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How To Get A Safe Upstairs

Getting your gun safe into your home is challenging enough, even when you how how to do it, but if you need to go up a flight of stairs to get it to the second floor? That can get really difficult and dangerous. Your best bet is to have a professional safe mover do the job for you. This way you don't risk injuring yourself or damaging your safe or home. However, we know a lot of folks still want to move their safe on their own, so we've come up with some tips to help you get it safely upstairs.


The Prep Work

Before you start the job, make sure you've accounted for everything. You want to be sure the equipment will hold, the safe will go where you need it to go, and the people involved won't be in a bad spot if something starts to fall.


Good prep work can mean the difference between this...

... and this.

Here are some tips to help you get prepped for the job.


• Get help: The first thing we recommend is getting help. Please don't attempt this alone. Even if you think you can do it, just one slip can do a lot of damage. Get someone to help you, two if you can. Make sure the whole crew is wearing heavy-duty gloves and closed toed shoes.

This might sound like a lot of doom and gloom, but you really want to protect yourself, your helpers and your property.

• Know your dimensions: You also need to know the dimensions and weight of your safe, as well as the dimensions of the entire path the safe will be going. Since you'll likely be working with tight corners and turns, keep in mind the little things that can snag, like the lock and handle.

• Get the right equipment: The right equipment always makes a hard job easier. A heavy duty dolly, strong movers straps, thick moving blankets, all of these can help prevent damage. Make sure the equipment can actually handle the weight of the safe. If you don't have what you need, there are some companies that will rent this sort of equipment. Also, it may sound obvious, but make sure everyone involved knows how to use the equipment you choose.

• Plan it out: Will each step of the stairs be deep enough to hold the safe and the moving equipment without it slipping off? Can you make the turn on all the landings? Will the width from the wall to the rail be wide enough to accomodate the safe and the equipment you're using? It's important to be sure everything will fit before you start. You don't want to find out halfway up the stairs.

• Empty the safe: This will make life a lot easier for you, even if the safe contents aren't extremely heavy. Aside from the extra weight you have to manipulate going up a flight of stairs, if something gets loose inside it can suddenly shift the weight of the safe, causing problems keeping things balanced.


Moving The Safe Upstairs

Before you start moving your safe, we want to give you a word of advice that every professional safe mover takes to heart; If you ever lose control and the safe starts to fall, get out of the way. Don't be a hero, no property is worth your health.


A lot of the instructions below seem straight forward, but these are details that can give you insight you otherwise might not have had.


Alright. Once you've got everything worked out, you're ready for the move. The instructions below are assuming you're using a heavy duty manual dolly. These are the general instructions you want to follow, but adjust as you need to. Just make safety first.


1) Securely wrap the safe in moving blankets if you have them. This can protect straps from rubbing into the safe, plus protect both the safe and to an extent the stairs, railing and walls.


2) Tip the safe up enough to get the tow plate of the dolly underneath.


3) Take your straps and cinch up them up tight enough that the safe doesn't move from the dolly at all.


4) Tilt the dolly back until you have the weight evenly on the wheels and under control.


5) Wheel the safe to the first step of the stairs. If you're on tile or marble, this should be easy. If you're on carpet, the wheel could sink into the carpet and foam a bit, so just make sure you take it slow and keep control of the weight.


• The ideal set up is this:One person at the top pulling the safe, two people at the bottom pushing the safe. The person up top takes the lead, starting each lift up and controlling where the safe goes and when it stops. The two people on bottom are following his lead, controlling the weight. The leader should communicate a lot, letting the guys below know what's happening and when.


6) Pull the safe up until the wheels rest on the first step. This is your first testing spot to evaluate how much control you have of the safe before you start up the rest of the flight. Be sure that when the wheels rest on the step, it can rest without tilting forward and that any braces on the back of the dolly aren't preventing you from keeping the weight of the safe balanced.


7) If you know you have control of the safe and it will rest safely on each step going up, keep pulling the safe up one step at a time. Don't begin another stair up until you have complete control of the safe.


One last note on safety: Remember that the person or people below the safe are taking the most risk. Communicate. A lot. Let them know what you're doing every step of the way. If the leader up top ever feels like he's losing control, talk things through before things really get out of hand, and if it comes to it, get the crew out of the way and let the safe fall. We would all like to think nothing will happen, but accidents are never planned.


Moving a safe is rough enough on its own, but moving a safe up a flight of stairs can be dangerous, even if you know how and you've done it before. We want you to stay safe and healthy, so please be careful, think things through and use common sense and caution.