Looking for a gun safe? Baffled about what to choose and how to choose? There’s no need to worry, this article will clear all of your doubts related to a gun safe‘s features and qualities. If you own a gun or more than it becomes necessary for you to purchase a gun safe. You should make sure that no one can access your gun safe without your permission. Even a single shot from a gun can lead to huge damage and can even lead to death. That’s why you cannot store your gun in an easily accessible place known to family or outsiders. If a person with bad intentions gets hold of your gun and firearms, then he/she can use it against you and can cause huge casualty to society.
There are abundant companies that manufacture gun safes of different shapes, sizes with different features. So at times, it can be difficult to choose one for securing your belongings. Obviously, you don’t want a good for anything safe which couldn’t even stand the hit of a heavy hammer. There are some qualities and criteria depending on which decision a gun safe should be chosen. The size of safe matters a lot. A safe‘s work is to provide protection to your arms and belongings so security ratings need to be taken in concern. Buying a gun safe is really not a walk in a park task.
So, we mentioned below are the important criteria on behalf of which you should make your purchase of a gun safe.
1. What size is more beneficial?
Size plays an important role in choosing gun safes. Whenever looking for a gun safe, always go for a big sized safe. Even if your requirements are filled by a small safe, buy a bigger one. Maybe, for now, you are looking for a safe that can secure one or two guns that you own but there is a possibility that you might own more in future. Also, you will need space for keeping your most valuable belongings. Now, of course, you don’t want to buy another safe in future for more arms and ammunitions, and another one for keeping your belongings. So, it is better to buy a bigger safe than the one u require.
As a matter of fact, bigger safes are less prone to burglary than small safes. A thief can easily walk away with a small safe but the same is not possible with a big one. Carrying a big safe is harder and more noticeable.
2. Emphasize on metal thickness:-
Steel is used generally for making gun safes. Steel provides burglary protection to an extent as it’s harder than other materials around its price. Sometimes gun safes are just a thin metal box which seems strong at one time but couldn’t even stand a hammer blow. Therefore, considering steel thickness is very necessary.
Actual steel thickness is always not what is advertised to sell gun safes. This is because the door and walls of a safe are not made from steel alone. Generally, doors and walls are designed by joining outer sheet of steel, layers of sheetrock (drywall) and an inner layer of steel. Sheetrock is not as strong as steel but is quite cheap comparatively. The unit of thickness of the metal sheet or wire is called gauge. Generally, with an increase in 1 gauge number, thickness drops by 10%. Sometimes the thickness of steel sheet is around 20 gauges, which is too low and not secure at all.
The actual thickness of a steel sheet in a gun safe should be at least 10 gauges. A safe with steel thickness higher than that is considered a great and secured safely. So, always be aware of the thickness of actual steel used in making safe while buying a gun safe.
3. Type of lock used for safe:-
You can either choose an electronic lock or go with a mechanical lock for your safe.
- Combination dial locks:-
In combination locks, there are sequences or numbers attached to several discs inscribed inside which are a part of the locking mechanism. Combination dials are wide because they are quite reliable.
- Reliable and Durable.
- No battery system like electronic locks, one-time installation makes sure lifetime security
- Provide a great number of sequence possibilities, so hard to assume the sequence.
- Can withstand Electromagnetic pulse( EMP)
- Can withstand fire to a certain extent.
- Regular maintenance needs to be done.
- You need a technician if you want to change the safe code.
- Operates slowly. Therefore, can create problems if there is an unhealthy situation.
- Needs to be closed every time you open it.
Key locks are considered an old thing now. With the development of technology, key locks have been surpassed by electronic and mechanical combination locks.
- Easier to operate. All you need is a key to open the safe.
- Faster than any other locks
- It’s hard to take possession of key without losing it. Lost key or stolen key can cause trouble.
- Bent key or rusted key can cause the problem.
Electronic locks are most popular amongst customers nowadays. They usually carry a keypad but nowadays fingerprint sensors are available too.
- Easy to operate. All you need to do is feed numbers.
- The code is more secure as no one can know what are the numbers required to open the lock.
- A great number of code possibilities are present which makes it harder to crack safe.
- Can be used in dark.
- Codes can be changed easily. The technician is not needed.
- Least reliable.
- Works on battery and therefore suffers power outage problems.
- Prone to fires. Keypads melt easily
- Keypad buttons problems may arise due to repeated use.
4. Protection against fire:-
Fire protection is an important quality a gun safe should possess. If you are looking forward to keeping other valuable belongings in your gun safe. Always check out for a fire seal. Then also, you should be aware of the fire ratings the brand of the gun safe offer. House fires and natural calamities never appear with a knock. Especially, House fires are a common thing if you are living in a hot area.
