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Posted: 2/24/2002 5:59:32 AM EDT
As some of you may have read, I'm finally buying a house. With the house comes a small detached building 20x15' or so and I'm going to use it as a gun room/reloading room/trophy room and I'll probably put a computer in there as well. I need it to be really secure. I'll be putting both of my gun safes/cabinets out there and I'll probably be getting a bigger safe to store more expensive weapons and NFA items. It has one door leading in and two windows on either side of the door. They are small windows approximately 3.5" off the ground. What is the best way to secure the building? I already plan on getting a steel door and a reinforced frame. What else would be a good idea in the way of electronic security? Motion detectors? Keypad entry? I will be living in a neighborhood with other houses in close proxemity on all sides. I need some ideas that won't break the bank, since I'm already gonna be low on funds from buying the house. Gimme some options and thanks for any help.
Link Posted: 2/24/2002 6:09:19 AM EDT
Get a big, loud dog.
Link Posted: 2/24/2002 6:11:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DonR: Get a big, loud dog.
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My little girl informed me that I had to do the same thing last night [:)]
Link Posted: 2/24/2002 6:17:52 AM EDT
Ponyboy, I feel your pain. Those windows, will you be blocking or boarding them up, or do you want them to remain windows? If so, then my recommendation would be to replace the glass. With polycarbonate (lexan®) if you can afford it, or plexi or acrylic if you cannot. Acrylic is relatively cheap and quite a bit stronger than glass, but it will yellow with age and become scratched (but we're talking 10 years here). Another option would be to use translucent (pre-scratched?) plexi so that becomes less of a concern, light can come in but no one can actually see in (much like bathroom windows) Another option for those windows, if you're not too concerned about ventilation, could be glass brick (get the feeling I'm somewhat in the same boat and have been doing research?), which has high insulative properties and can be had in semi-transparent and translucent variations. As far as your budget, I know the polycarb is expensive and if you put ballistic film (on the INSIDE) on it, you have made a pretty darn good shield against most normal threats...on the other hand, if you're not made of money, then the acrylic you can buy at Home Depot may be the way to go. I don't know enough about the construction of your building to give you better advice than that. Let me reread your post to see if I missed anything. Panz [bounce]
Link Posted: 2/24/2002 6:34:12 AM EDT
Okay, depending on the construction of your building, a steel door and frame may or may not be the way to go. If your building is wood frame with plywood on the outside with stucco over it, and just wallboard on the inside, then although your door may be secure, burglars can come straight through the wall. If it is a block building, is it hollow block or poured-concrete block? From there... The drawback to electronic security is its multiple vulnerabilities. Power loss, circuit cut, sensor malfunction, processor malfunction, etc. With electronic security, the quality of your INSTALLATION will be more critical; You can't just have Joe Electrician come and slap in a Radio Snack security system and expect it to do what you want it to. The KISS method seems to work for me. If you're going to have a steel door, then get a lock rated for a steel door, preferably at least an ANSI grade 2 or better (There are those who would say a grade 2 isn't suitable for a steel door, but that's from a Fire Code perspective). Type of lock: 3rd generation pickproof (yes, they make them). Recommendations: Medeco®, Schlage PRIMUS®, or Mul-T-Lock®. Of the three, the Medeco is the most drill-resistant, whereas the Schlage Primus can be more easily integrated into your current house keyways if you're already using a Schlage keyway. Mul-T-Lock is by far the most duplicate-resistant, as its patents are the newest and their factory most closely controls key blanks and key machines for their system. So now you've sealed your portal but good. And we've already discussed the windows. Down to construction. Keep in mind that your building construction becomes moot once you've reached a certain level of safe inside that building. A TL-rated safe of any kind is going to be more secure than any structure's door-and-construction combination except maybe a bank vault. Case in point: I have a TLTR-30 safe I've left on the sidewalk in a bad neighborhood for a month. Just left it there. Then I picked it up. There wasn't even any graffiti on it (but there could have been, but graffiti does not allow access to the contents, no matter what the taggers would have you believe.) The safe is TL (Tool Rated) and TR (Torch Rated) and weighs 3600 pounds. It doesn't matter WHERE I put it, as long as I don't crack the foundation beneath it...heh. I guess my point is that there are a lot of options out there and it greatly depends on what level of security will make you happy. You can slap a Home Depot Kwikset Grade One on that steel door, and its spool tumblers will foil all but the most skilled entry artists, and honestly, very few people pick locks anymore. They're more inclined to go with brute force than finesse. In which case, we're back to construction... The dog's not a bad idea, but the downside to that is that if it barks at every little thing, you will start to tune it out (how often does anyone go out to check a car alarm going off anymore??) and then if something happens, and the dog barks yet again...do you respond? I've said enough for you to consider. Get back to me if you would like specifics. Panz [bounce]
Link Posted: 2/24/2002 7:11:59 AM EDT
Thanks for the good ideas PanzerBoy. The building isn't cinderblock or anything, it's just like a house with siding and everything. It would probably be a chore to go through the walls. I was thinking about maybe installing bars on the windows from the inside to keep anyone from messing with them without first breaking glass. I didn't think about replacing the actual window material. It is all sitting on a slab, so I can put pretty much anything I want in there without worrying about cracking the foundation. However, I just got to thinking, and I don't think a big safe will fit through the door! That could be a small problem [:(] I also understand the vulnerabilities of and electronic system because I work in the electronics industry and I [b]know[/b] how important a backup power supply/UPS and redundancies are in any type of important system. Looks like I've got some measuring to go do now.
