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Firearms Accessories: Holsters, Safes, Lights & more If it locks up, carries, fits on to or cleans up your firearms, discuss it here.

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  #1  
Old 06-15-2006, 3:31 PM
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Default Heavy safe upstairs??

My new digs is an upstairs apartment and I want to get a safe up there. Anybody have an idea of what kind of weight I can get up there without falling into the apartment below?? Would a 600-700 lb safe be ok if I put it close to a wall??

Right now I'm using cable and trigger locks on pistols, and a Homak locking cabinet for long guns. Any input would be helpful.
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  #2  
Old 06-15-2006, 6:03 PM
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a 600 lb safe is definitely pushing it... it will deform the subfloor and the ceiling above after an extended time I would imagine, especially if the quality of construction is not spectacluar, and depending on how humid and how old the structure is.

I wouldn't have a problem with a couple of 300lb safes, but I definitely wouldn't go with a 600lb safe.... filled with guns, it could easily pass 750-800lbs. And having that much weight sitting in one spot for a long time would warrant structural support.

Just my opinion of course...
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2006, 6:48 PM
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I guess this place your in wouldnt withstand my 3500 double door safe made in 1845 hmm

Heres a thought put a 1 inch or so sheet of plywood under it to spread out the load and having it close to a bearing wall wouldnt hurt either.

IMO
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  #4  
Old 06-15-2006, 7:00 PM
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600 lbs is me and 2 friends. that isn't going to break anything.

my friend put hus safe upstairs in an apt, 700 lb safe empty, another 100 lbs inside, never a problem.

think what a waterbed weighs. water is 8.34 lbs/gallon. 50 gallon aquarium is 500 lbs.
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  #5  
Old 06-15-2006, 7:08 PM
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Have any of you seen the Tom Hanks film (the money pit) remember the bath tub crashing thru the floor ?


and that was a 200LB or so bath tub think what a 800 LB or so safe will do.

I would talk to the management company or property owner if I were in that situation.

After all you are renting this place correct ?
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Old 06-15-2006, 8:17 PM
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A queen size waterbed is about 600-700 Lbs plus the people say 350 lbs (usually in the middle of the floor) gives you about 1,000 Lbs but it is spread out over 50+ square feet so the load is only about 20 Lbs per square foot. A 600 lb safe with about 100 Lbs of contents only takes up about 8-10 square feet which gives you over 60-75 Lbs per square foot.

I have a 250 Lb safe and a Homack cabinet in my second floor gun room. I won't put a bigger safe up there, I just don't feel comfortable with it.
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  #7  
Old 06-15-2006, 8:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SemiAutoSam
I guess this place your in wouldnt withstand my 3500 double door safe made in 1845 hmm

Heres a thought put a 1 inch or so sheet of plywood under it to spread out the load and having it close to a bearing wall wouldnt hurt either.

IMO

I placed a sheet of plywood underneath my safe. I had the same concerns when moving in. It hasn't seemed to damage anything. I think as long as you place it along the exterior wall you are good. A piece of steel would work great underneath even if you only came out 4 or 5 inches on all sides that would really spread out the weight.
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  #8  
Old 06-15-2006, 8:27 PM
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Default The Engineer's Approach

You can call the local city building inspector and ask what the building code specifies as the nominal pound per square inch (PSI) loading recommended for a second story floor in an apartment. He might tell you in pounds per square foot instead. We'll deal with that later.

You can calculate your safe's PSI load by this formula. Make sure to sure your own numbers:

(total weight of safe loaded in pounds) / (safe depth x safe width) = safe's PSI load

Just an example:
Safe weight: 600 pounds loaded
Safe width: 20 inches
Safe depth: 10 inches

(600) / (10 x 20) = 3 PSI = safe's PSI

If building code says floor nominal load recommended is: 200 pounds per square foot
Whoops, have to convert PSF into PSI...

200 PSF / 144 = 1.39 PSI floor nominal load recommended (Note: there are 144 square inches in a square foot)

(safe loading) > (floor nominal load recommended) = NO GOOD

(safe loading) < (floor nominal load recommended) = GOOD

So: (3 PSI) > (1.39 PSI) = NO GOOD (see The Money Pit reference)

Of course a building inspector might be willing to make a quick guess if you have the safe's weight and dimensions handy.


