When I bought my first safe, I was very puzzled. Where should I install it? Some people told me to hide it, but other people not to hide it. Are burglars able to steal a safe? I will list below what my experience has taught me in that matter. A safe should definitely be hidden from the eyes and tools of an unwanted person.
Where to install a safe in your house? A safe should always be anchored, whether it be to a wall or on the floor. The wall should be an external wall and the floor preferably concrete. Be careful if you install an electronic safe in a laundry, garage, or basement. Humidity is high and the electronic lock might not operate properly long enough. Don’t hide your safe too much because you will stop using it and leave your valuables in an insecure place. This is not what you want. Lastly, consider having two safes. One that is properly hidden with your most important valuables. The other one easily accessible with more volume things (paper, electronics, backups, etc.)
Should I hide my safe?
It is difficult to answer that question because you should be aware that where you hide your safe is also how secure you will be. If you hide your safe too much, for example in a hidden room in an attic, you will find it so difficult to access it that you will end up not using it. You will end up leaving your valuables in drawers and always postponing going upstairs to secure them. Your safe should be in a place where you should be accessing it easy enough to use it when needed. In that case, using your safe easily will provide you with better security than hiding it too much.
We recommend not hiding your safe too much or not at all. Burglars are usually here for a couple of minutes. They won’t be able to open a safe in such a short timeframe. This is why safes are made for. If you are in your house and a burglar asks for a safe, this is a completely different story, a tragic one. And hiding a safe won’t be of any help either. This is why we will discuss having more than one safe at home.
Where to install my safe?
Best places where your safe can be installed:
- on a shelf against a wall;
- on furniture against a wall;
- on the floor (big safe);
- in the wall;
- in the floor;
- inside a cabinet;
1. On a shelf or furniture against a wall
One of the best places I recommend is on a shelf against a concrete wall. Because of the shelf, the safe will be resting high enough to provide easy access. You won’t have to bend down to use it. The safe will be anchored into the concrete wall and won’t be easily taken out.
If you put it inside a piece of furniture, against a wall, you will have several advantages. Your safe will be at your height. It will be hidden when the door of the furniture will be closed. It can be anchored into the wall for security. But bear in mind you will have to make a hole in the back of the furniture for the safe to rest directly on the wall, or the screws will have to be long enough to go through the wood and into the wall to provide acceptable security. This is not best practice though doable.
2. Anchored on the floor
If your safe is big enough and your wall is not a main concrete wall (divider wall) you can leave your safe on the floor and anchor it there. Your safe will be properly secured and easily accessible, but you will have to lean down to open the door. This is definitely not the way to go with small safes. On the floor, the safe won’t be easy to hide. You can use it as a shelf and put something on top of it and in front of it to hide it a bit if you want.
3. In a wall if it is a wall safe
If your safe is not too deep, you can embed it in a wall. The wall has to be thick enough. It is not easy to do, and it is recommended to ask a professional. The hole has to be big enough because cement might apply pressure on the safe and you will find the safe difficult to open if not done properly. An embedded safe will provide several advantages: well secured, easy to access, and easy to hide. Inconvenient: you need to have a thick solid wall and a professional to install the safe. If your safe doesn’t work properly, it will be even more difficult to service or change. I have seen a properly embed safe in a brick wall with cement stolen… The burglar has taken the safe with cement and the first row of bricks! He only had to detach the first bricks row to the second row…
4. Hidden in the floor
In the case of a small safe again, one possible way to install it is inside the floor. The floor can’t be wood. If the floor is cement or concrete, this is a good place to embed a safe. It will be easy to hide. But there are many inconveniences: a professional has to do the installation, it is difficult to access, water or dust can go inside the safe, and water or dust can go inside the lock and damage it. This is not a place we recommend.
5. Inside a cabinet
An easy place to install a safe and use it: inside a cabinet. You will find it easy to install by yourself. You can anchor the safe to the wood of the cabinet which is easy. The safe will be easy to access and easy to hide. But security won’t be at its best. Wood is not strong enough and a burglar will be able to extract the safe if he has the proper tools and enough time. This is a place you can use to secure moderately important stuff you have to access on a daily basis, where the risk is not high. Keep in mind a burglar having only a couple of minutes won’t be able to remove the safe.
6. In the garage
The garage is a room particular enough that I wrote a complete post on whether or not to put a safe in it. But in a nutshell, we can point out that a garage has several advantages:
- it is easy to access as you usually park your car there every day or store things in it you need on a regular basis;
- there are shelves on which you can store your safe at a convenient height;
- you can easily hide the safe behind the, *hum*, the things we store in an always tidy manner, (as garages are all known for.)
There are disadvantages, though:
- humidity again. Not all garages are humid but some are because they are not climate-controlled rooms;
- visibility: your safe shouldn’t be visible from the street or driveway every time you open your door to take your car out.
Now you can read my long complementary article on how to use your home safe and make the most of it. You will avoid many common mistakes!
Can I install my safe in a humid room?
It is not recommended to install your safe in a humid room because humidity is bad for electronics as it corrodes contacts. But humidity can be bad for the content of the safe as well. I have listed what I have tried to prevent moisture in my safe in this post.
There are many rooms like a cellar, garage, laundry room, etc. that are humid but can provide extra space to store and hide a safe, though. Should you avoid those at all costs? There are times when we just don’t have space anymore in a house or apartment. If you need that space and don’t have any other choice, it is still possible to install a safe in a humid room by following these simple steps:
- choosing a mechanical safe (key or code but mechanical);
- using proper dehumidifiers to keep moisture out of the safe;
- checking regularly its content.
Should I buy one, two, or three safes?
This is the idea of a psychological play with burglars. A lure. You have a small safe somewhere: not too visible, not too hidden. And a bigger stronger safe well-hidden elsewhere with your important valuables stored in it. The first safe is a lure. You use it for not important things but with some money in it to look real enough. You bet that if a burglar takes it away, he won’t find out you have another safe. Or if you have to live the painful experience of a home jacking, you will give access to the first safe…
But (cat and mouse), some burglars might be aware of that.
This is why some people think about 3 safes. Two lures (a small and a big) and a third one really well hidden. I don’t know. I can’t speak for yourself. You have to think about it and decide. In the case of a home jacking and criminals asking for a key or a code, we never know in advance how we will react. But this is a very uncommon situation. I usually recommend the two safe routes. An easy to access safe for everyday use, and a well-hidden one where I put valuables I access rarely.
4 things to consider when installing a safe
- It is better not to install an electronic safe in a humid room. The lock will eventually rust and you won’t be able to open your safe. If you do not have other choices, learn the best way to dehumidify your safe properly.
- It is better to install your fire-resistant safe in the corner of a room, on the first floor, as it is where there is comparatively less heat in the event of a fire;
- Try not to unload your car and carry your safe inside a box where it is written in big letters “Super Home Safe for Rich People to Secure their Pricy Jewelry” or something like that;
- Do not leave the cardboard of your safe box folded in front of your home overnight with the mentioned text in sight.
- Use your newly installed safe at its best by carefully choosing what to store inside and what not to.
My recommended products
This is the all-around safe that I recommend, the Sentry Safe SFW123GDC. It has a great size and is fireproof and waterproof. It is a great value for money, you can check its current price on Amazon. Four 1-inch bolts help secure the door; the lock comes with a digital keypad. You can upgrade it with many accessories: check them in my article here.