If you own anything of value, whether it’s a gun, jewelry, or large amounts of cash, owning a gun safe isn’t only an option. It’s a necessity. Protecting your valuables, and your life, is of paramount importance. But not all gun safes are the same, which is why we’re here to help you sift through all the safe on the market to help you find the best safe for your needs.
Most people don’t think about safety until they’ve been victims themselves, but we believe that preparation is the essence of security. You never know when your safety will be threatened, and you certainly wouldn’t want to buy a safe after it’s too late. Gun safes can seem pretty costly, ranging from a few hundred dollars for some quick-entry pistol safes or in-wall safes to tens of thousands of dollars with some models, but in many cases, having a safe is already enough to discourage a potential theft.
Shopping for a safe can be pretty intimidating to the average consumer. The terminology is often foreign to many consumers, and you’ll have to become familiar with all the different models on the market, including in-wall safes, truck gun safes, and the best fingerprint gun safes. You’ll also need to learn about the different accessories you’ll need to accompany your safes, such as gun safe dehumidifiers and safe lighting so that you get the most out of your purchase.
How to choose a gun safe
Consider Your Content
One of the most important things to consider when shopping for a gun safe is the content which you intend to put inside it. If your goal is to keep your personal belongings, such as important
documents, jewelry, or cash safe from theft, you may want to get a small biometric safe. On the other hand, if you’re anticipating that you might be a stress situation andyou want quick access to a personal handgun, you might want to opt for a quick-entry digital safe or quick-access pistol safe.
Safety First, Price Later
Some of the price tags for popular safes can be overwhelming to the average consumer, with some models costing as much as $12,000. But you simply can’t put a price on your own safety and security. In many cases, you might consider purchasing a safe that is relatively inexpensive. But as with everything else, you tend to get what you pay for, and you might regret not spending a little more money on a more secure safe. You should always consider the integrity of the safe first and foremost.
Size and Weight
Depending on what you intend to put inside your safe, you’ll want to make sure that not only is your safe large enough to fit your belongings, but also heavy enough to discourage theft. One of the most common methods of theft is by stealing the entire safe itself, and even a 300-pound safe won’t be adequate enough to deter criminals from stealing your safe.
The most common mistake that consumers make is judging safes by their outward appearance. Most safes may seem sturdy and reliable based on the thickness of their doors, but the amount of actual steel that goes into the door construction actually matters more than the thickness of the door itself. Many gun safe manufacturers will wrap safe doors with thin sheet metal to conceal the insulation and mechanical parts, but the door itself may not be as secure as it seems. The best safes on the market are made with thick metal latches that will protect the safe from prying.
A common method of entry into a safe is by torching, which is why many gun safe manufacturers will test their safes to ensure that it has proper resistance to heat. Many gun safes will include a heat resistance rating, which you’ll have to pay special attention to if you want to protect your belongings. The most heat resistant safes are built with stainless steel. Although they can be pricier than other models, you’re also paying for peace of mind.
Safes can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, and having a bad lock will basically render your safe useless. Most gun safe vendors will allow you to change the locks on your safe according to your specific needs, and you’ll want to be just as picky about the type of locks you have. Digital keypad locks are one of the most popular types of locks to have on safes, but they can also take an inordinate amount of time to use if you’re trying to access your safe quickly. Biometric locks utilize new fingerprint technology for secure entry, but you should be sure to do your research on fingerprint gun safes so you don’t end up with a glitchy lock.
Although you may spend thousands of dollars on a safe, you won’t get the desired results if you don’t have the right accessories for it. Gun safes need to be dry to prevent rust, and you’ll have to purchase a dehumidifier for your safe if you want to keep your belongings from deteriorating. Your safe will also need efficient lighting accessories, unless you’re fine with using a flashlight every time you open your safe.
7 Reasons You Should Own a Gun Safe
Buying a gun safe isn’t usually on a lot of people’s minds. Most people assume that gun safes are made particularly for guns, but if you ever have anything of value that you want to protect, guns safes are the most popular safes on the market because they offer a level of security you generally won’t find with other safes. Here are some reasons why you should own a gun safe:
You’re a Business Owner
Although many transactions have become digital in the marketplace, a lot of businesses still operate with cash, and that cash has to be kept somewhere secure. Safes are also useful for protecting legal documents, such as articles of incorporation and tax forms. If you own a business and your essential belongings aren’t contained in a safe, your business will be always be at risk.
