Gun safes vs. gun vaults, pros, and cons
A gun safe, for the purposes of our discussion, is a stand-alone container, usually made of steel, with a secure locking mechanism, a hinged door, and provision inside for storage of firearms and protecting them from theft, unauthorized access, corrosion, and fire damage. Of course, other valuables and items may be stored in a gun safe as well.
A gun vault is a more broadly defined term, but basically, the vault door is integral to creating a gun vault. The vault itself can be any room in your home, place of residence, or office that you secure with a vault door. That room effectively becomes your “gun vault.”
For best results, the floor, walls, and ceiling of a room you wish to turn into your gun vault should be as thick and durable as possible, ideally hardened, reinforced concrete (or solid steel if you can pull that off).
There’s another way the term “gun vault” is sometimes used, though “gun vault” most often refers to a vault room with a vault door securing it. Handgun vaults are small gun safes intended to hold one or two handguns and other small valuables, which keep them secure but available for ready access to the authorized user. But when someone says “gun vault” they’re most often talking about a secure room with a “safe door” or vault door.
Advantages of gun safes
Mobility: Gun safes are readily moved from location to location, and relatively easily installed in your home or office. We recommend qualified, professional safe movers, but in most cases, a few strong guys, some PVC pipe for rollers, and maybe a heavy-duty dolly or hand truck can get a gun safe in or out of the desired location for installation, or if you move homes.
Some of the bigger and heavier gun safe models can come with some caveats about where you install them, such as making sure your floor is rated for the load, but in general, you can put your gun safe wherever you want and bolt it down for safety and increased security.
Cost: A quality gun safe doesn’t have to cost you several thousand dollars. Liberty offers several lines of budget-friendly gun safes that still have serious security ratings and fire protection. And if you figure the cost of the vault door and construction of the safe room/vault, a gun safe is almost always less expensive.
Humidity control: Since the interior of a gun safe is less capacious than a gun vault or safe room, it’s easier to keep the safe at a proper humidity level for maximum protection against corrosion, mold, mildew, and other environmental factors that can harm valuables. A good safe dehumidifier is a must if you live in humid locations.
More convenient access: Since a gun safe can be placed anywhere inside your home or office, you can select the level of convenient access that suits your lifestyle and level of security risk. Safes in gun shops or offices may be accessed many times a day. This isn’t possible with most gun vaults, since one of the primary advantages of the gun vault is that it can be located deep within the home for maximum security and minimal exposure to visitors or customers.
Additionally, gun safes usually come with pre-installed facilities for storing long guns and shelving for storing handguns and other smaller valuables. A vault door is just a door that secures a room; you have to provide the amenities for your valuables inside, at additional cost.