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Why You Should Always Bolt Your Safe To a Solid Surface


This video "Safe Anchoring System demo" by Hamilton Safe shows the importance of the need to bolt your safe to a solid surface. In the video, a safe is bolted to a concrete pad. A forklift is being used to hit the safe and try and dislodge it from the ground. You can see that with a safe bolted correctly, even a heavy-duty forklift cannot remove it from the ground. Most likely nobody will have a forklift in your home or business, but if you don't anchor your safe, someone can carry it out where they have all the time in the world to break into it. 

What surfaces should I bolt my safe to?

There are many surfaces you can bolt your safe to. Concrete is the best but you can always bolt your safe into a wood floor. With a concrete floor, it is best to use a drop-in concrete expansion anchor that will expand into the concrete. This way it will be nearly impossible to pry from the ground. This will frustrate any would-be burglar and they will eventually give up.

Here is an example of a real-life situation where some burglars attempted to rob a store and pry a safe from the ground. This safe was correctly bolted to the floor and they were unsuccessful. 

How do you install a concrete drop-in expansion anchor?

You will need some tools in order to do this yourself.

  • Hammer Drill
  • Carbide Bit
  • Safety Goggles
  • Mouth and Dust Protection (Mask)
  • Hammer
  • Wrench
  • Drop-In Expansion Anchor (some safes will come with one but otherwise you will need to buy the right sized one at the hardware store)

Here is a video on how to install a concrete drop-in expansion anchor:

What if I want to bolt my safe to a wood floor?

If you are bolting your safe to a wood floor, there are several methods you can use. A lag bolt which can be bolted directly to the wood floor joist is one. Another way could be to use a butterfly fly bolt through the subfloor. If you have access to the floor underneath such as in a crawl space or basement, you can install a metal plate underneath to make it even more difficult to pry the safe from the floor.

What if I have carpet where I want to put the safe?

It's possible that you could have carpet over the concrete or wood surface where you plan on putting your safe. You can either cut the carpet square out the same size as the safe so the safe sits flush with the floor, or you can bolt the safe directly on the carpet to your surface. If you plan on moving your safe in the future, it may be best to cut the carpet square out. That way you can put it back in place once you move your safe to cover the hole.

What if my safe is heavy, do I still need to bolt it down?

In our professional opinion, you should. Even if the safe is heavy, it can still be moved out of your home or business. It decreases the chances of this happening, but it's still a possibility. Bolting it down will add that extra level of security.

What if I want to bolt my safe to a wall?

If your safe has a fire rating, you won't want to do this as it will void the fire rating. If the safe has no fire rating and has holes in the back to bolt it to a wall, you can do this. If the safe doesn't come with holes, you can drill your own so that you can bolt it to the wall. 

What if I don't want to drill holes in my floor or wall? Is there an alternative method to secure my safe?

Another way to secure your safe without drilling holes in your floor or wall is to use an adhesive to "glue" it to the floor. This will still make it difficult for someone to pry from the ground. You should only do this if your safe will be permanently in place. It's going to be almost impossible to remove from the floor without damaging it.

What if I live in an apartment or rent my home and I can't bolt my safe down?

It's worth asking the landlord if you can bolt your safe down. Most will say no but it's worth asking. If you can't bolt your safe down, having one as heavy as possible will help deter someone from taking it out of your home. It might be better to have a safe that you can hide somewhere so it is not able to be found such as one of our under-bed safes or safes that go in a drawer.

What if I am not comfortable bolting my safe down myself?

If you are not comfortable bolting your safe down yourself, please call us at 800-207-2259 and we can help you find someone local in your area who can do this type of service for you. 

With home and business break-ins happening every day including during the day, it's important to secure your belongings. Having a safe in today's world is almost mandatory if you have guns, valuables, and important paperwork you need to protect. Bolting your safe to a solid surface is highly recommended no matter what safe you have. You can see from the videos above how necessary it is to properly bolt your safe down to avoid the chance someone decides to attempt to take it out of your home. 


Related articles: 

Top features of secure gun safes

Fire Ratings Explained

Safe Burglar Ratings Explained

Responsible Gun Ownership and Children