When you run out of space, the garage is often an interesting space to store things and it shouldn’t be overlooked. It is easy to store a safe there: easy to install, easy to hide. But temperature can go down as a garage is often not climate controlled. And humidity can be high sometimes. This raises a lot of questions.
Is it OK to store guns in a garage? Guns safes should be installed where there is little risk of fire and in a place which is not too humid. Beware as well of the theft risk. Don’t install a gun safe in your garage if it is visible from the street every time you open your garage door. If you don’t have any other choice to install your safe, bolt your gun safe to the concrete floor of your garage and hide it as much as you can. And work hard against humidity or use a dehumidifier to avoid moisture in your gun safe at all costs.
When you look for a place to install a safe, it is not straightforward. Whether you live in a big house or not, I understand that you consider putting your gun safe in your garage. It might be more convenient. But you should think first about the following considerations:
A safe is always at risk of a theft. Even if a safe is made not to be opened, if not properly secured, it can be taken off. And if a garage is easy to access for you, it can be easy to access for a burglar.
If you ever decide to install it there, this is why you should hide your gun safe in your garage. And that shouldn’t be a problem because there are many things stored in that room. It is often the messier or untidy place in a house! It should be easy to put a couple of things on it and in front of it: unfolded boxes, tarpaulin, etc. You curious neighbor won’t be able to see it next time you open your garage door. You can read further tips on how to hide a gun safe in your house.
What about the risk of theft? If a burglar drives into your driveway, puts a chain around the safe and tears it off with his pick-up? Well, I think this is unlikely. The answer is: you should always bolt your gun safe solidly in the concrete ground and against a wall. It will be virtually impossible to put a chain around it.
A properly bolted safe is rated to withstand more than 6000 pounds of force.
In other words, in a normal burglary situation, there is no way a burglar can take off a properly bolted safe. He must be quick and efficient, make as little noise as possible, and steal lightweight and pricy valuables. And this is why you have a safe in the first place: to secure those kinds of valuables against a normal burglary.
If your safe is bolted to the cement floor, you can even ask your alarm company to add a motion detector in your garage. And this is it.
The second threat to your gun safe in a garage is humidity. Is it ok to install a gun safe in a humid room?
Concrete doesn’t do a good job at keeping humidity out. And quite often garage doors are not properly insulated or watertight. The air and rain can pass bringing in cold temperature and moisture.
And usually, a climate is not climate-controlled.
Moisture is a bigger risk than theft when you install a gun safe in your garage.
What can we do to mitigate that problem? Is there a simple way to fight moisture? This is what I recommend to prevent mold in your safe:
- The first thing to have in mind is to measure your humidity rate in your garage. Because humidity in your garage will be humidity inside your safe. Even though good fireproof safes have humidity control material inside, it will not be sufficient. I have successfully measured the humidity rate of a room in my house quite successfully with a gauge. Once you know the humidity rate, you can act accordingly.
- You can use several kinds of dehumidifiers. For example, a rechargeable silica gel dehumidifier. Or most simple canisters that absorb moisture will do well.
- Lastly, you can use a mini electric dehumidifier for rooms up to 1200 cubic feet (150 sq ft). And for bigger garages or basements, a large capacity dehumidifier for up to 4500 sq ft.
This may end up being a good investment because you will regain valuable room in your house. And with a good dehumidifier not only will you be able to install your gun safe, but also you will be able to store other goods such as foodstuffs that will be better preserved.
Is humidity bad for your gun?
Some people prefer to put their gun safe in a climate-controlled room because they are afraid of their gun will start rusting.
This is not always the case. Even though you can fight moisture as you have read above, you ask yourself why to start at a disadvantage.
If your garage is not too humid, there are simple ways to protect a gun against humidity. You can keep them oiled before storing them and put them in the safe without touching the metal.
But even if the room is not too humid, there can be problems of condensation due to differences of temperature in a non-climate-controlled room.
Even though guns are strong and sturdy, they are complicated devices with complex components. And rust can be a problem not only for exterior aspect but also, and more importantly, for smooth operation.
