Unfortunately, not everyone has enough space to keep a gun safe inside their homes. And, while garages are not ideal for these, taking precautionary steps and considerations are a must with those left with no other option.
Yes, you can install a gun safe in a garage, but it really should be a last resort.
And, I mean no other option.
Garages are nests of potentially flammable objects like lawnmowers, paint thinners, lumber, and car fuel. When placed near guns and ammunition… Well, let’s just say it only takes one wrong move to cause a series of deadly consequences. That’s why it’s pertinent to carefully run through the key aspects of proper maintenance and installation before opting to place gun safes in your garage.
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Risks to Consider and Prevention
In an ideal situation, you should never place gun safes in garages.
But, when left with no other option, taking proper precautionary steps and researching gun storage ideas can turn your garage into a safe bet for storing gun safes.
To keep risk levels low, make sure to go through these key factors of proper maintenance and storage, as well as the preventive measures to keep your gun safes in check and out of mind.
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Humidity plays a big factor in maintaining guns and ammunition, even when kept in airtight and watertight gun safes.
When left unmaintained, your guns can rust and mold. There is also a whole host of life-threatening consequences such as misfires and backfires. Let’s just say it’s not only exterior damage you’ll be dealing with.
Essentially, garages are not great areas for climate control. The porous nature of concrete can often make these auxiliary rooms quite damp, especially during rainy seasons.
Likewise, while your gun safe has airtight and watertight properties, it can’t really guarantee 100% protection against passing winds and condensation.
With that said, what can you do to reduce the risk of humidity ruining your guns and ammunition?
Measure Humidity Levels
Ensuring proper humidity levels in your garage can be pretty tricky. Fortunately, a simple hygrometer can do the trick.
Before installing your gun safe, use a hygrometer to find the area in your garage with the lowest humidity levels. Choosing an appropriate location can save you on costly electronic dehumidifiers or give you insight on what type you should get should you need one.
After installation, you can simply hang the hygrometer inside the gun safe to actively monitor humidity levels. Generally, these don’t stay the same as they are temperamental to weather changes. Furthermore, by giving yourself an easy way to gauge humidity, you can determine the next step of action you need to take to ensure they’re at the right levels.
Rule of Thumb: Humidity levels in gun safes should always be around 40%-50% at consistent temperatures of 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Before opting for those expensive electronic dehumidifiers, make sure to observe whether they’re actually needed or not. In some cases, silica gel-based desiccant dehumidifiers can do a pretty good job at maintaining ideal humidity levels. Plus, you don’t have to worry about running your electric bill through the roof.
However, if you are in the market for electronic dehumidifiers, there are a few things you have to consider before placing them in or near your gun safe:
- Set the dehumidifier to low if placed inside the gunsafe.
- A larger capacity dehumidifier is required for garages that are more than 150 sq ft.
- Always use a hygrometer to identify the best dehumidifier setting.
Optional: You may also add a layer of oil or cosmoline to your guns periodically to prevent rust from humidity. Just make sure these are not touching any metal surfaces and are far from any flammable objects.
One of the big downsides of placing a gun safe in your garage is visibility. Whenever you open your garage door, any passerby can quickly take a peek and see right through to your large and encumbering gun safe.
And, let’s just say that gun theft is more common than one might think.
In fact, one of the biggest mistakes gun owners make is simply chaining their gun safes. While these might deter children from accessing your weapons, it leaves little to no protection against thieves with pick-up trucks. Just imagine them hooking it to the back of their vehicles and driving off with it.
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Bolt It Down
As a precautionary measure, bolt your gun safe down on the concrete and against the wall. Although thieves can still use their pick-up trucks to yank it out, the effort and time required to do so can alert you. And since your gun safe is bolted vertically against your wall, they won’t be able to wrap a chain and yank it out.
Probably one of the easiest things you can do to avoid risks of theft is through a simple cover-up. You may opt to use tarps, boxes, or even other found objects in your garage to mask your gun safe.
However, make sure that these items are not flammable or least likely to ignite a fire. After all, theft is one thing, but fire is a whole other problem – one that is more problematic than the former, by far.
One of the main reasons why garages are not great places to store gun safes is their propensity to be near fire hazards. These include kitchens, electronic gardening tools, car fuels, paints, and so much more flammable items.
Humidity isn’t your only concern when placing gun safes in your garage. In fact, a more important matter at hand is the placement in conjunction with flammable objects and areas in your home where heat is used (i.e. kitchens). Even if your gun safe is rated to be fireproof, you can never be overly prepared.
Likewise, make sure that your gun safe is away from any outlets and running electronics like generators. It would also be a good course of action to check any machines or outlets in your garage periodically.
Heat is not a problem with gun safes. In fact, they’re only an issue if they’re above 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which is probably already a raging fire at that temperature.
What you should be more concerned about is freezing temperatures.
When choosing a gun safe, make sure that you don’t opt for ones with electronic locks. When temperatures drop, you may run into a whole host of issues that could do more damage to your wallet than it’s worth. For example, the batteries might stop working when it gets too cold, which, in turn, will stop the screen from working and virtually making it impossible for you to access your guns.
When this happens, you’ll likely have to call a locksmith. And, let’s just say they don’t run cheap. A better step to prevent problems like this is to opt for gun safes with mechanical locks. While they don’t look fancy, they will serve you and your wallet more efficiently when winter hits.
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The Wrap Up
Essentially, I do not recommend placing gun safes in garages because they bring more problems than it’s worth. But, if you have no other alternative, then making sure that everything is in order is crucial.
Choosing the right gun safe, controlling humidity levels, and even adding a small platform is pertinent to securing your gun safe in your garage.
As a responsible gun owner, you must make sure that your guns are not only adequately maintained but also away from risks that could potentially prove to be lethal. And, by all means, if you can store it inside or in another area that is easier to monitor, please do so.