Locked & Unloaded – How to Choose a Gun Safe

Whether you own one gun or many, there are a few important reasons to consider buying a gun safe. The first is to prevent access to children and others who do not understand how to handle a firearm safely. Even if your family is well-schooled in gun safety and deemed responsible, other people who enter your home may not be. It’s also important to protect your valuable guns from fire damage as well as being taken during a home break-in or by an opportunistic thief. We can all agree no one wants to see their precious valuables taken, but the possibility that stolen firearms could be used in a future crime or tragedy adds an extra layer of concern.

If you are ready to buy a gun safe, it’s important that you know all gun-safes are not created equal. Many on the market today are akin to thin metal file cabinets that could be broken into with a hammer, large screwdriver, or easily hauled away. Focus “your sights” on a quality gun safe constructed with a minimum of 10 to 11-gauge steel featuring at least a ¼ inch solid plate steel or composite door and the ability to be bolted to the floor. You don’t want your gun safe to be hauled away and you also don’t want it to be outfitted with a sub-par lock. Pardon the pun, but a good quality lock is an important “key” to gun safety. But which to choose?

For ease-of-use, “old school” combination locks are low-maintenance and require no batteries. Generally offering adequate protection, combination locks can be defeated by thieves armed with skills. It’s also important to note, the services of a locksmith would be required to change the combination.

Electronic locks are easy to use but do require battery changes. Many high-end models offer multiple user combinations, penalty lockouts, and integration into home security systems. Some electronic locks may also require “a physical key” paired with a passcode to open the safe.

Biometric locks require a fingerprint to open the gun-safe and allow for the storage of several fingerprints for multiple users. Biometric locks can be expensive and temperamental. If your finger is dirty, for example, it might not recognize your fingerprint, or it could take several tries to gain access. Because it is still a developing technology, biometric locks continue to improve with each passing year.

Whether your motivation is gun safety for your family and/or protection against burglars, it turns out a house fire is more likely a threat to your firearms collection. Given the unpredictability of a fire, it’s level of heat and possible duration, there is no such thing as an absolutely fireproof safe. With that said, it’s still important to consider fire ratings. A safe with less than a one-hour fire rating will not provide adequate protection to survive a typical home fire. A UL-Listed or US-made safe with a certified rating of 1 hour or greater is your better bet. For added protection, the addition of a small UL-Rated certified firebox placed inside your gun safe could help protect important documents.

Now that we’ve covered the bare essentials, we also recommend you choose a gun safe that can hold your current firearms collection and more. Whether to accommodate a growing collection or allow space for other important valuables, a gun safe is a substantial investment you’ll want to utilize to the fullest.

That brings us to price and the bottom line is that “you get what you pay for.” An inexpensive safe on sale at a big box store or online can help you “feel secure” but a solidly constructed gun safe starting in the range of $1,200 to $1,500 will more likely feature the quality materials, corrosion resistance, fire protection and gun safety that is worth your investment. Looking for a gun-safe in the Fredrick, MD area? Sure-Fit Security offers service from Frederick to Baltimore and Annapolis as well as Northern Virginia south to Manassas. Give us a call at 301-585-4595 today! Or use our convenient Contact form.

Call Us Today: (301) 585-4595 Skip to content