Floor safes can be one of the best ways to protect your valuables. They also do not take up space, are hard to detect, and can provide security. Because of this installing a floor safe is one of the more complicated safe installations.
Floor safe installations require more preparation and equipment than a wall safe, hidden safe or basic fire safety. If you do not feel comfortable installing the safe yourself, please contact a local contractor to assist in the installation.
1. Before Installation:
Test your combination 6-10 times before you install the safe. Get the hang of using the combination, as each safe is slightly different.
2. Important Safety Issues:
Follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions for your particular safe, each type of safe has specific requirements on how it should be installed. Furthermore, failure to comply with the manufactures installation instructions could void your warranty.
Also before you dig or cut anything, make certain that there are no natural gas, electrical or water lines in the area. Check your local codes to be sure the area is safe.
3. Equipment & Materials Needed:
The type of equipment and the materials that you will need depends on the type of installation you are about to undertake. Have a good understanding of the type of floor material you will be installing the safe into. Check out the specific requirements for your type of installation via the links at the bottom of this page and make sure that you have everything you need to install your safe before you begin.
Remember your safety and the safety of those who are working around you is imperative. Make sure that you are all wearing safety glasses and that you are wearing the appropriate protective clothing.
4. What You Need To Know In Advance:
The geographical location may cause water seepage into the safe; this occurs when you live in an area with a high water table. Although steel body safes protect your valuables from intruders they are often no match for water seepage when they are placed in the ground.
As such, it is recommended that you protect your safe (if it is a steel-bodied safe) and its contents from moisture by using a waterproof sealant and by wrapping your safe in heavy-duty plastic before you sink it into the ground.
You can also help waterproof the body of your steel safe by adding a commercially available additive to your concrete or by using a particularly dry mix of concrete. When using your floor safe, it is also helpful if you put the contents into a zip lock bag to help protect them.
5. Where Should You Put A Floor Safe?
Where is the best place in your home or office to place your safe? Burglary is almost always a function of opportunity over time. If you install your safe in a place and in a manner that makes tampering with it both difficult and time-consuming, then your treasured possessions or documents will be infinitely safer.
Even experienced thieves will often be deterred from burglary if your safe requires special tools and a large time commitment to crack. Installing your safe on a concrete floor offers you the maximum degree of security. The more concrete used around the body of the safe, the more burglary and fire protection is offered.
If your in-floor safe is to be installed in your home, then it is best to choose a remote area with the least amount of foot traffic. A corner in the basement or under the cellar stairs is often an ideal location. To make it additionally secure cover it with a rug or a piece of furniture.
Remember that it’s a great idea to ensure the contents of your safe. Contact your insurance agent and let them know that you have purchased and installed a safe in your home or business.
Ready. Set. Go!
Now you have your safe, you’ve chosen the perfect place for it and are ready to install it. If you are installing it yourself, make sure that you have physical help available, your safe is heavy and many need additional helping hands to place it properly. As with any installation, make sure you follow the instructions specific to your particular model of safe.
6. Materials & Equipment Required:
- Pencil and Ruler
- Cold chisel
- Ready-Mix Concrete
- Waterproof Additive for Concrete
- Mixing Pan and Trowel
- Metal or Wood Shims
- Safety Glasses
- Duct Tape
- Heavy Gauge Plastic Bag or Sheet
- Wood Saw
- Chicken Wire
- Roofing Paper
Step 1: The Door
The type of safe you have purchased will determine whether you need to remove the door to your safe before installation. As always check with your manufacturing guide but in general;
Lift-Out Door Models: Remove the door. Tape the plastic-wrapped dust cover in place to provide a seal for the body and tape all the corners and the sides of safe, making sure in particular that the top edge is completely covered. You must prevent the possibility of cement seeping in during the installation process.
Hinged Door Models: If your safe is a Hayman FS Model you will need to remove the door. For all other hinged door safes, close the door and install the plastic bagged dust cover on top of the body opening. Again to prevent cement from seeping in, tape all the corners and the sides and make certain that the top edge is protected.
Step 2: Preparing the Hole for the Safe
Installing A Steel Safe Into A Wooden Floor
With a wood saw make a hole in the floor that is at least 3 inches wider than the safe on each side. The hole should be 6 inches wider and six inches deeper than the dimensions of your safe.
Build a wooden form, or one made of chicken wire and roofing paper to hold the concrete pour. Make sure that it extends all the way to the ground on first floor installations. It is also important to ensure that there is adequate support for the form as there will be significant pressure from the concrete and the weight of the safe.
Installing into an Existing Concrete Slab Floor
Make sure the hole that you make is at least 3 inches wider than the safe on each side. The hole should be 6 inches wider, left to right and front to back, and at least 3 inches deeper than the dimensions of your safe.
