A gun safe can be a big investment. But it can be one of the best value items you buy to keep your gun collection safe and secure. The best gun safes are able to secure your guns even in the most dangerous of situations, with a fire burning all around. They can also offer the space and security needed to store large collections of rifles, shotguns, and handguns too.
Is a fireproof gun safe worth it? If you're a collector who cares about their guns, the answer is clearly yes. The best safes can give you the ultimate protection. This guide will go over some expert recommendations to keep in mind when looking for a safe.
Key Tips to Keep in Mind When Looking for a Fireproof Gun Safe
1. Make a List
Many experts agree that a good way to start your search for a safe is to write down the items you plan to store in it. Make a list of the guns in your collection, including rifles, shotguns, and handguns too. Write down all of the key items, and don't forget any accessories you plan to store in the safe as well.
This can be a valuable step because it will help you narrow down your safe search. If you have a full list of all the items, you'll know what sort of safe you need in terms of size and capacity. Seasoned shotgun collectors, for example, will need wide and large safes with lots of room. Those who have handgun collections might not need quite as much interior capacity.
2. Think About the Future
Don't only think about the guns you have at the moment. Think about the guns you might buy in the future too. If you're an experienced collector, you might want to grow your collection further in the future. Again, this can be an important thing to consider when looking for a gun safe.
A 6 rifle gun safe might seem big enough for you right now, but will it be enough in the future? If you plan to add to your collection, it's wise to find a safe with a little extra room. This will give you space to store new items, without having to invest in a whole other safe. So it could save you a lot of money in the long run.
3. Shelves and Adjustments Are Essential
Make sure to consider not just the amount of storage you have in your safe, but the design of it too. Many gun safes will feature shelves and racks on the inside, for example. These storage options allow you to position your guns with care. This helps to protect the guns while also letting you get the most out of your safe's space.
A lot of the best gun safes will even come with adjustable shelves and interior storage. This type of modular design can be one of the most valuable features to find in a safe. It allows you to move the different pieces around and create new options for your firearms. This is especially vital if you have a varied collection with guns of different sizes and shapes.
4. Strong Steel Is Key
Don't assume that all gun safes are made equal. They're not. Most of them are made from steel, and some manufacturers may try to confuse buyers by boasting of their "strong steel construction". But the thing you really want to pay attention to is the gauge of the steel in question.
When it comes to steel gauges, the lower numbers are better. A low-end portable gun safe for cars might make use of 18 or 20 gauge steel, for example. Better quality safes will use 12 or 14 gauge steel instead. Higher gauge levels result in thinner steel that won't offer much protection. Lower gauges are always better and thicker.
5. Compare Your Options
Following on from the previous point, it's important to understand that there are many models of gun safe out there. They can vary in many different ways, with different capacities, materials, and protection. Experts recommend that you take your time and shop around, comparing the options available. This is much wiser than diving right in and buying the first safe you see.
By looking at different models, you can gradually narrow down your search. You can eliminate options that aren't quite right for you. For example, if you want to store several shotguns, the best single rifle safe won't be the one for you. If you care the most about protection, a very thick steel safe will be essential. Think about what you want in your safe when comparing. This will help you find the perfect product.
6. Focus on Fire Protection and Duration
If you're buying a fireproof safe, fire needs to be on your mind. A fire can be one of the most dangerous forces your collection could be exposed to. In mere minutes, guns can be destroyed by the flames. A safe can help to stop this, but even safes aren't able to withstand high temperatures and fire forever. This is why you need to consider how much protection they can offer, as well as how long the protection lasts.
- Many manufacturers will boast about the fire resistance of their safes. However, some safes can only withstand heat for about half an hour before their contents start burning, melting, or degrading.
- Other safes can hold out for an hour or more. You need to think carefully about the duration you need.
- Most fires move to the next room within about 30 minutes. If you live in a big city, the fire can be extinguished quite quickly too. But having those extra minutes of protection could be invaluable.
7. Position the Safe in a Smart Spot
When buying a gun safe, you should think about where to place it too. This is key because the wrong positioning could put your guns at greater risk or reduce your home's security level. A safe that is in open view, for example, could be targeted by thieves.
- Many people like to keep a gun safe in the garage. This allows the safe to be bolted down to the floor with ease. It also reduces the risk of the safe getting damaged in house fires and disasters overall. But it may also mean that your guns are further away if you need them.
- The basement is another option you could consider. A basement can be a good choice because the guns will be out of sight, as well as being cool and dry. Again, the safe could be bolted to the floor here, reducing the risk of theft. But some basements may be prone to flooding, and not all safes are waterproof.
- Try to find a good spot in your home and make sure you buy a safe that fits well.
8. Professional Installation Can Be Wise
A lot of safes can be very high. Simple small gun safes for rifles might not weigh much. But if you're investing in a big fireproof safe for a large collection, it might have huge weight. This can make it very hard to move around the home and into position. Installation can therefore be a major challenge for the average homeowner.
A lot of shops selling safes may offer to aid you with installation. They'll send out professional teams to maneuver the safe into the right spot. This can be a good service to consider. It might cost you a little more, but it can pay off. Otherwise, if you plan to set up the safe on your own, get some friends to help. You may also want to get some special equipment, like a dolly. Be very careful if you want to move the safe up or down the stairs too.
9. Look at Different Lock Types
One of the key factors to think about when buying a safe is the locking type or mechanism in play. Some safes use electronic locks, others use manual locks. There are even high-end safes with biometric locks that respond only to your fingerprints nowadays.
Each type of lock has its pros and cons. The right one for you will depend on your personal preferences in locks and safes. Some people like an electronic lock because of its ease of use. But electric locks need a power supply. If the power goes out, the lock can become inoperable. This can be a major drawback. Manual locks can be more reliable and simple
Buying a fireproof gun safe isn't a decision that should be taken lightly. This kind of safe is usually a lifetime investment. So you'll need to take your time and think about what you really need.
If you tend to travel to the range often and want to keep your guns safe, you'll need a good portable option like the Stealth PS1208EZ. If you're more concerned with keeping your collection safe at home, you'll want something bigger. Consider your own needs and desires and find a safe that works for you.