How to Secure a Safe Without Bolting It to the Floor

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If you have a gun safe, you probably want to securely mount or install it somewhere. After all, a safe is no good if people can just walk off with it. I’ll share how to secure a safe without bolting it to the floor, so you can feel more secure about your gun storage.

How to Secure a Safe Without Bolting It to the Floor

​While bolting a safe to the floor is common, there are lots of reasons not to do this. If you are renting, you may not be allowed to bolt a safe to the floor. Another reason is that the floor itself is not suitable for bolting a safe to, making safe owners seek an alternative.

Even if you own your home, you may be asking how to secure a safe without bolting it to the floor. If you have expensive hardwood floors you may not want to drill through them. Or, you may have a floor layout that just isn’t conducive to traditional methods of securing a safe to the floor.

While it is best to bolt your safe to the floor, there are plenty of alternatives I will examine. Some are cheap and easy, and some can be expensive. But, the important thing is you’ll find ways to secure your safe from theft, even without bolting your safe to the floor.

Gun safe gray for theft protection

​The Importance of Securing Your Safe

​If you can bring your safe inside your home, somebody else can take it out. Even loaded down with guns and ammo, a couple of determined crooks with common moving tools could steal pretty much any safe. Since you don’t want this to happen, you need to secure your safe to the floor.

There are lots of different safes to consider as well. Small safes need to be secured differently than large safes. Heavy safes offer false security that their weight alone is sufficient. Tall, lightweight safes can be easily hauled off on a hand truck by a determined crook.

All this means that secure a gun safe to the floor is very important. Now, I’ll look at common safes and ways to keep them from being stolen. Remember, there is no one size fits all solution. Consider your needs, your type of safe, and if you own your own home or are renting.

​Common Alternative Methods to Secure a Safe Without Bolting

​If you can’t secure a safe without using bolting, you can consider a few other ways to keep it secure.

​Bolt the Safe to a Wall

​Often, apartments or rental units are more forgiving of attaching things to walls. If you can do this without bolting the safe down to the floor, it’s nearly as good. Here’s a great video on how to bolt the safe to a wall:

​Bolt Safes Together

​You can also consider bolting two large safes together. By doing this, you make the safes all but impossible to move without extensive labor or taking the two units apart. Remember, anything that makes it harder for a criminal to move your safe is a victory for you.

​Bolt Your Safe to Steel

​Bolting large safes to a piece of heavy steel slab or a ¼ inch thick steel piece is also an option. Now, the safe cannot be moved through a door with a steel slab. But, these methods have some disadvantages I’ll discuss in a bit. Overall, it is probably the most popular alternative method. Just keep a nice dehumidifier inside to prolong its life.

Store all your guns and valuables in one place! Find the best gun safe for you and your needs by checking out my guide.

​Less Common Methods for Securing a Safe

​I looked at some common methods for securing a gun safe, but there are others as well. These useful methods may be appealing in certain circumstances, or when no other option is available. Consider them when circumstances warrant, or you have no other choices.

​Glue to Floor

​You can glue a safe to a wooden or concrete floor with special high strength polymer glues. This is ideal for semi-permanent installations, or where you might own the building but choose not to drill holes in the floor. It is also great for garages.

​Fill With Heavy Material

​You can also make a safe too heavy to easily move. Several hundred pounds of sand or metal bars in the bottom of a safe can make moving it harder. After a point, specialized tools are needed to move that much dead weight, making it a less popular target.

Keeping a gun in proper storage gun safe

Hide the Safe Underneath the Floor

If drilling holes on your floor is not an option, you can still make use of the floor to hide your safe securely. However, it will only work with wooden hardwood flooring. If you’re unfamiliar with flooring, you might want to hire a professional to do it for you.

Setting it up will take some work. For example, if you want to hide your safe under the floor, you have to pry out some floorboards and check for some pipes and mechanisms that might get affected with the space the safe will take up.

Make sure the safe blends in nicely and is not noticeable like floor creaking or hollow spots in the wall. If you just go about this nonchalantly, you might damage some unnecessary things and have to spend on repairs.

Make Use of Fake Cabinets

Cabinets are where criminals would least likely expect it to have valuables in it especially if it’s placed in a common area. You can make use of fake cabinets to throw criminals away from your safe.

The most common place fake cabinets can be placed in is in the kitchen. Mixed together with kitchen and dining utensils, your safe can blend in and not be noticed. You can bolt your safe inside the corner of your kitchen cabinet while hiding it with some common kitchen utensils.

Hide Behind a Painting

You regularly see people hiding their valuables in movies. This may be an obvious way for hiding your safe that criminals can take advantage of. However, if you make the necessary precautions, you can throw off the criminals from the safe’s intended location.

For instance, you could camouflage the safe so it looks like part of the wall.  You can even add a secret compartment which can only be accessed by you along with the security features of the safe. You can also use a security alarm alert  when the painting gets moved.

While not the best way to secure a safe, hiding a safe behind a painting is still viable. Some criminals would often overlook the obvious and expect you to hide the safe in hard to find places.

Use Security Cables

If you’re afraid of damaging your floors with bolting, you can use security cables to add more security to your gun safe. All  you have to do is to find a suitable and secure structure that you can attach the safe with security cables.

