Gun Safe Security: The safe is just the first step.
So we’ve covered why you need a safe in part one and some of the features you should weigh when selecting a gun safe for your home. That’s the fist step in gun safe security. No matter what you end up selecting for a gun safe you’re going to make it more secure by thinking outside of the box. You want to do whatever you can to minimize the amount of time a person with bad intentions has to work on your gun safe. As we talked about before, it’s all about time. Here’s some “think outside of the box” options to make sure they run out of time before you do!
Get an Alarm. Homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be burglarized. An average break-in last 8-12 minutes but that goes down quickly when there is an alarm going off. Minimize the time someone has to locate and defeat your safe, and your gun safe just became more effective. Alarm systems and monitoring services can be modestly priced and will save you money on your homeowner’s insurance. You can put a sensor on the safe itself or motion detector covering that area. A loud alarm gets a thief’s attention but depending on where you are, it’s possible no one else may hear it. Get a centrally monitored service.
Security through obscurity. Don’t advertise your gun safe by putting it in the front hall, or the garage with the door facing the street open all day. Most thieves want to get in and out fast and will head to the bedroom first looking for easy pickings. If someone doesn’t find your safe quickly, chances are they won’t have time to attack it.
Bolt it down. Ok, we already pointed this out but it bears repeating. Small gun safes can be carried by one or two guys. Larger safes may not be easily moved but can certainly be tipped over on their sides giving a would be thief better angles to attack it. Bolt it down. Most safes have pre-drilled anchoring holes in the safe floor or back or both. Anchor it down and you’ve reduced the attack surface. Don’t give a thief more leverage.
Don’t make it easy. An example here: An acquaintance purchased a decent intermediate quality gun safe. Because he had a number of firearms and expected to buy more it was pretty large. In fact, because it was so big and heavy he and his wife decided it would be best located in the garage rather than taking up valuable real estate inside. Right next to the crowbar. And the sledgehammer. And the angle grinder. And the SkilSaw. Need I go on? Don’t be that guy.
Video Surveillance. This is an option that has gotten stupidly inexpensive of late so there is no reason not to take advantage of it. You can get a motion activated video camera that records to a website and streams to an app on your phone from Wyze for less than $30. Put one of these in a location where your gun safe is in the video frame and you’ll immediately be alerted and able to see if anyone gets a little too nosy where they shouldn’t be. Blink Home Security also has tons of options for low cost video surveillance in your home.
Security through obscurity Part II. When a safe isn’t a safe at all, or at least it doesn’t look like one. There are a number of manufacturers of gun storage systems that look like anything other than a safe. Bookshelves, wall art, fine furniture – there are many choices. If a thief has just a few minutes to get in and out it’s just unlikely they’ll ever know these exist. Be aware – these options rely on stealth to be effective. If found, they will not take much time to defeat. Here’s an example of furniture that can conceal a pistol or two: Lincoln Nightstand with Concealed Compartment.