What Should I Look For in a Gun Safe?

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Gun safes are expensive. Consider it a lifetime purchase. Hence, it’s important that you are sure, you’re picking the right one. If you are still unsure and ask yourself, what should I look for in a gun safe? Read this article. 

What Should I Look For in a Gun Safe?

There are five things that you should look for in a gun safe. They are :

  • UL listed locks
  • Relockers
  • multi-directional protection
  • Fireboard
  • Interior versatility

While most gun safes are different from each other. You will notice that they will have one or two of these features. 

We will expound on it further in this article. There are also other features that are essential in a gun safe. However, the 5 mentioned are at the top when it comes to priority. 

The safe revolution gun safe

Notable Features of a Gun Safe

More than half of all U.S gun owners do not report storing their guns safely. If you’re planning to buy one, you are the other half who thinks responsibly and wants their guns in good condition and safely hidden. 

A gun safe’s job is to store guns and other valuables. Any added features to it is a great bonus and it should be related to its intended purposes. Below are some of the common essential features found in a gun safe. 

UL Listed Locks

Locks are essential for a gun safe. The locking mechanism or system of a gun safe can tell you if it’s gonna be effective at storing your guns safely. The best locks to have are UL listed locks. 

UL listed locks are locks that have been tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories. It’s a global safety certification company and is known for its standards in safety and reliability testing. 

Getting a gun safe that meets UL requirements for locks ensures you’re getting a reliable locking system.  

Multiple rifle and ammo.


While locks have multiple safety features, they can still break if a thief is persistent enough. Hence, if a lock breaks or fails, there should be a relocker in place. 

Relockers are fail-safes that activate when the lock breaks or fails. If the lock gets destroyed, the relocker will keep the safe locked in place of the broken lock. 

You can choose between internal or external relockers. Sometimes you get both in one gun safe. We recommend not getting a gun safe that doesn’t have either internal or external relockers.  

Multi-Directional Protection

Gun safes usually have locking bolts or bars on the side of the door (opposite the hinges). If thieves can pry open the door past those initial bolts, they will gain access to your guns and valuable possessions. 

Make sure you pick a gun safe that has a better bolt design. They usually have bolts on the top and bottom. Also, check if the hinge side has bolts for extra protection. The more bolts are on the sides, the better the gun safe is protected. 


Aside from robbers, gun safes should also protect your valuables from other elements like fire. Gun safes are not fireproof. They are only fire-resistant. Be wary if someone claims a gun safe is fireproof. 

Look for customer reviews and other notable product reviews on the internet for feedback if a gun safe is great at resisting fire. Some gun safes can still keep your valuables safe from a fire.  

Interior Versatility

While all of these safety features contribute to the quality of the gun safe, you also have to consider the inside of the gun safe. Your guns and valuables should be comfortably fit inside the storage. 

Drawer inside of a cabinet.

An adjustable interior is great to have since it allows you to switch things around so it can accommodate the things you want to store. 

Related Questions

How Big of a Safe Do I Need?

The size of your safe depends on how much guns and valuables you are planning to store inside it. When buying a gun safe, we recommend buying on size bigger than what you think you need. It’s better to have an allowance or an extra space if you want to store more. 

Is 14 Gauge Steel Good for Gun Safe?

A 14 gauge steel is not recommended for gun safe. Lower quality gun safes usually have a gauge between 14 to 20 gauge which equates to thin steel walls. They can be easily drilled into. 


Before buying a gun safe, make sure you check for these features and consider how important it is for you. If you’re willing to fork over more money, you can get a gun safe that has all these features.

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