A good gun safe will protect your firearms from theft, fire, and misuse. The FBI estimates there are more than 341,000 incidents of firearm theft from private citizens every year. Proper usage of gun safes could reduce these losses significantly.
The loss of a firearm represents more than a monetary loss, it often represents the loss of a treasured family heirloom.
In addition, stolen guns end up in the hands of criminals who may use them to commit further crimes. In fact, over thirty percent of the firearms used in the commission of a crime are stolen from American homes and businesses.
If you own firearms or other valuables, you certainly need a place for their storage and protection. A gun safe is a container specially designed for that. Its purpose is to prevent unauthorized or unqualified persons to access your possessions (in case of burglary, for example), or to protect the contents from damage during a flood, fire or other natural disaster.
The safe industry has changed dramatically over the last 13 years and purchasing a safe is not so simple. The consumers get confused when they come into the store to buy a safe because they don’t have enough information on modern safe features that are becoming more numerous every day. There are a lot of safe manufacturers as well as different types and of safes for both residential and business use.
Buying a gun safe is a big investment and it is very important to know what to look for when choosing one. The most important features the users should look for in a safe are:
- Locking system
- Burglary protection
- Fire and flood protection
Safe accessories are also important:
- Dehumidifiers and other kind of protection against rust and corrosion,
- Interior lighting
- Accessories for better storage options
People who own many and different firearms should pay particular attention to the:
- Interior and capacity
There are many different categories of gun safes that vary in size and price depending on their quality, features and purposes. Some safes are good enough to keep guns away from children and average adults, but those safes are not likely to be good enough against burglars, fire or other natural disasters. There are also handgun safes, wall safes and even car or vehicle safes.
One of the essential features for true protection of firearms and other goods in a safe is the locking mechanism. There are three main types of locking devices:
- Mechanical Dial Lock (Combination)
- Digital Keypad Lock (Electronic)
- Biometric Safe Lock
Mechanical Dial Lock (Combination)
When it comes to gun safes, the most reliable are rotary-combination dial locks. Although it is slower to open and certainly less convenient compared to electronic locks, combination locks are and trouble-free and more durable. This technology is about 175 years old and it has been proven reliable. In addition, you don’t have to change any batteries.
As for the disadvantages, we can only say that the numbers on the dial lock are smaller and in some cases may be difficult to see. If you want to change the combination, you can’t do it by yourself. You have to call a technician, and that will cost you some money each time you do it.
Digital Keypad Lock (Electronic)
The keypad is the most popular lock due to its simplicity and ease of use. This kind of lock uses batteries and they are loadable from the outside. The numbers on the digital lock are bigger, easier to see, and that makes this lock easier to use, in comparison to the smaller numbers on the dial lock. Digital lock mechanism works quickly and you can open the safe in a few seconds. Another advantage of the digital lock is that you can change the combination by yourself, it is very simple and you don’t have to call a technician to make this change. This means that you will be the only person to know the combination.
The only disadvantage is that the electronic can fail, although there is a very small fail rate in this type of locks. If the digital lock fails or the keypad is defective, a safe technician can replace the keypad, but that can cost a lot of money.
Biometric Safe Lock
Biometric fingerprint gun safe lock offers ultimate security and ease of use. No keys to carry or combinations to remember. With this luxury lock, you simply touch and open. You only have to stick your finger on top of a biometric scanner or rest your handprint on a reader and presto and your safe opens. Everyone has unique fingerprints or thumb prints, so accuracy is assured. It offers the quickest access, in a second or two. More than one fingerprint can be programmed into the system.
It has to be mentioned that this system is more expensive than key or electronic locks. The chances of unauthorized opening or not opening by an authorized person are lower than 1%. However, if this ever happens, there is usually the back-door entry. Those can be keys, hidden codes or special combinations.
