Protect your kids: 5 things to consider when buying a gun safe

GunSafes (2)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – There’s a lot to consider when thinking about gun safety, including how many guns you have and if you should buy a safe or if there is a better way to protect your kids. There are a bunch of different options out there, although safety experts say a safe is still your best bet.

Martha Stanojevich firmly believes guns belong in a safe.

“I used to do mobile crisis and that was one of the first things we advocated for,” said Stanojevich.

Just over five months ago, Stanojevich herself became a parent.

“When they’re in a safe, parents can make sure they’re out of reach with the little guys especially,” said Stanojevich.

There’s a lot that goes into buying a safe. Mike Bradley from Knoxville Safe House says the first thing to think about is size followed by where it’s going to go.

“Basically we want you to buy the biggest safe you possibly can because you will fill it up. The number one complaint of people who buy a safe is ‘I bought it too small,’” said Bradley.

He said weight isn’t a huge factor because he recommends bolting it to your floor.

“Bolting it down is a very inexpensive security barrier. There’s no reason not to bolt them down,” said Bradley.

What shocks people the most, he said, is the sticker price. A quality safe with a good fire rating can easily run a few thousand dollars. That is why safes from big box stores, for under a thousand bucks, can definitely be more appealing.

Bradley calls them containment boxes and for some people that level of security might be perfect for them.

“A screwdriver in many cases can penetrate a containment box. When you get into a safe class, you’re talking about 10 gauge metal,” said Bradley.

Then it’s time to pick the lock. There’s the traditional combination wheel, the electronic keypad and if you want to go really high-tech, there’s the biometric one that reads your fingerprint.

While a safe is certainly the most ideal way to store a gun, there are other options. If all you’re looking for is a way to lock them up, metal containment boxes with keys come in all sorts of sizes, styles and prices and can be found in numerous stores.

If you don’t want to do that, safety experts recommend using at least a gun lock.

Regardless of which direction you go, it’s recommended you store the ammunition away from the guns. Martha Stanojevich doesn’t have a safe, but now that she shares her life with her daughter, that might change.

“Absolutely, 100 percent, definitely, yeah,” said Stanojevich.

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