What’s the Best Spot in your Home to Put your Gun Safe?

Picking out the perfect gun safe for yourself from the plethora available in the market is no doubt an achievement, but next you’ll be wondering where is the best place to put a gun safe in your house. If you’re not, you should be and here’s why:

A lot of thought needs to go into the placement of a gun safe – it has to be remain inconspicuous and secure from burglars and other unauthorized individuals, while also letting you conveniently access your weapons whenever they’re needed. And if at all possible, it should be able to blend in with the rest of the décor!

I’ve moved houses several times over the course of my adult life, and on almost all of these instances, I’ve also had to find a good spot to put my safe in the new house. Having become well familiar with the factors that go into this decision, I’ve written this guide to help you in doing exactly this.​

Factors to Consider when Deciding on a Place to Put your Gun Safe

Weight Constraints

The most immediate concern after the safe has been delivered to your curb is moving it inside – if it is more than a couple of hundred pounds, you’ll need help to achieve this. Consider hiring professional movers for assistance, or using a moving dolly or a similar moving tool for this purpose.

Next, you need to think about the place where you intend to put the safe – if you’re going to be taking the safe to your basement, or to an upper story, you’ll probably have to use a staircase: the staircase must be able to sustain the weight of the safe, and I’ll recommend hiring professionals for doing the job even if you’re certain that you and a buddy could easily manage it.

In case you’re putting the safe on the second floor or higher (or above a basement), you must make sure that it has the ability to sustain the kind of dead load the safe will create. Generally speaking, if the safe weighs more than 1000 lbs., you should have a professional carry out an inspection of the floor’s capability beforehand.

For a 1000+ lbs. safe, chances are that the safe dealer will be able to do this for you directly. In any case, determining the strength of the floor is a matter of figuring out the local code, material/type, size and gap of the floor joists.

Theft Deterrence

You’ve purchased the safe to prevent thieves and burglars from stealing your valuable collection, but there’s no need to put up a sign board inviting them to try: place the safe in a spot where it can’t be seen from outdoors easily – the more it stands out, the bigger the target it’ll paint for a home invader.

The best spot to put a safe is beside an exterior wall, so that the door swings open right along it – this will make it practically impossible for a thief to use a prying tool on the non-hinge side (often quite vulnerable) of the door! Bedroom closets are a suitable candidate for this – and they offer fast access and discretion as well.

If you’ve got a relatively light gun safe, you may want to put it in a basement: even multiple burglars will find it difficult to carry the safe over a dozen or so steps. Obviously, make sure there aren’t any tools lying around, since that would make it easy for them to simply break open the safe, eliminating the need of having to carry it off in the first place!

Bolting the safe down to the floor will greatly enhance its security, but you’ll want to consider the floor material: concrete provides the best strength for bolting down a gun safe, whereas carpets and wooden floors are easier to compromise. With concrete though, you’ll need to remember that it releases moisture, so stainless steel or galvanized steel bolts are recommended to prevent weakening due to rusting.​

Flood Resistance

If you’re concerned about flood damage to your weapons safe and its contents (as you should be, given how floods are the most frequently occurring natural disaster!), you should place the safe in an upper story of your house.

If you’ve got no choice but to place the floor in an unheated garage or basement that could get flooded in the wet season (for instance, if your upper story floors may not be able to take the weight of the safe), make sure beforehand that your safe has an intumescent door seal that will withstand the moisture for a couple of days.​

Fire Safety

The safest places in terms of fire safety are those which have the least amount of flammable materials (or will be the most cut off from a fire). This means that kitchens, living rooms and basements with lots of furniture stored in them are out of the question.

Your safest options will be:​

  • Bathrooms, as they won’t contain any seriously flammable item, and will have water connections that would burst in the event of a serious fire and may protect your safe for a while.
  • Bedroom closets, as they’ll be highly removed from a fire that starts, say, in your living room or kitchen – the fire may be under control well before it spreads to the rest of the house.
  • Basements, if they’re not filled with lots of flammable goods, will also be pretty removed from fire damage since the fire is very unlikely to start from there – even if the upper portions collapse, the basement is likely to survive and, in doing so, keep your safe intact!
  • Unattached garages, they’ll be removed from the main building and will thus be quite safe from any harm due to a fire that occurs in it.

