Tips for Choosing & Using Gun Safes
These expert tips will help you get the best performance from your gun safe.
Like all safes, gun safes are designed to protect valuable property from theft and fire. However, gun safes also offer another important layer of protection by helping to prevent gun accidents. This can not only save lives but also potentially save gun owners from liability. In the state of California, gun owners can actually face criminal penalties if they do not properly secure a loaded firearm and a child accesses that firearm and uses it to injure or kill someone. Gun safes are an excellent means to not only protect yourself from this possibility, but also to protect your community and your property from harm.
Choosing Your Gun Safe
When choosing your gun safe, you will need to consider many factors including:
Construction: For maximum protection, you should look for a safe constructed from thick, solid steel. Do not be content with information on the door thickness alone, as all walls need to be protected. Also, be aware that some thickness measurements may include the steel plus the insulating material (typically either high-density concrete amalgamate or fireboard). You want to know the thickness of the steel as well as the total thickness of the safe.
Lock Mechanism: When it comes to lock mechanisms, you should definitely give preference to UL rated locks, particularly those that have been rated Group 2 or better. You should also consider buying a safe that incorporates an American-made lockset as these are more reliable over time than their Chinese-made counterparts.
Your Needs: Your personal needs and requirements are also important. If you plan to use your gun safe frequently, you might want to choose one with an electronic or even biometric lock that is easy to open quickly. You will also want to consider how many guns and accessories you may need to store, as this will affect the size of the safe.
Using Your Gun Safe
Of course, even the finest gun safe will not deliver the protections you want if it is not used properly. Here are some tips to help you get the best performance from your safe.
Installing the Safe: Even if you have bought a heavy beast of a gun safe, you should probably still anchor it in place with bolts for additional security. Be sure it is no more than 8 inches from a wall to prevent thieves from using a car jack to break the anchor bolts. Also, be sure you choose a convenient location for the gun safe if you will be using it frequently.
Storing Ammo: In the event of a fire, ammunition stored in your gun safe may ignite. By always storing your ammo inside a quality container, you can prevent the bullets from ricocheting all over your safe, but they will still create a lot of smoke damage. If you have too much ammo and it all ignites, your safe could actually explode.
Dealing with Humidity: In any gun safe, you need to have a means of sucking moisture out of the air in order to protect your firearms and other safe contents from damage.