Buying Your First Gun Safe: Six Important Considerations
Buying a gun safe is a big deal, even if you're only a casual user of the weapon(s) you own. Especially with your first safe, you want to make sure you don't overlook any important details, under estimate or over estimate any of your needs, and of course, you need to make safety the priority.
1. Buy One Size Up From What You Think You Need
Although you need to consider the location of your gun safe in order to ensure a proper fit for it, avoid a model that seems to be just the right size or a hair too small. Keep in mind that rifles with scopes may not fit into a single slot and often require another shelf or rotary rack arrangement. If the possibility exists that you may add to your gun collection and the safe you buy now is merely sufficient for the current collection, you're going to have to buy another safe or trade up to something bigger.
2. Consider The Thickness Of All Sides Of Your Safe
The thickness of your safe is noted by numbers; however, the lower numbers indicate higher strength and thickness, contrary to what one might logically conclude. The thickness will help determine the permeability of the safe and it's important that your safe have sufficient thickness on the door and other structural elements, as well as the sides. Look for continuous welding, which will offer greater overall strength, over stitch welding, which may have small gaps of weakness.
3. Choose The Locking Mechanism Carefully
No matter how secure your home or the area you'll be storing the gun safe in is, you still need to choose its safety features carefully. You don't want any unauthorized openings of your safe from within and if the premises is ever broken into, you want to give the would-be thief as much trouble as possible when they try to get into it. There are a couple of options to consider when choosing your lock:
- A spin dial: This is the classic combination-style mechanism that can be very difficult to breach, given the number of possible combinations the dial holds. While movies may make the spinner look easy to conquer with a stethoscope, in reality, it's a very secure option.
- An electronic locking mechanism: While also secure, an electronic lock may have electronic vulnerabilities that a more educated or experienced thief could take advantage of, but generally, electronic locks are adequate; they also tend to be quicker to operate under duress, which may be an important consideration for you.
4. Opt For A Fire-Resistant Safe
No matter why you start out wanting a safe, you're very likely to find more and more uses for it and should seriously consider your need for a fire-proof safe, even if you're only storing guns. That way, you'll be able to add your important documents and other items for safe-keeping, such as cash and jewelry, without having to ever worry about losing them in a fire.
Remember, though, that even with a fire-resistant safe, you should never store your gun powder or primers in with the weapons, as this could result in either a fire or explosion within the safe itself. Store them in another safe, dry space.
5. Ask About The Warranty
Although you may think a solid safe isn't going to break down or malfunction anytime soon, things could, for example, go awry with the lock, leaving you with a significant bill from a locksmith who'd have to come and open and repair it for you. Look for a warranty that demonstrates a manufacturer's confidence in the device and clearly tells you that it was built to last, along with standing up to any attempts at robbery or damage.
6. Investigate The Possibilities Of Disguised Safes
Your gun safe need not look like a gun safe at all, which can in and of itself be a theft-resistance feature. Safes are available that appear to be obscure cabinets, dressers, fuse or tool boxes, and even a pile of freshly-chopped wood. While there are obvious advantages to a disguised gun safe, be sure to hold it to the same standards as you would a normal safe, such as making sure the size is suitable and it's tamper-resistant.
Remember, too, that gun safes can be difficult to move around and maneuver, meaning that depending on the size of the model you decide on, you may need an extra set of hands to help you handle it. Contact a company like Southern California Security Centers if you have further questions.