Any type of safe you purchase, whether small or large, is going to be heavy and difficult to move. Safes that are small or large can range in size anywhere from 200 pounds all the way up to 5,000 pounds plus! So why are they so heavy? Well, there are many important components that go into a safe, that make safes what they are: SAFE and SECURE. Here are the main things that make safes so heavy: their sheer size, their design, the gauge of steel, and the fire protection.
Let’s start with the size of safes. Generally speaking, if you buy a large safe, it is going to be very heavy. And the bigger you get, the heavier it is going to be. Just make sure that you are purchasing a quality safe, one that has a weight that matches it’s size. Sometimes, manufacturers will make large safes with less steel, and these will actually weigh the same as a smaller safe. Unless this is something you want, make sure that as the size of the safe increases, so does the weight. You shouldn't even consider purchasing a safe where the steel is less than 12 gauge thick. A safe less than 12 gauge is nothing more than a cabinet, meant to keep children away from your firearms. It provides very little security.
Next is the design of the safe. When safes are designed they usually have additional features on them that are made of steel, which will not only add to the weight of the safe, but will increase the security. Depending on what you are looking for, this can be an added bonus, a nice design with additional weight added on. Another thing to consider is that a well designed safe does not have to be hidden in a closet, down in the basement or out in your garage...so your firearms can be accessed quickly, should the need arise. Don't be fooled...While safes that are light weight can be moved by you and an assistant, they usual offer little security. Properly made safes should always be moved and anchored to the floor by a professional.
Next is the gauge of steel. The gauge is the determining factor in how thick the steel is. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the steel, and the higher the gauge number, the thinner the steel. You want to purchase a safe that has a lower gauge number (such as 10 gauge, 7 gauge or 3 gauge), ensuring that you are purchasing a safe that has thicker steel, and of course this will contribute to how heavy the safe is.
Finally, there are the layers of fireboard. Fireboard is insulation that protects your valuables from heat and fire. The more layers of fireboard used in the making of your safe, the heavier your safe is going to be and the more protection your firearms and most valued possessions will have from a fire. An alternative to fireboard insulation found in most safes, you will find that some safes provide cement insulation. This type of insulation can offer the same or greater levels of fire protection and is heavier than fireboard. HOWEVER, cement insulation offers an additional layer of security also, for is can be quite difficult to penetrate cement during an attempted forced entry. (Note: If you are storing such media as CDs, discs, or any digital information storage devices they should be stored in a media safe that can be small in size and placed inside a larger safe with other valuables).