Ease of Access

Keep in mind that the safe isn’t just for securing your firearms – it must also let you access them easily and rapidly when the need arises. If you can foresee a situation where you’ll need to use your guns (for instance, if you live in a bad neighborhood), you should keep your safe close by, preferably in your bedroom or the living room.

Keeping the safe in a remote location, such as a basement or garage is only recommended for those gun owners who will use their weapons for leisure activities such as collecting, hunting and trekking, and have no concern about using the weapons for self-defense.​

Places Where you can Put your Gun Safe

Bedroom / Closet


An obvious choice for placing your gun safe is the bedroom: it will be private, so no guest or visitor will stumble upon it. It will also let you access your gun quickly in the middle of the night when you hear a noise downstairs!

However, I would recommend that you go a step further (if possible), and put the safe in your bedroom’s closet. Not only will this make it a lot more discreet, it will also distance it from potential fire hazards.

Make sure that your bedroom’s floor can handle the weight of your safe prior to installing it, if you’re not on the first floor.​

Bedroom / Bathroom


While this may seem like an unorthodox place for placing a gun safe, it is surprisingly practical: it will be less prone to damage from a fire, and it will probably be the last place where a thief may search for something valuable.

The bathroom will also be readily accessible from your bedroom, so you’ll be able to take out your guns quickly when they’re needed.​

Basement


A basement is the safest spot for your gun safe if you’re concerned about environmental hazards such as fires, hurricanes and earthquakes that could cause the building to collapse.

However, if the basement doesn’t have thermal regulation (which will probably be the case), your safe will be exposed to excessive moisture that could ultimately cause your weapons to develop rust.​

Once again, don’t leave any tools such as hammers and crowbars lying around, since you’ll be doing the burglars a solid by providing them with the means to break into your safe!​

Garage


If you don’t have space anywhere else in your home, you may be tempted to put the safe in your garage, but this is not recommended unless the garage has some mechanism in place to get rid of / prevent the accumulation of excess moisture.

Furthermore, the garage is a place that can be seen into by passersby every day so discretion will be out of the window. An unattached garage will have the advantage of being safe from a fire in the main house, but even so, it will put your weapons so far away from you that it isn’t practical for those with a genuine security concern.​

Living room


I’ll recommend that you stay away from this placement option unless you’re confident about the security of your home: the safe will be visible to all visitors, and if a burglar breaks into your home, this will probably be the first place they search for valuables.

Not only will this make it very difficult for you to get to your weapons, it will also give the home invader a distinct edge over you if they manage to crack the safe. Living rooms are also more prone to damage from a fire, because of an abundance of flammable items and potential electrical / gas connections.

That being said, if your only intention is to showcase your weapon collection, this is a good place to put the safe.​

Conclusion

Having reached the end of this guide, you will probably be wiser about where to put a gun safe in the home. Obviously, all homes are unique (if not in design and furniture, then at the very least, in terms of the people who reside in them), which is why there isn’t a single spot that will work for everyone.

For instance, I prefer to keep the gun safe as close to my person as possible while I sleep, which is why I keep it stashed away in my bedroom closet – safe from prying eyes and only accessible to myself. However, for someone who doesn’t foresee a home invasion scenario, having their safe carried up to the second floor may not even be necessary!

Ultimately, the key is to work out what matters to you the most: theft protection, safety against environmental hazards, ease of access, ease of transportation and so on – and compromise on the other factors as much as you can.

Don’t hesitate to leave your comments and queries below, I’ll address them as soon as possible.​

About the Author Richard Mendez

Guns and Security provides reviews, guides, news and entertainment for gun and survival enthusiasts.

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