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joe84780
01-26-2011, 4:45 PM
I'm looking to buy a safe and it needs to be placed in upstairs in the master bedroom walk in closet.

Anyone have any experience moving a safe up to a second floor? Do I need to be concerned about the second story floor or even the stairs being able to support a 600-800lb safe? My house is fairly new...tract home built in 2005.

Any useful advise is much appreciated.

AEW
01-26-2011, 5:08 PM
Hello Joe,

Yes, you should be concerned. Typically, residential floors are designed for 40lbs/square feet live load, evenly distributed. What that means is that if you have a 10'x10 room, that floor area is designed to structurally accommodate 4,000lbs evenly distributed in the room. If you load that weight to a point load the structure will likely fail. This is a very simple general description that is generally true, but there are many other design factors that come into play with building structures. Getting back to the safe.....

If you have a 20"x30" safe footprint, that is about 600 square inches, or about 4.17 square feet in area. If the design load is 40 lbs/SF, 4.17 x 40 lbs = 167 lbs, you could safely put that weight into that area. Obviously, the floor in that area could handle more since the adjacent areas are empty and not loaded. However, given that a safe is, let's say 800 lbs, loaded over that same floor area, it will likely be an issue. There are many factors at play, including the locations of the beams, load bearing columns or partitions, types of floor diaphram structure, etc.. relative to where the weight is placed (i.e., tributary areas) that will determine how well the weight is handled.

I would say that is you want to put a safe on the 2nd floor, consult a structural engineer. 800lbs on a upper floor in a standard balloon framed structure and floor may not be a good match.

I'm glad to see you've actually considered the issue before procuring the safe!

G-forceJunkie
01-26-2011, 6:34 PM
I would recommend aghnist it. As posted above, its most likely overweight for typical construction. Now double or tripple that weight as is bounces around during the next earthquake. There will be a next earthquake.

glockman19
01-26-2011, 7:47 PM
In one house I raised my 2nd story safe on 2x4's and 5/8" plywood to spread the load..bolted the safe to the plywood and then strapped it to the wall with a metal earthquake strap on the top and bottom.

Getting it up the stairs was the most difficult part.

gravedigger
01-26-2011, 8:09 PM
Why would you want it on the second floor?

Heiko
01-26-2011, 8:12 PM
Why would you want it on the second floor?

To go in his master bedroom closet.

dls
01-26-2011, 8:24 PM
I have one of those metal 18 gun stack-ons cabinets up stairs in the laundry room. we keep some of my Wife's jewelry a couple 22s, my sweet Daisy Red-Ryder pigeon BB gun,some paper work and misc.stuff in it.
I just checked Cabelas online $379, I know I paid less on sale at the local Bass-pro a couple years ago.

kyle_e
01-27-2011, 12:33 PM
I used a stair climbing dolly. Rented it from Cresco (http://www.crescorent.com/cresco_equipment_rentals.html). Worked like a champ on my 615lbs sturdy safe.

Texas Boy
01-27-2011, 4:09 PM
I have a safe on the 2nd floor, but not as big as what you are describing. "Shipping weight" on my safe was about 300 lbs. It was a bear to get up the stairs (using a powered stair climber - too many turns in my stairs). It is bolted to both the wall and floor, and I would imagine the total loaded weight is under 400 lbs.

kozumasbullitt
01-27-2011, 4:32 PM
is a first floor stronger then a second floor if the first floor is not concrete? I have a 357 sq in footprint on a total weight of apx 600-700lbs loaded with no problems on a second floor and now i am putting a 936 sq in footprint of 1100-1200lbs loaded on the first floor to replace the smaller safe. I assume since the weight is only increasing by 500lbs or so and the footprint is almost triple then i would be good to go.

97F1504RAD
01-27-2011, 4:36 PM
I would think a water bed weighs more than that safe and would put a greater load on the flooring and people put water beds on the second floor all the time. Not only that the entire upper half of the house is supported by the second floor I cannot see how this would be an issue.

