In order to keep firearms out of the wrong hands, it is important that gun safes be properly secured. Many people believe that if they just buy a safe (especially one that weighs several hundred pounds) and stick it in a closet, their firearms will be secure.
This could not be further from the truth. While a heavy safe can be helpful, properly securing a safe is crucial to ensure it can’t be carried off or tip over and cause accidental injury or damage.
In this article, we are going to list the top seven securing methods for a gun safe. As you read, you will learn what different materials and circumstances are involved with each method. This will help you determine if your gun safe is secure and, if not, what method suits you best.
Bolt Safe to a Cement Ground
Arguably one of the most popular and widely used methods for securing a bun safe is to bolt it to a cement ground.
Cement is an exceptionally strong material with average strengths ranging from 7,000 and 14,500 psi. This means it will be able to fully support the weight of your gun safe and its contents as well as being strong enough to grip the safe, prevent it from falling over, or being pried from its place.
Of all the methods listed here, this is one of the most basic, but effective, options and can be commonly seen in people’s garages, basements, and other indoor spaces with concrete flooring.
You’ll need specialized tools, like a hammer drill and high-strength concrete anchor bolts measuring at least 3 inches in length.
Once you have these, the installation process is fairly simple, as only requires you to drill holes through the pre-drilled holes in the base of your safe, clear the hole of debris, and then insert and secure the concrete anchor bolts.
This is one of the most basic, but effective, methods for securing a gun safe. You will need to purchase an expansion bolt kit from your local hardware store. The kit should come with an electric drill, drill bit, and concrete screws.
Here’s a helpful video showing how to bolt a gun safe to a concrete floor:
Anchor Safe to Steel Slab, Large Wooden Pallets, or a Mounting Plate
Bolting your gun safe to the floor is usually the top recommended option amongst gun safe owners. However, if you don’t have a concrete surface for the method listed above, you might be at a loss as to how else you can achieve the security it provides.
The answer is to anchor your gun safe to an alternative material. Some of the top options include a steel slab, large wooden pallets, or a mounting plate. Determining which is best will depend on several factors, such as your:
- Safe size and weight
- Allotted space
- Aesthetic preferences
Steel slabs or mounting plates (also made of steel) are typically the more expensive but also visually appealing option. This material is also known for being integrally stronger and more durable than concrete.
As a result, it is ideal for heavier gun safes that would most likely break a wooden pallet. However, it does pose a risk of rusting if it is not treated and could damage whatever flooring is present underneath if it is not installed properly.
Comparatively, bolting a gun safe to a wooden pallet is a short-term option, particularly for lighter gun safes, but isn’t the wisest method.
Unless the pallet is significant in size and made of a particularly strong wood, like lumber, that has been treated, it will likely rot and/or break under the weight of your safe. This could potentially damage the safe’s exterior, and anything stored within.
As a result, we only recommend this budget-friendly option as an interim method for securing your gun safe until you can find a better alternative.
Attach Safe to Another Safe
If you’re in the fortunate circumstance of owning more than one gun safe (or any other type of safe), you could potentially skip the process of anchoring it to the floor and opt for bolting them together.
Not only does this make it more difficult for thieves to carry off your safes, but the combined weight will also help to keep them in place.
Of course, this method is only feasible if you have the right type and size of safe available, and if you don’t mind having them side-by-side. It isn’t the most common option, but it might be worthwhile and perfect for your circumstances if all the necessary conditions are met.
Weigh the Safe Down
Up until this point, all the methods we’ve listed for securing your gun safe have involved bolting and anchoring it to something, whether this is the floor or an alternative material directly beneath it or to another object. While these are extremely effective, not everyone who owns a safe is comfortable with or capable of bolting it for security, causing them to seek alternatives.
The most budget-friendly way to secure your gun safe without bolting it to anything is to simply weigh it down. This is usually done by placing heavy weights and/or objects on top of your gun safe.
It might not be the most secure method in preventing accidental falls or thefts (since you only need to remove whatever is on top to potentially lift the safe) but it is usually enough to provide some peace of mind and deter burglars who have limited time to snag what they can.
The biggest challenge with this method is that you’ll likely have to do a fair bit of math to ensure the weight you add is enough to properly secure the safe, but not too much to become overbearing for both the safe and whatever object (ex. a shelf) or floor is beneath it.
Fasten a Security Cable to the Safe
Another security method that is fairly inexpensive but highly effective is to attach one or more security cables to your gun safe and its surroundings.
This method works by looping one end of the security cable around a large and sturdy object, such as a nearby column or pipe, while the other end attaches to the safe.
Just be sure that the object you loop the cable around is securely fastened itself so that a thief couldn’t simply pull it out and make off with your safe that way.
One of the perks of this method is that it can be easily paired with any of the previous methods for additional security. It is very common to see gun safes bolted to the floor and anchored to its surroundings using security cables.
Glue the Safe to the Floor Or Structures
Probably one of the most hassle-free methods for securing your gun safe, apart from weighing it down, is actually to glue it to the floor and/or structures around it.
If you aren’t dealing with an exceptionally heavy gun safe, your odds of securing it efficiently with a powerful glue is higher than you might think. This is a fantastic way to keep it in place moments after you purchase it and can be supplemented with other methods listed here for greater results.
For this method to work, you’ll want to choose your glue carefully. The ideal choice is usually a strong polymer glue (also known as super glue), but you’ll want to confirm that whatever glue you choose can properly adhere to the exterior material of your safe as well as whatever floor or structure you’re sticking it to.
Hide the Safe
When people think about “securing” their gun safe, their mind usually goes to methods that involve fastening or attaching it to something, but this is not the only option.
Securing an object can also be interpreted as ensuring its safety, and one way to do that is to keep it out of sight.
People have been hiding safes ever since they existed; if people can’t see it, they won’t know there is something of value locked away. Some of the best ways to hide a gun safe include placing it inside a fake cabinet or wall, particularly if they’re small.
Many people love the classic option of hiding inside a real wall and covering it with artwork or other items.
If you have hardwood floors, we highly recommend hiding your safe underneath, as this will eliminate the risk of it falling over and make it near impossible for someone to steal it unless they know where it is.
Gun safes are crucial items that help ensure the weaponry inside stays safe and in ideal condition. Securing it further ensures this and is usually a process you can accomplish within minutes, regardless of which method you choose above.
Before you decide, make sure to carefully consider all your options and choose what is best for you and your circumstances.