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Last edited by vonsmith; 06-16-2006 at 7:02 AM..
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  #9  
Old 06-16-2006, 12:51 AM
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I'm guessing most 600lb safes are going to have a bigger footprint than 20" x 10". My own 600lb safe is 25" deep and 31" wide.
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  #10  
Old 06-16-2006, 1:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt-man
I'm guessing most 600lb safes are going to have a bigger footprint than 20" x 10". My own 600lb safe is 25" deep and 31" wide.
If I figured right that would make your safe have a load of .77 PSI which would be okay (.77 < 1.39 PSI). Tell me if I figured that incorrectly. Math was never my best subject.

Last edited by Sledpusher; 06-16-2006 at 1:12 AM..
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  #11  
Old 06-16-2006, 1:10 AM
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Yes, but a 600lb safe only weighs 600lbs when empty. And that's pushing it for a second story... imagine 6-8 Richter earthquake... or imagine this in an older, shoddily built structure.... or in an older victorian house...

Ummm. NO.
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  #12  
Old 06-16-2006, 7:08 AM
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The example I showed is just an example. Make sure to use your own weights and dimensions. Also get the real nominal load recommendations from the building inspector or an architect. I don't know the actual floor loading number for a second story floor.

Yes, the safe's weight must include the "loaded" weight. There could be a big difference due to guns, ammo, etc.

For a second story apartment it might a good idea to buy two smaller safes than one big one. Easier to move and probably a lower load on the floor.


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  #13  
Old 06-16-2006, 7:34 AM
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Just putting down a piece of plywood or steel to "spread the load" makes no difference. Think about it...the floor is already covered with plywood.

Talk to an experienced building inspector or, better yet, a structural engineer who does residential construction. The consequences of getting it wrong can be pretty serious.
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  #14  
Old 06-16-2006, 12:05 PM
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PSI (lbs/sq in) loadings of safes on flat surfaces are fairly low.

A larger 1200lb gunsafe with a floor of 28"d x 42"w = 1176 sq in has less than 1 psi.

Total weight may be an issue but less so near walls. Ask a bldg inspector to double check.

I had a Liberty Colonial 23 safe in my early-60s built 3rd floor apt. It was 565lbs unloaded, and we can add 75lbs of toys. No problems on floor.

Don't rely on safe movers for info but they do have some knowledge of "what works". In particular, Alan Hills of Liberty Safe in SJ would know "what flies" for a first cut.
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  #15  
Old 06-16-2006, 8:28 PM
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I got into it big time with my apartment manager (clueless, mechanically-challenged moron) over this when I asked for permission to move in an 1100 pound safe into a 4th floor apartment.

It took forever to explain to her that her fat *** sitting in a chair put down more pounds per square inch than this safe would. She then went on about "what would you put in a safe? Huh.. What would I put in a safe? Huh, what would fit...." and then asked if I could use a bank safe box instead.

The building maintenence guy went one step dumber "We can't approve that since we don't know what you're going ot put into it, I mean, like, if it's filled with gold bricks it's be too heavy." I had to sigh when he thought a guy who would be holding gold bricks in a safe would live in such a place.

I won in the end, but it's hard to talk sense into retards.

I moved and now I live on the first floor, the safe is on a pad of concrete.
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  #16  
Old 07-04-2006, 4:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glen avon
600 lbs is me and 2 friends. that isn't going to break anything.

my friend put hus safe upstairs in an apt, 700 lb safe empty, another 100 lbs inside, never a problem.

think what a waterbed weighs. water is 8.34 lbs/gallon. 50 gallon aquarium is 500 lbs.
Your friends and you also aren't standing in the same spot 365/24/7...

I personally think that you are better off with two smaller safes spread out the apt to distribute the weight. If you get one big safe, you might get away without any damage for a short amount of time, but not long term if you place it in a corner of an exterior wall.
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Old 07-04-2006, 8:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megavolt121
Your friends and you also aren't standing in the same spot 365/24/7...

