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A Brief Guide to Gun Safe Installation (Inside House)

You’re obviously not going to plop your guns on the dining table or hang them with the pots and pans. You need a proper and secure place to keep them, where they’re out of reach of your kids as well as hard to steal by a robber that may make their way into your house. Like a safe!

We’ve talked about gun safes before on this blog, but this is where we tell you how to actually install them. The topic was requested by a reader. If you too have a topic you’d like us to give you some information of (whether or not related to what we write on), drop us a line in the comments or through the contact page.

Types of Gun Safes to Install Inside

There’s actually a lot of options you can avail when trying to arrange for a gun safe. The prime concern you should have while choosing your safe is sturdiness and how much it can resist a robber or a different hazardous scenario like a fire. If you’ve already purchased one, you may be able to reinforce the safe (further) against these threats, but it is always wiser to buy the sturdiest option to begin with.

There can be other considerations as well, such as size and appearance (a safe that blends into the environment stands a lesser chance of being tampered with), as well as the security features it may come with. They should also be accounted for, as long as the results agree with your primary evaluation of sturdiness.

With that in mind, let’s take a quick look through the many options available for safes.

#1 - A standard Metal locker

A standard Metal locker

A metal locker is not a safe. I say this because if you were to really put your will to it, you could find a way to pry open the door with a crowbar, or cut through the sheet metal with a strong enough tool (there are a few varieties).

Despite that, a metal locker can still make your life a lot safer. Kids cannot open it without feeding the proper password, and robbers probably won’t have the time to open it or the luxury on being able to be noisy. A standard metal locker is cheap too since there’s so many of them in the market. They can be heavy and therefore difficult to install, so be careful with the way you proceed.

#2 - A hidden in-the-wall safe

A hidden in-the-wall safe

A safe in the wall can be easier to hide, and it can serve as the perfect security arrangement for apartments or living spaces with little space to move about. To be fair, in-the-wall safes tend to be smaller and so might not accommodate a lot of guns, or even one large machine.

But if you have no problems with the size, you’ll find that with only one side of the safe exposed, it can be a lot more difficult for thieves to open them without leaving a trace. These safes if installed at a height can also prevent children from reaching the guns stored within. Plus, they’re lighter and easier to install if you know your way around a simple multi-tool kit.

#3 - A manually customised simple-looking cabinet

Undoubtedly, there are people who’d rather not have a mechanical locker or LED screen spoil the ambience of the room or contradict the theme of decoration. It can be hard to find a good safe that fits your specific design requirement and is also sturdy enough to keep its contents away from unwelcome hands.

If you already have a sturdy cabinet or a drawer in the dresser you like to keep your gun in, you can secure it through quite a few tricks. Make the doors tough to open, install a false door to keep intruders pulling handles without avail, or build a false floor in a drawer to hide your guns under.

A Manually Customised Simple Looking CabinET

There are probably a few crazy safes that would be equally hard to figure out for robbers and kids, I’m sure. But enough about that. Let’s proceed to how to actually install a gun safe in the house.

How to Install a Gun Safe indoors in the house?

Installing a gun safe is pretty easy if you really set your heart to it. All you need to account for is the size, the weight and the appropriateness of the safe and its location, and that is all you need worry about.

Some pointers before we start installing the safe.

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    Heavy safes do better with strong surfaces underneath them. Like we talked about in our previous blog about fire safety with gun safes, make sure you don’t put your heavy safe over wooden flooring, because in case of a fire, the floor can burn and cause the safe to fall through, dent and cause the contents to roast or catch fire, defeating the entire purpose.
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    Keep a metal safe away from sources of moisture. No matter how strong your safe is, it is probably still susceptible to rusting. Keep it away from leaky pipes, overwatered plants, kiddie pools, bathtubs… you get the idea.
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    Safes can never be your sole line of defense against a robbery. No commercially available safe is unbreakable; it is only dissuading to the robber to go through all that effort, so he’ll make a run by grabbing something less expensive. You cannot keep everything you own in the safe. It is better to also invest in a CCTV system, a good alarm system and good electronic doorbells.

Now, for the steps to install a gun safe in the house.

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Carry the safe to the proper place

Carrying the safe is the most difficult part of the procedure if you have a heavy safe. A medium safe can weigh between 75 to 200 lbs, which can make things hard if you don’t know how to move the load off the platform, or operate a dolly, or have any other contraption in mind. There are a few options here.

