Having guns in the home to protect life and property is becoming more of a necessity as the days go by. Having a way to keep them out of reach of children, and safe from invading persons is also a necessity. A good quality gun safe will save you stress and hassle. You want to make sure that you can get to your gun when you need it, but still be able to keep people out of it. So now take a look at some key points to getting a safe. It should help you understand what your personal needs are by highlighting the differences of gun safes.
The Lock Situation
Gun safes come with your choice of locks. There are some distinct advantages and disadvantages to each choice. While you want to keep your guns from being stolen, you need to be able to reach them when you need them also. If you only get them occasionally, you are probably looking more for keeping them from being messed with by someone you don’t want to them. Here is a break-down of the lock situation.
1. Digital Locks
- They can be changed easily. You can change your password as frequently as you need to. You don’t have to hire anyone to do it for you because the process is simple, but you have to know how to do it correctly.
- The numbers are easy to read. You have the ability to put in your password without needing your reading glasses or turning on a light.
- They are usually harder to break into. The reason they are more difficult to get into is the different combinations you can use to create your password. Some locks will even allow you to pick the length of your combination, which means it is even harder to get into.
- They have to have the batteries changed at least once a year. Failure to change the batteries will make it not register the password.
- They have been prone to water damage. If your home floods, your safe may have to be drilled into because the water can cause the electronic system fail. Or worse, water could cause your safe to open, therefore ruining your guns.
- If you don’t set your password correctly, you may have to drill open your safe. Once you have to break open your safe, it is unusable. You will have to purchase a new one.
Tips for a Digital Safe
- Always set your passcode for the maximum digits allowed.
- Avoid setting it as important dates that anyone could guess.
- Put your safe in a location in the house that you can get to quickly in case of emergency.
2. Dial Lock
- The combination cannot be easily changed. This fact alone can be an advantage and a disadvantage. It means that you are not going to lose or forget your combination. It also means that if the combination is compromised you will have to hire a professional to change it.
- You don’t have to worry about the power going out, no batteries to change.
- They are usually waterproof. If your home is flooded, it will not saturate your lock. The water will not cause your lock to fail and open either.
- They take longer to open than a digital lock.
- The numbers are harder to read.
- The combinations are really hard to change and usually require a professional to do it. This means that you are not the only that has the combination. It is a safety concern because if their files get hacked into, your address and your combination are at risk.
The Size of the Situation
Trying to figure out what size you need is no easy task.
- The first thing you need to do is take a count of all the guns you have.
- Count how many accessories you have.
- Then make a list of the guns you plan on purchasing in the next year.
This number will tell you how many guns your safe will need to hold. Remember to take into consideration that you need to be able to store all your ammo also. You may want to have a separate compartment for your accessories and your ammo.
- Now you need to decide where you want to put your safe.
- You need to measure out space before you go shopping.
Having your exact measurements in hand will help tremendously. Most avid gun enthusiasts will tell you that your safe seems to shrink once you get it home. That is because once you start to fill it up, you realize that you don’t have as much space as you would like to watch your collection grow.
The Safe Type Situation
You know you have a ton of options when it comes to types. The type you want will depend greatly on the amount of space and guns that you have. You have floor safes and you have stand-up safes.
1. The stand-up safe
These are the standard safe that you see. They are more popular because they tend to have decorative elements in them. You place your gun in them with the nozzle facing up. Each gun will have its own clip that will hold it in place. You can store your gun loaded with these types of safes. They are usually wooden with a glass face on it. The older version almost always has several compartments that have a separate key for each part. When it comes to security, these aren’t very secure.
2. The stand-up steel variety of gun safes
These safes are usually made of complete steel material. They have no window and no legs. They are generally made of one solid piece of steel. You can get your choice of locks with these. They are more secure than traditional safes. You can increase their security with straps, but we will go into that a little bit later.
