How to move a heavy safe by myself?

If you own a home safe, then sooner or later it’s highly probably that you’ll end up having to move it from its current spot to another room within the same house or apartment, or even move it to another residence altogether during a residential move. And when that time comes, you’ll be faced with a real challenge and plenty of important decision to make.

Interestingly enough, while there’s a logical reason that partly explains the extraordinary weight of most heavyweight household items found in homes /pianos have solid cast iron harps inside which hold all the strings in one place, pool tables have one, two or three super heavy rock slabs under the felt, etc./, the whole idea behind home safes is that they should be extremely difficult  to be moved out of a house by unauthorized persons. Yes, if a gun safe or a safe for valuables could be moved around effortlessly, then that alone would effectively defeat its original purpose.

One thing is clear – you should possess the knowledge of how to move a safe by yourself when moving house. After all, you, as the owner of the safe and its contents, are the most authorized person in the world to move your strongbox. Understandably, you may be the least experienced person to do it either.

Use the following 5 safety moving tips to move a heavy safe and stay on the safe side of your safe moving adventure.

Know what you’re dealing with

Every safe is different in regard to its weight, size and pre-move and post-move location in the house. This is why it’s very important to know the exact characteristics of your safe in order to know how to approach the challenge ahead. For example, while knowing your safe brand and manufacturer won’t make it any easier or harder to relocate it, being aware of its precise weight and dimensions will enable you to choose the right moving equipment for your large safe.

Find 3+ helpers or chuck the idea altogether

You should clearly understand that moving a safe by yourself doesn’t mean you’re expected to complete the tough task entirely on your own without any outside help – it only means that you’re brave enough to move your heavy safe without any professional assistance. Which is a bold decision on your part, especially if your safe exceeds more than 200-300 pounds when it’s completely empty.  Yes, you definitely need at least 3 assistants not only because safes are always heavier than you might expect, but also because inexperienced safe movers usually get stuck in the middle of the transportation process and might end up needing qualified help anyway.

Get proper safe moving equipment

Professionals use a variety of specialized moving equipment to complete the safe moving task relatively fast and most importantly – safely, such as electric stair-climbing equipment, pallet jacks, steel rollers, aluminum plates and heavy-duty hand trucks. If you’ve decided to attempt to move your home safe on your own /with the help of a few buddies of yours, of course!/, then you probably won’t have access to such special tools, except a heavy-duty hand truck or a heavy-duty appliance dolly which is a must-have prerequisite for the success of your undertaking. Without the right equipment, you might as well give up on your idea and get in touch with people who do these types of tough moves on a daily basis.

Have a good safe moving strategy

Besides the must-have equipment for moving a safe, proper handling techniques and proactive planning are the other key elements for a successful safe moving project. It’s a very bad idea to just improvise your actions as you go along unless you somehow have extensive previous experience in moving safes. Instead, when moving a large and heavy safe around your house, think through each and every step before implementing it. Devise a detailed strategy in your head because according to all known and yet-to-be-discovered laws of physics, brute force just won’t work when moving a big safe. Try to play it tough with your big safe, including your gun safe, and you’ll get hurt with the metal beast having the last laugh.

How to move a safe by yourself

  • How to prepare your safe for moving? First of all, if your safe contains heavy items, consider removing them temporarily to make the moving operation easier. The weight consideration aside, your stored things may get damaged due to the unusual transportation movements your metal monster will be subjected to. Also, wrap a thick moving blanket or two around the metal structure of your safe and tape it securely to prevent any property damage in the process.
  • How to secure a safe for moving? Tilt the safe carefully to one side and slide the appropriate dolly underneath it, then wrap the safe with straps as tightly as possible to minimize any movements. Once the entire unit comes to rest upon the wheeled equipment, tilt back the dolly so that the extreme weight is distributed evenly onto the rubber wheels.
  • How to move a safe upstairs or downstairs? Depending on the exact location of your safe in your home, your will need to wheel out your metal storage container either downstairs or upstairs. When moving a safe upstairs, one helper should guide the safely wrapped safe while 2 other assistants lift up the dolly one small step at a time. On the other hand, moving a safe downstairs is even trickier, so have at least 3 of your friends guiding and easing the wheels of the heavy-duty dolly step by step. The entire safe moving operation should be done very slowly and smoothly with no sudden or rushed movements.
  • Whatever you do, just don’t get hurt! Dress properly for the occasion, protect your fingers and hands by wearing high quality work gloves, and protect your toes and feet by wearing your most comfortable closed shoes. Remember that personal safety is above all else! If a safe is about to fall or tip over, just run away and let it drop – don’t even think about trying to become the hero of the day by attempting to catch it.
  • If you lack experience in handling overweight safes or you feel rather nervous about the whole idea of moving your safe by yourself, do the right thing and contact reputable safe movers in your area. Don’t get tempted to move a safe with golf balls, steel pipes or even glass beads as that can lead to serious injury for your or your trusted helpers. Look for experienced movers who have been in the moving business at least a few years.

Call now for a cost estimate:

Available online: 2 moving consultants

2 thoughts on “How to move a heavy safe by myself?

  1. Be advised!
    I just had a professional safe and vault moving com move my 1860 lb. Safe. I told them, “make sure to bring a pallet jacl, just the ticket!. I was informed they are “Professionals” at moving big heavy safes!. They showed up with four boys and a Dolly!. So a 15 min job with a pallet jack turned into a 4+ hour nightmare just moving it only 10ft. from the front door and out!. Now I’m going to have to take it in to get repainted!. And when one slams a heavy safe down with a Dolly,that IS NOTgood on the door hindges. For these “Professional” safe & vault Movers,,,,In my case, ” Be professional, bring the equipment for the job!. 4 hours at $800.00?, And look what the “Professionals did to the once beautiful paint job on it!!!. Everyone!, Be Advised!

  2. Great article Ethan, definitely do not underestimate how difficult it is to move an 800lbs+ gun safe! I had a “Professional” moving company tell me “No problem, we move these things all the time!” They showed up with an appliance dolly; well let me tell you something: An 800lb gun safe is not a refrigerator! Three BIG guys “walk” it onto the dolly, strap it on and tilt it back-and it twisted the dolly like it was made of tin foil! The guys who originally delivered it knew what they were doing: they had a proper “Safe” dolly, an A-frame dolly with 4 wheels. It will cost more to have a safe mover do the job, but believe me, it’s worth it! Ask for recommendations at a lock shop or gun shop or call the manufacturer of your safe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *