A gun safe is a safe to store one or more firearms or ammunition for guns. It’s primarily used to keep unwanted people, especially children and burglars, away from the arms stored inside.
So, a responsible gun owner must be aware of the importance of having a reliable and secure gun safe. While regular safes are still used to store firearms, a safe designed specifically to store firearms provide more security and value.
In this article you’ll get to know the basics of the process of moving a gun safe.
Different Kinds of Gun Safes
Gun safes are of three basic types. They are:
Safe for Handguns
Handgun safes usually resembles a small suitcase or a briefcase. This portability allows gun owners to regularly carry their guns. There are bigger handgun safes, looking like apple boxes, to store many different handguns.
Safe for Long Guns
You can use such safes for storing rifles, shotguns and other larger firearms. The best height for such safes is around 60” while the width varies on gun capacity. So, you can store several guns.
Multi-use safes for guns
The name itself says the safe stores not only firearms but also other valuables. These safes include drawers, shelves and other compartments that come in handy.
Features of Gun Safes
After figuring out the size of the safe, it’s time to determine what other features are necessary for product satisfaction.
Electronic Lock vs Dial Lock
The widely used dial lock combination opens when you correctly select the number sequence. These locks hold up firm over time with hardly any need maintenance at all, you only need to remember the number combination.
The side-effect is that dial locks take time to engage which makes even permissible access a bit more difficult than modern systems. Electronic locks, on the other hand, has keypads and biometric tools.
This allows easy access and automatic locking. But like every other electronic appliance, such locks need to be maintained or replaced after a certain period of time.
Strength of The Steel
Steel varying in strength and thickness are used to make the walls and door of safes. The bulky the material, the harder it is to get access by drilling or anything else. Gauge units are used to measure the thickness of the steel. The thickness varies on how small the gauge unit is.
A safe with walls and door of 10-gauge steel provides more protection than a 14 or more gauge.
The steel strength alone makes it obvious that a gun safe can be very heavy. It can range from a few hundreds of pounds to a ton. This weight alone is enough to deter thieves attempting to access the safe. A safe weighing a good 750 pounds or more very much secure.
The basic rule of buying a gun safe is selecting the type of locking mechanisms that make most sense, the best possible fire protection and has enough space to store all firearms and other valuables. It’s best to keep the gun out of sight and instruct children to stay away from the safe and make them aware of the importance safely storing a gun.
How to Move a Gun Safe
Now, if you have to change homes, you still have to move your heavy gun safe along with all the other stuff. Moving houses without professional help can be a tricky feat which may need extra caution and following of some safe moving tips.
Unlike portable items, a big safe is really difficult to move by unauthorized people. So, the weight, size and sturdiness of the safe are enough to fend off potential attempts of theft.
But what about moving the safe on your own when needed? To do that, follow the steps given below:
Reassessing Options to Move a large Safe
A 750-pound gun safe might provide you the best possible security for your guns and other valuables, but relocating it can be very tough or even dangerous. So, the best option is hiring professional movers who have enough experience in relocating large safes between homes and offices.
Even if you don’t want to pay for the move, it’s impossible to make it on your own. So, gather at least 3 helpers to move the safe.
Getting the Right Moving Equipment
To load the extreme weight and dimensions of the safe and transport it securely, you need to collect a heavy-duty furniture dolly or machinery skate. This is the safest mode of transportation and professionals use it all the time.
Before purchasing or renting the moving dolly, you have to know all the measurements of the safe. Keep durable ropes or supporting straps in hand.
You and the helpers need to wear thick high-quality gloves, jeans or cargo pants and steel-toes shoes. Rent a motorized ramp equipped van to move the safe in, otherwise the job becomes harder to do.
Before attempting to do the moving, you have to carefully plan and map the path from the initial position to the moving van. Measure all the doorways and close spots on the path to the exit.
Then, compare the measurements with that of the safe so that there is no trouble while moving the safe. Remove all obstacles on the way and the moving path should have space of at least 1 foot on both sides.
Aware the helpers of the moving path and fix some warning signs to avoid any mishap. A person should walk in front to make sure everything goes as planned. Park the moving van so that the rear is facing either the sidewalk or the driveway you’ll be approaching from.
If there are steps in between the front door and the moving van, make a ramp of wood planks or other solid substances.
