Whether you live in a ground floor apartment or a top floor penthouse, it's still important to secure your valuable items, particularly while you are away from home. A lot of apartment dwellers like the idea of a safe, but many people don't know how to properly install these devices. If you don't install the safe properly, you could just damage the property or waste your money, and you could even still become a victim of burglary. As such, if you're thinking about putting a safe in your apartment, consider these important installation tips.
Consult your landlord
To install a safe securely, you will normally need to use bolts, which will damage the wall or floor. As such, if you don't own the apartment, you need to get the landlord's permission to carry out the work.
Most landlords will let you proceed, but they'll normally have a few conditions. The landlord may insist that you leave the safe behind if you then decide to leave the apartment. Alternatively, the landlord will generally ask that you repair any damage you cause when you take the safe with you. The landlord may even insist you use a certain locksmith. Check these details out before you install the safe.
Don't rely on a 'good' hiding place
Burglars don't hang around. In fact, the average burglar is only in your property for eight minutes, but that doesn't mean he doesn't know what he's looking for. Most burglars go straight to the 'good' hiding places that homeowners believe they will never find. As such, if you think you can just hide the safe under the sink or on top of a storage unit, you're likely to get a nasty shock.
Remember that a safe tells a thief you have something worth stealing. If you have something worth stealing, you have something worth securing properly, so don't just rely on a cunning hiding place.
Always bolt the safe to two walls
For the highest security, it's generally better to bolt your safe to two walls. A determined burglar may have time to remove the safe from one wall, but most thieves will leave your safe alone if you secure it to two walls. As such, the corner of your closet is one of the best places you can install your safe.
Nonetheless, bolting the safe to these two walls isn't generally easy. First, you need to find the studs in the walls you want to bolt the safe to. You'll then need to mark up holes on the sides of the safe walls to align perfectly with the center of the studs. This isn't particularly easy to do, so you may want to hire an expert to help you do the job properly.
Don't rely on wooden floors
If you can't (or don't want to) bolt a safe to the walls, you need to think about how you can attach the safe to the floor. You could bolt the safe to a wooden floor, but this probably won't deter a burglar because he or she can simply cut the wood away or pry the safe off the bolts with a pry-bar. Burglars won't often spend time in the property trying to open the safe, but they will steal a locked safe (with wood attached), so they can break into the device away from the property.
As such, you should make it almost impossible to get the safe out of the apartment. Get a heavy-duty piece of steel that's larger than the width of the door frame, and bolt the safe to this metal bar. In the unlikely event that a thief manages to remove the steel bar with the safe attached, he or she would then still have to turn the bar on its side to fit through the door. The combined weight of the safe and bar, plus the unwieldy size, will generally deter any potential thief.
If you live in an apartment, a safe is a good way to secure valuable documents, jewelry and collectibles. To protect these valuable items properly, make sure you install the safe in the right place and in the right way, or you may not deter a thief. For more tips on how to correctly install a safe, contact a locksmith.