Selecting a location for your gun safe can be tricky. You probably want your gun close at hand for protection while you are at home. But you might also want to keep it away from the children or neighbors, and you may not even want them to know you own a gun and a safe.
Add in the fact that temperature and moisture can damage your firearms, so you want to avoid somewhere with high humidity or big temperature swings.
Then take into account that intruders, and especially burglars, often understand how most people think when choosing a location for their gun safe, and that firearms in the home are among the most frequently stolen items during burglaries. So you want to pick somewhere that is not obvious.
Using all these factors, it seems that the ideal location does not exist. But still, you have to choose.
So here are a few thoughts on potential locations.
The bedroom often seems the obvious choice for your gun safe. We think of it as the most “private” area in the house, the place where the fewest people will see the safe.
We also tend to think of burglaries and home invasions as a nighttime occurrence (not necessarily true) so if our house is broken into it seems likely that we will be in the bedroom.
One problem with this is that, although there may be fewer people going in and out of the bedroom, of those who do it is likely many of them will be your children. It isn’t unusual for curious kids searching for new things to concentrate on their parent’s bedroom when the parents are out.
The biggest problem, however, is that criminals realize the bedroom is the most likely location for a gun, and so this may be the first place they head, especially if you are not home.
Strangely enough, it seems that this applies only to the master bedroom. Other bedrooms are less likely to be searched for weapons during a burglary. So, perhaps if you had another bedroom with an adjoining door that is easily reached it could be considered for your gun safe.
A Home Office or Hallway
A home office or a hallway are also candidates for your gun safe’s location. (The hallway may be handy if a stranger comes to the door.) But more people are likely to pass through those areas and, therefore, see the safe. Also, if you are in bed when you need to retrieve your gun, the distance is greater and the criminals may be between you and your weapon.
A home office also places quite high on the order of locations searched by a burglar.
It seems likely that, while the laundry room may be safer because it is not an obvious location for a gun safe, the likelihood of you having a clear run or open access to the laundry room in an emergency is much lower.
Additionally, you run into the problem of long-term storage in an area with high humidity and significant temperature changes than can damage your gun.
The living room provides great access to your gun as long as you are in that room when any home invasion occurs.
At any other time, it is an early target on the itinerary of burglars, and the likelihood of being cut off from reaching it in the event of an emergency is quite high.
It is also possibly the most used room in the house. Family, friends and invited strangers are likely to be in this room at some point, So the safe would need to be well hidden or everyone would know it was there.
A Basement or Garage
The basement or garage could be chosen as locations for your gun safe, but they do pose a couple of potential problems.
Obviously, because of distance, access during an emergency or invasion is difficult.
Less obvious is the potential for your gun safe to be discovered by intruders when they are looking for tools to break into other areas in the house. So, now they possess your gun safe AND tools to try and break into it.
A further strike against these locations is the likelihood of damaging environmental conditions such as humidity or unpredictable temperature swings.
Closets seem to provide a reasonable combination of access and lack of visibility (unless it is the closet in the master bedroom—it is a “high-value target” for burglars). Despite the lack of visibility for a safe in a closet, they are often close to foot-traffic and convenient to reach. And there are usually shelves and other contents that can be used to conceal the safe without blocking its door.
Add in that they are usually within climate-controlled areas of the house, and environmental problems encountered in other areas are not present.
It is not my place to tell you the best or worst place to keep your gun safe, and I would not pretend that it is. This must be a personal choice taking into account your needs, the layout of your home, etc. But I hope seeing how to think about each of the locations as I have done here helps. You must always consider physical location, ease of access, visibility to others, and the environment.
As I previously said, there is often no ideal placement, but you can quickly rule out the least favorable places, and sometimes a process of elimination has to be used.
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