Okay. So, you’ve been a responsible gun owner and bought a gun safe. But do you realize that you now have to prevent your gun safe from being stolen?
Unless you have bought one of those humongous safes—the bank-style vaults that cost thousands of dollars and require specialized equipment and vehicles to move–chances are your gun safe is small enough to be carried away by one or two people.
In fact, carrying your safe away is often the preferred strategy for burglars because they can then get away from the scene of the crime and take their time breaking in to get your weapons.
So, what are you to do?
In addition to where you place your safe within your house, two other elements can be used together in preventing the theft of your safe:
When you chose a location for your safe, you may have considered keeping it out of the reach of children. Equally important can be keeping it out of the sight of children . . . And of other visitors, invited and uninvited.
The fewer people who know that you have a gun safe in your home the better. Firearms are among the most commonly stolen items, and children can accidentally tell neighbors or strangers information that they do not need to know. There is no sense in tempting people.
For the same reason, you do not need to keep your safe where other adults can see it. This is particularly the case when locating your safe where people outside the home can see it through windows or through doors.
If it can be seen at all, from inside the house or outside, MOVE IT!
Over and above these simple tips there are a couple of easy things you can do, depending on the design of your safe.
In your bedroom, you can keep your safe out of sight in a drawer. Some safes are specifically designed for this purpose, and others just happen to have the required features. Essentially, any safe that is small enough to fit in the drawer of a dresser or a nightstand has a lid rather than a front door, and has the access mechanism—keyhole, keypad, or fingerprint reader—on the upper surface can be concealed in this way.
Alternatively, you could keep the safe between the bed and the nightstand or dresser. That way it is out of sight and still readily available from a lying position in when you’re in bed.
In a closet you could keep the safe on a shelf, preferably above eye level. People tend not to look upwards unless specifically searching for something that they know is high. Even then, upward is usually the last place they look.
You could also keep the safe lower but hidden behind some easily moved objects such as clothes on hangers. The safe is not readily visible but if you need a quick entry, it is easy to push the disguise to the side.
A gun safe, if found, can often be easily carried off. Therefore, one of the most straightforward anti-theft procedures you can use is to anchor or fix the safe to something that is less easily made off with: a wall, a floor, or a piece of furniture.
Most manufacturers provide the hardware needed to secure their safes in a variety of settings. It may seem obvious, but just hiding the safe is not enough to prevent theft. Use the tools provided and fixed it to something!
Even if there is no hardware provided, it is easy to pick up some stuff at the hardware store for a few dollars that will do just as well.
In the examples given above in the concealment section, you could drill out the holes in the bottom of a safe and, with a couple of nuts and bolts, fix the safe inside the drawer.
Some safes are pre-drilled so they can be fixed on the side of the nightstand next to your bed . . . Out of sight and secured.
In a closet, you could secure the safe to a shelf or to the floor or to the wall. If you position it correctly, you could even bolt it to a floor and a wall.
The varieties are endless. The only thing you have to ensure is that where you fix the safe does not interfere with the door opening or prevent you getting to any of the opening mechanisms. The most important thing is to make sure the fixtures are not accessible from outside, that the nuts or similar hardware are seen only from the inside of the safe. That way, a burglar cannot remove the safe without opening it.
These are only suggestions. The number of ways in which a safe can be concealed and anchored is limited only by your imagination. Just make sure of two things. The safe is out of sight, and even if seen it cannot be moved!
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