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How to Move a Gunsafe

By Maria Paiz July 13, 2023

How To Move a Gun Safe

*This post contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, but it never influences our product selection process.

 

Large gun safes are bulky, heavy items, so moving them can be difficult and dangerous. Depending on the weight of the safe, where you want to move it, and the safety risk you are willing to take, you have several options.

Some would rather have professionals do it for them because they know that making a mistake will cost far more than what they would pay for help.  But depending on available resources (friends and local handymen) and how much you are willing to spend, you have choices.

Safe Weight Chart

How to move a safe weight chart.

 

To help you decide, I have some suggested safety tips. Should you want to move a safe yourself, we’ve provided a list of equipment you will likely need and steps to do it. Finally, we will take a look at how professionals move safes.

 

Ten steps to move a gun safe safely

10 Safety Steps to Consider Before Moving a Safe

Successfully moving a gun safe not only involves meticulous planning and the use of proper equipment but also strictly adhering to these safety precautions:

 

  1. Pre-Plan Your Route: Measure doorways and tight spots to ensure safe passage for your gun safe. Walk this planned route to familiarize yourself with any potential obstacles, particularly around tight corners.

  2. Empty the Safe: Remove all accessories and contents from the safe prior to moving it.

  3. Protect the Safe: Wrap the gun safe in a heavy-duty blanket and secure it tightly using a ratchet strap wrapped around a sturdy dolly.

  4. Assess Stair Strength: Ensure any stairs involved in the move are structurally sound and capable of supporting the safe's weight.

  5. Understand Your Safe: Be aware of your safe's dimensions and weight. Providing these details to the moving company when renting an appliance dolly is crucial.

  6. Wear Suitable Footwear: Choose lightweight, closed-toe shoes with good traction to reduce the risk of slipping or injuring your feet during the move.

  7. Acquire the Right Equipment: A heavy-duty dolly with support belts or ropes, and thick moving blankets, will ensure secure movement of the safe. Rent or borrow this equipment if necessary.

  8. Protect Your Hands: High-quality work gloves will provide a firm grip on the safe and moving equipment, protecting your hands during the move.

  9. Check Transportation: If moving the safe to a different location, ensure the transport vehicle can handle the weight of your gun safe.

  10. Don't Overexert Yourself: When lifting and moving heavy items like a gun safe, remember to lift with your legs, not your back. If the safe feels too heavy, don't risk injury - seek professional help instead.

 

Equipment Needed for Heavy Safes

Relocating a heavy safe requires not just muscle power but also the right equipment. Proper tools not only make the job easier but also ensure safety and prevent potential damage. Below, we delve into a list of essential equipment for moving heavy safes, describing each in detail and analyzing their pros and cons to help you make the most informed choice for you.


Moving Straps (up to 800 lbs)

 

Moving a safe with moving straps



Moving straps are designed to assist with lifting and moving heavy objects by evenly distributing the weight. This ensures a safe and efficient move. The straps come with adjustable lengths and ergonomic handles, providing a comfortable grip.


Pros:

  • Increased Control: Moving straps offer better control over the movement and placement of the safe, reducing the risk of accidental damage.

  • Reduces Strain: The straps help in evenly distributing the weight, which lessens the strain on your back and arms.

  • Affordable: Buying moving straps is cost-effective for individuals who don't want to hire professional help.


Cons:

  • Weight Limit: Moving straps can only support up to 800 lbs, limiting their use for heavier safes.

  • Requires Manpower: Despite the ease of use, moving straps still require sufficient manpower to move the safe.

  • Potential Risk: If not used correctly, moving straps can slip, leading to potential injury or damage to the safe and surroundings.

Easy ordering, low prices, and free shipping at Amazon. Click To Buy.

 

Stair-climbing Cart (up to 500 lbs)

INTBUYING Stair Climber Hand Truck Portable Folding Hand Truck, 420LBS Capacity Handcart Luggage Cart with 6 Wheels and 2 Backup Wheels (Black)

Description: A stair-climbing cart is a trolley designed with a unique tri-wheel assembly that rotates and enables it to climb stairs. This tool is ideal for moving heavy objects upstairs or downstairs.

Pros:

  • Easy Navigation on Stairs: The cart simplifies the process of moving the safe up and down the stairs, making it easier and safer.

  • Versatile: In addition to stairs, it can also easily navigate over curbs and uneven terrain.

  • Convenience: The cart allows for one-person operation, increasing convenience for the user.


