Four Tips For Making Your Gunsafe More Safe

Posted on: 21 July 2015

The general consensus among gun owners is that when guns are not in use, they should be stored in a gun safe that is locked and out of the way. This helps to prevent accidents where guns are dropped or where children find them and play with them. However, just because your guns are in a safe, does not necessarily mean that they are safe. Here are some ways to make sure that your gun safe does as much as possible to keep your guns safe from others and others safe from guns. 

1. Talk to a locksmith about opening options.

Keys can get lost and combinations can be forgotten. Keys can also be found by children or young adults, and locks that require keys can be picked. Therefore, it is best to avoid simple key-entry safes for guns, as they are only as safe as the lock. If you can, talk to a locksmith about installing a biometric safe lock or a electronic keypad lock. These are reprogrammable if the combination is ever forgotten, and they are harder for intruders to hack-- especially those that are biometric. If you have a large gun collection that has both tactical and economic value, investing in these more expensive, but more secure locking mechanisms, is worth it.

2. Try not to pack too many guns and ammo into one safe. 

If you store ammunition and magazines too close together, these can create a hazard in the event of a fire, or if you are not able to tell them apart in a high pressure situation. For example, if you need to apprehend a violent intruder and reach for the wrong ammunition, you could end up the casualty of a deadly accident. Store each firearm with its corresponding ammunition with enough separation that such a mistake would not possibly occur. 

Because those who are prepared for threats may also store loaded guns, firearms should also be spaced in a way that if the safe were to be moved or dropped, they would not bump into one another and cause any loaded weapons to misfire. 

Also, putting all your "eggs in one basket" is dangerous if your safe has only mediocre locking mechanisms, as it will allow children or intruders access to your entire arsenal. 

3. Choose a large, heavy safe that is difficult to move.

If you only have a single pistol, then getting a large safe may be impractical. However, if you have three or four weapons (or many more), an immovable safe is best. Immovable safes make firearms much more difficult to steal, as thieves could simply abscond with an entire gun safe and break into it later. Also, heavy safes are more sturdy, therefore reducing the chances that it could be knocked over accidentally. Immovable safes are more impervious to natural disasters, like earthquakes or floods, that could damage a smaller safe. Talk to a locksmith about weight options for smaller safes, including bolting it to a heavy object or to the floor. 

4. Practice using your safe. 

Nobody wants to be in a situation where they need emergency access to their gun safe because of danger, but these situations are often the reason why people own firearms in the first place. Do a few "test runs" with the locks on your safe, including grabbing and loading your firearms, to make sure that your safe is effective and that you are able to access your firearms easily and safely. You should try these tests from different rooms in the house and at differing times of the day. If you notice anything that slows you down or causes confusion, you will need to adjust the placement,design, or type of safe you use.

For more information, contact a local locksmith or safe company.