Where to install a gun safe?


Alan Fud
January 11, 2003, 11:49 AM
I presently live in a one floor house over in the Florida swamps where there are no basements. So the gun safe is in the master bedroom closet bolted to the floor ... which is really a cement slab. The perfect textbook set up -- safe in the "safe room" and securely bolted to the ground.

It is very possible that in the near future we'll be moving to the Hills of PA where we're looking at homes with basements and a second story. Tactically speaking, the bedrooms on the second floor offers an advantage because if anyone breaks in at night, they have to come up those stairs and are out in the open.

However, under these conditions, where is the best place to mount the safe? Down in the basement so that it is bolted to the cement floor? That doesn't seem right. Up in the master bedroom? For some reason, having such a heavy safe on either the first or second floor doesn't seem right either.
Comments? Suggestions?

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January 11, 2003, 12:01 PM
You can put the safe in the basement where it's weight will sit well. Get a small gun safe to keep your family/bedside gun in up in your bedroom.

January 11, 2003, 02:41 PM
You need to look at the house you'll be moving into before just putting the safe in a basement. Are you in a flood plane, or high water table? Does the basement have a sump pump if so you already have a weak link. What would happen if the pump didn't kick on?

If you plan on putting in a first or second floor you may need to reinforce the area for the weight. First floor is easier to reinforce if the basement isn't finished.

4v50 Gary
January 11, 2003, 02:55 PM
Landlords would hate me, but if its a rental, should I care?

BTW, welcome Fud.

January 11, 2003, 03:57 PM

January 11, 2003, 04:59 PM
Alan, I just went through that dilemna last month. We have basement that gets damp in the summer (sometimes we get water during a heavy rain). Putting it in the basement didn't seem to be an option. Neither was putting it on the first floor (my wife didn't want it anywhere, much less in her decorated areas.

The second floor was the best option, including the reason stated before: quick access. Given the ordeal the movers had getting it up there, I can't foresee a group of burglars getting it down without killing themselves. But that should be another consideration for you: cost of getting it up the stairs, and potential damage to your stairs, walls, and door moldings. I had all three.

If your safe is a monster, you might want to have a structural engineer type look at your home to determine if the floor can hold it.

January 11, 2003, 05:25 PM
If you have it in a closet now, it can't be that big. If it weighs 700 lbs. or less you should be able to put it on the second floor as long as you butt it up to a wall that is a support wall that carries the load down to the basement floor. Bolt it to such a wall and there is very little load on the floor.

Alan Fud
January 11, 2003, 06:31 PM
Thank you for the recommendations. Still house hunting but this has definitely made things a little clearer.

Oh, the safe (presently in a walk-in closet) weighs 600 pounds unloaded -- got at least a couple of hundred pounds of ammo in there.

Gary, thanks for the welcome back ... it's good to be back.

January 11, 2003, 07:29 PM
Down in the basement, inside a fake shower stall (keep the curtain drawn):D

January 11, 2003, 10:00 PM
Roger on what Monkeyleg said. I am a civil/structrual type engineer and you need to take a look at the structure where you are putting your safe.

January 12, 2003, 11:52 AM
In the bedroom upstairs on a supported floor. The bedroom is 24 by 32, so it does not get in the way.

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