I personally think that you are better off with two smaller safes spread out the apt to distribute the weight. If you get one big safe, you might get away without any damage for a short amount of time, but not long term if you place it in a corner of an exterior wall.
Problem with this is that it makes theft easier. If you have a smaller safe that's in the 250~300 lbs weight class empty that's within the realm of something that can be put on a hand truck. I know cause I've done it before. The pratical issues of moving a 600 lbs safe up and down stairs into an apartment certainly give me pause. an interesting solution is to buy two smaller safes of the same make and model, have a piece of plywood or steel cut the size of both bottoms and then bolt thru them. For even better protection drill thru the interior sides of them and bolt them together that way as well. At that point the thing is so big and uruly there is no way they'd be able to move it down from a 2nd+ floor. But when it comes time to move, since you know the combo you can just pop em open and unbolt them.

This might be a bit harder (side thing) for fire lined safes as you won't be able to really wrench them together w/o deforming the wall. In that case bolting them at the bottom would probably suffice.

Regards,

James R.
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  #18  
Old 07-04-2006, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenophobe
Yes, but a 600lb safe only weighs 600lbs when empty. And that's pushing it for a second story... imagine 6-8 Richter earthquake... or imagine this in an older, shoddily built structure.... or in an older victorian house...

Ummm. NO.
Xenophobe, I live on the second floor of a Victorian built in 1898. My friend who is a carpenter came over the other week and marvelled and the quality of construction of the place. Real oldgrowth redwood beams, 2x4's that actually measure 2x4 not like the 1 1/2 x 3 1/2's of today, no moist douglas fir like in todays homes, etc. So I wonder if an old house, built like that is better, or worse with regards to being able to carry the load of a safe.

I want to buy a safe but am worried about it going through the floor; earthquake or otherwise.
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  #19  
Old 07-05-2006, 7:32 AM
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The thing with Victorian houses is that you don't know what kind of construction or 'handyman work' that has been done over the years... A lot of the work I've done on Victorians required extensive code update to structural once you pull the walls...
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Old 07-05-2006, 9:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessegpresley
...I want to buy a safe but am worried about it going through the floor; earthquake or otherwise.
just get 4 friends over and all stand in the spot where you want the safe. if it's solid, it's solid. if you have movement and/or noise, forget about it.
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  #21  
Old 07-05-2006, 6:24 PM
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I'm not into construction but logically, I would think a 500lb safe would be no problem (even 800lb fully loaded). If a person that weighs 200lb jumps up and down on the floor of a second story building... he's putting approx double the weight on that one foot sq. I've seen a 300lb man jump off a ladder at 5' height (lost balance) and he did not go through the floor and this is in an old apartment building built in the 60's.

Also... a mid to large size fully loaded frig will weigh around 500lb+ sitting at approx the same footprint as a safe. I've got a Sub Zero (it's on the ground floor) and that thing weighs in at around 1000lbs... the doors alone are a little over 100lb each! When the installer were putting it in... they mentioned they just installed a Sub Zero in a house on the second floor in the morning and that's why they were late... they had to take the doors apart, take off the 2 compressors and etc and 3 man with a dolly moved the body of the Sub Zero to the second floor. So... a fully loaded frig can weigh upto around 1500lb (sub zero) and again... about the same footprint as a safe.

Just my 2 cent... I just ordered 2 Cannon safes... one is going upstairs... maybe I'm just trying to justify my logic.

Ken
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  #22  
Old 07-06-2006, 9:42 PM
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You need to first read your lease. Most leases nowadays have clauses for weight limits on floors constructed with joists. Mine all do. You should have moved into the first floor with concrete. But then again, who thinks of these things when they sign.

Beforewarned, if you violate the lease agreement and cause damage to the structure, count on being sued to recover money beyond the security deposit. If it falls through, count on the tenant below filing a lawsuit as well.

