There are a wide variety of safes available and with each category of safe needing different attention when it comes to installation we understand that it can be a bit of a minefield! This is where we come in, this guide will go through all you need to know when installing a home safe.

You’ve two options; Professional or DIY Installation. Professional installation is something we can help with, just add installation to your order (on selected safes) and we can do all the work for you! When professional installation isn’t available, don’t fear, DIY installation really is quite simple, with the correct tools and instructions you can nail it.

What you’ll need

Before you start, get all your tools in order;

  • Socket set or Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Small Masonry Drill Bit
  • Large masonry Drill Bit
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Knife or Scissors
  • Tape
  • Expansion / Anchor Bolts
  • Corded Drill
  • Saw

Here’s a few pointers to consider when installing a home safe;

Whether it’s a safe being bolted to a floor or wall, you need to find a solid surface and will need a good quality drill, ideally with a cord and a heavy duty masonry drill bit. Unfortunately a cordless drill won’t get you far as you’ll spend most of your time charging the battery than installing your safe!

Security Safes and selected Fire Safes include pre-drilled holes in the base and back designed specifically for installation, most of these safes also come with anchor bolts which are designed to be used with a solid surface such as concrete or brick.

How to bolt my safe to the floor?

“Fitted and secured to the floor in minutes after following the clear instructions in the guide supplied” – Adam, December 2016 (Yale Certified Safe Home)

If your safe has pre-drilled holes on the base then you can easily secure this to the floor. Here’s our step by step instructions on how you can install your safe to the floor. Alternatively you can watch our video here.

  1. Like we have said above, find a solid surface, ideally concrete or brick to bolt your safe onto.
  2. Place your safe where you want it, making sure there are no obstructions stopping the safe door to open properly.
  3. We would recommend if the safe is up against a skirting board, this section of the skirting board will need to be removed. To do this, pencil around the safe, remove the skirting board and cut off the marked area, then secure your skirting board back onto the wall.
  4. If your safe will be on top of carpet, this will need removing too. Position your safe and with your knife or scissors cut out the area of carpet.It is really important to get your safe installed as close to the wall and floor as possible, this makes it even harder for the safe to be removed.
  5. Now your safe is in the desired position you need to mark out the pre-drilled holes onto the floor, so you know exactly where to start drilling.
  6. Start drilling the hole with your small masonry drill bit, then swap for your large masonry drill bit. To help you drill the exact length required, using the tape mark on the drill the length of the anchor bolt, then you know to stop drilling when the tape reaches the surface.
  7. Once your holes have been drilled you are ready to put your safe back into position, use your screwdriver or hammer to screw the anchor bolts in, making sure they are secure.
  8. Place your shelves where you want them and your safe is ready to be used.

Do you have underfloor heating?

Unless you have left a specific area of the floor free from under floor heating we would not advice bolting your safe to the floor. To secure your safe you would need to go down the chemical installation route which involves securing the safe to the floor using an industrial strength adhesive. Read more about chemical installation. 

The problem with wooden floors:

Try to avoid bolting your safe to wooden floors, unless fixing into the joist. However in this case you would need to purchase alternative heavy duty wood screws. Floor boards are not strong or thick enough to secure a safe and can make theft of your safe that little bit easier.

If you don’t have an alternative flooring than a floor boards, why not consider chemical installation, or if your safe has pre-drilled holes at the back, wall installation.

How to bolt my safe to the wall?

If your safe has pre-drilled holes at the back then you’ll be able to bolt your safe to the wall yourself. Take a look at our step by step guide or watch our video here.

  1. Similar to a floor safe, you’ll need a solid wall to secure your safe to, ideally concrete or brick to bolt your safe onto.
  2. Place your safe where you want it, making sure there is nothing stopping the safe door from opening.
  3. If the safe is up against a skirting board, it is essential to remove this section of the skirting board. To do this, pencil around the safe, remove the skirting board from the wall and cut off the marked area, then secure your skirting board back onto the wall.
  4. If your safe will be on top of carpet, this will need removing too. Position your safe and with your knife or scissors cut out the area of carpet. It is really important to get your safe installed flush to the floor and wall, this maximises the security of the safe.
  5. Now your safe is in the desired position you need to mark out the pre-drilled holes onto the wall, so you know exactly where to start drilling.
  6. Start drilling the hole with your small masonry drill bit, then swap for your large masonry drill bit, drilling the exact length of the anchor bolt into the wall. Use tape on your drill bit to help you!
  7. Once your holes have been drilled you are ready to put your safe back into position, use your screwdriver or hammer to screw the anchor bolts in, making sure they are secure.
  8. Place your shelves where you want them and your safe is ready to be used.

