Limitations Of A Gun Safe: What You Shouldn’t Put Inside

Since it’s used to store firearms, many people think that gun safes are as tough as a true safe. True enough, some models can be at par with such. But we have to accept that gun safes have its own limitations when it comes to storing firearms and other valuables. One thing you have to know is what you shouldn’t put inside a gun safe and what measures you can do to increase the security of your vault.

Gun safes are made to endure forced opening attempts as well as withstand fire cladding for a certain period. Most importantly, gun safes are utilized at home to keep the weapon away from curious children. Aside from this purpose, gun owners also stash cash, jewelry, and other things of high value inside their gun cabinets.

While there’s isn’t a problem here, the risk lies on how reliable the gun safe is. If you invested on the topnotch safe made of the toughest metal and advanced locking mechanism, you can have a sigh of relief. However, taking caution will save you from losing assets in the event someone breaks into your house.

What you shouldn’t put inside a gun safe

what you shouldn’t put inside a gun safe

1. Hefty amounts of ammunition

Since you’re storing firearms, both short and long, to your safe, you might think that you can also pack it with ammunition. You can use a separate metal box chained next to your safe if you have hefty amounts of bullets and ammo. This stands the chance of firing up if cooked inside the gun safe where temperatures can be as hot as 400F or more.

There could be an exemption to this. If you purchase a vault room, the one almost the size of a walk-in closet, I can bet that your ammo is safe.

2. Perfume or cologne

If your brother keeps on sneaking to your room and stealing sprays of your favorite perfume, the first impulse is to store it in your gun safe. However, remember that perfumes and cologne contain flammable alcohol. It’s what you shouldn’t put inside a gun safe. When the safe is engulfed in fire, the temperature inside will rise up and cause the ignition of the perfume. Even if the safe isn’t damaged due to the exterior fire, the perfume can fuel a fire inside that will damage your valued items.

3. Stash of jewelry

Those who keep many pieces of jewelry would surely have a dedicated vault to it. Some prefer to stash it on the same gun safe so they won’t have to purchase another box. Most likely, the jewelry is owned by someone else, likely your partner. This means you’re going to share the passkey with her or register her fingerprint in the system. If he or she keeps forgetting to close the door, your firearms are doomed. Bad temper is another thing you have to consider. It’s best to avail a safe deposit box.

4. Too much cash

If you have large wads of cash at home, it’s best to deposit it to your bank account. Cash is a hot item in the eyes of burglars and they will go to great lengths just to take hold of it. Anyway, you can still leave some cash inside, but not enough to send you broke when it’s stolen. Emergency expenses happen from time to time, so cold cash will come in handy.

If you really want to have large sums of money at home, don’t store it on a single container. Too much cash is what you shouldn’t put inside a gun safe.

5. Sensitive digital information

Sensitive digital information stored on flash drives and discs is better stored on safe deposits. This is true especially for those who are handling information that can jeopardize someone’s privacy or safety. Examples are people working in financial and law-enforcing fields.

Confidential files are also lucrative for burglars-cum-hackers. They can place a ransom in exchange for your data if it’s of very private in nature. Even if the storage devices are password-protected, it will be better to store it in a separate place like a deposit box on your local post office.

6. Plants

I know that this will sound crazy, but those with vault rooms that can be as wide as four feet, placing plants as decoration may happen. Although there’s enough space for your firearms and other valuables, plants simply don’t fit in on the setup.

First, there’s no sunlight inside. Another thing is the lack of oxygen since vault rooms would be tightly sealed to prevent moisture and gasses from entering. The temperature inside would also spike at some point. The plant will just wither and die in the process. It’s what you shouldn’t put inside a gun safe, no matter what.

7. Batteries

Storing car batteries and other power sources inside the gun safe isn’t the safest thing to do. Like what I said many times, the temperature inside the safe could be too hot. It can damage the batteries or ignite a fire if the temperature becomes too unbearable. The battery may also leak inside and damage other electronic items and documents you stored.

Just because it fits inside, doesn’t mean it’s supposed to be there. Just keep the batteries in your garage for your family’s safety.

8. Remote controls

If you hate it when other people change channels, putting the remote controls inside the safe isn’t smart. You might forget that it’s actually there that will result in a frenzy of looking around and even a fight with someone in the house. Someone in your home might also need to use the remote for turning the TV on or the AC. With you out of the house, it’s not pleasant that they would have to bear the hassle. Anyway, it’s a good trick to keep your kids away from the TV and on their books.

9. Single-copy keys

A single copy of a key is what you shouldn’t put inside a gun safe. You might face an emergency when you need the key and you first have to climb to your bedroom or someplace where you put the safe. Also, this isn’t a practical choice especially if the key will open a very important part of your house like another vault or your safe deposit box.