In order to provide higher security, the manufacturers incorporate relockers in the safes, to make them less vulnerable to attacks with mechanical tools. A relocker is a bolt placed inside the safe door, usually behind the fireproof material and within the keypad or dial area. Most of those are made of metal and designed to trigger once a metal piece within the lock or wall of the safe is broken. It is intended for situations when a safe is being attacked by tools like hammer, drills or crowbars. The use of such tools will activate the relocker bolt, adding significant reinforcement to the bolts that are in the door, and this will prevent the door damage. In situations when a relocker is activated, you will have to call a technician to gain access. Typing the combination won’t open the safe in this situation.
Beside the locking system, there are additional three issues that are very important for the burglary protection:
- Wall thickness
- Locking bolts
- Safe installation
Criminals most often attack the safe door. However, you should be aware that the safe could be penetrated from all sides. The safes with thick doors and walls made from multiple layers of steel are the most secure. When it comes to wall thickness, the main question is how much steel is in it. The safes door and the walls can be made of solid steel or composite.
The customer has to know that the solid steel door of the safe might look much thinner than the composite door. The important thing is that there is more steel in the solid steel than in the composite door. The steel is very expensive and has the main role in providing more security. It is also very important to mention that the inside part of the door, which looks very sturdy in most cases, doesn’t provide any security. It is just a frame for hiding the moving parts.
The thickness of the safe body in most safes is ½ an actual metal content of what the door is. For example, a safe with 1 ½ inches solid steel door and 1-inch solid steel body provides you with very good security. A safe with ½-inch solid steel door and ¼ -inch solid steel body will generally be capable of withstanding entry attempts by “medium-skilled” criminals for an hour or more depending largely on the type of tools used to attempt entry.
For good security, there should be bolts of sufficient diameter, made of hardened steel on each four sides of the door. Adding more bolds makes the safe security higher. The safes with highest security normally have also diagonal bolts in the corners.
You should keep in mind that in many cases, the first thing the burglars try to do is steal the safe. You have to install the safe in such a way that it can’t be removed from the wall (or separated from the floor, in some cases). Use heavy-duty fasteners. It’s best to use several bolts in the bottom of the safe anchored to a solid (or concrete) foundation. If it is not possible to attach it to the floor, you can also bold it to the wall studs.
The best location for a safe is the corner of a room or another place where at least one side of the safe will be blocked. This is better for security, because blocking the access to the sides makes it more difficult for the burglars to use their tools on the safe sides (that is where it is most vulnerable). Putting the safe in a tight space, where there’s no room for any maneuver, will make it impossible for the burglars to move the safe.
Fire and Flood Protection
Your safe should be fire-resistant. The safes that have effective fire and heat protection are worth an extra cost. Common sheet-rock or ceramic wool blankets can be used for fire protection. Ceramic wool provides much higher fire protection than sheet-rock, but the sheet-rock can be quite effective when it is sandwiched between steel plates.
The fire resistance is different in different safes. In order to define the fire protection level, the companies make tests. So, there are safes that are 20, 30, 60, 90 etc. minutes resistant on fire. However, before buying a fire-resistant safe you have to be aware that different companies make these tests at different temperatures. Two things are very important for the fire liner: how long is the safe resistant on fire and on which temperature is the test done. For example, 150-minute fire rating on 1200 degrees is the same as 90 minutes on 1680 degrees.
Another important feature for the gun safes is the ability to protect the firearms and other contents from water damage which can be caused due to floods, plumbing leaks, water from fire-fighting, etc. In order to make a basic protection you can create a raised concrete platform and ensure that all holes in the safe base or sides are sealed with appropriate material (silicone or similar caulking material). A good door seal will protect the safe contents from water damage.
Gun Safe Accessories
Protection Against Rust and Corrosion
If you have a safe, you have to take measures to protect the contents from rust and corrosion that are caused by the moisture. The first thing you have to do is block the moist, humid air from outside. This can be done by attaching seals around the door. Dehumidifiers are very useful as protection against moisture. They are designed to absorb moisture and protect the firearms from rust. Another solution is electronic warming. It controls the humidity and temperature inside the safe. This also helps guard against rust.
