Personal protection of ourselves, our families, and our property is an inescapable reality in our present world. In many cases, this means that one will have to purchase firearms at one point or another.
Guns can provide protection in certain situations, but most people may never have to bring one to bear. This means that most of the time the gun will not be in use, and must be stored properly. Taking this precaution ensures that the firearms are safe from theft, fire, and any kind of damage. This is where gun security systems such as gun safes come into their own.
Like anything else, gun safes come in a range of sizes and styles, from the small and simple to the large and complex. Knowing which one to purchase is a decision not to make lightly, and must be based on individual needs. This calls for some knowledge about some of the options that are available, and this is where it can come in handy to have information about Gun Safe Reviews.
In this review, we will provide some in depth information concerning various types of gun safes. In doing so, we will answer relevant questions about these vital home safety tools. But first let’s answer in more detail the question, why does one need to own a gun safe?
WHY DO YOU NEED A GUN SAFE?
Many gun owners may have had firearms for a long time without anything more complicated than a trigger lock or a gun case for security. They may have not have experienced any problems along the way, and may question the need for owning a gun safe in the first place. As it turns out, there are many important reasons to secure your firearms properly, and we will give examples of some of them.
1. SAFETY OF THE FIREARMS
The number one reason to have a reliable gun safe is to make sure that the guns are fully secured at all times. It may seem like a good idea to simply store them in a gun case of one kind or another, but this raises many security concerns. For one thing, many gun racks or cases are secured with a simple lock. This may seem reasonable , but in reality a simple lock provides no protection at all. Why is this?
Most such locks are of a simple design, and while they may offer some protection from the attentions of a small child, an older child can easily gain access to most of these. In addition, many burglars will show up equipped with tools that can easily defeat most simple locking mechanisms. As we can see, measures such as these provide minimal security at best .
2. LOCAL AND FEDERAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS
For many people, buying a firearm is a fairly easy process. This simplicity can cause people to treat the securing of a gun casually, but this is probably the wrong approach.
Federal law is fairly straightforward, but many States have very strict requirements for gun storage and security. For example, in many places it is mandatory to have the trigger of the gun locked when not in use, and some States even require that gun owners have a gun safe in the home. In addition to this, if there is a child in the home you can count on the fact that there will be a law in place to prevent them from gaining access.
It is therefore crucial to know the laws in your area concerning gun ownership, and makes it even more necessary to have good information about Gun Safe Reviews.
3. PROTECTION OF YOUR INVESTMENTS
Modern guns are specialized tools, and as such most of them are quite expensive. In addition, many guns become collectors items over time, and this enhances their value even more. Even if an intruder does not plan to harm anyone with the guns that they take, loss of such items can represent a significant economic hardship.
4. IT MAY BE A REQUIREMENT FOR INSURANCE
Depending on where you live and which company you use, it may actually be an insurance requirement to have a gun safe in the home. In addition to this, owning a gun safe can result in lower insurance rates and even rebates. Another great reason to make acquiring a gun safe a priority.
5. LEGAL PROTECTION
Something that many people do not take into account is the possibility of unsecured guns being used to commit a crime somewhere else. Guns are expensive to get, and often require background checks for purchase. Many criminals don’t have the money to afford them, nor the inclination to provide information about themselves. This makes unsecured firearms a very tempting proposition for these types of people.
If this happens, it can be very hard to try to explain to law enforcement why a firearm that was registered to you was used in a crime. Not only can it be difficult to prove your own innocence, but in some areas laws exist that hold owners of unsecured guns liable for any damages. The penalties can be civil and criminal, and this situation makes it very crucial that gun owners properly secure their arms in a gun safe.
6. PEACE OF MIND FOR VALUABLES
Most people have items such as documents, jewelry, or other types of valuables in the home. If these are unsecured, they can be easily stolen or damaged. Having a gun safe will provide protection for these valuable personal assets, as well as anything else that we would like to have securely stored.
