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How important is the weight of a home safe?

The perennial question of "which safe should I buy?" is often met with the answer: it depends. People seek safes for varied purposes, primarily to:

  1. Secure firearms from unauthorized access, especially from children.
  2. Protect valuables like jewelry from theft.
  3. Safeguard important documents and treasures from fire damage.
  4. Often, individuals aim to fulfill all these security goals with a single safe.

Safes are typically evaluated based on four critical factors:

  1. Weight
  2. Ability to be bolted down
  3. Fire resistance duration (measured in minutes)
  4. Strength and thickness of the metal (measured by steel gauge and thickness)

This discussion primarily centers around the significance of a safe's weight.

Starting with the smallest home safes intended for safeguarding documents, jewelry, and passports, these safes should ideally weigh around 100 pounds or more. It's crucial for them to have pre-drilled holes for bolting down.

Moving on to medium-sized safes, designed to accommodate more valuables but not large firearms like rifles or shotguns. These safes should weigh at least 200 pounds, with 300 pounds being preferable. Bolting down is essential for added security, considering that two adults can easily carry a 200-pound safe.

Now, let's consider larger safes tailored for storing rifles or shotguns, commonly known as "gun safes." These safes typically weigh over 500 pounds, ranging up to 1500 pounds. If located in the garage, bolting down is recommended. For safes kept indoors and weighing under 500 pounds, bolting down is a must.

Bolting down a safe not only enhances security but also provides peace of mind. Investing around $100 for this purpose can dispel any lingering doubts about the safe's integrity, even if it weighs over 500 pounds.

While this post primarily covers residential safes, it's essential to note other types like wall safes, underground safes, commercial safes, and small handgun quick-access safes, each demanding careful consideration based on its intended use, purpose, and location.

In conclusion, if the safe weighs under 500 pounds, it should be bolted down. Avoid safes weighing less than 100 pounds if theft prevention is a priority, as they often lack heavy-gauge metal and can be easily carried by one person. As a general rule, if a safe can be delivered by standard shipping services like UPS or FedEx, it may not offer the robust security needed. High-quality safes are hefty and typically require specialized delivery personnel.

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