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    Tip the safe to the front for a tiny angle and insert sturdy wooden rods under the base. These should become a set of wheels. The more, the better. Just make sure the rods are equal in diameter or they’ll slip.
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    The other option is to tip it to a side (gradually) and place it onto a skateboard-like platform with free moving wheels. It can then be rolled to whichever place you want it to go.
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    Another way to move your safe is to use a refrigerator dolly. Tip the safe a little to one side and put the dolly’s plate under the safe. Next, tip the safe to the side of the dolly, till the centre of the safe is right above the wheel. You’ll know when the safe needs the least effort to balance and to move. You can carry it anywhere you like, drop the safe, tip it to the other side again and pull the dolly out.

Wasn’t that easy? Here’s a pro tip, just in case. Tilting the safe sideways is easier and arguably safer, because the door is heavier than the other three sides. You can move the safe easier with this in mind.


Make space

The next step to proceed to before you get down to the actual installation is to account for space, and make sure there is plenty of it. The space you install the safe in shouldn’t become harder to navigate, nor should the safe pose a risk to the safety of the structure or residents of the building, especially in dangerous situations like fires, earthquakes or other such calamities. Here are some pointers based on where you’d like the safe installed.

  • On the ground

If you want the space to be on the ground, the first thing to watch out for is the flooring. Safes are pretty heavy. It might be exceptionally difficult to get a heavy safe upstairs, but you certainly don’t want to imagine how things might turn out if the safe falls through the floor.

A lot of floor related problems with gun safes can be with wooden flooring, though concrete flooring is not immune in the least. Wooden floorboards can rot with exposure to moisture over a long time. They can serve as fuel to a raging house fire. So choose a safe place to put your guns on.

  • On the wall

The wall can be a viable place to hang your safes on as well. Keeping the safe behind a door can be a good way to save your valuables from a robber’s attention. It works wonders for people who have less space in their homes but still need a safe to keep their guns in.

Easier still, you can have the gun safe hide in plain sight under a false floor in a hard to reach drawer. Even if someone you don’t want accessing your stuff chances upon it, they probably won’t think of trying to pull the floor up to reveal something that might be hidden inside it.


Install

Now here’s the easy part. All it takes to install a safe is the instruction manual of the safe and a few handy home tools that shouldn’t be too hard to find at your nearest hardware shop.

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    If you plan on screwing the safe into the floor, the safe should have holes at the proper places already. Just remove the covering and put in a screw casing or wall plug (depending upon the thickness you’re trying to screw until) with a washer. Use a drill to make some holes before. Next, with the screws in the casing, put the casing in the holes and hammer down till it won’t go any further. Screw tightly and you’re done!
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    To install the safe inside a wall, you need to first mark the wall to figure out the proper dimension of the safe on it. Make sure you don’t saw over an electrical box or through a vertical beam. Consult your building plan for help in this regard. Once the area is cut, you need only slide in the case and screw the safe where needed.

Pretty easy, no?


Reinforce

It’s not just essential to install a strong safe, it is also important to reinforce the security. Take the following steps.

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    Make sure you change the password of the safe if there is such a facility. Change the password regularly, like once a month. You can have your own system of remembering what it was; only don’t reveal it to someone outside.
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    Make things fireproof. You can insulate the safe by laying in sheets of material like mineral wood, cellulose or standard insulation boards.
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    Protect the safe from environmental elements. Give it a paint job if necessary, get any surrounding leaks fixed and make sure the electronic circuitry is not disturbed. Keep bugs out.

Cloak

Cloaking the safe is the best way to make sure your guns and other valuables are the least at risk. Hang a painting over an in-the-wall safe so people cannot expect to find something behind it. If you have a small safe, keep it hidden inside another cupboard, deep in the recess of a section hidden with some clothes and stockings. Bigger safes can be harder to mask. At the same time, make sure it doesn’t become too inconvenient for you to access your guns and valuables either. Also, keep in mind to also keep the safe away from the hands on kids so they don’t get their hands on your guns.

There’s the average way to do things that we just told you about, or you could do something completely unexpected, straight from a thriller novel like building a hidden safe that opens with a book. This guy did it and posted a video on YouTube for everyone to learn. Check it out as well.

Securing your safe is not too hard. Installing a gun safe is vital to keep your guns and valuables safe, as well as to ensure the safety of your family. You can make things as elaborate as you want. So, what are your plans for your gun safe?

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