Cons:

  • Weight Limit: The cart can only handle weights up to 500 lbs, which may not be suitable for moving larger safes.

  • Stability Issues: There may be stability issues when moving very heavy objects, potentially risking damage or injury.

  • Price: A stair-climbing cart is a more expensive investment than moving straps.


Easy ordering, low prices, and free shipping at Amazon. Click To Buy.

 

Equipment Rentals from United Rentals

Description: United Rentals offers a range of heavy-duty equipment for rent,  including pallet jacks and stair climbers, ideal for moving heavy safes.
Pallet Jack, 5,000lbs, Hydraulic, $60 per day

Stair climbers, 1,500 lbs, $50 per day

Pros:
  • Wide Range of Equipment: They offer a variety of equipment suitable for moving heavy safes, catering to different needs and preferences.

  • Cost-Effective: Renting equipment for a one-time move can be more cost-effective than purchasing it outright.

  • High Weight Capacity: Their equipment can handle significant weights, suitable for very heavy safes.

Cons:

  • Availability: The desired equipment may not always be available in your area, potentially causing delays.

  • Additional Costs: Additional costs for delivery and pick-up may increase the total expense.

  • Rental Time Limit: The equipment has to be returned within a specified time, which can put pressure on completing the move within that timeframe.

Click for More Information.

 

Moving a Safe Yourself

After following the safety tips, you’re ready to start moving the safe; make sure it’s closed, locked, and empty of all loose contents. Wrap it up in moving blankets to help protect it from damage. You will want to tape the blankets to keep them from slipping off or tripping you.

With the aid of your mates, gently and cautiously tilt your back and slide the dolly somewhere under the bottom of it. Secure the dolly absolutely with the straps or ropes before continuing down your pre-planned route.

If you’re tossing the heavy safe onto the back of a moving truck, use the loading ramp to roll up the dolly. When the safe is in the moving truck, place it against the side and keep it in tight corners so it doesn’t move during the ride. Reverse one step at a time to safely unload your gun safe and transfer it to your new space as you move within your home or some other place.

 

Best Way to Move a Gun Safe Upstairs

Moving a gun safe upstairs can present a considerable challenge due to its substantial weight. Before starting, carefully gauge the weight of the gun safe, the manpower available, and the load-bearing capacity of your staircase.

The ideal method for moving a gun safe upstairs is by employing a stair-climbing dolly. However, if you're using a standard non-stair-climbing dolly, it's crucial to have an experienced helper to avoid potential hazards. Your helper(s) should synchronously lift and navigate the safe upstairs, ensuring it remains stable throughout the process.

via GIPHY


Best Way to Move a Gun Safe Downstairs

Relocating a gun safe downstairs requires a strategic approach due to the inherent risks involved. It's advisable to recruit a team of friends or local helpers, ideally three to four strong individuals, to assist with the move. Given the bulky nature of a gun safe, attempting to move it alone can pose significant risks, such as back or leg injuries. It's important to remember never to lift a heavy safe with your arms alone to avoid potential harm to yourself or damage to the safe.

The optimal strategy involves the use of a dolly, preferably one rated for 1200 lbs+ and equipped with support belts. These straps allow you to manage the safe without having to lift it completely, offering a secure means of moving it from one room to another and then down the stairs. A stair-specific dolly is the best choice if available, but in its absence, a ratchet strap or rope can be employed. Make sure the belts are fastened to the bottom of the dolly to ensure the safe's stability during the move.

Key considerations when moving a gun safe include maintaining a clear pathway and ensuring no one is standing downhill of the move. The safe should be gently positioned at the top of the stairs on the dolly, with someone securing the straps and managing the wheels. The dolly should then be cautiously nudged forward, initiating a controlled descent down the stairs while maintaining a 45-degree angle to the downward slope. This angle allows the weight of the safe to work with gravity, aiding the downward movement.

Remember to carefully guide the dolly wheels down each step to prevent damage to the stairs and eliminate the risk of the safe becoming dislodged from the dolly and tumbling down the stairs. This method ensures a safe and efficient move while minimizing potential risks.

 

Best Way to Move a Gun Safe to the Garage

The most effective way to relocate a hefty gun safe to your garage involves using a pallet jack. These can typically be rented from a local moving company that provides heavy machinery. Be sure to select a pallet jack rated to support the weight of your gun safe. An alternative tool to consider is a traditional refrigerator dolly.

