35 Myths About Gun Safes | The Ultimate Guide To Avoid Common Mistakes
Do you want to protect your gun from getting into the wrong hands?
We all do. However, buying and owning a gun safe is not an everyday purchase. The choices you make are often irreversible and expensive. Whether you are planning on a cheap $200 handgun lockbox or an expensive $6,000 freestanding safe that is rated for fire and burglary protection, don't fall for these common misconceptions.
The main purpose of owning a gun safe is to protect your gun from getting into the wrong hands and to protect your prized possessions so you have them when you need them.
We've compiled what we believe to be the ultimate list of close to 35 of the common myths on gun safes. All it takes is one myth busted, to save you money, inconvenience, maybe even a life. You've been warned!
Table of Contents:
Myth 1: Getting any gun safe is better than not having one at all
Myth 2: The thicker the safe door, the more durable
Myth 3: A gun safe is a good kind of safe
Myth 4: I don't have to bolt down my gun safe since it is so heavy
Myth 5: Gun safes deter thieves
Myth 6: Burglars are…. (dumb, opportunistic, druggies, etc.)
Myth 7: My valuables are difficult for a thief to discover
Myth 8: My burglar alarm will keep me safe
Myth 9: The majority of burglars gain access through a window
Myth 10: Burglaries are most common at night
Myth 11: There is a slim chance my home will be burglarized
Myth 12: If you have a gun cabinet on the ground floor, burglars will not have to break through a window to gain access
Myth 13: I can hide my weapon in the cabinet with the keys close at hand and pull it out when I need to
Myth 14: Gun safes reduce the likelihood of gun-related mishaps
Myth 15: My gun will be safe if I put it in a gun safe
Myth 16: I can leave my gun unsecured if it's in a safe
Myth 17: My gun cabinet will be safe from a variety of perils if it has a lock on it
Myth 18: Because gun safes are designed to keep guns safe from fire
Myth 19: It's far better to replace your gun safe every few years rather than waiting until it falls apart
Myth 20: Because all gun safes are fashioned similarly, the most inexpensive one is preferable since it will accomplish the same task as a more costly one
Myth 21: The color of the gun safe is black or gray, and there are no other options
Myth 22: I already have a gun cabinet, there's no need to purchase a larger or heavier gun cabinet
Myth 23: Even if I drill holes in the door, add multiple locking systems, or cover it with metal bars, thieves may still open my gun safe
Myth 24: I can conceal my gun safe in a location where no one will discover it
Myth 25: As long as I have a gun safe, I can store all my guns inside it
Myth 26: I may leave my gun safe unlocked or unsecured so that no one will notice I have a gun cabinet in my house
Myth 27: Because there are several locking systems installed, it is acceptable to keep all of my weapons in the same gun cabinet
Myth 28: I can keep all of my weapons in any safe, regardless of its thickness or fire safety. I'll just need to buy a dehumidifier that will regulate the moisture level within the gun cabinet
Myth 29: Because my little gun cabinet is so simple to bust open, I don't need a combination lock for it
Myth 30: I should ensure that my gun is kept in a steel gun cabinet
Myth 31: It's fine to keep my rifle in a metal gun cabinet since it can't catch fire
Myth 32: It's fine to have a gun safe without an alarm since thieves will find it difficult to access
Myth 33: I can carry my guns in a sports bag or backpack when I'm on the road
Myth 34: It is perfectly acceptable to use small gun safes because they are less expensive and more portable than big gun safes
Myth 35: Because I don't want to spend money on a high-quality gun safe, I can use an old gun cabinet
Myth 1: Getting any gun safe is better than not having one at all.
This is simply not true. A gun safe can be a great investment to keep your gun out of the hands of children, but some are better than others and none are as good as they're advertised to be. China-made safes are often cheaper but don't come with the same quality and fire and burglary ratings of Made-In-The-USA products.
Our solve: Buy the right safe to protect you from the intended peril.