Not only that let's just say you have four two hundred pound guys standing in an area of the second floor that is smaller than the foot print of the safe are you guys saying they will fall through the floor? I see no issue with this.

If your floor cannot support 800 pounds then I think there are bigger issues. Especially if he can put it on a major beam in that room.

Not only that but my brother in law has a very high end pool table on his second story that weighs over 1200 pounds and it is only supported by the four feet which puts a greater load on each foot.

eric.c
01-28-2011, 2:16 PM
i put mine in my room. given it cant be more than 500lbs full. safe itself should weigh around 350lbs. my place is pretty old too i'd say. doesn't seem like its gonna go through the floor anytime soon or in the event of an earthquake but hey who knows. im not too worried. those stairclimbing dollies sounds like a dam good idea though. i used a regular one with the help of a coworker. thinking back though, that was a horrible idea.

capo
02-14-2011, 7:51 PM
I work for a safe manufacturer and we install safes nationwide. We've put plenty of heavy safes on upper levels. It's tough to do, incredibly dangerous to get it to its resting place, but it can be done. You can also get larger floor plates built to disperse the load if need be.

wilit
02-14-2011, 8:09 PM
I didn't see it mentioned, but in another similar thread someone mentioned it's probably not a good idea to put a safe on a second floor because if there's a fire, it runs the chance of falling through and damaging the safe. It could damage the structural integrity of the safe and allow the contents to be burned.

Don't know if it's true or not, but I know it's certainly not something I ever considered.

capo
02-16-2011, 9:09 PM
I didn't see it mentioned, but in another similar thread someone mentioned it's probably not a good idea to put a safe on a second floor because if there's a fire, it runs the chance of falling through and damaging the safe. It could damage the structural integrity of the safe and allow the contents to be burned.

Don't know if it's true or not, but I know it's certainly not something I ever considered.

Some safes are UL rated and undergo a drop test. Basically, they heat the living hell out of them for one to two hours, then lift it up 30 feet and drop it onto a pile of bricks to simulate a fall due to fire killing structural integrity. If the safe survives and is still impregnable, it gets the UL rating. But that doesn't say that if you have firearms inside they'll go unharmed.

Southpaw45
02-16-2011, 9:38 PM
I got my safe up stairs to. Empty weight is 490lbs and the foot print is 30X22. My house was built in 98 so its got those wooden I beams in the floor. I recently moved the safe to check the floor for warpage and it still looks good. It was a B---- getting it up the stairs using an appliance dolly and two big Meathead dudes. I took out all the fire block inside the safe to lighten it up for the move and the carpet still was wrinkling up in front of the dolly wheels...

9unknown
02-16-2011, 11:07 PM
I have mine up on the second floor in master bedroom closet, bolted down and strapped to the wall. Its right on top of a metal support beam so I'm not really worried. Though I will say getting it up there absolutely SUCKED. At one point I was almost sure the steps were going to break beneath us. It's a 440 lb centurion deluxe made by liberty safes. If I ever move it's just staying here, no way I'm moving that thing again.

DdPartida
02-17-2011, 12:23 AM
If you were a firefighter and you knew that there was a 400lb gun safe on the second floor of a burning residence, would you risk going in? Burning floors fail. Safes fall.

Sky_DiveR
02-17-2011, 4:53 PM
...If I ever move it's just staying here, no way I'm moving that thing again.

That's funny cuz when I was looking around at homes a few years ago, there were some that did have safes that came with the house. Upstairs, downstairs, even in the garage (that was a huge, double door one). Just moving my safe sucked. I can't imagine moving one to or from a second story.

wilit
02-17-2011, 7:11 PM
Some safes are UL rated and undergo a drop test. Basically, they heat the living hell out of them for one to two hours, then lift it up 30 feet and drop it onto a pile of bricks to simulate a fall due to fire killing structural integrity. If the safe survives and is still impregnable, it gets the UL rating. But that doesn't say that if you have firearms inside they'll go unharmed.

Good info. Thanks!