I am about to purchase a 36 gun safe. I would like to put it in the basement, but the number of steps to get in the house and then down the basement, not to mention the landing at the bottom will make it VERY difficult to do. So do any of you have your safe located in the garage? What is the general opinion of doing this?
Don't have any recommendation on location, but a little crumb of food for thought.
If you do end up putting your safe in the basement, make sure it's both fireproof AND waterproof. If there is a fire, the water from the firefighters can easily flood a basement and if your safe is not waterproof, your guns and valuables may not burn, but they may be water logged.
As far as the garage is concerned, I've heard of it done successfully. My only concern would be the ease of access for a thief. Yes, they are met with a safe to deal with, but if the garage is separate from the house and a little sound proofed, they can play with it all night without your knowledge. That could be bad.
Layered security. Think in layers. The more hardened layers you have, the tougher it will be to gain access; the fewer, the easier. Also realize that most any safe can eventually be broken into. Steps you take merely add time to the equation.
Here are some of the considerations I was presented with, with researching.
As with any location, bolt it in place. Be cognizant of what you're bolting it into, as it's only as strong as that. If possible, place it hard up against two walls, ie in a basement against the foundation towards the hillside, or in the garage against the inside house walls. Compare against having a free-standing safe sitting in the middle of your garage, not bolted down. It will be easy to strap onto a hand truck, onto a lift, then into the bed of a truck. Even if bolted down, that free-standing safe in the middle of the floor can be strapped and then yanked off the foundation, which is why bolting into a corner against the walls is desirable.
Ideally, access to the room will be covered by an alarm system, possibly even with the safe itself wired into the alarm system. Then your four-legged alarms, the dogs. Whichever of these you can do, great. Another reason to consider the "deep inside" of your home, whether in the basement or "safe" room, due to simple logistics of getting to it, as well as logistics of getting the dang thing out of the house.
If against a foundation/walls, you can consider building up a steel-reinforced cement structure around the sides, rear and top of the unit, to further guard against it being removed from position.
Beware of water damage, particularly if it will be in a "low" spot that can collect water (whether due to fire hoses or accident).
Some say that the cooler part of a fire is down in the basement, against a corner. So, if your safe is fire rated, you've got a chance to safe papers, plastics and wood, if it's stored in a cooler spot.
There is at least one safe that can be assembled in place, saw the ad recently in the back of one my gun magazines. I'll have to go look for it.
Don't put the safe in the garage. I moved a year ago and put my safe in the garage to please my wife. I put damp rid in the safe to pull the humidity out of the air but I still got some surface rust on one of my weapons and the safe started to rust on the outside. I have moved the safe into our bedroom and that's where it will stay. My advice is find a way to keep it in the airconditioning. With enough men you can put a safe anywhere, but I like the bedroom so I can get to it in a pinch.
Originally Posted by sass20485
But keep in mind that those gaps between pieces will allow hot air to enter, in a fire. If you're looking for fire protection, consider a solid unit.
At my friend's house he has safe built into the foundation. There is a little door/window like thing you open up and then it gets larger inside. Foam, rubber and tight seals all around so it would be pretty hard to get water in there. But any moisture that does get in there you need to absorb, papers/legal docs will do just fine.
Any rec's besides the Zanotti, I love the best but I don't want to drop some 7k on a safe.
Here is an off the wall option for you also. Build a concrete room/closet in the basement and then purchase a safe door. Being that you are dropping the money on a 36 gun safe, I assume you have set a substantial budget for it.
Here is one suggested product. www.polysteel.com
That is an ICF building block for houses, but we also do safe rooms with them. One nice thing about them is that they have a 4 hour fire rating when installed. Also, they have a 20 guage steel stud strip built into the block 12 inches on center so that you can attatch sheetrock directly to the block without any furring strips. You could finish it off as a closet and no one would be the wiser.
I just did some quick calculations, and you should be able to do a 12'x5' walk in for around a $1,500 budget or less provided you are able to do the work yourself.
Hmmm some good suggestions - I like the idea of building a room. I suppose I could even go with std concrete block filled with cement. The main effort here is to keep things out of reach of the kids - I am not AS worried about inbtruders. As others have said, any safe can be cracked given time. If I am home they wont have the time, if I am not - well they probably will get in if motivated.
Shoot me a PM if you want some help designing one the way I suggested.
Originally Posted by vernonator
Whatever safe you get make sure you get one that has walls that are constructed of at least 1/4" boiler plate steel; If you get one with any thinner steel and the burglars will use a pick axe or similar tool to punch a hole in one side of it, then use a regular axe or saw to peel the safe wall open like a can opener. Also mount the safe so that it is bolted into your slab if you have one, and as for location, mount it so that any potential burglar cannot get a good swing at trying to punch through the walls from any direction; Space in a small closet is best with the strongest part of the safe (the door) facing outward. As other posters have said, a layered security approach is best, just to delay the burglars long enough for police to arrive. My solution is an alarm that dials the police, with a feature I installed myself that explodes a pepper gas canister in the room my safe is in; the pepper gas also has an ultraviolet dye in it for identification as well. So in addition to setting off the alarm and notifying the police, they will have a very hard time seeing and breathing while trying to leave. God help them if I am home.....