What To Look For in a Gun Safe: A Gun Safe Buying Guide

Your Comprehensive Guide on How To Choose The Best Gun Safe: Understanding Size, Location, Gun Safe Ratings, and Lock Types

Time to read: 10 minutes

Choosing the right gun safe is an integral part of being a responsible firearm owner. It’s more than just a storage solution – it’s a vital aspect of safety and security, both for your firearms and your home. However, with a multitude of options available on the market, each varying in size, security features, fire protection, and locking mechanisms, this task may seem daunting. But worry not, as this comprehensive guide is here to simplify the process for you. In the following sections, we will delve into crucial aspects such as budget considerations, sizing your gun safe, deciding on its optimal location, understanding fire protection ratings, and choosing between digital and mechanical locks. Furthermore, we will highlight the role of Houston Safe and Lock, a trusted provider in the industry, known for their expertise in helping customers select the perfect gun safe, and for their reliable delivery and installation services. Armed with the right knowledge and the right partner, you can make a confident and informed decision in choosing your gun safe.

Budgeting for Your Gun Safe

When budgeting for a gun safe, it’s important to understand that prices can vary significantly based on size, security features, fire protection, and construction quality. At the lower end of the price spectrum, a small, single-handgun safe can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. These safes, typically designed for quick access, are ideal for storing a single firearm securely, protecting it from children or unauthorized users. However, the affordability often corresponds to limited storage space and simpler security measures.

On the other hand, large gun safes can be a significant investment, running over ten thousand dollars. These safes are designed with advanced security measures and often have a 2-hour fire rating, meaning they can withstand high temperatures for up to two hours, protecting your firearms from potential fire damage. In terms of capacity, some of these high-end safes can hold up to 75 guns, including both long guns and handguns, while also providing space for ammunition and other valuables. Although these safes come with a hefty price tag, their superior protection and abundant storage make them a worthwhile consideration for serious collectors or individuals who own multiple firearms for other reasons. Therefore, when budgeting for a gun safe, it’s crucial to consider not just the initial cost but also the value of what you’re protecting and the potential losses in the event of theft or fire.

When budgeting for a gun safe, it’s essential to consider both the initial purchase cost and the potential long-term benefits. Think of it as an investment in your home’s security, rather than just a one-time purchase. A quality gun safe can last for decades, providing enduring protection for your valuable possessions.

Moreover, some insurance companies offer discounts on home insurance policies if you have a certified and rated safe in your home. This could offset some of the initial costs of purchasing the safe. Additionally, consider potential future costs like maintenance or upgrading the locking mechanism.

In short, while the price of a quality gun safe may seem steep initially, the long-term benefits and the peace of mind it brings make it a worthwhile investment. This is why allocating a substantial budget for a sturdy, reliable gun safe is a critical step towards enhancing your home’s security.

Gun Safe Sizes

Choosing the right size for your gun safe is a critical decision that requires careful consideration. It’s not just about the number of guns you currently own; you should also consider your future needs, the type of firearms in your collection, and the physical space you have available for the safe.

Current and Future Needs

While it might be tempting to buy a safe that fits your current collection perfectly, it’s wise to plan for the future. If you’re a gun enthusiast, chances are your collection might grow over time. Therefore, consider a safe that can accommodate more guns than you currently own. This not only future-proofs your investment but also offers flexibility in storing other valuables.

Types of Firearms

The type of firearms you own is another important factor. Handguns, shotguns, and rifles each require different amounts of space. For instance, a safe advertised to hold 20 rifles may not actually fit 20 scoped rifles. Understanding your collection’s space requirements will help ensure that your new safe can adequately and safely store your firearms.

Physical Space

Lastly, consider the physical space where you plan to place your safe. Measure the area carefully, keeping in mind the safe’s dimensions, including height, width, and depth. Also, consider the space needed for the door to swing open. It’s crucial to ensure that the safe can fit through all doorways, hallways, or stairways leading to its final location. If you’re unsure about fitting the safe in your space, Houston Safe and Lock offers professional safe moving services to help with installation.

In conclusion, when sizing your gun safe, thinking a little bigger than your current needs can be a wise move. It not only accommodates potential growth in your firearm collection but also offers you flexibility in terms of what you can secure in your safe.

Location of Your Gun Safe

Selecting the right location for your gun safe is as crucial as choosing the safe itself. You need to consider several factors, including accessibility, security, and environmental conditions.


One primary consideration when deciding on a location is accessibility. In an emergency, you need to be able to reach your firearms quickly and easily. Think about which areas in your house allow you to access your safe swiftly and without obstacles.

Environmental Conditions

The environmental conditions of the safe’s location can significantly affect its longevity and the condition of your firearms. Areas with high humidity can cause condensation inside the safe, leading to rusting and potential damage to your guns. In such cases, as mentioned earlier, a dehumidifier can be a valuable accessory.

Physical Constraints

Lastly, you must factor in the physical constraints of the location. The safe needs to fit comfortably within the chosen space, leaving enough room for the door to fully open. Ensure the floor can adequately support the weight of the safe, especially crucial for larger models. Additionally, you should also consider the journey your safe will take to reach its final location – are there narrow passages, tight corners, or stairs on the route?