Preparing The Workspace
The guns and other valuables stored inside give extra weight to the safe, making the move more difficult. So, it’s best to keep them in a secure location until the relocation is over.
To avoid property damage or personal injuries due to accidental opening, lock the door of the safe tightly. To avoid damaging the floor, walls and other furniture, use old blankets, hard cardboard and other scratch-resistant materials. This will help gliding the safe easily.
To further avoid damage, wrap the safe in plastic or blankets.
Securing The Safe onto The Moving Dolly
As mentioned before, you need a moving dolly aligning with the measurements of the safe. Now comes the difficult part- placing the safe properly on the moving dolly. To do that, first place the moving dolly so that it aligns to one side of the safe.
All helpers have to stand on the sides of the safe and lean it back a little. Next, slide the moving dolly under the safe till the latter lands safely on the surface of the dolly. Then, use the ropes or supporting straps to strap the safe down to the dolly tightly to prevent any movement.
Finally, tilt back the wheels of the moving dolly on its wheels for the safe to be balanced. This will avoid you any mishap. The mass of the safe should be evenly distributed on the moving dolly till it reaches the van.
Being Careful Around stairs and Corners
It’s very important to be careful while moving a massive safe on a dolly towards the exit. You may have to go around some tight spots so you have to take things slow, one step at a time.
To move safely around the tight spots while the safe is loaded on the moving dolly, go wider than needed and position the L-shaped first class lever a little bit away than necessary.
This trick will help the moving dolly to turn easily and at a smoother angle without the risk of hitting anything.
Loading The Safe onto The van
Once you approach the moving van, which must be large enough for the safe to fit in, it’s time to put the safe in.
The safest and easiest way to do that is using a motorized loading ramp. So, you have to make sure that the van rented or bought has a motorized ramp equipped. But if the van doesn’t come equipped with the ramp, then to wheel up the loaded dolly, use the standard loading ramp.
First, one helper has to pull the dolly up while the others push the safe from the behind. It’s important to keep up with the momentum by taking things slow. Once inside the van use the straps and rope to bind the safe tightly to the side of the van.
Important Tips for Move a Gun Safe
Throughout the whole process, yours and your helpers’ safety should be the top priority. Human safety is more important than a safe, regardless of what it contains. The hired helpers should be aware of all the possible risks. You and the helpers should assess your capability and if there is the slightest chance for mishap, hiring professionals is the sensible thing to do.
In tasks involving brute force like moving 750-pound safes, it’s very important to take it slow and steady. Despite all the precautions, if you rush while doing the work, there is high risk of mishap.
Take time in following the steps mentioned earlier. Also, while the work is being done, it’s important not to stop. This momentum has to utilized to your benefit. So, work like it’s the last time. By the time you reach the top of the ramp, there should be enough momentum to make sure that you move the safe to its right position inside the van.
Some people consider moving safes using golf balls and PVC or metal pipes as an alternative to moving dolly. This is something that is highly discouraged.
Golf balls don’t help because the massive weight of the safe will push the balls down hard and the balls’ contact areas will drag down on the floors. This might leave dents, scratches or even break the hardwood or tiles of the floor. In case of carpeted floors, the balls will just sink into the fabric and will hardly move at all.
Metal or PVC pipes might spread the weight through a large area while protecting the floors as well, but it’s unstable. The rolling pipes might become uncontrollable and the safe might crash into something or someone, causing an accident.
Gun safes can be of smaller sizes as well, but the process of moving it still remains pretty much the same. Some adjustments include fewer help and lesser strength in the process.
Still, at least 2 people should be there to help because the safe is still a pretty heavy object. Make sure to not put it on top of something else, as its mass may crush other stuff. Doing everything by yourself is also not recommended.
Costs of Moving a Gun Safe
Considering the massive weight and brute force involved, moving costs for gun safes may go up and down varying on situations. One definite way to keep the costs less is keeping the safe free of any contents. If you have that done beforehand, the chosen moving company won’t unload your guns for you.
Upon installation, most safes are ground-bolted. So, if you want to relocate your gun safe, it’s best to unbolt it from the anchor points. If this proves to be a tough feat, then let the professionals to the hard work.
At the end of the day, it comes down to the fact that the minimum work the professionals need to do, the minimum the cost.
From buying a gun safe to relocating it somewhere else, it takes a village. If you adopt all the necessary steps, everything should be able to go smoothly and you can do a seemingly tough job in ease!