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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering buying a gun safe and have a few questions:

First and foremost placement. I am from Illinois and the first place I think to put a safe is in the basement. I now live in Texas and do not have a basement, so this leaves me wondering where to put it.

I have 2 options: attached garage or an upstairs room.

Note: My home defense scenario is already planned for and I don't need to get into the safe for this.

Option 1: Garage

I don't think a 700 lb. safe bolted to the floor is going to be thrown in anyone's truck and hauled off, so I'm not worried about the security risk of someone ramming down my garage door and stealing a safe out of it.

Pro: I can just take something out of the safe and go right to the workbench for cleaning/tweaking.

Con: My garage space is precious. I only have a 2 car and am not about to start parking outside. Would have to pull out a car to get into the safe.

Are their any other pros and cons to consider?

Option 2: Upstairs Room

Am I going to have any problems with over-stressing the floor? I will put this close to an exterior wall in my gameroom upstairs.

Pro: Plenty of room for the safe.

Con: Can this be bolted to the floor? Weight?

Recommendations

What is the best value? Where is the best place to shop for one in Houston?

Thanks in advance.
 

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A though given to me by the safe vendor from whom I bought my unit from in Maryland...."heat rises, wood flooring structures (like upstairs) burn and collapse", put it in the garage for those two reasons.

I can't answer your floor weight capacity question, I don't know whether you are getting a 600 lb safe or a 1800 lb monster. The issue is usually called floor loading. This would be the weight of the safe divided by the number of square inches (or other unit of measurement you want to use) of surface that will bear the weight. If you put the safe up on a couple of 4 x 4s then the floor loading would be greater than if is sat directly on the floor because the weight bearing surface would be smaller. The next question, to a builder or architect, is what floor loading specs/code are used for houses in your area.

I still think the garage...that's where I have mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm leaning more towards a 600-700 lb safe.

Thanks for the feedback, any other opinions?
 

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Garage is typically not climate controlled as well as the house. Not sure I would want my guns in the same environment that snow chunks are falling off the cars. (Maybe not an issue in your neck of the woods.)

Floor loading is definitely an issue, but since most floors can support a waterbed and/or a refridgerator, I suspect a 700# has similar lbs/sqin characteristics.

True, fire burns wood and your floor will burn well before your safe will. But if you put your safe in the garage, will it withstand an entire floor falling on it?

Personally, if given the choice between in the house and in the garage, I'd go in the house (but my wife would never let me).

When shopping for a safe, include the cost of delivery. Some people drop ship (it's in your driveway) and some people install in the location you want. Keep in mind a 700# safe can probably be man-handled by you and a couple buddies with an appliance cart. Anything over about 900, though and you're looking at a pizza party and a case of beer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cold isn't an issue here. The garage stays within 10-15 degrees of the house temperature in the winter. I know for a fact it hasn't gotten below 50 degrees in there.

I'm not 100% sure about heat though as I'm new to home ownership. I can't imagine it getting up above 90 degrees in the garage if I keep the house around 80 degrees.

Garage is looking better and better... any other Texans care to chime in?
 

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I was raised in Houston and a garage can get hotter than Hades and very humid too. I live in the Northeast now, but if I were still in Houston wouldn't envision using the garage.

Maybe you could consider getting two safes - smaller ones, and keep them in the house.
G
 

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I'm researching safes right now too and the one I decided on is about 650 lbs. I wouldn't worry too much about floor loading with that size because if you add up the weight of your family around the dinner table you should be right around that mark. I don't see any reason to bolt it down if it's inside, especially if it would have to be carried up or down stairs to steal it.

One other issue to consider is whether you will live in your house the rest of your life. I'm getting my own house in a few years and that's why my safe isn't going in the basement. I'd never get it out. You may be facing the same issue with the upstairs room.

What safe are you considering? I'm looking at the Liberty 23' but I haven't settled for sure yet.
 

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My recommendation for the best dealer would be SWCI Inc., (SafesRUs) on I-10 east at Normandy.

I've bought two myself, bought a third as a Christmas gift for a co-worker's husband, and my brother bought one.

The owner once had his own firearms collection destroyed by fire while stored in a safe with typical fire protection. They now order every safe with the reinforced fire door offering up to 1690 deg for 90 minutes.

Even if you choose not to buy from them, talking to them can be an education about safes.

Mike
 

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Fuelburns1 said:
What safe are you considering? I'm looking at the Liberty 23' but I haven't settled for sure yet.
I think that's the one I have. (I know it's a Liberty)

Kind of a no frills safe but it serves the purpose pretty well.
 

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I lived in Houston and I bet even with a de-humdifier in the garage rust will still be an issue.
 