Navigating these challenges might seem daunting, but that’s where professional safe moving services come into play. Houston Safe and Lock, with a history of over 100 years in the business, has the experience and expertise to ensure safe transport and installation. Their seasoned professionals have moved safes of all sizes and weights through all types of spaces, providing peace of mind that your investment is in good hands.

In conclusion, the location of your gun safe requires a careful balance of accessibility, security, environmental suitability, and physical constraints. The right location will not only keep your firearms secure and in good condition but also ensure they are accessible when needed.

Gun Safe Ratings

Most larger gun safes come with some form of fire protection, which is an essential feature to consider when choosing a gun safe. An unexpected fire can not only damage your firearms but also other valuables stored in your safe. Understanding fire protection ratings can help you select a gun safe that offers the right level of protection.

Fire ratings indicate the amount of time a safe can withstand exposure to fire at a certain temperature while maintaining an internal temperature safe for the items inside. Here are the four most common fire ratings:

30 Minutes

A 30-minute fire-rated safe provides a basic level of fire protection. These safes can withstand an average fire’s heat for up to half an hour. While this might seem short, most house fires are controlled within this timeframe. However, if you live in a rural area where the response time of the fire department might be longer, you may want to consider a higher rating.

60 Minutes

A 60-minute fire rating offers a more secure level of fire protection. Safes with this rating are designed to maintain an internal temperature safe for your firearms and valuables for up to an hour in the face of a fire.

90 Minutes

A 60-minute fire rating offers a more secure level of fire protection. Safes with this rating are designed to maintain an internal temperature safe for your firearms and valuables for up to an hour in the face of a fire.

120 Minutes

The highest standard in fire protection for gun safes, a 120-minute rating, ensures that your safe can withstand up to two hours of intense heat without the internal temperature rising to a level that could damage its contents.

When choosing a fire rating, consider factors such as your home’s location, the type of items you’ll be storing in the safe, and the potential response time of your local fire department. Remember, though, that while a higher fire rating offers more protection, it also increases the cost of the safe.

For more information on fire protection for gun safes, you can check out this article by Houston Safe and Lock.

In conclusion, the fire protection rating of your gun safe is a critical aspect to consider, ensuring that your firearms and other valuables are protected in the event of a fire.

Digital vs. Mechanical Locks

Choosing between a digital and mechanical lock depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here’s a comparison table to help you decide:

  Digital Locks Mechanical Locks
Speed Fast and easy to open Slower to open; requires precise dialing
Maintenance Requires battery replacement No batteries needed
Longevity Typically lasts 10-15 years Can last for decades with proper maintenance
Reliability Less reliable due to electronic components Highly reliable, fewer components to fail
Cost Typically more expensive Generally less expensive

Enhancing Your Gun Safe with Accessories

Adding accessories to your gun safe can significantly enhance its functionality and the longevity of your firearms. Two such accessories that can be particularly beneficial are dehumidifiers and door organizers.


In damp climates, the moisture in the air can be a silent enemy to your firearms, particularly to the wood and metal parts. This is where a dehumidifier comes in handy. A dehumidifier works to control the moisture levels in your safe, protecting your guns from rust and your wooden stocks from warping. If you live in a humid area, or if your safe is located in a damp area of your home, a dehumidifier is a must-have accessory. Check out the Gunsaver Dehumidifier available at Houston Safe and Lock.

Door Organizers

As your firearm collection grows, you might find the need for additional storage space within your safe. A door organizer can help maximize your safe’s storage capacity. It’s a simple addition that can significantly enhance your safe’s storage capabilities, allowing you to store additional rifles, handguns, ammo, and even important documents in an organized manner. Visit Houston Safe and Lock to explore options like the Stor-It PDO Extra Safe Storage door organizer.

In summary, while the safe itself is vital, the right accessories can help optimize your storage space and ensure that your firearms are kept in optimal condition.

AMSEC Premium Door Organizer PDO6036

Houston Safe & Lock: Your Trusted Provider

When it comes to choosing a gun safe, having a trusted provider by your side can make all the difference. Houston Safe & Lock is not just a retailer – they are experienced professionals who understand the unique needs of gun owners. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned collector, their team can guide you through every step of the buying process and answer any questions you have about what to look for in a gun safe.

From understanding your specific requirements to helping you navigate through choices of size, fire ratings, and lock types, Houston Safe & Lock’s expertise ensures you make an informed decision. But their service doesn’t stop at the point of sale. They also offer safe moving services, ensuring that your gun safe is delivered and installed at its final location with utmost care and professionalism.

Furthermore, Houston Safe & Lock’s dedication to customer service means they are always ready to answer any post-installation questions or concerns you may have. With their comprehensive approach, you’ll find that adding a level of security to your home is a smooth and stress-free process. Trust Houston Safe & Lock, your partner in ensuring the safety and security of your valuable possessions.

One company, two locations

We're one company, with two locations to better serve the safe and security needs of our valued Houston customers. Read more about the rebrand of King Safe & Lock here


Houston Safe & Lock - Westheimer

10210 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, Texas - 77042


Houston Safe & Lock - Memorial

8429 Katy Fwy
Houston, Texas 77024