If you own a personal firearm and you have children, having a gun safe is a necessity. Accidental deaths among children are still a recurring problem, which is why gun safes are an essential aspect of owning a firearm.
Gun Safety Laws
Depending on where you live, you may be legally required to have your guns kept in a safe. Although you should probably get a safe for your firearms anyway, it’s probably a good idea to check your local gun safety laws to determine if you have to have one.
Responsible Gun Ownership
Anti-gun activists will often argue that negligence is the primary reason why guns tend to wind up in the wrong hands. Keeping your guns locked in a safe will demonstrate that you are a responsible gun owner, and that you are willing to go the extra mile to prove that you are worthy of owning a firearm.
It’s common for unlawful firearm use to be associate with stolen guns, and getting your guns stolen is the easiest way to attract unwanted attention from law enforcement officers. Part of your responsibility as a gun owner is to ensure that your guns don’t end up in the wrong hands, and keeping your guns in a safe is integral to ensuring the safety of your community, and that of your yourself as well.
Depending on where you live, you may qualify for certain tax deductions based on the purchase of a gun safe. Purchasing a gun safe actually constitutes a public service, because it keeps guns out of reach of children, criminals, and prevents unlawful use. If you’re in the market for a gun safe, you may want to check with your accountant or tax professional to see if you qualify for certain tax deducations.
Getting a safe can be pretty costly at first, but you’ll actually be saving some money in the form of discounts on your insurance premiums. Some homeowner’s insurance policies recognize gun safes as a form of protection. The discounts can vary depending on what type of safe you use, including their fire ratings, so you’ll want to ask your insurance agent about the kinds of savings you quality for.
Features a good safe should include
Gun safe manufacturers always consider the methods that burglars use to get into safes when they build their products, and one of the most common ways that your valuables can get stolen is by prying. Burglars will often use a combination of prying tools, hammers, and wrenches (among other things) to attempt to bend the door open. Fortunately, gun safe manufacturers will take certain measures to ensure that the safe is protected from prying, and it’s important that you, as a consumer, understand what features a good safe should include:
Small Door Gaps
When criminals pry into safes, they will first attempt to fit a prying tool into the gap between the door and the body. If the door gap is wide enough, a burglar will have adequate leverage to attempt to pry the door open by bending the door outward. Gun safe manufacturers often solve this problem by shortening the door gap to within small fractions of an inch so that most tools strong enough to bend the door itself won’t be able to fit inside.
Solid Door Construction
Gun safes are built in a variety of ways, and it’s important to understand the distinctions between them. A gun safe may have the outward appearance of being relatively secure based on the size of the door itself, but it’s actually the metal inside that matters most. A good safe will have around three times the metal in the door than in the rest of the body. Composite doors are less expensive, but usually consist of sheet metal that is wrapped around layers of insulation and a thin metal plate, thus rendering them less resistant to prying. Plate steel doors, on the other hand, feature a thick metal plate inside of the door that is more pry-resistant.
Bolts are only as strong as the metal latches that hold them in place, and even a crude wrench, with the proper leverage, can break the bolts inside of a safe door and grant access to a burglar. Strong bolts combined with strong latches and solid mechanical parts will be less likely to break, and will serve as a better deterrent to theft.
Door frames should be built strong enough to prevent even the strongest prying tools from bending them. Some models may offer the illusion of safety by wrapping the entire door with thin sheet metal that will conceal the thickness of the metal around the door itself, but the best safes will feature a door that is built with a thick frame. The easiest way to determine the strength of a door is to feel the weight of the door when it is open; heavier doors are usually the strongest.
Common Types of Theft
When you’re buying a gun safe, the most important thing to consider is how your safe might get broken into. You may spend thousands of dollars on a relatively secure safe, but if you’re not careful, your safe can still be compromised. In some cases, having a safe may even put your home or business at risk by announcing to criminals that you have something worth taking. Here are some common ways that people break into safes, as well as some useful tips on how to prevent it from happening to you.
Stealing the Safe
One of the most common myths about safes, especially with the heavier ones, is that they’re too heavy to be stolen. However, most thieves will first attempt to steal a safe outright rather than waste time trying to get into it. It may be too heavy for one person to carry, but with a few helping hands and some tools, it wouldn’t be hard for the average criminal to get away with carrying the safe right out of your home or business. Anchoring the safe to the floor will keep your safe where it is.
