Safe Installation - How to Bolt Down A Safe
A good safe installation is key to assuring your safe stays where it is. Properly bolting down your safe to a wood or concrete floor will help prevent it from being carried away by burglars. Don’t assume that your safe is heavy enough that it will not be stolen. I have been to a robbery a few years back where 2 – 2,000 pound safes were stolen in one night. Moving a safe of this weight is difficult, but it can be done with a little know how and the proper equipment.
Below is a picture of the tools necessary to complete a concrete safe installation. You will need a drill and may need a hammer drill depending on the floor type you are drilling into. Some tile and other materials are very hard to penetrate with a standard drill. You will also need a concrete bit that is the proper size for your anchors. Your anchors need to fit through the hole and then go into the ground at least 3 inches. If you have a deep floored safe, you may need a very long concrete anchor. Use an anchor that is as large as possible and still easily fits through the hole in the bottom of the safe. If you can not drill down through the inside of your safe you will need a dark permanent marker. If you floor is carpeted you will need a lighter or utility knife to remove the carpet from the drill area. You will need a hammer to drive the anchors into the concrete. You will need a socket set or adjustable wrench to tighten the anchors or lag bolts. Finally you will need safety glasses and ear protection especially for hammer drills and concrete installations.
If you have not done so already, place your safe in its final location and be sure you like it there as it may be very difficult to move.
Some safes will require you to mark your holes down through the inside of the safe. Use a permanent marker that is a dark color. This is usually necessary if you can not fit the drill inside the safe to drill down into the floor. If you do need to mark your holes, be sure to also mark the floor where the 4 corners of the safe are. This will help assure you place it back and it will make it easy to align the holes for the bolts.
If your drill fits inside your safe, simply drill directly down through the hole. Be careful not to hit the sides of the safe while drilling. If your bit is not long enough to go past the safe and still go deep enough for the entire bolt, you will need to move the safe. Be sure to drill your hole at least ¼ inch deeper than your bolt will reach. When all your holes are drilled, proceed to the next step.
This step is important. You will need to remove all the drill dust from the hole and the surrounding area. A shop-Vac or other vacuum should be used. If you fail to drill deep enough or clean your holes out properly your bolt may not enter the hole the entire way and your safe will not end up secured to the floor properly.
If you moved your safe, move it back to the marks you made and the holes should be lined up almost perfectly. Now you will need to drop the concrete anchors from the inside of the safe into the drilled holes. It is OK if they do not go down the entire way as they should be a tight fit.
This step is not necessary if using lag bolts in wood. If you are using concrete anchors you will likely need to use a hammer and pound the bolts into the floor. Be sure you have the nuts on the end of the anchors or you will ruin the threads and will have a very hard time putting them on later. Once the bolts are pounded down as far as they will go your ready for the next step.
When the washers on the anchors are against the safe you are ready to tighten them up. Use a socket if you have one, an adjustable wrench will likely also work. Tighten the nuts down as best you can which will cause the bottom of the anchor to pull up against the surrounding material and force it out against the walls of the hole. This is what keeps the anchor in the floor and the safe secure.
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