Myth #2: This safe has a thicker door, so it's more durable.
This is not necessarily true. The strength of a door refers to the thickness of its steel, but the bracing and locking mechanisms have more to do with how secure it is. Safe doors that are thicker can cost less and be easier for manufacturers to assemble, so they may look like they offer superior protection when their real strength might be in question.
Our solve: Be sure to check the safe’s fire and burglary ratings. If you're looking for strength, make sure that your door has steel around all four sides. Another important factor is how much of the door is actually reinforced with steel (thicker isn't always better).
A good rule of thumb is to buy a safe that has 1/4" (about 6mm) thick steel on its door. Auto bolt locks and relock mechanisms are also important factors in the strength of a safe, as are re-locking devices that work after the lock has been punched.
Myth #3: A gun safe is a good kind of safe.
Not all gun safes are safes. You might think that both a gun safe and a traditional, fire-resistant home safe offer the same protection, but they don't.
Let’s take a look at several key differences between gun safes and true safes. True safes are built to protect against not only firearms theft but also fire. Gun safes are built to protect firearms from theft and unauthorized access. True safes have a wider margin of protection against burglary as they are tested to withstand attacks with tools such as drills, saws and crowbars.
Gun safe doors provide only limited resistance to thieves who may try to pry the door open with screwdrivers or crowbars. Gun safes are typically tested to resist attack by common hand tools and not with specialized power tools or explosives, which can open most gun safes in a few minutes.
Our solve: A true safe must pass strict testing standards put forth by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and the Factory Mutual Research Corporation (FM), an insurance industry research group. These organizations have been developing safe standards for more than 100 years.
Gun safes do not have to meet any specific testing criteria and are tested in ways that may or may not provide realistic protection against theft. Other factors, such as the quality of the locking mechanisms and other hardware, must also be considered when choosing a gun safe. A cheap safe with a good lock and thick steel may be more secure than a more expensive safe with thin steel.
Always check the UL rating label. If your gun safe is not tested to UL standards, then it's just out of reach of the test lab technicians – which means it wasn’t really fully tested. Gun safes always have something
Myth # 4: I don't have to bolt down my gun safe since it is so heavy.
Not true. Even if you bolt down your safe, it's still vulnerable to theft. Thieves will use tools such as drills to get into your gun safe even when it's bolted down.
Our solve: The solution is to buy a safe that has been tested against drilling and prying attacks. These safes have steel reinforcements around the door jamb and door that create a barrier against unauthorized entry.
Safes need to be bolted down so that they cannot be tipped over, allowing a burglar to break in through the bottom.
Myth #5: Gun safes deter thieves.
The truth is that gun safes can be easily defeated. In fact, if you leave your safe unlocked, any burglar with a crowbar or screwdriver may just break into it and take your gun collection.
Our solve: In fact, thieves who have only a few minutes to break into a home will just go straight for the gun safe. This is why it's important not to keep your gun safe unlocked when you're at home and why you should bolt down your gun safely.
Myth #6: Burglars are…. (dumb, opportunistic, druggies, etc.)
Gun safes are often much less secure than many people think. Burglars may be opportunistic, but they aren’t dumb. They know how to find and break into the most common types of gun safes.
Myth #7: My valuables are difficult for a thief to discover.
If you have a gun safe, it means you have something worth stealing. If someone breaks into your home, they are looking for items to steal – and if they know that you own guns, then the gun safe will stick out like a sore thumb. A burglar with time on his hands who knows that the family is away may take all day to break into the safe, and during that time he can wreak havoc on your valuables.
Myth #8: My burglar alarm will keep me safe.
You cannot count on your alarm. Burglars can cut phone lines or smash the control panel, and they often know that when a home alarm sounds, it's not always an emergency.
While police will respond to alarms in progress, burglars are aware of this too, and may take as much time as they need to break into your gun safe.
Our solve: A good security system is a must-have for home protection, but it should not be the only thing you rely on.
Myth #9: The majority of burglars gain access through a window.
Burglars who choose to break into a home will almost always try the front door first. They know that you or your neighbors may hear them kicking in the door, but they are counting on no one calling 911 for several minutes – time enough to grab what they want and get out.
In fact, most burglars don't even bother to check if the door is locked. They kick it open, and then begin rifling through your belongings.
Myth #10: Burglaries are most common at night.
Burglars aren't dumb, they do their research. They know that people are often away at work during the day and only home after dark – and this is when most burglaries happen.
In fact, many burglars will stake out your home for days to get a feel for when you leave in the morning.
Myth #11: There is a slim chance my home will be burglarized.
In fact, burglary of occupied homes is actually more common than unoccupied burglaries. In many cases, burglars will enter through an unlocked door or window simply because it's easier than breaking in. The truth is that if you don't have a gun safe today, you are more likely to be targeted by burglars than if you do have one.
Myth #12: If your home has a gun cabinet on the ground floor, burglars will not have to break through a window to gain access.
If the cabinet is visible through a window, then a burglar will know that you have guns.
In fact, burglars are often armed themselves – and they know what action to take if your gun safe is in plain sight. If there's no gun safe, then burglars may enter through a window because it's easier than breaking the door down.
Our solve: The bottom line here is that if your home has an unlocked gun cabinet in plain sight, then you have a greater chance of losing your guns to a burglar than if you kept the guns locked up and out of sight. This is one clear case where "out of sight" really means "out of harm's way.
Myth #13: I can hide my weapon in the cabinet with the keys close at hand and pull it out when I need to.
This is very dangerous. Think about this for a moment – pulling out your gun to defend yourself would not only put you in danger, but the people around you as well.
Our solve: You are much more likely to be hurt than actually save anyone with this technique. In fact, many safety organizations and law enforcement groups advise against ever waving or pointing a gun at someone, even if you are in danger.
Myth #14: Gun safes reduce the likelihood of gun-related mishaps.
Yes, gun safes reduce the likelihood of gun-related mishaps – but only if they are used correctly. Many gun owners do not follow proper storage procedures when it comes to their gun safes. Because more than half of all gun accidents take place at home, it is absolutely critical that you:
Our solve: Lock your guns away when you are not using them, and Use the right gun safe for your needs.
Myth #15: My gun will be safe if I put it in a gun safe.
Once again, this is not true. Although a gun safe will prevent someone from accidentally grabbing a gun and shooting you, there are 3 types of gun safes that can be broken into with ease – even by children as young as 3.
- These are the types of gun safes that must be avoided:
- Gun Safes with electronic keypads
- Gun Safes with digital combination locks (or numerical code dial)
- Gun Safes with biometric fingerprint scanners
Myth #16: I can leave my gun unsecured if it's in a safe.
It is either concealed and securely locked up, or openly displayed. It cannot be both. If it's loaded when you leave it out in the open, then someone who hasn't been properly trained might think that they could handle it safely if a situation arises.
Our solve: If the gun is not displayed and locked up, then you can't get to it quickly enough in an emergency. In fact, if a person breaks into your home while you are home alone, the first thing they will do is grab your gun or look for it in a quick and easy place – which a safe might not be.
Myth #17: My gun cabinet will be safe from a variety of perils if it has a lock on it.
Think about this for a moment. If your gun cabinet was locked and you lost your keys, you'd replace the lock straight away, right?
Our solve: Well, burglars love to find easy ways to get into safes so they can steal guns or jewelry in a few minutes without any fuss. They know that most people do not have the skills required to pick a lock – that's why such safes are easy to break into. If your gun cabinet does not have enough insulation between the walls, then your guns can be damaged by the heat of a fire or ruined by heat and smoke.
Myth #18: Because gun safes are designed to keep guns safe from fire.
I don't have to be concerned about keeping my valuables and memories for future generations out of the heat. It will be fine for all time if it's kept in a fireproof safe!
