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5 Features to Look For in a Gun Safe

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As a responsible gun owner, you know that securing your firearms is important, to say the least. After all, nobody wants to make headlines for all the wrong reasons. A reliable gun safe is an essential investment that not only keeps your firearms out of the wrong hands but also protects them from damage. But what does the perfect one look like? In this article, we’ll explore the top 5 must-have features in a gun safe so that you could make an informed decision and sleep soundly knowing your firearms are safe and secure.  Should you be interested in learning about the options the gun safe world has, here’s an article on choosing gun safes.  

The List of Features

   Heavy-Duty Construction
   Fire-Resistant Lining
   UL Listed Locks
   Customizable Interior
   Anti-Theft Measures

Heavy-Duty Construction: Built to Last

When it comes to protecting such prized possessions as your guns, a flimsy gun safe simply won’t cut it. Look for a safe with heavy-duty construction featuring thick steel walls and reinforced doors. If you are in the market for a full-size gun safe, that is.

The thicker the steel, the better – this point is easy to guess. Steel thickness is measured in gauges, with lower numbers indicating thicker steel. It might seem counterintuitive, but that’s just how the gauge system rolls. So, when you hear someone boasting about their 10-gauge steel gun safe, they’re actually bragging about its thick and sturdy construction.

Our recommendation goes to the same number: aim for at least 10-gauge steel for optimal protection against break-ins and tampering. At the end of the day, burglars aren’t the only threats from which you protect your firearms. There’s fire, damage from collapsing, moisture and God knows what else that might pose a threat to your guns’ well-being. Thick steel walls can protect your firearm from those hazards or at least increase the chances of your rifles and handguns ending up unharmed. Thicker steel is more expensive, but can you really put a price tag on your peace of mind? 

It’s also essential to consider the quality of the welds and the overall craftsmanship of the safe. No steel is thick enough to make up for weak welds. So, don’t be afraid to scrutinize the build quality before making your purchase.

Fire-Resistant Lining: Because Things Can Get Heated

House fires wreak havoc on your home and destroy your valuables. The last part isn’t always true, but you need to make preparations for it not to be. To ensure your firearms and other precious items are protected from the heat, choose a gun safe lined with fire-resistant boards.

A fire-resistant safe is designed to withstand high temperatures for a specific period without allowing the heat to damage its contents. Most safes come with a fire rating, which indicates how long they can endure the heat. Aim for a safe with at least a 60-minute fire rating.

An important thing to keep in mind is that no safe is fireproof, at least not the ones you can install at home. Most consumer safes available on the market are fire-resistant, meaning they can prevent heat from damaging the contents for 30 to 180 minutes, depending on the rating. It takes less time for papers to catch fire than for a shotgun to start melting, so opting for higher ranks is quite reasonable.

When evaluating a fire-resistant safe, also consider the structure of firearm protection. Does it rely on wall boards or composite materials? How thick is the fire wall or how many layers are there? Those are the questions you need answered to fully assess the gun safe’s fire resistance.

UL Listed Locks: The Gold Standard in Security

The lock, undoubtedly, ranks the highest among must-have features in a gun safe, being the main line of defense separating your valuables from the outside world. Not all locks are created equal. To ensure maximum security for your gun safe, look for one with a UL-listed lock. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent organization that has been testing and certifying locks for more than a century, so their expertise is irrefutable.

UL-listed locks have undergone rigorous testing to ensure they can withstand various forms of attack, including picking, drilling, and forced entry. By choosing a safe with a UL-listed lock, you’re investing in a higher level of security that will help keep your firearms out of the wrong hands.

Whether you prefer electronic, mechanical, or biometric locks, it’s crucial to ensure they meet UL standards. And remember, a secure lock is only as effective as its installation. It’s great if you can install it yourself, but more complicated models might require a professional.

Customizable Interior: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Even though it’s called a gun safe, quite often it ends up being stuffed with all sorts of valuables. To keep things versatile, look for a safe with a customizable interior that allows you to adjust shelves and racks to fit your specific needs. This feature ensures that your firearms are stored securely and efficiently, preventing any potential damage from improper storage. This flexibility gives you the freedom to optimize your safe’s storage capacity and keep everything organized and easily accessible. If this feature isn’t worthy of making it into the ‘must-have features in a gun safe’ list, nothing is.

Moreover, a customizable interior can adapt to your changing needs over time. As your collection grows or evolves, you can rearrange the interior to accommodate new additions, ensuring your gun safe remains a reliable and versatile storage solution. 

Must-have Features in Gun Safe

Anti-Theft Measures: Outsmarting the Bad Guys

Wouldn’t it be funny to buy a top-notch ultra-secure gun safe only to have it picked or carried away by some thief? No, it wouldn’t. This top-notch gun ultra-secure gun safe should come equipped with anti-theft features that deter even the most determined criminals. These measures include relocking devices, hardened steel plates, and anchor bolts, all of which can significantly enhance the overall security and unstealability of your safe.

Relocking devices ensure that the safe remains locked even if the main lock is tampered with or removed. Hardened steel plates protect the lock from drilling attempts while anchor bolts allow you to secure the safe to the floor or wall, making it much more difficult for thieves to remove it from your home.

When evaluating a gun safe’s anti-theft measures, consider the level of protection each feature offers and how they work together to create a comprehensive security system. A well-rounded approach to theft prevention will give you greater confidence in your safe’s ability to protect your firearms.

Summing Things Up

Choosing the perfect gun safe is no easy task, but by prioritizing these five must-have features in a gun safe, you’ll be well on your way to finding the ideal safe that meets your needs and protects your valuable firearms. Gathering a full house might be a bit too ambitious, but having a couple of those features is something every respectable gun safe should strive to acquire. Remember, investing in a high-quality gun safe is not only an investment in your firearms but also in your peaceful sleep. 

Read: 5 Best Gun Safe Brands of the Year


How much fire rating do I need in a safe?

Fire ratings indicate how long a safe can withstand high temperatures without compromising the contents inside. As a rule of thumb, a 60-minute fire rating should provide a reasonable level of protection for most scenarios. However, the type of items you’re storing can also influence your decision. For example, documents or cash are more susceptible to fire damage than metal objects like guns or jewelry. In such cases, it might be wise to invest in a safe with a higher fire rating for added peace of mind.

What can I put in a safe to absorb moisture?

If you are worried about your gun safe being not 100% sealed, you can use dehumidifiers to keep moisture at bay. These handy devices are specifically designed to remove excess moisture from the air, making them an excellent choice for maintaining a dry environment inside your safe.  

How does gauge work in gun safes?

In gun safes, “gauge” refers to the thickness of the steel used in its construction. Lower gauge numbers indicate thicker steel, providing better security and protection. So, a 10-gauge steel gun safe is thicker and sturdier than a 14-gauge one. The gauge is often connected to the size of the gun safe: a smaller safe is less likely to be as thick as a bigger one.

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