If you don't have access to a refrigerator dolly, try borrowing one from a friend or consider renting one from a moving company that specializes in heavy-duty equipment. A four-wheel dolly is generally the safest option, but a two-wheel variant can also be utilized, provided the safe isn't excessively heavy.

If you choose to move the safe using a two-wheel refrigerator dolly, align the dolly with the safe's base. Push the top of the safe away from you while simultaneously nudging the dolly in at the bottom with your foot. This method requires careful coordination and balance.

Following this, reposition yourself to the other side of the safe. Instead of pushing from the center, exert force at the top of the safe, enabling it to roll smoothly into your garage. In cases where the driveway is steep, you may need additional support to guide the safe safely.

Finally, remove the safe from the bottom of the pallet. Simply reach to the top of the safe and pull it downward. By this point, the safe should be securely positioned within your garage.

Professional Movers & White Glove Service

Hiring professional movers and white-glove service providers can significantly simplify the process of relocating a gun safe. Typically, these experts will provide you with a comprehensive questionnaire designed to assess the complexity of the move.

Completing this questionnaire meticulously is crucial, as the quoted service cost will be dependent on the accuracy and detail of the information you provide. A well-detailed form allows the movers to plan the move effectively. (Download the White-Glove Service Questionnaire here.)

For particularly complex relocations, the movers may need to construct a temporary loading ramp, remove doors, or relocate heavy furniture and appliances obstructing the move's path. These additional services will incur further costs.

In some extreme scenarios, we have seen gun safe owners discovering midway through the move that the safe cannot be placed in the initially specified location due to constraints. This results in added expenses as an alternate location must be found. Therefore, careful planning for your move is imperative, even when hiring professionals.


 

Hire Professional Movers to Move a Heavy Gun Safe

As mentioned throughout this article, relocating gun safes can be a difficult task due to their substantial weight (often exceeding 1,000 lbs!). Their robust structure provides necessary gun security and fire protection, but these same features also make them incredibly weighty and difficult to move.

Engaging professional movers who specialize in safe relocation can significantly alleviate these challenges. These experts can efficiently transport safes over long distances and from tricky locations like tight spaces, garages, or master bedrooms while ensuring the surrounding areas of your home remain intact.

Their process typically includes wrapping the safe in protective bubble material and moving blankets to prevent damage, followed by carefully loading it onto a moving dolly for transportation.

FAQ (What Readers Want to Know) 

Can I move a heavy gun safe by myself?

It's not recommended due to the risk of injury and damage to the safe or property. Enlist help from friends or hire professionals.

What equipment is needed to move a gun safe?

Equipment such as moving straps, a stair-climbing cart, a pallet jack, or stair climbers can be beneficial.

Can any moving company move gun safes?

Not all moving companies are equipped to handle heavy safes. Look for movers with expertise and the right equipment for moving heavy safes.

How do I protect my safe from damage during the move?

Use moving blankets and bubble wrap to protect the safe. Secure it with ratchet straps or ropes while moving.


Is it possible to move a gun safe upstairs?

Yes, but it requires careful planning and the right equipment, such as a heavy-duty dolly and moving straps. Professionals are recommended for this task.


How do I prepare my safe for moving?

Empty the safe, measure its dimensions, and plan your path. Cover it with blankets for protection and secure it on the dolly with straps.

What should I do if the safe is too heavy for the stairs?

If your stairs cannot support the weight, consider hiring professional movers with specialized equipment for moving heavy items down the stairs.


Can I rent equipment for moving a gun safe?

Yes, equipment like pallet jacks and stair climbers can often be rented from moving companies or equipment rental services.


How should I secure my gun safe on a moving truck?

Use ratchet straps or ropes to secure the safe and prevent it from moving during transit.

How can I ensure my safety while moving a gun safe?

Use proper lifting techniques, wear protective gear like gloves and sturdy shoes, clear your path, and don't hesitate to ask for help or hire professionals.

Conclusion

It might be tempting to attempt moving a > 1,000 LB gun safe alone, especially if the relocation is within the same room. However, such attempts pose the risk of tipping over the safe and injuring yourself or others. Should you need to move the safe over a long distance, within a room, or down a hallway, make sure you have the help of others. Having at least three physically capable friends to complete this task is the wisest thing to do.

In all your safe-moving endeavors, remember to prioritize safety and effective planning, particularly when moving your safe upstairs. This minimizes potential hazards and property damage. Your well-being and that of your helpers should always take precedence—nothing is more crucial than human safety. Despite the inherent risks of moving a gun safe, following the provided steps carefully and attentively can make the process safer and more manageable.


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