This is one of the biggest and most common myths in America today. In fact, only a little over half of gun safes are fireproof. The rest are actually no better than pressed wood – easily burnt by an average house fire!
Our solve: A lot of times, people will purchase a gun safe that they mistakenly think is 100% fireproof, only to find out later that it is not. For these gun owners, their guns are ruined and all of their memories are lost forever.
Myth #19: It's far better to replace your gun safe every few years rather than waiting until it falls apart.
The purpose of a gun safe is to protect your valuables against theft and fire, which means if you don't maintain it it won't be able to carry out its duties as well. Keeping your gun in good condition also means keeping the gun safe in good condition. If you choose to replace an old gun safe for a new one, make sure the new one has better fire protection and increased burglary resistance than your old gun safe.
Myth #20: Because all gun safes are fashioned similarly, the most inexpensive one is preferable since it will accomplish the same task as a more costly one.
Gun safes are sold for all kinds of different purposes. If you want to put your guns in a gun cabinet, it is better to invest more money into a gun safe that can keep your guns protected from theft and fire than just settling with the cheaper models out there that don't provide the same protection. It is because of this reason that most gun safe buyers recommend buying a gun cabinet from reputable and reliable brands. If you have a limited budget, it is best to look for someone who can sell you cheaper but quality used gun cabinets instead.
Our solve: In the same way, if you want your gun safe to store precious documents like passports or property titles as well as guns, then make sure your gun safe has enough fire protection to protect these documents.
Myth #21: The color of the gun safe is black or gray, and there are no other options.
Gun safes come in a variety of colors like black, brown, silver and even pink. If you want to dress up your gun safe or match it with the furniture inside your home, then purchase something that comes in a color you prefer.
Myth #22: Because I only have one gun and don't intend on purchasing any further, there's no need to purchase a larger or heavier gun cabinet.
The size of the gun safe you are considering should be relative to the number of guns you can fit in it. Usually, big gun cabinets can hold more than one gun so they are better for people who have large collections, while small gun safes are good for those who only have a few guns. Also, bigger gun safes with thicker walls and floors are made to increase fire protection and burglary resistance, which is better for those storing their guns for years or generations to come.
Myth #23: Even if I drill holes in the door, add multiple locking systems, or cover it with metal bars, thieves may still open my gun safe.
Thieves are professionals. It is not impossible for them to crack any lock or open up any gun safe, even if it is made of steel and super heavy duty.
Our solve: The best protection for your guns from theft is to have your guns registered with the authorities so they can track down the thieves when they attempt to sell your stolen items on illegal marketplaces.
Gun safes are designed to provide protection against normal thieves who want to break it into by force, but they can't protect your guns against fire or more dangerous professions like burglars and robbers who have the tools and equipment to open a gun safe very easily.
Myth #24:I can conceal my gun safe in a location where no one will discover it.
Although you can hide your gun safe in a location where no one will see it, it doesn't mean no one can find out about it. Criminals who want to steal your gun safe usually search more than just your house for them; they also look at the premises surrounding your home such as the garage and shed.
Our solve: You should try to make your gun safe look like part of the home decor so it doesn't stand out and make a thief's job easier.
Myth #25: As long as I have a gun safe, I can store all my guns inside it.
It is important to know what types of guns require more protection. Gun safes are not made equal, and some can protect against fire while others stop burglars from getting into your home.
Our solve: If you have just one gun and are keeping it for self-defense, then a simple gun safe with limited protection against bullets can be enough to protect your gun for years. On the other hand, if you have more than 15 guns or high-value (collectible) guns that cost thousands of dollars each, then you should invest in a gun safe that can provide protection against fire and burglars.
You might also consider multiple safes: a small handgun safe for quick access, and a larger freestanding safe for storage of long guns and the rest of the collection.
Myth #26: I may leave my gun safe unlocked or unsecured so that no one will notice I have a gun cabinet in my house.
