Note, the following floor safe installation instructions are a general guide only and we recommend you do extensive research before installing a floor safe yourself. The we have safe installed is a CMI safe from CMI safe co Sydney.
In ground floor safes are not as popular as they used to be. I have been selling and opening safes in Brisbane for near 33 years. I am here to state inground floor safes are my favorite safe. They are very hard to find. And when installed properly offer excellent protection from would be attackers. I have only removed 3 floor safes during my 36 years and removing a floor safe is extremely difficult. A typical installation should take a skilled installer (2 man team) between 3 – 6 hours.
The first step is buying the right floor safe and remember the bigger the floor safe the larger the hole you will have to dig. The 2nd consideration is the “quality” or “cash rating” of the safe. Choosing a location is next. I have put them in wardrobes, under stair cases, under beds however the more confined the space the harder and longer the install WILL take. The centre of a garage is a good place. Once you place a carpet, or oil drip tray over it, a crim with little time and no idea will be hard pressed to find it.
Be mindful of underground pipes. Its always a good idea to choose a location away from obvious pipe locations. The other side of a toilet is an obvious one. I also try and steer clear of wall “footings” which are usually under external walls. Mark out the hole allowing 50 -100 mm out from each side of the safe. Using a diamond blade cut or score the rectangle. There is no need to cut all the way through the slab and as most slabs are 100 mm thick this would prove tricky. Using a “demolition hammer” or electric jack hammer “punch” through the slab. This may sound easy but it depends on concrete hardness and thickness.
Next remove enough soil so there will be 100 mm of concrete surrounding the floor safe. The hole should be “pear shaped” when you finish (when viewed from the side cross section). Mix as per the manufacturers instructions. Place some in the hole, lower the safe into same and check the safe is LOWER than the top of the slab. Continue filling the bottom third of the hole with a “wet mix” of concrete. Gently lift one side of the safe each time and the wet concrete will “flow” under the safe and eventually the safe will rise to be level with the top of the slab.
You can place bits of reo or steel into the concrete as you fill the hole. This will make the concrete harder to break up. Continue to fill around the safe until its level. Trowel the concrete so you get a smooth finish. At this point the safe (complete with cover plate) should be PERFECTLY LEVEL with the top of the slab. if it is sitting higher than the floor the installation is a poor one. If the floor safe is slightly lower this can be fixed by modifying the cover plate which we can do for you.
The above description is a guide only and I describe this job as “difficult” however if you have lots of time and need a good work out. You can save yourself some dollars as well as keeping your safe secret. We charge between $800 and $1200 for a typical floor safe installation. The cost is dependent upon safe size, concrete slab thickness, obstacles encountered (pipes etc) and how many glasses of lemonade I am presented with during the job.
There is another consideration which I will address in another blog and that is of termite certification. Many modern homes are now required to be certified and “penetrating the slab will void this. We do have a solution which I will explain in another blog. Personally I don’t feel this is an issue however if you were selling your home and the building inspector asked what had been done to address this issue it is possible the sale may fall over. The above is an over view and of course when you buy a floor safe from us we are keen to either install it or give you information to make the floorsafe installation successful.
Some common locations of floor safe installation are ….
In the corner of a walk-in robe, simply pull the carpet flap back to gain access to the safe.
Under the stair case
In the corner of the garage
In the middle of the garage
Under the bed in the spare room
In the middle of the lounge room, under the recliner rocker
The above locations are common with “after home completion” and getting a floor safe installed when the slab is laid allows for better concealment. Its easy to get the body of the safe placed in the slab then build a bench or cupboard around it which would be nearly impossible after completion. There are however some traps with getting builders to install in ground floor safes whilst the slab is poured. The most common being the safe getting filled with water because the roof goes on much later. There is no floor safe on the Australian market that is “waterproof” or even “water resistant” and we do get asked to open waterlogged floor safes.
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Floor safe installation instructions pictures
Floor safe & jackhammer
See the nice edge and reo !
Floor safe cut into floor – still wet concrete