Always look for a fire rating of at least 1 hour or more for 1350 F determined by UL ( Universal laboratories). You need to understand the meaning of fire ratings first. Fire ratings provide people a view of for how much a gun safe can hold against fire at high temperature. There’s no safe that literally is fireproof. But safes with good fire ratings and insulation may help your belongings and guns stay safe to a certain amount of time and a certain temperature extent.
There are some cheap thin safe which cannot stand fire at all. This is because they only carry a thin steel sheet and a thin layer of sheetrock. Sheetrock is used in making gun safes because it provides insulation.Another material which provides insulation is ceramic wool which is sometimes used in gun safes. Sheetrock is very useful when used with thick sheets of steel. That’s why the thickness of doors and walls of a safe should be considered. Sheetrock contains water molecules which when exposed to high temperatures forms vapor. This, in turn, protects safe from heat by absorbing heat. Thus, sometimes spending some extra money can be worth it.
5. Security and UL rating:-
Security ratings should be considered while purchasing a safe. A burglar alarm is an important feature a good safe should possess.Burglar ratings play a major role. These ratings include UL ratings and sometimes only manufacturer standards. UL ( Universal laboratories) run tests on safes and if the safe stands the test of time, it is rated accordingly by UL ratings.
Safes are divided into many categories based on testing and performance delivered, tests .and protection it provides. Some of these categories are:-
- B rated – B rated safes don’t undergo UL tests.These safes usually have ¼ inch walls and ½ inch doors. Without burglar alarm, these safes cost up to 5000$ and with burglar alarm, they may cost up to 10000$. You should check the doors, locks and other features thoroughly while buying a B rated safe.
- B/C rated: – B/C rated safes also don’t undergo any tests. These safes have ¼inch walls and ½ inch door with some metal layers. Without burglar alarm, these safes may cost up to 10,000$.With burglar alarm cost increases to 20,000$ . B/C rated safes should also be thoroughly checked while buying.
- C rated- C rated safes don’t undergo any tests. They have ½ inch steel wall thickness and 1-inch door. Their costs may lie between 25000$ – 50000$. Thorough checking of doors, locks is required.
- RSC Rated: – A five minutes standard test is conducted on these safes by all sides. Price for these safes lies up to 15000$. With installed burglar alarms they may cost up to 30000$.
- TL 15 Rated- TL 15 passes an endurance test of 15 minutes. These safes provide good protection and have high tensile strength. Price- 100,000$
- TL -30 Rated: – These safes are tested for 30 minutes with different tools. Provides better security than TL -15 safes. Price may lie up to 3,75,000$
- TL -30 × 6: – TL 30×6 rated safes are tested for 30 minutes by all 6 sides. They possess thick steel layer and are made to withstand extreme conditions. They price up to 500,000 but provide great protection to things inside the safe.
- TRTL -30×6 Rated: – These safes also undergo harsh tests and considered to be one of the safest safes. They are quite expensive and may cost even more than 1 million dollars. These safes are generally used for office purposes for keeping important and confidential documents safe and intact.
6. Location and type of safe:-
There are different types of safes you can choose from. If you want a safe which is easy to use and more convenient, go for a safe which always remain in your view .A stand alone safe is great for such purpose. And if you want a safe which no one can access and no one can even know about, go for a hidden safe. A wall safe is embedded in the wall and generally moderate sized or small sized. They can easily be stolen by cutting the part of the wall. Hidden wall safes are a great option since it adds an extra feature. No one can even touch them if their location is not known. But hidden safes can be cracked easily if they are found and do not provide fire and burglary protection to a great extent.
Stand alone saves are the safes which are used normally.You can find such kind of safes in any safe store or on any site. These safes are easy to carry since these are not bolted to ground or wall. This proves more of a disadvantage during the burglary as a burglar can just steal the safe in case he or she is not able to open it. Still, well-rated stands alone safes provide good protection from fire.
Floor safes are another option you can go with. In my opinion, it is the best option. A well-rated floor safe embedded in good concrete is all you need for protecting your assets. It can be a little inconvenient sometimes but provides fire protection and burglary protection like nothing else.
Placement of safe is also very important. It should be located in a convenient place. Bolts and hinges also play a great role when it comes to installation Safe should be well equipped with hinges and bolts lay to the floor or wall should be well rated in case you are going to a wall or floor safe. You should be careful while welding bolts into a safe. Welding is done by heat energy and more heat energy can sometimes destroy a portion or two of the thin safe. Therefore, welding should be done only by an expert.