Examples of bulky structures you can attach your gun safe to are: steel support, metal beam, and pillars. Basically anything that is rigid and hard to move. Choose  security cables that are thick like steel chains and it should be hard to cut through.

However, only relying on security cables isn’t a good way to secure a safe. You want to add extra security measures in order to confuse criminals and make  them take longer to work on it so law enforcement could respond.

Hide Inside Fake Furniture

Employing fake furniture with some hidden storage or leading access to secret rooms is also another option. However, this will probably cost you a lot. By making it seem like it is just ordinary furniture, criminals would often ignore it not knowing that it is hiding your safe.

You could employ modern security access to your furniture like fingerprint or switch that allows you to open the storage or room. You can also spend less by making analog security access features.

It might not be good for a small house and would likely be used in mansions or large houses where you have enough space to employ such security measures. It would take up a lot of space in a small house and it would be easily identified if the criminals analyzed  the size of your house beforehand.

How Criminals Steal Safes

​While a safe itself is a great tool for protecting valuable items inside it, sometimes criminals like to take the entire safe to break into at their leisure. With time on their side, thieves can use a prying tool or torches to defeat a safe. They also don’t have to worry about getting caught inside buildings where they don’t belong.

One common way safes are stolen is to simply load them up on moving equipment after using a prying tool and haul them out of a residence. A safe that cannot be quickly loaded onto something is harder to steal. Also, very heavy safes will require special equipment and time, more than just a prying tool, which are all enemies of the common burglar.

Sometimes, really determined crooks who know, or think they have enough time, will bring extensive amounts of tools and a large truck if they think taking a safe is worth their trouble.

In that case, your best protection for your valuable items will include burglar alarms. Locking your home is important, regardless of how you secure the safe or ​even a good gun case on the market.

​An In-Depth Look at Securing Safes

​I’ve looked at various methods, and now I can get into some of them. Some are fairly self-explanatory. Others bear further examination. Remember, the main goal is to make taking your safe too difficult to bother with, so stealing it literally isn’t worth the time and energy.

It is also a great idea to consider a safe with biometric technology that would have a fingerprint scanner to further prevent theft.

If you can get away with it, bolting the safe to the wall is the next best thing to securing it to the floor. You must be sure you are bolting the safe to studs, as running bolts into drywall won’t do you much good. You might also have to custom drill holes in your safe, so you can use the drill holes to align with the studs in your wall.

Be sure to use sturdy lag screws. You’ll want at least a half-dozen fasteners, depending on the size of your safe. Carefully consider the size and configuration of your safe when deciding how to attach it to your wall.

Other Approaches

  • Attach your safe to a large piece of heavy steel slab or ¼ inch thick steel piece. The way you place the steel slab makes it impossible to move your safe through your door. You need to be aware that even if you place the steel slab or pallets, these can be cut or broken away, so a piece of heavy sheet metal is probably your best bet. Also make sure you have a gun lock attached to the steel slab to keep ​criminals from firing them should your safe get into the wrong hands.
  • ​Glue the safe down to your floor if you own the building or don’t want to use a steel slab. There are a number of high-strength epoxies on the market that can glue the safe or secure the safe rather than bolting your safe. As a bonus, when properly glued down, it can take days of careful work with tools to eventually break the safe free.
  • ​You can make your safe too heavy to move by simply filling the bottom with heavyweights. This can be as simple as sandbags or lead bars, or as complex as poured concrete. Avoid filling it with items that have moisture in them that might affect your guns and the safe. The goal here is to make your safe far too heavy to move by unauthorized persons.
  • ​Bolt two large safes together to make them impossible to take out of a door. You can also fasten and hide small safes inside or on furniture. Or you can glue the safe to the top of a closet shelf, relying on both physical security and secrecy for protection.
Method Difficulty
Heavy Steel Slab Fairly hard
Gluing Easy
Fill with Heavy Weights Easy
Bolt Two Large Safes Together Hard
Cabinet black gun safe with stickers covering the face

Each of these options depends on the size and type of the safe. Large free-standing safes or cabinets require a different approach than very small safes. You can also improve your safe security by buying physically heavy safes which are difficult to move without tools and special effort.

Related Questions

How Can You Mount a Safe to a Wall?

Make sure you have a gun safe that is suitable for bolting to the wall. This means the safe should have mounting holes on its back or sides. The rest is making a hole in the wall in a spot where you want the safe and mounting holes positioned.

Where Is the Best Place to Secure a Safe at Home?

The best place to secure your gun safe at home would be somewhere where people wouldn’t notice and out of view. Even if your gun safe has the best security features it would still be wise to keep it from plain view from your guests.

Does a Safe Have to Be Bolted to the Floor?

Yes, a safe has to be bolted to the floor and it should be done professionally if you want it insured. Most insurance providers have a requirement like that so it is necessary.


The reality is, not being able to secure a safe without recurring to bolting isn’t a big deal. In fact, even if you have that choice, after reading this article you might not want to! As you can see, the sky is the limit when it comes to securing your safe. The best part is, there is no right or wrong way to accomplish this.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.