Securing Your Gun Safe

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Now that you have purchased your new Sports Afield gun safe, it is time to really start thinking about securing it down. Anchoring down your safe is a great way to increase its security and further protect against theft. Often times, people assume that the weight of the gun-safe alone is enough to keep it from being stolen or broken into. This, unfortunately, is not always the case as an unbolted down safe is more susceptible to theft for a variety of reasons. Thieves can take the safe all-together, bringing it to a location where they will have more time and privacy to open it up. Thieves can also push the safe on its back allowing for greater leverage, torque, and placement in regards to pry, hack, saw, and hammer attacks. Also, an unbolted down safe can be a tipping hazard, causing some safety concerns. For these reasons, it is important that you seriously consider anchoring down your safe to a secure location such as a concrete slab, floor joists, or subfloor. All Sports Afield gun safes have ½” pilot holes located on the floor of the safe to allow for anchoring.

Bolting your Sports Afield Safe to a Wood Framed Floor

When securing a safe to a wood framed floor, it is best to bolt directly into floor joists. This can often be difficult due to the placement and spacing of floor joists and the size of the safe. A lot of times, the safe’s pilot holes will not all completely match up with where your floor joists lie. However, If you are able to access the floor joists from underneath you can add additional lumber and supports to drill into; making your safe more secure.  When bolting into floor joists, use the supplied lag bolts and washers. You will first want to drill a pilot hole though to reduce the risk of splitting the wood. If you are unable to access your floor joists, you can drill into the subfloor, but it will not be as secure.

Bolting your Sports Afield Safe to a Concrete Slab Floor

Anchoring your safe into a concrete slab is generally considered the best way. Concrete offers a hard, ridged surface that can not only support lots of weight, but can also be very difficult to rip or maneuver bolts out of.  Concrete also is a non-combustible material that has a high degree of fire resistance, which in turn, helps keep the valuables within your safe protected in the event of a fire. Concrete, however, does release moisture which can corrode the bottom of the safe and it is advised that you utilize a moisture barrier between the safe and concrete. You should also use galvanized/zinc plated hardware at a minimum. If you have a “post tension concrete slab” it cannot be drilled and you will have to choose a different location to anchor your safe.

In order to bolt down a safe properly into a concrete slab, you will need access to a hammer-drill. This is needed in order to pre-drill the concrete for concrete anchors. (If you do not have access to a hammer drill or feel uncomfortable using one, contact a general contractor. They will be able to do all the work for you). There are many different kinds of concrete anchors, available in both female and male version that will work for securing your safe. Female concrete anchors use a drop-in anchor-shield that is set into the concrete. This can be difficult with gun safes because you will have to mark the holes where the safe is going to located, move the safe, drill and set the shields, than move the safe back over the holes and bolt it down. Male anchors, however, can be installed directly inside of your safe without having to move the safe again. A concrete wedge anchor works really well. Whatever style concrete anchor you do decide to go with, make sure they are galvanized/zinc plated at a minimum, use thick washers for each anchor, they should be ½” or close in diameter, and are long enough to accommodate any moisture barrier you may have between the safe and concrete pad.

As far as moisture barriers, there are several different options. One of the more common options is a hard rubber horse stall mat. These are available at most farm and feed stores as well as online. These rubber mats not only prevent moisture from contacting the bottom of your safe, but are also difficult for attackers to pry or cut into to access the safe’s bolts. Other options include elevating the safe slightly of the concrete with shims, plywood, metal-bases, washers, blocks, and even hockey pucks. If you go with one these routes, just make sure that you add protection around any exposed sides, so an attacker can’t access your bolts or pry underneath your safe easily.