- Dig the hole at least 3 inches deeper than the safe in the center of your excavation.
- Partially fill the form with wet concrete so there is enough concrete to settle the safe into.
- Now wrap the safe in a heavy plastic bag or sheet to make it as water-resistant as possible. Set the wrapped safe in the partially filled form.
- Adjust the safe to the desired level; there should be at least 3 inches of packed wet concrete underneath the safe. Then finish filling the hole with concrete. Remember – at least 3 inches of concrete on all sides.
- Let the concrete dry for 48 hours. Do not use the safe.
- After 48 hours, trim away the plastic and remove any excess tape or concrete.
Installing A Steel Body Safe While Pouring A New Concrete Floor:
If you are installing a safe into a wet concrete (freshly poured floor) we recommend that you use a “Construction Seal” to protect the interior your safe and construction workers. It will also simplify the installation process.
The construction seal is used instead of removing the door and having to seal the opening before beginning installation. The construction seal can also be walked on once the floor is dry without the potential for injury or damage to the door.
Once your safe is in place, wait at least 48 hours for the concrete to set before you remove the seal. The construction seal is secured to your safe with two pieces of flat steel banding. You will need a hammer and chisel (or flat head screwdriver) to safely and easily remove this banding.
The easiest way to do this is to apply the chisel to the base of the seal against the seal banding as deep into the concrete as possible. Hit the chisel with the hammer and the banding should break. You will need to do this on all four sides. Wear safety goggles and be very careful – the steel banding has a lot of tension, make sure nobody is standing on the other side of the safe and keep your head and hands away.
Once you have broken the banding, you can then use the chisel to pry the construction seal out from the concrete. Note: It will leave an indentation around the safe, but this is easily covered and does not interfere with the way your safe works.
Step 3: Attach The Door
For those safes where installation has required door removal;
You will need to position the door over the hinge blocks on the doorframe so that it is just past the perpendicular (90 degrees) and lower it into the hinge blocks. You may need to give it a slight push to seat the hinge pin. Spray the hinge with a light lubricant after it is attached and then place the magnetic hinge covers over the blocks.
Step 4: Your Safe Is Ready To Use
Once you have placed the items in the safe that you wish to store – simply close the door, lock the safe, use the dust cover to conceal the door and cover with carpet or furniture.
Manufacturer Specific Instructions:
FS4000 Only: Remove all contents from the safe. Place a wood brace into the safe about halfway down and center it from left to right against the corrugated sides. The brace should wedge against the side walls snugly and stop the concrete from buckling the walls when it is poured.
- Lift-Out Door Models: Remove the door. Tape the plastic-wrapped dust cover in place to provide a seal for the body and tape all the corners and the sides of safe, making sure in particular that the top edge is completely covered. You must prevent the possibility of cement seeping in during the installation process.
- Hinged Door Models: If your safe is a Hayman FS Model you will need to remove the door. For all other hinged door safes, close the door and install the plastic bagged dust cove on top of the body opening. Again to prevent cement from seeping in, tape all the corners and the sides and make certain that the top edge is protected.
- Hayman S Series Door: To remove the S Series Door, simply unlock the door and lift it up. The S Series door is designed to be non-hinged.
- Hayman FS Series Door: Remove the safe door before you install the safe. Only reinstall the door when the safe is set. To remove the door on this model you must first remove the magnetic hinge covers over the hinge blocks. With the door open and in the upright position grip the handle with your right hand and the deadbolt on the hinge side with your left. Lift the door straight up and out.
- Amsec Star Round Lift-Out Door: Remove the safe door before installation and store it out of the way. Only reinstall the door after the cement is set. To remove the door, simply unlock the door and lift it up. The Star Round door is designed to be non-hinged. STAR Round Lift-Out Door Models are designed for use on the floor and are not recommended for a horizontal application, i.e. in a wall, etc.
- Amsec Rectangular Hinged Door: Floor safes equipped with gas cylinder door assists are designed to be installed on a floor. These models may also be installed in a wall, ONLY IF the gas cylinder is removed. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should a hinged door safe be installed in a wall with the hinges at the top and the locking bolts at the bottom, or vice versa.
- Hayman FS Series Door: Remove the safe door before installation and store it out of the way. Only reinstall the door after the cement is set. To remove an FS Series door, remove the magnetic hinge covers over the hinge blocks. With the door open and vertical, grip the door handle with your right hand and the deadbolt on the hinge side with your left. Lift the door straight up and out.
- Hayman S Series Door: To remove an S Series Door, simply unlock the door and lift it up. The S Series Door is designed to be non-hinged.