View Full Version : Stupid SAFE question

March 22, 2009, 10:18 PM
Hello All,
How can you detremine if your floor is strong enough to handle a safe?
I am currently looking at a 445 lb. safe, want to put it in a closet. Is there any kind of way to make sure it will hold up?

Rich Miranda
March 22, 2009, 11:22 PM
I don't think that's a stupid question. 445 pounds coming through the ceiling ain't pleasant.

There is a TFL member that is very knowledgeable re safes. I'll have to look up his username.

March 22, 2009, 11:37 PM
Stand where the safe is going to be placed, and jump up and down. If you don't fall through, the floor will hold 500 pounds. :)

Unless the construction of your floor is substandard, it won't have a problem with that weight. We'll usually go up to 1,000 pounds without giving it a second thought.

March 23, 2009, 08:06 AM
Thanks for the advice fellas.

a1abdj you seem to be the safe guru on several forums. May Ipick your brain a little? I have been looking for my 1st safe for some time. Read SEVERAL threads & from SEVERAL forums on the subject. I dont have many firearms...currently 3 rifles & 3 handguns for the safe.
I was looking at the Liberty Centurion, think its the Model 20. It's in my price range right now - $697. Not high on the fire-rating, bolts on 1 side, inside hinges.. I know not the best out there, but better than nothing right?
Isnt fire ratings kind overrated a bit? Isnt that what homeowners insurance for? I dont have any collectible, unreplaceable firearms. If I have a fire, I would have more important things on my mind. I am more concerned of having my firearms on the street if I was to be a victim of a burglar.

So, is the Centurion a bad deal?

Sorry for the long rant....just with all that I read I am more clueless

March 23, 2009, 06:46 PM
No, the Centurion is not a bad deal for what you're looking for.

But before you buy the one you're looking at, head down to your local Lowes (if you have one). They have one that they sell for $397.

March 23, 2009, 08:26 PM
Thats the smaller one for $397. At first I was going to get that one, then I decided bigger is better. Inside has 19.2 Cubic ft & a S&G lock.
You think that I made any sense about the fire- ratings?

March 23, 2009, 08:42 PM
I was thinking of the same thing in my closet and I checked to see of there are two joists spanning the floor in there. I plan on getting 3/4" plywood and setting that as a base on the floor, covering it with carpet and putting the safe on top of the platform.
Got the idea from doing the same for an upright piano.

just my $.02

March 23, 2009, 09:44 PM
I just installed an American Security BF6032 in my house. I originally wanted to put it in the closet. Even though it would fit dimensionally, I could not get it through the door, even after taking the door frame off. Anyway I ended up putting it in the hallway, instead. I guess it's a conversation piece now, lol.

It probably weighs 1000 lbs. or so, with what I have in it. There is about a 5' crawl space under my house in that area. Even though I think the floor would support it, I put two post jacks (on concrete pillars) centered under sections of 4x4 that spanned two floor joists. This is most likely over-kill, but I didn't want to take chances on the floor sagging in the future. The post jacks are available at Lowes for about $30. The jacks I bought adjusted to a max height of 4'7".

Spent a good part of the day installing it, fighting insulation, water pipes, putting the door frame back together and bolting it down through the floor. I'm quite happy it's done, but if I'd known it wouldn't fit in the closet, I would have ordered a bigger size.

Good luck

March 24, 2009, 03:59 AM
alfack - what did you pay for the BF6032? and is it the plain paint job or fancy? I think you bought by far the best safe for the moneyas they should go for about $1300 with palin textured paint?

March 24, 2009, 08:22 AM
At Lowe's, while the 14-gun safe is only $397, their much larger Liberty 20 is $697.


Any of these should be bolted to the floor and adjascent walls with carriage bolts and/or lag bolts.
Cellar/garage/slab installations should have a wooden stud power-nailed to the concrete, and the safe lagged into that.


March 24, 2009, 10:19 AM
I think you bought by far the best safe for the moneyas they should go for about $1300 with palin textured paint?

A few years ago this was true. AMSEC (and most other safe companies) have been increasing their prices due to increasing costs the lasts few years. Some other companies, like many other industries, have been lowering the quality/quantity to stay in the same price range.

The AMSEC BF safes run in the $2,000+ range (including shipping).

March 24, 2009, 12:29 PM

I paid $1800 for it. That included shipping from Nevada to Washington and the S&G 6730 lock. I guess it is the plain model with the textured granite colored paint and the 8/14/22 interior.

March 25, 2009, 09:44 AM
You could have 2 or three people stand in there at the same time, depending on size and weight.

March 25, 2009, 02:19 PM
I don't think you'll have too much of a problem. but something that you might want to look into is make sure the way your getting the safe to the closet is ready for those kinds of loads. A friend of mine had one of those really large old time safes refurb'd. it was classic wild west bank safe. Problem is we had to figure out how to move it through his house. Took a bunch of head scratching to get a 800lb safe through the house without breaking anything.


March 26, 2009, 09:02 AM
Trying not to boar everyone to tears........ there are a lot of terms like live load and dead load , safety factors etc, but in gerneral it is not so much the total weight of the safe as the PSF (pounds / pressure per sq foot) exerted. Factors like the size of your floor joist and how they are spaced, the floor is stronger nearer the wall and the "footprint" of your safe all come into play. Will it sit on one or span two joist. Think about walking in mud. If you mearly walk into goopy mud you begin to sink. If you lay down a 2ft X 2ft piece of plywood. it will support you on top of the muc. If you lay downa 4 X 8 sheet serveral people can stand on it without sinking. You have greatly reduced the PSF by distributing they weight ofer a larger area. A 500 pounds safe is roughly the size of 2 1/2 adult men (2 if you are in my family). Would you worry about 3 men standing close together on your floor? You should have NO problem at all with a 500 pound safe. If it will help you sleep better.,try to make sure it it sitting on two joist. Now you have reduced the weight to 250 lbs per joist.

guns and more
March 26, 2009, 07:35 PM
If you are worried about the weight, put a sheet of 3/4" plywood under the safe.
That will distribute the load over a much larger area.

March 27, 2009, 09:27 PM
Just a thought, for anyone who wants to protect their guns and other materials that might just walk off from an uninvited visitor--a closet door with a lock or two on it is a good way of keeping track what is your, yours.

A safe is definately a good investment, but if that is not an option (due to avalibility, money or the landlord) a internal closet door with a lock can work in the short-term.

Just be sure to keep a SD gun available in case of a "uninvited visitor."

Just a thought.

March 28, 2009, 12:05 PM
Thanks for the advice guys.