How to Pick A Gun Safe: 4 Essential Things to Consider
The recent spate of shootings in the US has exerted additional pressure on gun control. Gun owners have been thrust into the spotlight and focus on keeping guns out of the hands of minors has become paramount. Owning a gun can be expensive and it comes with a big responsibility. They now need to make sure that their guns are kept in a secure location. To fulfill this responsibility, the best thing to do is to invest in a quality gun safe.
There is a wide variety of gun safes that differ in size, material, price, and lock technology. These essentials should be considered when choosing a gun safe:
- What is the Purpose of the Gun Safe?
If you only need a safe to keep the gun away from other people, then a cabinet with a lock can be sufficient. However, if you are worried about the guns being exposed to fire hazards, then your priority is to buy a fireproof safe. If you want the guns to be safe from thieves, then you should invest in hi-tech lock systems or a heavy duty steel safe. Ideally, you should make a list of which features you want in a gun safe. From there, it will be easier to come up with a shortlist of the top gun safes to consider.
- Consider the Material.
Heavy gauge steel is the most popular material used for gun safes. When buying a heavy gauge steel safe, look closely at the gauge number which relates to the thickness of the gun safe. A smaller gauge number means a thicker safe. Common low-end safes use 12-gauge steel which can easily be punctured and penetrated using a fire axe. Take note that the recommended gauge steel is around 10 to 8 which is more difficult to cut through and more resistant to break-ins.
However, safes made of heavy gauge steel are heavier and more expensive. If you plan to move the safe in the future, you should consider the overall weight of the safe. Otherwise, you will need to hire professionals to help you move it.
- Examine the Lock Technology.
The lock technology is an important feature when choosing a safe. Most thieves would initially attempt to unlock the steel pins. Locks with numerous larger pins are more difficult to crack but are more expensive. These high-end safes have pins located not only on the side of the door but also on the corner, top, and bottom. The standard safes with one-inch pins on the sides of the door are usually sufficient for gun storage.
- Is it Fire Proof?
You need a fire resistant safe that can withstand temperatures of 1200oF for over 30 minutes. At this temperature, paper can survive inside the safe and so can your gun. If you want a premium fire proof safe, choose one that can withstand 1200oF for a period of up to 100 minutes. You should also check if the safe comes with a fire seal to keep the smoke out of the safe. This is a flat strip around the door perimeter which expands and seals the safe when it is subjected to high temperatures.
As a licensed gun owner, you are entitled to use your gun to protect your life and property and keep the people around you safe. However, a gun is a dangerous weapon in the hands of people who are intent on hurting others. This is where a gun safe comes into play. Keeping your firearms in a gun safe works both ways: it is inaccessible to others; but you can easily get your hand on your guns for self-defense. Choosing the right safe for your needs help keep a balance between being safety and protection.