10 Important factors to Consider while Choosing a Gun Safe
If you own a firearm, you have to be very responsible with where you place it so that it does not get into the hands of people who are not authorized to use it. As a gun owner, buying a gun safe should always be on top of your list.
A gun safe is an important investment, many states require it as part of gun safety procedure not only against theft, but also against accidental shootings. Many accidental shootings happen among teens and children because their parent’s guns are not secured in a safe.
However, buying a gun safe needs careful consideration because they aren’t made equal. The choice will often depend upon your personal needs. It is important to be smart with your decisions, because failure to do so can be a matter of life or death.
To help you make the right decision, we’ve created a list of 10 points based on which you can evaluate your options.
Factors to Consider While Evaluating a New Gun Safe
How many guns do you plan to store at home? This is one of the basic questions that you need to ask yourself when buying a gun safe. Gun safes come in varied sizes. Obviously, a smaller one is intended for smaller gun. Bigger firearms on the other hand require larger gun safes.
The perfect size would be the one that can hold your collection or has more room if you’re the type to buy guns out of a whim.
There are many types of locks that you can choose from, but not all will be of good quality, that is why you still need to be cautious and test everything out before deciding to buy anything.
Electronic Combination Lock
An electronic combination lock may look like a simple lock that a robber can just remove and tamper with by hot-wiring the combinations.
But if your safe has a UL rating on it, this will mean that the electronic keypad is just for display and will make it hard for anyone who does not know the combination to open it.
All the wires in your safe will run on the outside and transmit the numbers and battery power to the lock. If the battery runs out, the combination will be remembered because it is stored from inside the safe.
The electronics in the lock which hold the solenoid that actuates the deadbolt lock will also be protected by the anti-drill hard plate and the re-locker.
These locks are one of the best because it cannot be tampered with very easily. The biometric lock scans your fingerprint only. If another person tries to tamper with it using their fingerprint, the safe will not unlock.
This will be good for preventing robbers from tampering with your safe, but you also have to make sure that where you place your safe, it should be securely bolted in place and heavy enough to prevent the robbers from just taking it from the location.
Number Combination Lock
With this type of lock, it is unlocked by using a numeric code into the digital keypad. For only those who are familiar with the access code can access the firearms.
This type of lock is not as easy as that of a biometric safe but it still allows quick access to your firearms when you need it. Sometimes companies will allow up to 12 million user-selected codes that are tremendously hard to crack.
Pattern Combination Lock
This type of gunlock safe is usually one of the most common choices for firearm owners. It is quite similar to the numeric keypads in such a way that they are designed with digital buttons that can be unlocked by sequential patterns of your choice.
The combination will usually require the user to push individual buttons or multiple buttons simultaneously.
If you want something that is quite traditional, you can use the key lock because it is one of the most straightforward locks there is.
This type of lock obviously requires a key. This isn't a good option though if you were to keep your guns inside it because it can be easy to unlock even without the key.
Gun safes come in different security ratings, offering varied levels or protection. Experts recommend choosing a certain security rating based on what you plan to store inside the gun safe.
Take note that gun safes are used by other people to keep a range of objects that include the likes of important documents or other valuable assets. Gun safes that passed a five-minute attack test would have a TL rating of TL-5 or RSC rating.
Remember that not all gun safes are created in the same way—they are actually made of different materials. If you want a durable safe, you should check what it is made of. Focus on the thickness of the metal used.
If the metal is thin, it would be easy for burglars to destroy it and get the valuables inside. A good gun safe should be made of 10 to 7 gauge steel. The steel should also be protected against rust or other stains.
You should also check the door construction. Usually, the doors should be the thickest and sturdiest part of the gun safe. Good quality safes usually have at least ½ inches steel plate on their doors.
When looking at a safe, check if it is UL or Independent Laboratories. This means it is fireproof. UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories. Fires are one of the most common dangers that a gun safe could face.
It can be very dangerous if guns and ammunitions are exposed to fire. Some gun safe manufacturer’s claim that their products are fireproof —do not be fooled! There is no such thing as a gun safe that is completely fireproof.
Most gun safes can only resist fire for around one hour—more than the specified fire resistance classification, it would be burned down. It is recommended that you buy a gun safe that can resist fire for at least an hour.
A gun safe can be expensive. If you have the extra budget, you might be okay with spending several hundreds of dollars for a gun safe. But what if you don’t? To cut on costs, people often look for gun safes that are sold at discounted rates.
However, some experts say that this is the worst way to buy a gun safe. Gun safes that are on sale are often made with cheap materials. While this may be so, there are those that sell durable ones.
Gun safes made of thicker steel will weigh much more than ordinary gun safes. These gun safes often offer higher fire rating as well as security rating. The thick doors and walls make it difficult for people to move them without a pair of extra hands.
In comparison lighter ones are made of thinner steel. While they offer lesser protection against theft, they have one advantage – it’s easy for you to move them from one place to another.
Protection against Theft
Guns are expensive that’s why they’re at the risk of being stolen. For this reason, buy a sturdy gun safe. Choose a one that’s made of steel. These are often rated with a gauge number. The smaller the gauge number, the thicker the material.
Ordinary gun safes have a grade of 12 gauge steel. These are light and thieves can easily pry them open. The only advantage to lightweight gun safes is that they’re easy to move around.
You’re always better off with ten gauge steel grade with a thick door. It’s difficult to break into even with the use of a torch or a plasma cutter.
The only drawback to having a better gauge is that these can be quite expensive. They also tend to weigh much more. You will need to hire professionals if you want to move these somewhere else.
Aside from the material of the door and wall, you also need to look into its locking mechanism. Large steel pins are used to lock the door. Choose a gun safe with larger pins. If you can afford to get once that have several pins on the corners, then do so.
Do not buy a gun safe without comparing prices and specifications of different brands. There are differences among what brands offer so you have to be meticulous.
Do not be easily deceived by brand promotions, checking and comparing the prices of products with the same specifications can help you save a lot of money. You would be able to find the best, only if you exert enough effort in making comparisons.
When a gun safe has a warranty, more likely it offers high quality. Manufacturers do not easily give warranties if they know that their products are not durable.
Carefully check the provisions of the warranty service before buying. Some gun safes have warranty for floods, fires, and theft.
While experts do recommend purchasing a bigger gun safe, you may not really need it if you only intend to have one gun at home. With this said, think of how you’re going to use the gun safe before making a decision.
If you plan to have a collection of firearms, then go for a bigger one that has thick doors and walls and ample fire protection. This way, your valuable collection is safe against burglars and incidents of fire.
If you have no idea where to start, get busy looking for reviews. Many people often share their personal experiences regarding the products they have used including gun safes. Some of these even write long reviews on their blogs.
The good thing about checking out reviews is that people often give out their opinions on specific brands. This makes it easier for you to narrow down your choices.
Choosing a gun safe that will fit your needs is the right way to go about it. You can get a lot of benefits if you manage to pick a safe that will accommodate all your guns, and at the same time be the type of gun safe that best suits your personality.
Don’t worry if you have to spend a little extra to get what you want, because it is quality that matters most. You’ll see that all the money that you spend on it will be worth it at the end.
Gun safes serve many purposes, and those will depend on what you need the weapon for. Whether it is for self-defense or a sport, a gun safe has all the qualities you need to give peace of mind.