With interior lighting, you can easily see the contents in your safe. It can be useful, especially if you’re in a rush. You don’t have to take a flashlight or turn on a room light just to see inside your safe.
For safes that have no electrical access, motion sensitive battery operated lights are used. The motion of opening the door is enough to turn on the lights. In case no motion is detected after thirty seconds or one minute (time depends on the settings you choose), the light will turn off automatically. Just one movement of your hand will turn the light back on.
If there is electrical access near or inside the safe, you can use “rope light”, with capacity of twelve feet of LED lights placed inside a tube. This clear tube is flexible, which means you can route it throughout the safe. It comes with an on/off switch.
Accessories for Better Storage Options
There are many accessories that help and provide better storage of the safe contents. They maximize and expand the storage capacity. Some of the most popular are: Jewelry Drawer, Accessory Door Panel, Oak Pistol Racks, Rifle Rods, and Handgun Hangers.
Capacity and easy access are very important. There should be enough space for all your firearms, and you should be able to take the rifle you want without having to move the others first.
One of the best solutions for easy access is the Rotary rack. This will give you an easy access to any of your rifles in a matter of seconds, and you only have to move the gun you want. The only disadvantage is that you give up some storage space.
Another good solution is the one with shelves that can be adjusted, both vertically and horizontally. With such adjustable shelving system, you can create a safe interior that will completely meet your needs. As you design the interior of your safe, you can choose from various shelf designs, to half-long gun storage or long gun storage. The modular shelves allow you just the right height for your items. You can cover the shelves with a durable recycled carpeted material that will endure for many years of heavy use.
There are many safe manufacturers and you can find countless types of gun safes on the market with different designs, quality and features. Most manufacturers add new features to their new safe models, in order to increase security, improve design and make the safes more practical and easier to use.
At Homeland, we are committed to assuring superior quality in all the important areas of Security: materials, product design, and engineering. Most importantly, our quality comes from the caring of our skilled employee-owners. Because our employees have a large ownership stake in the company, they each take a personal interest in assuring quality in every piece and feel exceptionally lucky to be a part of Homeland Security gun safe Company.
Liberty Safe is America’s Safe and the leading manufacturer of fire and theft resistant residential security and gun safes in the United States.
GunVault gun safes are truly premium products that set the standard for the rest of the industry. Our patented No-Eyes Keypad provides lighting-quick access, even in the dark, and our Long Gun Vault is the first of its kind on the market. We know that security and reliability are prevailing priorities when you need our products, and that’s why GunVault gun safes have the features you want.
Sportsman Steel Safes is the only gun safe manufacturer who cut out the middlemen, and pass the savings on to you. Gun safe dealers demand cheap prices and other manufacturers create a safe which reflects that price. We sell gun safes direct to you at prices 20% to 50% lower than other gun safe manufacturers and provide a higher quality safe — No tricks or mirrors — just good marketing strategy.
When you look at a Browning/Pro-Steel gun safe you might see the high-gloss enamel finish or the attractive game scene and scroll design or even the gold-plated spoke handle. But what you can’t see is what really matters. Within the internal working mechanisms of our gun safes you’ll find features most other safe manufacturers cannot lay claim to. And those features and components are vitally important to your peace of mind and the security of your firearms and other valuables. Hidden behind the attractive looks of our safes are the most advanced and protective designs available. No corner has been cut, no safety or security feature has been overlooked, no fire protection option not addressed.
Champion Safe is dedicated to bringing our customers the best gun, office, and home safes in the United States.
For more than 30 years the Graffunder family has put their name and reputation behind every hand-crafted gun safe and security product they manufacture and sell.
We have been providing safes and security solutions to the banking industry since 1948. This type of high security technology is built right into our gun safes. Before the American Security name is attached, each safe must undergo a rigid twenty-eight point inspection. We produce over 60,000 safes each year and we take protecting our customers’ assets very seriously. That’s how we got to be the largest security safe manufacturer in the world, and that’s why you can’t buy a better gun safe than an American Security safe.
