Wall Safe...How to mount one

MoccasinAugust 14, 2010

From our house destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, we salvaged the old wall safe. It is of a size like a really small countertop fridge. And it is really heavy.

We don't have anyy important jewelry or valuables for it, but I've hung on to this artifact for 5 years now, and DH is thinking about throwing it out.

What I want to do is build it into the new closet bumpout, so we can stash important documents like wills and deeds in it. Maybe insurance policies? Car titles?

Anyone have any ideas about other locations for a wall safe?

In the old house, it was built into the pantry shelf just off the kitchen, secured to the studs of the house by headless bolts with the nuts inside the unlocked safe.

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I wonder if you wouldn't be better off with a newer version that you know is fire and flood proof but that isn't so heavy. Either that of what about just putting it on the floor at the back of a closet somewhere with e.g. luggage in front of it.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 12:47PM
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Larke, you are right. At this point it is sitting out in our storage building unlocked. Hmmm, I always thought it was fire proof, but now I wonder. DH is not too fond of the idea of reusing it. It is the devil to open!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 3:04PM
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Can you put the safe into the foundation in your new addition? My inlaws have always had a floor safe. There is a dehumidifier made just for safes and it will keep your papers from getting mildewed. Just form a place in the foundation when you pour it to match the size of the safe. You could even put bolts in it so you can bolt the safe down. My in-laws fit down in the hole and he had a lip for a board to fit the opening and they put a rug over it. People walked over it and never knew it was there.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 5:33PM
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Marti, by golly, I think you have something that I can adapt.
Not in the present project, but in the future one, when my DH is here to do the planning, we can find a place for it.

I have not researched safes, did not think about the humidity issue. But we have 100% humidity much of the time, and it could be a killer. I'll check it out.

Of course, there is a boat product which absorbs moisture but it has to be changed out periodically.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 7:38PM
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I just told dh what I told you and he said there will be a lot of humidity. He also said this is the best dehumidifier for safes but it requires electricity.

That means you'd have to drill a hole in it somewhere and then seal it around the cord.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 10:37PM
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I have a fire box for passport, marriage & birth certs, insurance policy etc. Need to put it someplace secure... Maybe on top of my kitchen cabinets that don't go to the ceiling ! I wanted to put it under the refrigerator but no one agreed, so now it sits temporarily under the DVD player. :(

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 9:20PM
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If it's a pain to open, I'd sell it and get one that is easier to open and you know is fireproof. More than likely yours is fireproof. At least fireproof ones are really heavy.

Thieves think nothing of destroying property so if you replace, I'd put it somewhere that can't be seen or found easily.

This post was edited by marti8a on Thu, Jan 10, 13 at 12:24

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 9:37PM
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EatRealFood, I think on top of the kitchen cabinets is a pretty good spot. You are so right. Hmmmm, or in a cab over the fridge which keeps it heated and therefore less humid. Those cabs can have a false backing, and the safe in there attached to the wall studs.

Sounds good to me. Especially when the fridge might be on an outside wall with blocking added around it, and stucco outside. I'll talk to the contractor about working it in.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 10:19PM
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ML - those deeper cabss over the fridge could certainly have a false back to them. The 'open' part (handle) could be on the bottom part of the false back making it hidden by things you store in the front of it. I doubt anyone would think to look there. Unless they are reading this now - lol!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:19AM
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I would advise that your research safes a bit before buying one. It turns out that they tend to be good at one or two things. Like a fire safe. It is good at keeping a fire from burning your documents below a certain temperature, but is lousy at keeping thieves out. (My friend who is addicted to drugs simply dropped my small fire safe several times and it burst open for her, broken lock!) So figure out what you want to protect, what you want to protect it from, and go from there to figure out what to get. Sometimes, simple toe-kick drawers under the kitchen cabs can be good hiding places for a lot of things. I guess the thieves are really on to the cash wrapped in tin foil in the freezer, though!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:52PM
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Nancy, you really crack me up!!

I know years ago, folks used to put their cash in the hollow iron bedsteads. I heard a tale about someone who had a house fire, and their money melted in there. So, it was I suppose bulk bullion? :)

I'd forgotten your unhappy episode, Nancy. A grim reminder of defining what you must defend against.

Toekick drawers.....might be a good idea. My base cabs will be on legs, but I want the dog food/water bowls to pull out from one area.

The safe we have was salvaged from our river house after Hurricane Katrina. It was chest high, and did not get wet, and it was inside a laundry cabinet and further secured to the brick wall and studs, by a flat metal panel which was buried outside the studs and somehow hidden from access. The front was smooth except for the combination dial.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 11:07PM
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marti8a ,

You said " this is the best dehumidifier for safes but it requires electricity. Goldenrod"

~ this is something new a rod with a dehumidifier? is it energy efficient? what makes it different with the usual dehumidifier we have?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 10:58PM
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The goldenrod is simply a low wattage resistive heater. It's not a dehumidifier in the sense of one used for a room with a compressor and fan. It's the same as if you had a light bulb burning inside the safe, only it doesn't give off any light, only heat.

Another option is the renewable sort with the water absorbing crystals. No electricity required inside the safe. They change color once saturated and thus have to be checked. When saturated, you remove it from the safe and plug it in. The internal heater dries the crystals out and they change back to their dry color. It can then be put back into the safe.

Here is a link that might be useful: Safe dehumidifier

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 12:20AM
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