guards would have plenty of time to get to the area in case of a robbery.
4. Bold Lane Car Park
Rather bizarrely for an otherwise normal public service, this English parking lot is reputed to be the safest and most secure in the world.
Upon entry, your ticket is linked to a specific parking space and motion sensors underneath it kick into action – they will set off an alarm if the car moves before the ticket has been paid, and emergency buttons can send the whole building into full lockdown until police arrive.
Your car certainly won’t be getting stolen from this parking lot, but don’t expect to be able to get away without paying your parking ticket either!
5. Air Force One
Air Force One is in fact the name given to any aircraft carrying the President of the United States, but generally refers to one of two Boeing 747s that both have the ability to work as a fully functioning ‘White House’ in case of a national emergency.
The planes can not only fly a third of the way around the world on one tank of fuel but they can refuel in midair if needed, meaning that theoretically it could stay up there as long as it needed to.
All equipment on board the plane is shielded from electromagnetic pulses and the planes also have the ability to jam enemy radar signals, deploy flares to divert any heat-seeking missiles and to deploy a cloud of small aluminium pieces known as chaff if targeted by a radar-guided missile.
6. ADX Florence Supermax
This maximum security prison in Colorado USA, houses some of the most violent and dangerous criminals in the world, who are all kept in solitary confinement for 22 to 23 hours a day.
The building is rigged with CCTV cameras, lasers, motion detectors and under-floor pressure pads. If you manage to bypass all of those and climb over the 12ft barbed wire fence that surrounds the facility, you better watch out for the large gun towers that are patrolled by snipers ready to shoot any prisoner that should somehow escape.
So there you have it, some of the most secure locations in the world…makes me think now that my front door lock is no longer sufficient.