Is the installation of a safe something I can do on my own?

December 19, 2014

You know all about bank safe deposit boxes, but you have some important documents, family heirlooms and maybe even a reserve of cash that you want to keep handy.

Unless you’re swimming in gold, like Uncle Scrooge, the installation of a simple safe at home could do the trick. Some models are easy to install, while others require the services of a locksmith. It’s up to you to set your budget and choose wisely.

The installation of a safe can be simple or quite complex, depending on the type you want and the kind of lock you want it to have. Here are a few DIY tips.

Freestanding safes

The installation of this type of safe is recommended for fire protection as well as for burglary protection. Simply affix it to a floor, strong wall or inside a cabinet using the mounting brackets. You’ll need to make sure it’s level.

Is it necessary to attach it? No, it’s not absolutely required, but on the other hand, you don’t want thieves to be able to carry it out of the house so they can break into it at their leisure. Keep in mind that a floor model is somewhat less convenient because you need to crouch down to put things in or take them out.

Recessed wall safes

These kinds of safes aim, above all, to foil burglars. They are more secure than freestanding models, however they're not simple DIY projects for the average person. They’re quite complicated to install, especially if you want it to be camouflaged in its environment. A recessed safe requires making a hole in the wall and pouring a concrete form. And it’s not just any wall that can handle this level of security:

  • You’ll need a wall at least 15 centimetres thicker than the depth of your safe.
  • The wall must be solid, made of concrete or stone.
  • The wall must not be exposed to moisture or high temperature variations. If condensation forms inside the safe, it can damage your belongings.

If you’re not a gifted mason, it’s better to leave the installation of the safe to a professional locksmith or a technician from the safe company. An inept installation will compromise your security and leave your valuables vulnerable to theft.

Away from prying eyes

The million-dollar question: where should I install my safe? It's important not to try and come up with the hiding place of the century. There’s no point in going all James Bond and hiding your safe behind a painting on your living room wall. Instead, the critical factor is whether the safe is strong enough to withstand fire and burglary.

Make sure your safe isn’t too far out of the way. If you have to go through the 12 labours of Hercules every time you want to use it, you’re not as likely to use it the way you should.

Is the installation of a safe something I can do on my own?
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