Well, theoretically speaking you should be able to install a gun safe in a mobile home! But before you go ahead there are a few factors to consider as discussed in this blog.
Do you already own a gun safe and are considering buying a new home?
Or are you planning to buy one now and already live in a mobile home? Being a responsible gun owner it’s obvious that you would be concerned about the associated risks and maybe be wanting to secure your gun in a good safe.
It’s, of course, mandatory if you live in a state where the law requires you to ensure access prevention. It’s also good to be aware of the regulatory requirements based on where you live. Also, most insurance companies mandate the use of gun safes for your guns to be fully covered.
If you already own one what size is it? How much does it weigh? Based on the dimensions and weight of your gun safe you need to find the right kind of home (Where it would fit in nicely).
Risks In Keeping A Gun Safe
A gun safe is meant to secure your gun (s) along with its ammunition. It is not only going to secure access to your gun (s) but also would protect it from risks like accidents, theft, flooding, fire or any other natural calamity.
If you have kids/pets at home, you are also looking at additional risks of the kid locking himself/herself in (always lock the safe after operating it) or the safe falling over the kid or the pet (anchoring the safe can prevent this).
The benefits of keeping a gun safe at home far outweigh the risks if you take the required precautions.
Size And Weight Considerations
If you intend to buy a safe now and place it in your mobile home, you need to make sure that you get one that will slip in through the door of your mobile home. For mobile homes, the desirable weight is 1000lbs or less. A gun safe is a dead load, as it’s going to stay put in one place (you are not going to move it around the home).
Mobile homes are built on steel structures (just like that of a truck) and the steel frame acts like a support (or foundation) to the wooden frame structure. The steel frame is fitted with wheels and axle at the manufacturing facility and once installed they are removed (can be fitted again if required. These homes are mostly capable of taking in heavy household items. Most are built on 2×6 floor joists. The floor deck is generally 3/4 inches or 5/8 inches. These floors can take about 40 lbs of load per square feet of area. You also be interested in my post on how much does
a gun safe weigh.
A new mobile home should easily be able to take a load of a gun safe. One consideration, however, is what other heavy stuff would go in beside the gun safe. While your mobile home is getting installed following the instructions and ensure right leveling (always keep a re-leveling kit) and waterline level.
But if your mobile home is old and the frame structure is damaged because of water leakage, the floor may cave in due to the weight., breaking through the decking boards. Water damage generally occurs below the bathroom piping and fixtures and around the doors and windows. If you have moved your home too often, it is likely to have caused damage to the structure underneath the floor. In such a case, the support structure may need some reinforcement before you move in and install your safe unit. You could place some concrete blocks below the frame or add strength by some additional beams.
Figuring out the right location for your gun safe is a trade-off between convenience and access. Also, different locations in your home provide a varying degree of protection against fire, flood or theft. So, depending upon where you live, you must do a risk assessment about which threat factors pose a higher risk. As an example, if you think your residential area is prone to thefts, you would want quick access to your firearm if such a situation was to arise.
Since you would like to place your gun safe in a mobile home, placing it over the steel beam will ensure enough structural support. Moving the safe inside your mobile home is, however, going to pose a bit of challenge due to its heavy weight. Concrete steps leading to the door would be OK to provide the required support. If you have metal steps instead, move them aside and directly unload the safe from the truck through the door.
You need to know how much load your floor can bear. This can be easily calculated by measuring the material, size and distance between the floor joists. You can take help either from an expert or search online for calculators. A hard floor is certainly better than a carpeted floor to anchor a gun safe.
Bolting Your Safe
It’s always a good idea to bolt your gun safe in a mobile home but only once you have boiled down to the right location for the placement. It is a required safeguard which prevents your safe from getting knocked over and causing an accidental injury.
Before you anchor it down, you need to ensure that the safe is properly leveled else the lock and bolt may malfunction. On an uneven surface, the safe door may open or close by itself and that poses a risk of injury.
All 4 corners of your safe should be bolted. Ideally, half-inch or larger size bolts should be used. If the floor is made of concrete, then galvanized/zinc plated, or steel bolts should be used. That’s because concrete floors have moisture and that will corrode the bottom surface of the safe.
If the flooring is wooden, then the bolts should be drilled directly into the joists.
Are You Going To Be Moving Often?
If your mobile home is stationary and not going to move much, then there should be absolutely no issue with your gun safe and the floor.
But if you are frequently moving or jacking your home, then your floor may cave in due to the uneven load caused by the movement. That may also throw the safe and its door out of alignment.
Keep Out The Humidity And Heat
So now you are done fixing your gun safe in a mobile home. Please do ensure that the room is not excessively hot and humid. High humidity is an enemy and can spoil your guns. That’s the reason garages or basements don’t make good locations for your safe.
Too much heat is also not good and the reason to avoid upper floors. To have the room temperature/humidity controlled will always be the best to keep your collection in good condition. You might also be interested in my post how whether gun safes need dehumidifiers – read more here.
Summarising The Discussion
Yes! you can put your gun safe in your mobile home confidently.
Here are some final tips to ensure safety:
-Your mobile home floor structure should not be damaged. Reinforcement may be needed in case of damage.
-Relevel your home before shifting in the safe.
-Buy only certified safes that come with pre-fitted with an alarm.
-Electronic or bio-metric safes are better than the manual ones as they are quick to unlock.
-If your safe is an electronic one, make sure that the password set is not something that can be easily guessed (like your date of birth)