“I was able to get it set up and my stuff locked away in 30 minutes including fastening to a fixed wall.” M G – March 2017 (Yale Certified Safe Home)

Still have questions unanswered? Leave your question within the comments below and one of our experts will get back to you.

It’s important to note that depending on the manufacturers’ recommended cash rating, your insurer may insist on the safe being installed by a qualified installer, we would also advise checking with your insurer before going ahead with DIY installation.

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24 thoughts on “How to install a Home Safe

  • Tony Green

    If I install a wall safe flush with the internal wall should I avoid an electronic lock in case it subsequently malfunctions?

    Thanks in advance for your response,
    Tony

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      Dear Tony,

      Thank you for your question.

      Every electronic safe has some form of backup, usually in case of battery failure. You should be supplied with either back up keys or an external emergency power point giving you piece of mind in case you are locked out.

      In the unlikely event that the lock becomes faulty, you may need to contact a locksmith. A key locking safe is less complex than an electronic safe – So in theory, there is less that can go wrong.

      My personal preference is to choose a safe with an electronic lock that has a back up key.

      Kind regards

      Jonathan

      Reply
  • Richard

    Hi,

    If I buy a safe and bolt it to the wall, would I be able at a later date to remove it and place the safe elsewhere/take it with me when I move house? If so, how easy is this to do?

    Many Thanks

    Richard

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      Hi Richard,

      A safe can be moved after install by simply unscrewing the bolts from the inside of the safe by using either an allen key or screwdriver. This is the easy part. The tricky part is drilling the holes correctly and in the right place. A safe can be installed by somebody who is handy at DIY and who is confident with a drill.

      Kind regards

      Jonathan

      Reply
  • Alan smith

    Thankyou

    Reply
  • George

    Hello. If I drill holes in my garage floor for the safe bolts, won’t the damp-proof course become damaged leading to damp problems??? Would appreciate your advice.

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      Dear George,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      Ideally you will need to know the depth of your damp proof membrane as drilling too far will indeed cause problems. Typically, fixing bolts are 2-3 inches in length, where solid concrete or brick is required to complete a secure fixing. Many of our safes include wall fixing which might be a safer option, if you have a brick wall in the garage.

      I hope that this has helped but please do not hesitate to contact us should you require anything further.

      Kind regards

      Jonathan

      Reply
  • Charlie

    If I enclose a Yale certified in a brick wall, thus bolting it to the underside and back, do I have to coat the safe sides with any kind of material in case of damp or lack of air around it?

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      The Yale Certified Safes are not designed to be installed within a wall and therefore the safes are not treated against damp and rust. You will need to ensure that all fixing holes are blocked up and ensure that a coating or a membrane is used to protect the safe body.

      Reply
  • Richard

    Hi, I’ve bolted a safe to my concrete floor, but I’m a bit concerned about the holes in the back of safe, in case of fire. Is there anything I can use to plug the holes, that are fire proof?

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      Manufacturers of fireproof safes usually include rubber plugs which cover the holes to help when the safe is not installed through the pre-drilled fixing holes. You could fill the unused fixing holes with fire retardant silicone if your safe was not supplied with the rubber plugs.

      Reply
  • Stephen Stocker

    If the safe is being positioned inside a house, on floorboards, is it a good idea to have a something under the safe for it to sit on. For example; a piece of carpet or other material that would act as a cushion.

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      Dear Stephen,

      Thanks for your question. If the safe is being positioned on to floorboards then it doesn’t really matter if it is sat on a piece of carpet to cushion it. We do recommend that the safe is installed though, to prevent it from being carried off easily.

      We have a How to install a safe to the wall video that you can view.

      Please let us know if you require anything further.