Heritage Safe Company is a family-owned, hometown business, which knows the value of preserving and protecting the things you hold dear. Heritage Safe Company has built their business on securing irreplaceable possessions and protecting family heritages. Heritage Safe Company takes pride in every safe they manufacture. Heritage Safe continues to set the standard in home security, fire protection, value and elegance.
Stack-On is a leading manufacturer of quality storage systems and security cabinets. For more than thirty years, Stack-On Products Company has supplied an extensive line of storage products to meet the requirements of commercial and residential customers aross the globe.
Canon Safe believes a home gun safe is a permanent investment. Security is part of Canon Safe’s promise to their customers: Canon Safe believes you should have real security at an affordable price, quality in all aspects of the product, and a lifetime warranty that means you are actually protected from fire, flood, attempted break-in, break-in and manufacturing defects. As a Cannon Safe owner, you also have access to knowledgeable service technicians with the authority to fix any Cannon Safe issue on the spot.
John Deere safes, with their luxurious finish, brass- or gold-plated lock and handle hardware, and distinctive John Deere identification, are an attractive, attention-getting addition to any home.
Granite Security manufactures the Treadlok and Winchester gun safes.
Stack-On Eight Gun Ready-to-Assemble Security Cabinet. You assemble this gun safe yourself, which saves you money over similar, factory-assembled cabinets. Integrated, form-fitting parts make assembly easy. Holds eight long guns up to fifty inches tall; Standard three point locking system with tubular, key-coded lock keeps your guns locked up tight; Removable steel top shelf for storage; Foam-padded bottom and barrel rests; Fasteners are tamper proof from the outside of cabinet; Pre-drilled mounting holes in bottom and back of cabinet allow for easy attachment to floor or wall. Fastening hardware is included; Overall dimensions: 17″ wide x 11″ deep x 53″ high. For secure storage and affordable peace of mind, there’s no better choice than Stack-On.
Stack-On Gun Safe with combo lock and “flex” interior. Keep your firepower secure as a bank vault! Nineteen gun capacity. Large, live-action locking bolts; three solid steel dead bolts, plus five live-action bolts provide a total of eight locking points; Solid steel, pry-resistant door, concealed safety hinges; Patented Stack-On gun barrel rests and standoffs for supporting scoped guns; Keyless three number combination lock has a drill-resistant, hardened steel plate; Pre-installed, fully carpeted interior with foam-padded floor; Flush-mount bottom for easy permanent attachment (hardware included); California Department of Justice-approved firearm safety devices meet strict California Penal Code section 12088 and its regulations; Custom-fit “flex” interior is convertible with four carpeted / adjustable shelves. Holds twelve rifles on the right side, plus an additional seven guns or adjustable shelving on the left.
Stack-On Gun Safe with combo lock and “flex” interior. Keep your firepower secure as a bank vault! Twenty-three gun capacity. Large, live-action locking bolts; three solid steel dead bolts, plus five live-action bolts provide a total of eight locking points; Solid steel, pry-resistant door, concealed safety hinges; Patented Stack-On gun barrel rests and standoffs for supporting scoped guns; Keyless three number combination lock has a drill-resistant, hardened steel plate; Pre-installed, fully carpeted interior with foam-padded floor; Flush-mount bottom for easy permanent attachment (hardware included); California Department of Justice-approved firearm safety devices meet strict California Penal Code section 12088 and its regulations; Custom-fit “flex” interior is convertible with four carpeted / adjustable shelves. Holds sixteen rifles on the right side, plus an additional seven guns or adjustable shelving on the left.
Cobalt Twenty Gun Safe with fire proofing layer, heavy duty solid steel hinges, solid steel chrome plated bolts, durable gloss black powder coat, and plush carpeted interior. Outside Dimensions: 59″ high x 28″ wide x 18″ deep. Weight: 472lbs.
Secure rifles, shotguns, and handguns with plenty of room to spare for accesssories and ammunitions. Overall size is 24″ wide x 17″ deep x 59 1/4″ high. The approximate shipping weight is 330 lbs.