From small size to large, a sturdy 7 gauge safe to a normal 12 gauge safe, they come in many shapes and sizes, ready to accommodate your specific needs. You need to assess your requirements and choose one, or more. Before you purchase a gun safe there are some important aspects you need to know. Knowing these can be helpful in making the right decision.
Size Does Matter
Size matters and it is the first thing you need to consider when choosing a gun safe. Size is directly related to the number of guns you want to store. Different sizes cost differently so you need to plan for your firearms and for the foreseeable future. If you are a gun enthusiast then it is highly recommended that you purchase a large safe. You are definitely going to get more guns and ammo so you will need a bigger safe in the future.
You also have to look at the space in your home or office. If you only own a couple of handguns then a small safe mounted on the wall or under the bed is a good option. If you have a large collection of rifles then a bigger safe in the garage or the attic would be ideal. Remember; always buy a gun safe that is twice the size of your current requirement. A spacious gun safe allows efficiency and ease of access.
The Thickness of the Safe
The thickness of the metallic walls of the safes is measured by a standard of gauge ranging from 16 to 7. A 12 gauge safe is considered acceptable; it is thin while a 7 gauge is considered the thickest and sturdiest. The thickness of the steel defines the strength of the safe and how long it can take for someone to break it open. The lower the gauge of the safe, the longer it will take for the thief to break into it.
When buying a safe make sure to note the thickness level. Some manufacturers highlight the thickness of the door and skip mentioning the side and back walls. To be on the ‘safe side’, always try to buy a 10 or an 11 gauge safe as they are UL RSC (Underwriters Laboratories Residential Security Container) certified. This means they can withstand blows for up to five minutes. It may not seem a lot to you but it takes a second to hear someone landing blows on a metallic container so five minute will give you ample time to be ready to deal with the miscreant.
Bolts and Locks
The strength of a door is determined by the number and size of the bolts. They provide resistance against anyone trying to force the safe open. The thicker the bolts and more in number, the better. It is best to have at least four bolts, thick and hidden from view. Bolts are locked into the door when the handles are turned. It’s better if the bolts are inside the safe rather than outside, it makes prying the door open that much harder.
Locks play a big part in the safety of your gun safe. There are different types of locks available in the market. Depending on the lock type, it affects how fast you can gain access to your gun. There are three main locks available, mechanical, biometric and electronic.
Choose a lock depends on how much security you want for your gun safe. A simple mechanical or electronic lock is enough to keep children from getting in. However, if you are worried that there is a chance of someone skilled getting their hands on the safe, then a biometric safe is ideal. It can only be opened by the owner’s fingerprints, though these do cost more than the others but they are the most sophisticated locks available today.
Fire protection is another important feature to look at when choosing a gun safe. A typical fire at a residence or office can reach around 1200 to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes time for the fire trucks to reach your burning building and can take a while before the fire is under control. You need to make sure you buy a safe that can withstand the heat in that amount of time and at the same time keep your valuables inside it safe.
Always purchase a safe with good fire proof rating. It is recommended that you go for a safe with a UL (Underwriter Laboratories) rating of 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. Most building fires last from 20 to 45 minutes so a safe with a rating of one hour is ideal.