7. EASY ACCESS
If the worst does happen and one is forced to use a firearm for protection, being able to access the gun quickly can be a matter of life or death, and having them in a central location is very important. Knowing which gun safes fit this bill is another good reason to be aware of Gun Safe Reviews.
TYPES OF GUN SAFES
We will now consider some of the various kinds of gun safes that are available. We will look into what some of the different options are, and this will help prospective owners to decide on what kind of gun safe is right for their personal situation.
First, let’s talk about some general guidelines that should be followed when deciding which gun safe is best for you.
1. THINK ABOUT THE SIZE OF THE GUN SAFE
One of the main things you want to consider is what size of gun safe is right for you. A good rule of thumb in this situation is to try to think of what you may need to store inside it in addition to the guns, and also consider whether or not you are likely to collect more firearms as time goes on. It is also good form to decide how and where you intend to install it.
Once this has been done, it is usually best to get something bigger that what you think you need. This will ensure that you will have the room you need in the future. A bigger safe is also more durable and provides more protection than a small one.
2. THINK ABOUT THE FIRE RATING OF THE SAFE
Even though we don’t like to think about it, a fire in the home is a very real prospect. Since the gun safe will contain firearms and valuable personal items, you will want a safe that can offer some measure of protection in this area. If the safe that is purchased is not already fire resistant, to do its job properly it will need to be fireproofed at some point. It can and will save a lot of time and money to pay a little extra upfront for a safe with a decent fire resistance rating.
3. SHOP AROUND FOR DIFFERENT BRANDS
There are many models of gun safes available, each with many different strengths as well as weaknesses. For example, some elaborate kinds may come equipped with racks, shelves, or drawers of different kinds. Some use ultra thick steel for additional security. Others include extra fireproofing materials. When it comes to locking mechanisms, there is truly a huge variety of options. All of these details should be weighed carefully before purchase with the help of Gun Safe Reviews.
4. KNOW YOUR SAFE
When it comes to the strength and durability of the steel that is used, there is a large variation in quality. Some safes feature relatively thin 12 to 14 gauge metal which may seem strong, but is less than ideal. At the very least, a decent gun safe should carry a minimum rating from Underwriters Laboratories or another respected product testing agency.
5. MAKE SURE IT HAS EXTRA SAFEGUARDS
In the event that a burglar attempts to access the interior of the safe, it is important for it to have backup safeguards. At the minimum, it should be equipped with a re-locking mechanism. These are hardened bolts that will fire in the event that the locking mechanism of the safe is compromised, and this will make it much more difficult to be opened. For best results, there should be a minimum of two on each corner of the door to ensure maximum protection.
Now, let’s discuss different types of locking mechanisms.
These kinds of locks represent the lowest level of locking security. They are opened by a key, and are designed for low security situations. They are valuable for keeping out children, nosy visitors, and less than motivated burglars.
These are a definite step up from keyed locks. They feature a dial or dials that must be set to the correct combination in order to open the door. While these are fairly sophisticated and much harder for the casual intruder to defeat, they can take a long time to open. In addition, if the combination is somehow lost it will be necessary to call in a professional to open it.
This is the digital age, and digital keypads are becoming more and more common. With the touch of a few keys, the safe can be opened, and this provides unheralded quickness when it comes to accessing the safe. Passwords can be easily set or changed and this versatility translates to extra protection. In addition to this, many models have automatic lockout protection if the wrong password is used too many times. For even more peace of mind, these modern marvels come with internal battery packs, many of which are rated for a year of use and come with a low power alert.
This kind of futuristic lock is also starting to find favor. They use personal characteristics such as a fingerprint or a retina scan to open the safe. Due to miniaturization technologies, these locks can be mounted on a gun safe of any size. Just as with keypads, the are equipped with an internal battery.
