DIY Home Safe Installation Tips from Experienced Locksmiths
You’re making a wise decision by buying a safe to protect valuables in your home from theft, fire or other potential disasters. However, if theft is your primary concern, you might want to consider affixing your safe to a strategically chosen space on the floor. After all, many small safes are light, making them easy for a burglar to snag and make a quick escape. Most home safes include an installation fixing kit and instructions, so relatively speaking this is a simple DIY project. However, there are certain things you need to consider when choosing the best place to install your safe.
Choosing Where to Install Your Safe
You don’t want to advertise the presence of your safe to opportunists, so consider finding an obscure or hidden area where you can secure it. In fact, hiding your safe can offer quite a bit of security in itself. When choosing your spot, it’s important to pay attention to the flooring underlayment that you plan to affix the safe to.
Concrete subfloors are the ideal surface for affixing safes, and most models come with a fixing kit designed for use with concrete. Wood floors can also provide a decent foundation for these installations, but it takes a few special parts like coach bolts and the process is somewhat more challenging and time consuming.
Prepare for Installation
Your fixing kit’s instructions will include a list of simple tools that will likely include a socket set, drill, drill bits, screwdrivers, and a marker pen. You may also need certain tools depending on the type of flooring you plan to fix your safe to. For example, cutting carpeting may be necessary to give you access to the underlayment. Be sure to clean and properly prepare your area prior to installing your safe, take a deep breath and begin.
Installing Safes on Concrete Floors
Position your safe into place and open the door. Inside, you should see some pre-drilled holes in the base. Use your marker to note where you’ll need to drill into the concrete. Set the safe aside and prep your drill with the correct size bit per the instructions. If you drill the holes too large, you’ll have to purchase bigger bolts and increase the size of the pre-drilled holes inside the safe to proceed.
Once the sizing is perfect, place the raw plugs from the fixing kit into the holes and place the safe atop them. The final step is to then screw the bolts into the interior pilot holes and secure the safe to your cement foundation.
Safe Installation on Wooden Floors
You’re going to follow the basic instructions outlined above, but there are other considerations when fixing your safe to a wooden floor. Floorboards themselves aren’t strong and secure enough to affix the safe to. Therefore, you’ll need to find a space for your safe where a floor joist is present.
Most safes don’t come with the proper bolts and tools for wood installations, so you’ll want to get some long coach bolts that will reach deep enough to penetrate your floor joists and secure them with a nut. You may also consider using some glue such as Gripfill in addition to coach bolts. However, you shouldn’t glue certain safes, especially those over 100 pounds without consulting a professional.
Words of Caution from the Pros
While installing the safe isn’t too challenging, you need to be aware of the potential hidden dangers beneath your flooring. Never ever do any type of drilling into the floorboards if you have underfloor heating. Be aware of any pipes that may run under the flooring, and this may require pulling up floorboards or finding your building’s plans. If you are unsure at any point about what lies beneath, give an experienced safe installation expert a call.
Need Help with Home Safe Installation?
Whether you want an expert to come and install your safe or are having issues with your current one, contact the professionals at Great Valley Lockshop today through our free estimate form or call us at 610-644-5334. We can help you with each step of the process including evaluating your safe’s location, selecting the best safe for your needs and providing superior installation services!