Link Posted: 2/24/2002 7:15:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/24/2002 7:28:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/24/2002 7:29:16 AM EDT
Hey Paul, whats' this x-10 system? Ya got a link?? Thanks....
Link Posted: 2/24/2002 8:46:24 AM EDT
Unless you have some land, site security is a really big problem. What are you so paranoid about? Isn't a gun safe enough protection for your guns? Go see the film "Panic Room" if you want to experience the idiocy of safe rooms (except in tornado areas, they're useless). If someone really wants to get in (ATF, FBI, Yakuza, etc) they will do it, or burn the place to the ground. Do you have adequate firefighting equipment? Crypto-telephones? Power generation? A well? How long can you hold out against a siege? What if they go in while you're not home? I'd get a safe and some homeowners insurance and call it a day.
Link Posted: 2/24/2002 8:55:57 AM EDT
I would add to the excellent suggestions to consider concealing the safes, perhaps by using simple 2x4 construction to build a false wall or a closet to house the safes. It would be harder to conceal all the other supplies and the reloading bench, but every layer helps a little bit. The other suggestion is to put you worst criminal mind in gear and do your own surveillance of the situation and property. You'd be surprised what you can come up with as to how to get in and out with the goods. Interesting exercise in sociopathy. Have fun!
Link Posted: 2/24/2002 9:01:44 AM EDT
Security is for People. Insurance is for Possesions. All your stuff is only worth what your insurance deductible is. Make sure you have it cataloged, and photographed, and store the records at a second location (bank safe deposit box etc.). [8D]
Link Posted: 2/24/2002 9:12:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By trickshot: Unless you have some land, site security is a really big problem. What are you so paranoid about? Isn't a gun safe enough protection for your guns? Go see the film "Panic Room" if you want to experience the idiocy of safe rooms (except in tornado areas, they're useless). If someone really wants to get in (ATF, FBI, Yakuza, etc) they will do it, or burn the place to the ground. Do you have adequate firefighting equipment? Crypto-telephones? Power generation? A well? How long can you hold out against a siege? What if they go in while you're not home? I'd get a safe and some homeowners insurance and call it a day.
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Mainly the thing is....I don't want to have to call the BATF and tell them that all of my machineguns and suppressors got stolen so that they can then show up and burn down my house. I just want the place secure and if somebody does get in then I want an alarm of some type to alert me/someone/siren/whatever so they don't have time to get to the good stuff. Also, there is no way I could put all of my C&R rifles in big 5000lb safes to keep them completely secure. Basically, I would rather spend a little now to keep all of my shit from getting stolen in the first place than have to collect on insurance and mess with buying/waiting/ordering new shit.
Link Posted: 2/25/2002 4:13:11 PM EDT
Ponyboy: Since you are going to replace the door anyhow, it might behoove you to consider the timing of that replacement to coincide with the timing of taking delivery of your safe...with the door and doorframe out, it is much easier to "Widen the Hole" and then patch it up when you put the door in. If you will be storing NFA weapons, may I recommend (and your insurer probably will as well) a cash- or jewelry- grade safe? As I recall, a TL15 is minimum rating for overnight cash depository, whereas TL60x6 is pretty much the best you can do (but you will probably pay as much for that as you would for an Armored Truck) Cash grade would be the minimum I would recommend. It just so happens that surplus safes can be had for a fraction of new safe cost, and at TL-15 levels or higher, they can be had almost dirt cheap, because those who buy such safes usually have them custom made/ordered, pay through the nose for them, then discard them and buy brand new. Those who traditionally have a need for such high-level security do not buy secondhand, therefore, low demand on used units. I recommend Mosler. It's what I have. Good quality S&G Group 2 lock, etc, etc... This is the safe I left out in the bad neighborhood. If you place it directly upon the slab, it isn't going anywhere without at least a Johnson Bar and a Pallet Jack and some considerable skill (and that's if you DON'T have it bolted down or set in the concrete). It stands about 4 feet high by six feet wide by 5 feet deep, roughly (I haven't measured it recently and I don't keep those dimensions in my head) If you're only keeping Sub-guns, suppressors, and other short objects, I know where you can get one of these safes, surplus, for a little under two grand (as opposed to fifteen)...the catch? YOU have to arrange for shipping...and THAT gets expensive. But hey, let me know. I'm in Florida. Panz [bounce]
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