Always duplicate the key before storing it inside. If it gets stolen, change the lock of the door where it’s supposed to be used.

10. Petrol

If for some reason you thought of storing petrol inside your gun safe, you might want to think twice about it. Petrol is almost synonymous with fire. If it ignites inside, all your weapons and important possessions will perish inside the safe. The electronic lock may also fry and the door will be too hot to open manually.

If you’re afraid that the kids will play on the petrol, just place it on a container with a seal. Hide it on your garage, but never inside your gun safe. Flammable fluids are what you shouldn’t put inside a gun safe.

11. Another vault

So you think about this: you’re going to store another vault inside your gun safe for double security. Although this is a wise move for those with the best locking mechanisms, it’s also a risk if ever the burglar breaks into your safe. Storing another vault inside the safe can double the security, but it can also cut the hassle for the thieves in locating your separate treasure chest.

Place the other vault on a separate spot in your house. This is so burglars will find it hard to amass all your valuables.

12. List of passwords and key combinations

By no means should you list down all your passkeys and place it inside the gun safe. If you keep on forgetting all your other passwords, use a digital password manager that can’t be accessed by a thief. It’s a total giveaway for a thief who will get more than he bargained for when he breaks into your house.

The safest way of storing passwords is just keeping it on your head. Passwords belong to what you shouldn’t put inside a gun safe. If you have a bad case of forgetfulness, you can ask your partner to remember it for you.

13.Cleaning chemicals

Like petrol, you shouldn’t store cleaning chemicals inside the vault just because you’re worried about your kids’ curiosity. These cleaning chemicals may leak and damage other valuables inside the safe. A chemical reaction may also take place when the chemicals leak and bond. Dangerous gasses may pack your gun safe and overwhelm you once you open the door.

Steps to increase your gun safe’s security

what you shouldn’t put inside a gun safe

Locking your gun safe alone isn’t the only thing you can do to keep it secured. There are other steps you can utilize to keep your firearm out of unauthorized access.

1. Limit access

Don’t give the passkey to your vault to every member of the family, especially the kids. Limiting access to your gun safe will reduce the risk of accidental firing and the spread of your password combination. If you’re using a biometric-powered safe, only register fingerprints of your trusted family member. This is so they can access the safe if ever something happens to you.

Remember, guns are lethal weapons. If your family member has a history of bad temper, you shouldn’t consider registering his fingerprint or divulging the passkey to him. This means their possessions are what you shouldn’t put inside a gun safe.

2. Lubricate the locking screws

Apply grease on the screw locking mechanism of the gun safe to prevent it from sticking. This should only be done yearly to avoid over-greasing the safe and damaging the exterior padding. When applying the lubricant, put it on the front and bottom bolts.

While doing this, take a look at the fire seal of your safe if ever there’s one. Check out for tears and other damages that you can fix right away.

3. Don’t stash everything in it

A gun safe is safe only to a certain point. The most experienced burglar can crack anything open with the right surveillance and practice. Avoid putting everything of high value inside the vault. Store things that are valuable to you but not to the thief. Examples are copies of your last will, important photos of family events, and receipts of your previous transactions.

If you have a lot of things to secure, scatter it all over the cabinets in the house. In case you’re worried about safety, you should follow the next tip.

4. Avail the service of a safe deposit box

Safe deposit boxes are usually found on banks and offered as a service to citizens. Post offices and other security institutions also offer this service that has a higher level of security compared to storing everything at home. What you shouldn’t put inside a gun safe goes here. You can store jewelry, important documents, and money on a safe deposit with peace of mind against flooding, fire, and theft.

The only thing you have to secure is the key to your safe deposit. Also, take note that safe deposits are relatively small and can only hold a few items

5. Be as inconspicuous as possible

If you have a gun safe at home, place it on a spot rarely seen by visitors. It could be inside your closet in the bedroom or the basement. This will make it hard for burglars to access your safe and conduct surveillance. Doing this will also reduce the curiosity of your visitors and your kids.

6. Don’t spread the news

This is a no-brainer. If you want to keep your firearms and valuables secure, you shouldn’t spread the news to the neighborhood. Chatting with a neighbor about your newly-bought safe seems innocent, but they might mention it to someone else. Avoid showing it to others as well. Having a safe inside your home means you’re protecting something valuable. This might be the next target of burglars once they heard about it.

Knowing what you shouldn’t put inside a gun safe will maintain the safety of your family and your firearms. Do you have something to add here? Let us know below!

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Limitations Of A Gun Safe: What You Shouldn’t Put Inside

by Steve Damon time to read: 8 min
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