This post primarily discusses strategies to plan out the ideal location of where in your house you want to place your gun safe.  Check out this post for tips dealing specifically with the safe install.

Most reputable gun safe dealers offer a delivery/moving service as an additional option.  The heavier the safe, the stronger I would recommend using the service.  You may have to pay a moving crew a couple hundred dollars to move your 1500 lbs safe up a flight of stairs, but I still consider it a worthy investment – insurance if you will.

You don’t want to hire safe movers because you have two buddies coming over to help you, and one of them has a dolly he’s going to let you borrow?  Sounds like a fun afternoon…until the dolly snaps, half way up the stairs…If you’re insistent on doing it yourself, form an adequate crew, and strongly consider renting a stair climbing appliance dolly rated for the weight of your gun safe.

Ensure that your floors are rated for the load capacity of your gun safe.  Safe manufacturers aren’t in the habit of designing their products to bust through their clients’ floors – it’s bad business.  Safes are generally built with perimeter dimensions ideal for evenly distributing their heavy weight.  However, if you have an older home, or you’re considering putting your safe in a room with weaker floors (an attic), or a surface traditionally unfriendly to gun safes (ceramic tiling), check with the builder or a contractor before making any final decisions.  If you are installing the gun safe on wood floors, particularly upstairs, position it so that it’s distributed evenly over the joists.  If you need to, install additional joists before placing the safe.

A basement may seem like an ideal place for a gun safe.  They have the strongest load bearing floors in the house, concrete walls and floors are easy to bolt the safe to a secure location, and though I think gun safes are beautiful, some of your guests may appreciate your war chest out of their direct sight.  If you need to store your gun safe in the basement, invest in flood protection.  Seal your walls, fix questionable external water sources, and get a professional opinion.  On the safe itself, seal any external holes and purchase a safe built for protection against water damage.  Employing their FloodGuard brand, Sentry Safe is a manufacturer renown for their water resistance.  The professionals will tell you, your gun safe is more likely to suffer from a bout with a flood than a fire – go ahead and put the safe in the basement – just invest in some swimming lessons first.

As I mentioned before, a well-made gun safe is a beautiful thing.  You may be tempted to put your prize in plain view like that marvelous lady leg lamp from The Christmas Story.  However, if you really care about the valuables inside, you’ll fight off the urge.  Keep it out of view from windows, and if you have the option, don’t make its presence too obvious from within the house.  Put it in the basement or the attic if you must, just review the aforementioned suggestions first.

Many folks may see this as going to extreme measures, but you may want to consider installing false walls for concealment.  A well constructed gun safe is a marvel of security engineering, but it’s also a huge burglar bullseye.  Put yourself in the bad guy’s shoes for a second – if someone spent $2000 on a safe, finding out what’s inside may be well worth the trouble.

If you can, place the gun safe in a room where one or two of its sides are walled off.  Most safe manufacturers put their efforts into making the door the most resistant feature.  This is great, but it often leaves the remaining walls as primary targets for drilling and cutting attempts.  Installing the safe flush inside a corner or a tight corridor will greatly increase your gun safe’s protection from break-ins from any angle.

Outside the safe

If you own heavy power tools or cutting torches, store them out of plain view or in a separate location altogether – you don’t want to give your thief any new ideas (or the tools to execute them).

If you don’t have the safe hooked up to a dedicated security system, pretend that you do.  Install fake wiring, smoke detectors, a dummy camera – investing a little money in a bluff just may cause your burglar to reconsider his evening plans.  Of course, if you really want to go the extra mile, you could invest in the real thing.  Here’s a great resource on burglar alarm info.

Inside the safe

If you’re an avid reloader, and have a large inventory of primers, don’t store them in your safe.  If one goes off, they can all go off…damage control people.

“A tightly-sealed metal box with a large quantity of powder inside is a bomb”.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Take it from this writer, and don’t store any powder in your gun safe.  The results could be a bad kind of spectacular.