If nothing else, make sure you have renter's insurance that will cover any mishape with the safe including moving it and having it tumble down the stairs. You thought of that right?
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  #23  
Old 07-06-2006, 9:52 PM
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Death by safe ?

the tennant below is sitting in his easy chair just watching TV when all of a sudden WHAMM he gets taken out by your safe.

are you insured for such things ?
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  #24  
Old 07-07-2006, 9:29 AM
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maybe somebody ought to call a safe mover and ask them.
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Old 07-07-2006, 9:45 AM
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Most floor joists/diaphragms are loaded for minimum 30PSI... Most roofs are loaded for 50psi unless you're in the mountains then it can go up to 75psi...


At 30psi, you'd have to have ONE HELL of a heavy safe to come thru the floor...


Figure 2000 pound safe that is 2' x 3' thats 6 sq. ft. Thats 333 pounds per sq. foot... Or about 27PSI...

I highly doubt you're gonna have a 2000# safe that is 2' x 3'....




Oh yah, I draw house plans all day for my job...


JP
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Old 07-07-2006, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glen avon
maybe somebody ought to call a safe mover and ask them.
I asked it 6+ yrs ago when I got my Colonial 23 safe for my old apt on 2nd (well, 3rd if you count parking level) floor of a cheaply built 1960s apt.

I asked again about 4+ yrs ago when I was house shopping and figuring where a big 1300lb safe might safely go.

The Liberty Safe guy told me there shouldn't be big worries in modern construction, but that there is more fire damage risk upstairs than on a slab floor, and that if a big house fire happens it could 'plop' down a floor. They'd do more upstairs installs except heavy safes going up a large # of stairs gets costly on the install charge.
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  #27  
Old 07-07-2006, 2:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPglee1

Figure 2000 pound safe that is 2' x 3' thats 6 sq. ft. Thats 333 pounds per sq. foot... Or about 27PSI...

I highly doubt you're gonna have a 2000# safe that is 2' x 3'....
Actually there are 144 square inches in a square foot so it's more like 2.3 psi.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JPglee1
Oh yah, I draw house plans all day for my job...
Hmm...
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Old 07-07-2006, 2:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPglee1
Most floor joists/diaphragms are loaded for minimum 30PSI... Most roofs are loaded for 50psi unless you're in the mountains then it can go up to 75psi...


At 30psi, you'd have to have ONE HELL of a heavy safe to come thru the floor...


Figure 2000 pound safe that is 2' x 3' thats 6 sq. ft. Thats 333 pounds per sq. foot... Or about 27PSI...

I highly doubt you're gonna have a 2000# safe that is 2' x 3'....




Oh yah, I draw house plans all day for my job...


JP

The only draw back to this theorem is And I know not all safes are alike but my 4000 LB safe has 4 wheels / Casters.

that would mean that the weight on each wheel is right at 1000 LBS

the footprint of each wheel and mine is on concrete is about 1.5 inches by about 1/2 inch

if the safe is flat with no casters then these formulas would be ok but if the safe in question has casters the weight is divided by how many casters the safe has. its a safe assumption that if the safe has casters that it has 4.

Did anyone think of this ?
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  #29  
Old 07-07-2006, 2:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omega13device
Actually there are 144 square inches in a square foot so it's more like 2.3 psi.




Hmm...

Yah, what he said...

I was dividing Pounds per sq. ft by 12 to get Inch pounds... I was off one step. I did it all real fast I apologize.


And yah, I draw house plans...


JP
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  #30  
Old 07-07-2006, 2:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SemiAutoSam

Did anyone think of this ?

No, I didn't... I assumed the safe would be flat mounted on the floor diaphragm, not on casters.


Your safe weighs 4000 pounds? Wow, that must be some safe!


JP
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  #31  
Old 07-07-2006, 2:58 PM
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those must be SOME casters!
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Old 07-07-2006, 3:05 PM
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safe on casters? wouldn't that make it too easy for a thief to roll it right out of your house?

Ken
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  #33  
Old 07-08-2006, 9:58 PM
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Well if they can get it up 2-3 flights of stairs.

It was lowered into a below ground area when the house was built. Also not in an area where any visitor would ever see. so unless someone has xray vision and or knew the architect who has passed away since the house was designed and built.

Nope not concerned about any walking off with anything safe included.
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