Leaving your gun safe unlocked during the day or unsecured is just inviting thieves to break into your home. If you keep it locked, then no one will know about the existence of your gun safe.
When thinking about theft prevention, always consider what is more important- saving money on buying a quality safe now or having to replace all your guns (and the cost of your home) after a burglary?
Our solve: Gun safes are not meant to be invisible. Make sure you buy something that is big enough and has a certain degree of imposing design so people will know it is there and would think twice before trying to break into it.
Myth #27: Because there are several locking systems installed, it is acceptable to keep all of my weapons in the same gun cabinet.
A secure gun cabinet makes it more difficult for thieves or children to steal your weapons. However, all guns should be kept in separate safes to avoid confusion when you need a specific rifle for hunting season or have an urgent situation where you need a specific weapon immediately.
Myth #28: I can keep all of my weapons in any safe, regardless of its thickness or fire safety. I'll just need to buy a dehumidifier that will regulate the moisture level within the gun cabinet.
Gun safes are designed with specific materials and features so they can supply the right amount of protection. Unfortunately, even if you have the most dehumidified gun safe in your possession, you can still get rust and corrosion problems.
Myth #29: Because my little gun cabinet is so simple to bust open, I don't need a combination lock for it.
The main purpose of a combination lock is to make sure that you can open your gun cabinet in the middle of the night without having to fumble with keys, which are more likely to be misplaced or stolen. So if you have a small gun cabinet with no combination lock installed on it, then think again before going to bed.
Myth #30: I should ensure that my gun is kept in a steel gun cabinet.
Steel gun cabinets look more durable but they are no match for old-fashioned lock picking techniques or explosives used by burglars. In fact, most steel gun safes can be opened with a few hours of drilling so you may want to install a better locking system .
Myth #31: It's fine to keep my rifle in a metal gun cabinet since it can't catch fire.
A metal gun cabinet can conduct heat and catch on fire. If your steel firearm is so valuable that it is insured, then you may want to store a replica in your metal gun cabinet while the original rests in a more fire-safe box.
Our solve: If you are keeping an old rifle or muzzleloader just for decoration purposes, then make sure it is stored in a heat-resistant box.
Myth #32: It's fine to have a gun safe without an alarm since thieves will find it difficult to access.
Alarm systems may seem too complex but in reality, they are very easy to install on your gun safes. You can choose from either hardwired or wireless products so you can make sure that anyone who tries to break into your gun safe will be detected.
Myth #33: I can carry my guns in a sports bag or backpack when I'm on the road.
You should never transport weapons in a bag or backpack. These items cannot withstand the rigors of travel and might burst open if dropped. Apart from that, they are just too obvious- thieves will be able to make out a sports bag or backpack as containing weapons and will find you before you can reach your hotel room.
Our solve: You should always have a gun case in which you can securely carry your guns while traveling.
Remember that you can buy cases from gun safe companies so those who purchase them are more likely to use it for all of their travelling needs.
Myth #34: It is perfectly acceptable to use small gun safes because they are less expensive and more portable than big gun safes.
Smaller gun safes are not built to last a lifetime and may be easy pickings for burglars so you will need several of them to protect all of your guns.
Our solve: You can also increase security by keeping decoy weapons in large gun safes and real weapons in small gun safes.
Myth #35: Because I don't want to spend money on a high-quality gun safe, I can use an old gun cabinet.
You should always invest in a quality gun safe instead of trying to cut corners.
Our solve: The old gun cabinets you have been using for your rifles and handguns may be good enough for keeping your guns away from children but they cannot protect against burglars, fire or flooding. Plus, these older safes are usually not as secure as the newest models.
At gun safes, we believe that you should invest in your security so you can protect your loved ones and possessions.
You've probably heard some of the misconceptions about gun safes, gun safety, and gun cabinets. Hopefully, reading this article has helped you dispel some of these beliefs. Be skeptical about what you hear and return to this article before you buy a safe.