When criminals can’t take the safe, they’ll often attempt to pry the door open using tools like pry-bars and hammers to break the bolting mechanisms that hold the door shut. Pry-resistance is mandatory on every safe, which is why you’ll want to look for safes that don’t have large gaps between the doors and body that could allow prying. Another thing to look for on your safe is the integrity of the metal inside the door. When criminals trying to pry the door open, they’re not actually weakening the bolts of the door, but the latches and hinges that the bolts rest on. You’ll want to make sure that these latches are strong enough to withstand a great deal of stress.
One of the more common misconceptions about gun safes is that the entire body is built to withstand the same amount of wear and tear. This is simply not true. Most of the metal content on the safe is inside of the door, and is usually around three times that of the rest of the body. Criminals who know this will attempt to cut the side wall or ceiling of the safe rather than the door itself. If you’re in the market for a reliable safe, you’ll want to make sure that it has enough strength around its entire body to prevent cutting.
Another way that criminals will break into your safe is by using a blowtorch to melt the metal body to gain access. Although this is quite cumbersome and time-consuming, it’s not uncommon for criminals to successfully break into a safe by torching it. If you want to protect your safe against torching, you’ll want to make sure that your safe has been tested for heat resistance by the manufacturer. Stainless steel safes are the most secure from torching.
Hidden Wall Safes
Storing your valuables in a safe is always important, but sometimes even having the best fingerprint gun safe simply isn’t enough. It’s not uncommon for criminals to spend a fair amount of time searching your home or business for valuables, even if you have already invested good money into security. Here are some ways a hidden wall safe might come in handy:
The best part of hidden wall safes is pretty obvious: They’re hidden. If a burglar happens to break into your home or place of business, it is highly unlikely that they’ll have enough time to scour through all your possessions for something to steal. In fact, most criminals will usually intend to flee in a matter of minutes. Having a hidden wall safe provides an element of concealment for
burglars to overcome. Even if they intend to take down all the pictures and ornaments off your walls looking for a wall safe, you’ll at least have delayed them substantially in the process.
Sometimes simply owning a safe is enough to attract the wrong element. Once a burglar learns that you may have something of value locked away in a safe, they may become more motivated into planning a burglary. Having a hidden wall safe rather than a safe in plain sight will hide the fact that you have anything of value in the first place.
One of the most common ways a burglar attempts to steal the contents of a safe is by taking the entire safe itself. Assuming that a criminal has already gone through all of your belongings and has somehow located your hidden wall safe, they’ll often have to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to take it. As long as your safe is bolted securely to the wall, burglars will experience a great deal of difficulty by trying to take the safe, as they will have to basically rip apart not only the wall, but the frame as well.
Ease of Installation
Contrary to what many people might think, hidden wall safes are relatively easy to install. They aren’t as heavy as other pistol safes or Winchester gun safes, but they’ll be just as secure. Hidden wall safes also save a lot of space, considering that they’re placed inside of a wall rather than on the floor of a room.
Things to Consider:
Owning a safe is all about protecting your valuables, and you’ll have to make sure that the content will fit. Even the best gun safes under 500 can only hold so much inventory, and you have to assess whether or not your safe will fit everything you need it to. Otherwise, you may want to opt for something more appropriate to your needs.
If your home or business happens to go up in flames, you’ll want to be sure that your safe has enough fire resistance keep its content safe from being destroyed. If your home or business has fire sprinklers, you won’t have to worry about fire protection as much, but you may still want a safe with a decent fire rating to protect against torching.
When a safe is difficult to break into, burglars will often attempt to the steal the entire safe itself. With hidden wall safes, your valuables can only be as secure as the bolts that hold the safe to the wall. When installing a wall safe, be sure that the safe will be bolted to a strong part of your home or business so that burglars will have a harder time getting the safe out.
Consider Your Needs
Hidden wall safes offer a fair amount of convenience, but they’re not much more easy to access than a freestanding gun safe. If you intend on putting weapons if hidden wall safe, you may not be able to access it quickly enough in a stress situation, and you may prefer a safe that can offer quicker entry. Always consider your needs before buying a safe.