A good safe should definitely have been rated by a respected agency such as Underwriters Laboratories. This is a non profit organization that tests and provides reviews of consumer products. If the gun safe that is under consideration has been ” UL” listed, you can rest assured that it has been tested to the listed standard of performance.
RATINGS FOR FIRE RESISTANCE
A fire rating is a vital piece of information that should be in any gun safe review. The rating is established by placing the entire safe to be tested in a special oven and heating it to the test temperatures.
All safes that have been certified have a UL rating included with them. This temperature is the maximum allowable internal temperature of the safe when exposed to fire of a certain intensity. For example, a safe with a 400 rating would need to get no hotter than 400 degrees in its interior during the test.
There is also an additional number associated with fire ratings. This number reveals how long the safe was in the testing chamber in graduations of one hour. After the safe has been tested, it is common for testers to open it and evaluate any contents for damage. This enables them to truly put the safe through its paces in real life conditions.
Yet another important test involves subjecting the safe to a violent impact. In many cases, the safe is raised at least 3 stories above the ground and then dropped onto concrete. It is then inspected to make sure that it didn’t open and that it is still structurally sound.
Another important testing body is known as Mercury Labs. The do a specialized heat rating test called a mercury fire test. There are four rating levels, 1 being the least resistant and 4 being the most. In the level 1 test, the gun safe is heated to a temperature of 1200 degrees fahrenheit for 30 minutes. For level 2, it’s 1200 degrees for 60 minutes. Level 3 features temperatures of 1275 degrees for 90 minutes. During the level 4 test, the safe is heated to some 1850 degrees for 2 hours.
RATINGS FOR TOUGHNESS
Underwriters Laboratories also provides what is known as a Burglary rating. This is to test how long it would take an expert burglar with special tools to break into the gun safe. Not only is the lock tested during the procedure, but the metal itself is subjected to attempts to penetrate it.
The ratings that are derived from this test tell us about how long the safe survived and also provide information about the specifications of the safe.
The lowest UL Burglary rating for a gun safe is the RSC rating, and it stands for Residential Security Container. This is also known as a B rating. This is usually reserved for small lock boxes, and it means that it resisted attempts to open it with tools like pry bars for 5 minutes.
The next highest rating is TL-15, and this means that it resisted attempts to break in for 15 minutes. These safes also need to be at least 750 pounds, and be rated to a strength of 50,000 psi. An ER rating is also used to describe this kind of safe.
The TL-30 is similar to the TL-15, but lasted at least 30 minutes.
The toughest safes are rated TXTL-60, and these resisted the heaviest tools and methods for 60 minutes.
SIZES OF SAFES
The smallest and lowest rated gun safes are known as lock boxes. These are generally portable, but they can also be mounted on various surfaces or even concealed in floors or walls. Though usually small, some are built to contain larger guns such as rifles. Many modern models feature electronic locks such as keypad’s or biometric readers, and most have a minimum fire rating.
These safes are meant for light duty, and if they are kept in the home it is a good idea to attach them to a secure surface out of sight. Because of their relatively small size, they are fairly inexpensive, and can be good to have when transporting guns.
As far as the desirable traits of larger safes are concerned, it is a good idea to purchase a safe that is solid and heavy. In addition to this, it should be bolted to a hard surfaced floor if possible to make it as difficult as possible to move.
As important consideration is the type and number of locking bolts that the safe comes with. The safe should have at least 8 of them, 2 in each corner, and they should be at least 1 inch thick for acceptable performance.
Not to be left out is a good re-locking mechanism. This device will disable the locking mechanism if it is put under too much stress, and represents the last line of defense for the gun safe. This is illustrated by the fact that all UL rated safes come with several relockers included in the design.
In addition to all of this, don’t forget that many safes are heavily customizable, and there are many products that can add value and utility to the safe. These include conveniences such as interior lights and even moisture removing devices.
Always remember that your gun safe is only a part of your security system. When it is combined with alarms and other security measures, it will go a long way towards protecting your guns, your valuables, and quite possibly your life.