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If your safe company owner is of the same frame of mind as mine was, you are probably looking at an extra fee to have the safe delivered to your upstairs room. There's also a good chance your stairwell will need to be reinforced before hauling it upstairs.

Safes these days actually look very upscale, not at all shabby. Is your living room or another downstairs room big enough to handle the safe. They don't take up that much room.

Good luck with your decision.
 

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Grousen said:
Safes these days actually look very upscale, not at all shabby. Is your living room or another downstairs room big enough to handle the safe. They don't take up that much room.
I think this is your best advice, if it's an option for you. I would be concerned about temperature changes and humidity in a garage. I wouldn't think that floor loading would be of concern with a 700# model, but the stress on the stairs may be.

As noted above, most companies will deliver to your door, some will deliver to the room of install, but all will charge extra if they have to haul it up more than a couple steps.

Rob
 

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I live just North of Austin, and I also run a construction co. specializing in fire and water damage restoration. Here's my take on your problem......Number one, buy a Liberty safe, they are the best value of fire protection for the money. Number two, put the safe in the garage, get a dehumidifier, and oil the guns before you put them in the safe. Heat will not be an issue, trust me, if it doesn'e damage the materials your cars are made of, it won't damage your guns. Third, your floor will support a 700lb safe with no problem, but should it burn and come crashing through the floor, you won't like what you find inside. When safes fall, they tend to land door first. It's hard enough to try to right one empty (speaking from experience) let alone full and heated from a fire. Lastly, if you anchor the safe to the concrete slab in your garage, it will not go anywhere even if the house collapses on top of it.
 

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Forgot to mention, I used to live in Spring, TX. (North Houston for all you non-Texans). My safe was in the garage with a dehu rod in it. I NEVER had any rust issues.
 

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I sold an extra safe I had one time to a gentleman who put it in the garage. Some time later he brought some pictures of his safe in the garage with the garage doors open. It was invisable!
He had got to thinking about some scumbag driving down the street and seeing the safe and getting ideas. He had a bench with some pegboard and tools hanging next to the safe, so he painted the safe to match its surroundings and the safe disappeared.
 

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I would put the safe inside your house if you have room. In your garage it, and its contents, will be subjected to wider temperature and humidity swings. It's the humidity that would really worry me, even with dehumidifying devices inside the safe.

I have a similar sized gunsafe. I built a platform for it to raise it about 4 1/2" for easier access for me. The platform has a wider footprint that the safe itself, and spreads the load over a greater area of the floor, but I wouldn't hesitate to put the safe directly on the floor.

Others may not agree, but I'm much more concerned about thieves and children gaining access to my guns than I am about fire. If my house burns and the safe falls through the floor into the crawl space, so be it. Much better to have it "out of sight" in a room or closet in the house than sitting in the garage for everyone to see. (Nothing like a gun safe to let everyone know you've got guns, and probably a lot of 'em...and maybe worth a fortune, too.)

Good luck whatever route you choose,
hunter20ga
 

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Do not put it in a garage. Garages are broken into more often than houses. If detached, it's theft not burglary and you, the homeowner, cant shoot them for it. Criminals are aware of that fact. Additionally, If I were to want to steal a big heavy object bolted to a floor I'd like the person to put it where I can pull my truck up to it, yank it off its moorings, and load it right up.

I'd put it in the house on the first or second floor. I've hauled two empty ones up to my 2nd floor and now that they're full and bolted down, they're not moving. If you have a house fire it probably won't damage much. What causes most of the damage to contents is the firemen. They fill the house full of water that ends up in the basement. Then they rip out the ceilings and walls to get at any smoldering wood. If you live in an old house without fire stops, keep the safe away from wall cavities where pipes, ducts and soil stacks allow fires to jump floors.

My parents house burned last year. He kept his very few guns (I had most) in a wood & glass gun cabinet on the second floor right next to where the gas flew came up from the basement. That's where the fire started. It went straight to the attic and burned the roof off the house.

Here's a link to my childhood home going up in flames :cry:

http://www.chicagofirevideo.com/gallery ... ewood.html
 

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I think SiverHawk hit the nail on the head...of course I'm not too objective...after all, he agrees with me :wink:

I live in Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. Years ago, Washington was considered a "tropical posting" for many embassies due to the summer heat and oppresive humidity (picture UK diplomat in shorts, knee highs, and a pith helmet :) ). In the winter its cold and damp...lots of rain and a bit of snow.

Nonetheless, I have experienced absolutely no problems with my safe being located in my garage. I do keep a goldenrod in there, but overall the safe seems to maintain a pretty level temperature (remember, these are insulated, fire proof, steel safes) and I have never had any condensation or corrosion.

By the by, you may want to look at Champion Safes as an alternate to Liberty.
 

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Had mine in the garage for years. Never a problem with moisture and it's just as secure as my house.
 
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