A while back, one of my old neighbors bought a huge, heavy 60 gun safe that took eight of us to move. Because it was so big, there was no way he was going to get that safe in his house without doing some serious remodeling. What we ended up doing, instead, was putting this massive hunk of fire resistant metal in his 1-car garage.
After a few years went by, I thought about putting my own gun in my own garage, and wondered if it was a good idea.
I ultimately decided against it. Let’s discuss it right now …
Can I put a gun cabinet or safe in my garage?
The short answer, yes. Yes you can put one in your garage, but should you? Unless you live in a very dry climate it’s likely not a very good idea. And, if you’re using a cabinet that is much lighter in weight, you should likely move it to the inside of your house. Let’s take a closer look at each of these, as well as some other considerations for keeping the guns in your safe happy and healthy.
Benefits Of Putting A Gun Cabinet or Safe In The Garage
While in the rest of this article I’ll be making points about the reasons why you might not want to put a gun safe or cabinet in your garage, there are some benefits to putting one out there that I’ll discuss right now.
First and foremost, the biggest benefit of putting your gun safe in your garage is that it keeps it out of the way. Sometimes there just isn’t anywhere else to put one, after all they can be massive. If that’s the case, then you will likely only be able to stick your gun safe in your garage, or maybe your basement.
This, coupled with the fact that a heavy fire safe may not be supported properly unless it’s directly on concrete or a similarly, hard surface, it may be your best or only option if you’re set on only having one, massive gun safe.
Still, if you choose to put a gun cabinet in your garage, there are some things you need to consider to ensure your guns remain in the best possible shape.
Garage Gun Safe and Humidity
Nothing destroys a gun faster than rust or anti-gun politicians.
The truth of the matter is that moisture is one of your gun’s worst nightmares. Even a properly treated firearm with a coating on it can succumb to the woes of humidity after time if it’s left uncontrolled.
Because a garage, even if attached to the home, isn’t technically living space, it’s subject to higher amounts of humidity. Think about it, for the most part the air in a garage is stagnant, non-moving unless the doors are open. There is likely no central HVAC vents to help pull any moisture out of the air.
In most cases, it’s just not economical to have an HVAC system in the garage.
And, because the air doesn’t really move, any moisture in the air just kind of hangs out.
Garages are also generally not sealed as well as your home is. Because they’re not sealed well, moisture has an easier way of getting inside. While it’s fine for our cars, lawn mowers, and other items that are meant to be used outside frequently, our guns often fall to the dangers of humidity much faster.
Gun Safe and Garage Dehumidifiers
The best and way to combat this, is to use a series of dehumidifiers, or to put your guns inside your main living space–where a safe dehumidifier is still recommended.
Many people who stick their gun cabinet in their garage only use a gun safe dehumidifier that ends up usually not being sufficient for the amount of moisture they have in their locality. For example, I live in Western North Carolina, inside one of North America’s only temperate rain forests, and it is very wet here.
Our garage actually grows mold around the baseboard if we don’t have a dehumidifier running out there, and there’s no way I’d consider sticking anything of value out there — especially my gun safe with any guns in it.
If you live in an even remotely wet environment, you should really have two dehumidifiers, as well as a hygrometer gauge telling you how much moisture is in the air.
The first line of defense is a dehumidifier outside of the gun safe (like that one on Amazon) that pulls moisture out of the air before it can even get to your guns. The nice thing about these is that you can set the humidity level, attach a hose to drain it, and forget about it.
All you have to do is clean the filter about once a month and you’re good to go.
The second line of defense is a small dehumidifier inside your gun safe or cabinet (like the GoldenRod). Reason being, even the best dehumidifiers won’t be able to remove all the moisture. And, it’s better to have a fail safe in case the one outside stops working.
If your environment is dry, you can likely get away with just one of the above listed dehumidifiers, but ultimately it’s up to you.
To keep track of the humidity level in your safe, I recommend these Hygrometers from Amazon. You get four of them for pretty cheap and they very clearly tell you the temp and moisture content in percentage. Every gun safe or cabinet should have one of these in it, regardless of where it is, to tell you how much humidity you’re giving your guns.
Also, as a side note, I also recommend using a dehumidifier inside your gun cabinets on the inside of your house, as well. I have a small pistol that started to surface rust after only a few months in our new house on the bedside pistol safe.
I now put these little Silica Gel packets in there with it, and it’s much better. Again, you can buy them on Amazon for pretty cheap.
Garage Gun Safe and Theft
A few moments ago I mentioned the massive gun safe that I helped move into a garage for one of my old neighbors. It was heavy. But, with enough people we were able to move it — and that’s really the key.
Many folks falsely assume that if they have a heavy safe that it won’t be able to be moved, but that’s not the case. With enough dudes you can move anything. More than that, there are special gun safe dollies out there that are designed to make it so minimal effort is needed to move big gun safes.
Because of that, sticking a gun safe in a garage without first anchoring it down as much as possible, regardless of its weight, is not the best idea.
A garage can, in many cases, be broken into a lot easier than the rest of your house can. And, because it’s generally so far removed from your living quarters, you may not even know someone has gotten in until it’s too late.
And, even anchoring it down isn’t fool proof because a determined criminal can find a way. In all reality all you’re doing is delaying the criminals as long as possible and making them not want to get into your safe.
Having a security camera, like this one, that records in HD in day or night vision may be a good idea. That way whether you’re home or sleeping you can at least see and be notified that someone is attempting to steal your guns.
Use More Gun Safes Throughout
There is alternative to buying just one single, massive fire safe, and that is buying a few smaller ones that you can stash in various places in your house. This is the route I took, because I like to have guns in quite a few places, anyway, just in case a baddie breaks in when I’m unprepared.
For example, I’ve got an 18-gun Stack On Cabinet in my bedroom closet. It’s light enough that I don’t have to worry about it falling through the floor, but can bolt it down so it doesn’t easily go anywhere. It’s not a fire safe, but it serves as a quick access point for long guns if needed.
In fact, my primary home defense guns are kept in that cabinet, ya know, just in case. And, I feel the need to lock my guns up just because I’ve got 3 little kids living at home, and random friends of theirs over on a constant basis.
I have and continue to teach my kids gun safety, but I’d feel irresponsible if they’re not locked especially since the friends may not know anything about guns.
The point here, is that if you use smaller gun safes, as well as a bigger one strategically stashed throughout like I am able to do, it may negate your need to have to keep it out in the garage. Ultimately, the choice is up to you and your house’s setup.
If your only way to lock your guns up is to stick them in a gun safe or cabinet in the garage, then taking the steps to make sure your guns stay safe and dry, as outlined above, is key. I hope this helped answer your question, “can I keep a gun safe or cabinet in my garage.”
As always, leave your thoughts on this in the comments below.