Is humidity bad for your ammunition?
It is even worse when it comes to ammunition and humidity. Ammunition is made of brass and powder. Brass can corrode and power becomes inoperable. This can cause misfires, damage firearms and hurt the person using the gun. This is not what to do, especially if you need to use your weapon in an emergency.
This is crucial to check your humidity in your garage and judge if dehumidifiers can be sufficient before putting your gun safe in your garage.
Again, to mitigate humidity in your safe, you can put a Golden Rod and/or some Eva Dry dehumidifiers inside.
I will share below how to install a safe properly, please read on.
At what temperature should guns be stored?
- Too hot. This can be a problem in a car, but not in a garage even if your safe is not far from an oven. Even 100°F is not a problem for a gun or ammunition. You should be afraid of temperatures above 400°F, which is not going to happen unless there is a fire. Heat is not a problem for a gun safe.
- Too cold. What happens if your garage becomes too cold in the winter? Especially, if the temperature goes below freezing?
- First, let’s talk about the safe itself. If it is a safe with a mechanical lock, I can’t see any problem with temperature. Even if it is very cold in the garage, the safe will operate smoothly. Now, if the lock is electronic, there can be several issues. The batteries themselves might be too cold to operate properly and provide sufficient energy to the lock. The liquid crystal screen might remain blank or encounter operation problems. So even though some electronic safes are rated to operate properly below freezing, this is not something I will risk in the long run. Remember, you’re safe is here to stay. And if your lock has a problem, YOU have a problem and a problem which is not always easy to solve. Remember: the hassle and price to call a good locksmith to open your safe might will make you think twice.
So my advice: don’t use an electronic gun safe in a cold and humid garage.
- Then what about guns and ammunition? Cold should not be a problem when storing a firearm or ammo. As long as you do not store them in humid conditions. There can be problems if temperature changes regularly. Is it the case in your garage? If so, and if you can’t install your gun safe in a climate-controlled room, then apply the above tips on dehumidifiers.
When you install a gun safe, you should always consider fire risk. This is why you should avoid first putting a safe in your kitchen if possible. Fires usually start in the kitchen. In your garage, try not to store gas for your car or motorcycle, chainsaw, etc. This can be dangerous. If so, a gun safe even fireproof shouldn’t be bolted close to those things. That is the same with electrical appliances: they should be regularly checked in a garage because they often prove to because of a fire. Check electrical power strip connections as well.
For the sake of installing a gun safe or in general, fire risk should always be in mind. Garages can be dangerous places.
How to secure your safe properly
If you don’t want your gun safe to be taken off easily, especially by one of those strong pick-ups pulling hard, this is what you should do to install them properly.
First, keep in mind that a heavy safe is better for that purpose. Then always secure the safe to the concrete ground with good bolts. Additionally, you can also bolt the safe to the wall, whether it is brick, wood or cement wall, it is an additional attachment point.
If you plan to use an electric dehumidifier and you want to use it inside the safe, you can take advantage of the back of the safe being factory pre-drilled. You can take advantage of one of those holes to guide through the wire of the dehumidifier. That device stops by itself when humidity reaches acceptable levels. You have nothing else to do than enjoying the comfort of your electric dehumidifier in your safe bolted in your garage. Not bad, uh?
Putting a gun safe in your garage is not recommended for several reasons.
If you want to gain room in your house or can’t do otherwise, keeping a gun safe in your garage can be done.
- To alleviate the theft risk, you must anchor your safe properly with good bolts on the concrete ground. And then, don’t forget to hide it because it will be in sight whenever you open your garage door and your neighbor might take a look at it.
- Cold and heat are not usually a problem in a non-climate-controlled room. Even though too many temperature changes can generate moisture.
- Humidity, in general, is something to avoid because it can cause harm to both guns and ammunition. First, you should measure humidity. Then, if you need to, there are many ways to alleviate humidity with the use of a dehumidifier, whether simple or electric.
But measuring and controlling humidity is crucial if you want to successfully use a gun safe in your garage.