Monthly Archives: December 2014

New Year’s Resolution: Home Security

I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions because if I had any flaws I would have fixed them already.  No, that’s not really it.  The real reason is that most resolutions are never fully met.  If you resolve to lose 20 pounds and keep it off, you never really finish.  If you resolve to “be a better person”, you never get to quit being good without blowing you resolution commitment.

If, however, you want to do something meaningful and have an end point at which time you can say “I achieved my resolution” — then I have an idea.  Do that security upgrade that you have been thinking about.  It could be installing security cameras in your home, or putting motion activated lights outside your house, installing deadbolts, locking up papers and jewelry in a fire/burglary safe, securing your guns in a gun safe, properly protecting your coin or stamp collection, etc.

Spend some time studying what you need, spend enough money to buy quality products, and then arrange for installation.  By the middle of January you can sit back with a cold beer and feel proud that you accomplished your resolution.  No guilt for the rest of the year!  Besides, if you try to be a better person than you really are, that’s likely to cause more stress, which might make you gain weight, then you feel bad so you start to . . .

Have a great 2015!

Pistol Safes Make Great Christmas Gifts

Today being December 23, I am obviously way behind in posting this message.  But if you are like me maybe you will still be Christmas shopping on December 29.  Or perhaps someone was so good to you that you feel guilty and want to get them something more.

Anyway, many folks that carry a pistol still leave them sitting on the dresser at night, or under the car seat when they go into restricted buildings.  We regularly talk with customers who have started to worry because their kids or grandkids are now getting old enough, and curious enough, to get into trouble.  This is always seems to be an issue for off duty police officers.


A good, quality hand gun safe makes a great present.  We sell a number of brands but we recommend the three models offered by Fort Knox — they offer real security.  Most units on the market are pried open easily because they are made of very thin steel and because the latch mechanisms are weak.  Fort Knox hand gun safes are made with steel that is two to four times thicker than other popular brands.  And their dependable mechanical locks, rather than electronic locks, mean there are no batteries to worry about.  Tight tolerances on the fit of the doors and very secure latch systems make them almost impossible to pry open.

So if my poor timing on this Christmas post kept you from buying someone a Fort Knox pistol safe, you could always give it to them for Valentine’s day.  Very romantic!

Buying a Gun Safe: Where’s the Beef?

“Where’s the Beef?”  That famous line sold lots of hamburgers for Wendy’s because it pointed out that their competitors’ burgers had very little meat.  In the same way, when it comes to gun safes sold by big box stores, you could ask “Where’s the Steel?”  Gun safes found in box stores usually have very thin steel in the doors and bodies, in spite of the manufacturers’ claims of security.  The doors appear to be strong because they are up to 1 ½” thick; but that is usually just thin steel wrapped around drywall.  One manufacturer brags that they have “thick 12 gauge” steel.  Really?  12 gauge steel is barely one tenth of an inch thick!  And that is supposed to protect your guns worth thousands of dollars?  Steel that thin is easily cut by power tools, or pried open with basic tools.

Try this test with a gun safe in a box store:  With the door open, put your knee into the front of the door and then pull hard toward you at the top. You can probably feel the door flex a little.  Imagine how easily it would bend if someone used a pry bar!


The picture on the left is Brand X.  The door looks good because the edge is 15/16”, but the steel is only a roll formed 12 gauge, just .1046 of an inch.  The center picture is Amsec’s BF gun safe.  The edge is only ½” thick, but that is a solid steel plate – 4.7 times thicker steel.  On the right is a Graffunder Castle series door edge:  1” solid steel plate, 9.5 times thicker than Brand X!  If you want to protect your valuables don’t settle for 12 gauge steel.  Gun safes with steel plate all the way up to 1 ½” is available.  You won’t see them at a box store, however; you will need to go to a safe dealer.  Will they cost more?  Of course they will.  But it does not make sense to keep your gun collection (or silver, gold, cash, jewelry, etc.) behind a flimsy safe door that can easily be pried open or cut.

One other thing . . .  Safe manufacturers that do put lots of steel in their doors will tell you that!  They want you to know it.  If a brochure (or sales person) won’t tell you specifically how much steel is in the door it will be 12 gauge or less.  Visit a knowledgeable, honest safe dealer – not a box store – to be sure you are buying real security.