3. The floor safes
Floor safes can either be mounted to the floor or placed on the floor. These are usually not very big, in the range of safes. They are usually one-piece metal boxes. The guns lie flat in the bottom of the box. They usually do not have compartments. You can get your choice of locks for these types of safes also. Because they are typically easier to carry, they are more likely to get stolen, with your guns and ammo inside. You can purchase inserts to create compartments. Typically, they are more likely to have customizable options with a box type of safe.
In order to make sure that your guns are safe within your gun safe, you need to make sure it is completely secure. By secure, think beyond just the way it locks. You need to think and research construction material. How the safe is built is more important than most other aspects of your safe. You want to inspect the bolts that hold the door on. You want to inspect the way that the sides are attached. Opening mechanisms need to be secure in a way that they themselves cannot be compromised.
- Often times, safes are welded together. This weld makes it impossible to get them apart.
You need to make sure that you cannot get a crowbar into the cracks. You do not want anyone to be able to wedge or pry the sides apart. The bolts that hold the door hinges in need to be secured in a way that they cannot be removed. You do not want the safe to be compromised by completely bypassing the lock to get into the safe.
- Another way to make sure that your safe is as secure as possible is to secure it to the wall or floor.
You can run bolts through the bottom of the safe into the floor to make flush with the floor. You will need to use bolts that will not be easily removed from the outside. You can also attach them to the wall by running a bolt to the back of the safe into the stud of the wall. It is of vital importance to make sure you hit the stud of the wall. Otherwise, you will be only in the sheetrock. It would be easy to remove the safe by cutting out the drywall and removing it all.
- Straps can also be used to secure the safe.
The straps should be welded to the safe and then attached to either the stud in the wall or to the foundation of the house. You can run the strap completely through the wall and into the structure of the house for the most secure possibilities.
This has to be, by far, the coolest aspect of having a gun safe. You can hide it from everyone. Literally, no one has to know that you own a gun. It isn’t easy to do at all, but it is definitely well worth the effort. A built-in safe, in generally, is more secure than any other safe available.
- You will have to remove a section of the wall or floor. If you are placing it in a wall, go for the closet. It will make it the most unnoticeable spot in the house. Remove the wall down to the studs. Place the safe inside the wall in between the studs. Create a door that will close and look just like the wall. The reason it is suggested that you place it in the closet is that the hinges can be hidden by clothing hanging up.
- The floor safe is basically putting the safe under your house. You remove part of the floor. Place the safe in the floor, bolted to the foundation. Next, you will need to place your sub-flooring as a door to the hole where your safe is hidden over the top of the door to the safe. Makes sure that the sub-flooring can be lifted easily or place a hinge in it. Then, place your floor over the top of it. The flooring can be a loose tile or wood slat. Once your flooring is back in place, you should not be able to notice the safe at all.
- Of course, you can always add a little technology to help you secure your safe.
You can add an alarm that is silent. A silent alarm could trigger a notification on your phone. Some of the silent alarms will transmit a signal to your phone that will show you the time and date of when your safe was opened. You could even get one with a camera so that it takes a picture of who is in your safe and have that picture sent to your phone.
- The important part of having a safe is that it keeps your guns secure.
In order for them to do their job, you have to do yours. That means that you always keep your safe locked. You must follow all instructions precisely on how you set your lock and secure your door. You should always keep your passcode secret. Make sure that you understand completely how to install and use your safe. The way that you place your gun in your safe will vary by the type of safe that you purchase.
Follow all guidelines for the way that you store your guns, including loaded guns. For safety reasons, you should store your ammo in a bullet proof area. Most safes will have a place for your ammo. Follow all recommendations for rotating your ammo so that you do not allow your ammo to expire, causing them to detonate accidentally.
Ultimately, all safes perform the same duty. The way that you customize them, store them and lock they are all up to what you need. Research all your options before you make your choice, and remember to take into consideration anything that you want to store your guns so that space isn’t an issue for a while.