Where you put your safe is arguably as important as the type of safe you buy, both for purposes of security and convenience. Your first instinct might be to hide your safe and put it someplace out of the way. While that would certainly conceal it from intruders, it may have the disadvantage of discouraging you from using it.
This is why you should take some time to think about where you will put your safe before you even go to the store. There are a number of different points for you to consider, and some of them could impact your buying choice.
1. The Purpose of Your Safe
Your number one consideration when it comes to where to install your safe should be its purpose, of which of course there may be more than one. Do you plan to use the safe to store documents? Valuable possessions? Guns? Who are you trying to keep out of the safe? Children? Burglars? Is the main purpose of the safe even security from theft, or is it fireproofing and water-proofing? How often will you ideally be accessing the safe? Will you leave it untouched for months or years? Or will you regularly put things inside and take them out? If there is an intruder, do you need to access it in a hurry to grab a gun?
If you plan to access your safe seldom, and you do not think you will need to reach it in a hurry, it may very well make sense to conceal it out of sight. This is often a good decision if you want to keep a child out of it as well, or to place it somewhere high or inside a drawer.
If on the other hand you plan to access the safe regularly, it may make more sense to put your safe somewhere you can reach it quickly and easily with relatively little hassle, even if you still choose to conceal it somehow. With a gun safe, you have a challenge, because on one hand, you do not want an intruder to spot it straight away. On the other hand, you do not want to have to go through a hassle to get your gun to defend your home and family. So put some real thought into the purpose of your safe before you buy one.
2. The Size of the Safe
Think about this carefully before you make your purchase. You might want a large safe or need one, but if you have no place in your house to put one, it makes no sense to buy one. Based on the purpose of the safe, figure out a few prospective spots where you could install it. When you are shopping, pick a safe that will fit in one or more or those spots.
3. The Configuration of the Safe and its Door
Some safes open from the top, while others open from the side or even the back. Some doors swing open at a 90-degree angle, while others open all the way to 180 degrees. You want to put your safe somewhere that allows you to open the door all the way if possible, or at least far enough that you can quickly and easily reach inside.
4. The Weight of the Safe
Another important consideration is how heavy the safe is. You need to make sure you choose a floor that can support the weight of your safe. Safes that weigh less than 1,000 pounds can usually be stored safely on an upper floor, but heavier safes should go on the ground floor. Hard surfaces are best. Try to avoid carpet for heavy safes, and stick with something solid like concrete. This is one reason basements and garages can be a good option.
The sooner you start thinking about the placement of your safe, the better. Again, ideally, you want to do this before you ever start shopping. It is much easier to try and fit a safe into your home than it is to try to fit your home around a safe. The location of your safe plays into its utility and security, so it is an important buying consideration.