Is Prince’s Vault of Unpublished Music Secure?

In the aftermath of the pop star’s death, photographs of his special vault were released for the public to see.

For as long as I can remember I have always been curious about the security systems which the rich and famous have had installed in their homes or, better stated, mansions. Having said that, I have a profusion of first-hand experience and knowledge about many of these systems since I have been retained by many celebrities to help ensure that their protection of family and property is being properly designed, installed, maintained and monitored.

The rich and famous have the same concerns that many of your subscriber base has, such as how difficult will it be for me to operate the system, what if I cause a false alarm, I want to know if anyone walks on my property, and yes, even budget has come up in these discussions. Part of an alarm expert’s duties is to not only perform a security survey of the premises, but the subject matter expert [SME] also needs to carefully interview the client in order to perform a needs analysis so that he and/or she can help quantify what the motivations are: a security system and usually a video surveillance system for their properties as well.

From my experience, it is all about trying to provide the customer with peace of mine no matter what they do or who they are. With the tragic passing of Prince that has shocked the world, persons close to Prince have decided to show the world what the inside of his mansion in Minnesota looks like, including the special vault located inside where he stored all of his master recordings and I am sure many other high-value items.

I, for one, would have voted “no” as to the idea that the world needed to know that there is a vault at the compound. I certainly would not have recommended the release of any photographs of the vault door, which also revealed the identity of a Radionics keypad located adjacent to same. There are some things in life that the public does not and should not know about Prince, or any of your subscribers.

By disclosing all of this material information to the world, it now paints a bigger target on what perpetrators want and provides an opportunity to gain access. Shame on those persons in the position of trust that seemed to be more concerned with their needs than the overall security and safety of Prince’s prized possessions.

Read Next: Prince’s Paisley Park Estate Protected by Private Security Company

I suggest that the existing security system at the home be immediately reviewed, in order to verify that it is fully functional and compliant with the respective equipment manufacturer’s specifications, applicable UL and NFPA standards, alarm science and nationally recognized industry standards and best practices of the alarm and security industry.

As for the Radionics equipment, it was and is a fine product, but based on the assets at risk, and the estimated age of the system from somewhere before 2002, I would also recommend that the control panel set and its associated primary and partitioned system keypads be replaced forthwith. The last thing that the family of Prince needs now is to become a victim of crime and/or the theft of irreplaceable valuables.

May God bless Prince, his family and the diligent companies who represent the alarm and security industry, for helping to save lives and minimize serious personal injury and property loss.

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About the Author


Jeffrey D. Zwirn, CPP, CFPS, CFE, FACFEI, CHS-IV, SET, CCI, FASI&T, MBAT, writes Security Sales & Integration’s “Security Science” column. He is also president of IDS Research and Development, an alarm and security consultation, expert witness and training authority providing nationwide services on all issues related to alarm and security matters. He can be reached at 800-353-0733.

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