      Kind regards

      Jonathan

      Reply
  • Steve

    Hi, I’ve bought an underfloor Churchill safe of you with membrane. Before I install it I’m wondering if I make the membrane tight round the safe and pour concrete around or actually position the safe inside the membrane and just fill it up with concrete? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      Hi Steve,

      The membrane is designed to cover the sides and bottom of the hole created before positioning the safe. The concrete is then poured inside the membrane to surround and secure the safe.

      kind regards

      Jonathan

      Reply
  • Emma

    Hi,

    I bought a safe with predrilled holes on the back and base. I want to secure the base, and maybe the back as well.

    I have wooden floors (floor boards), and just normal walls as found in any house. I think the wall is plasterboard, like any house. Under the floorboards, there is a space to crawl under.

    At the bottom of the wall, there is a piece of wood that sticks out, like in all houses if you look at the bottom of the walls – I think it is called moulding or a skirting board. So there will be a gap between the wall and the safe. Would I need to drill a piece of wood to fill in the gap behind the safe and wall, then I can bolt the safe through the piece of wood and into the wall, and I’ll also bolt it to the wooden floor as well.

    How do I bolt it to the wooden floor? And how do I bolt it to the wall? I don’t want to remove the moulding (skirting board) at the bottom of the wall. What tools and what bolts do I need?

    What if I just bolt it to the floor? And leave a gap between the back of the safe an wall (due to the moulding)

    I read about putting a metal plate on the bottom on the floorboards (in the crawlspace). Is this necessary?

    Sorry for the long message,
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      Dear Emma,

      Thanks you your message.

      If you are installing the safe to a wall, you would have to remove a section of the skirting board. Otherwise the fixing bolts would be exposed due to the gap and the safe would be easily removed.

      When fixing to a wooden floor, its a good idea to locate a solid floor joist to bolt to. Simply fixing to floorboards would not be suitable as they are not strong enough.

      We have created our own how to install a safe to the floor and how to install a safe to the wall videos but they focus on fixing to a concrete or brick surface. You may find the videos useful though and could pick up some pointers.

      Please let us know if you require any further assistance.

      kind regards

      Jonathan

      Reply
  • Sharan

    Hi,

    I have installed my safe but due to the angle at which I drilled the holes for the bolts there is a slight gap between the side of the safe and the wall, I am concerned somebody could use a crow bar to pull the star from the wall and take it away.

    Would you recommend anything to file the gap to stop this?

    Reply
  • T

    Hi I have plasterboard in my house would it be enough to secure a safe to the wall if so what is the best way to do this
    Many thanks

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      The fixing kit included with safes are designed for brick or concrete. When fixing anything to plasterboard, you will need to use bolts and plugs that are suitable to that type of surface. Plasterboard bolts are not supplied with with the safe and would need to be purchased separately. The manufacturer recommends, and insurance companies stipulate that a safe must be bolted securely to a brick or concrete surface. Whilst plasterboard walls will delay a burglar, they would eventually, with enough force, be able to pull the safe away from the wall. You may need to look in chemical (glue) installation if you do not have a solid surface.

      Reply
  • Joe Mills

    Hi, I would be grateful for your advice.
    I have bought a 35kg Burg Wachter H1S home safe and need to hang this on a solid brick wall. It will also have extra support with a shelf underneath but what type and size wall anchor would you recommend?
    Cheers
    Joe

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      Dear Joe,

      M10 rawl bolts are suitable for installing this safe. You will definitely need the shelf to support the weight though. You may pick up one or two tips from our How to install a safe to the wall video.

      Please let us know if you need anything further.

      kind regards

      Jonathan

      Reply
  • Karim

    Hi I am shopping for a home safe. The one I found does not have pre drilled holes and the sales man said it is not designed to be anchored. The salesman said it is fire resistant and made in korea. Please advise re home safe with no pre drilled anchoring holes

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      Dear Karim,

      Many fire safes are restricted when it comes to installation because a safe needs to have holes pre-drilled ready to be bolted down. The problem with having holes in a fire safe is that the internal temperature of the safe is likely to raise in a fire if there are holes.

      We do have a range of fire safes suitable for floor and wall fixing but these safes only offer a basic 30 minutes fire rating. Most fire safes are only suitable for floor fixing and selected models with high fire protection or with protection for computer media, have no holes for installation at all.

      Kind regards

      Jonathan

      Reply

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