Reader Submission: hidden wall safe with an expedient, emergency retrieval system
The following has been submitted by Claude Thigpen
In my idle thoughts, I often find myself mentally running “what if” scenarios.
The one I return to the most is if I awoke in the night and my home was ablaze. After securing my families safety, what would I carry with me? In that moment, which item would I value above the others? Or would I have an opportunity to save anything? This scene alters and plays differently depending on where I am in my home when I run the drill.
I originally thought of purchasing a fire safe for protecting my valuables. However, after some research and finding that in a perfect world where either your home was across the street from the fire department, or your home burned completely in less than 3 hours and sustained temps never exceeded the rating for the safe, that a fire safe was not a realistic option for me. Especially since my valuables would not be readily accessible in emergencies (for example, when rapid retrieval of a weapon was needed).
So while in a waiting room, watching a reality based police television show, I saw how the police hooked a cable to a wrought iron burglar bar door and snatched it clean away. This was the inspiration I needed when I devised this notion…
How to Build a Hidden Wall Safe (with expedient, emergency retrieval system)
Here’s my idea: I’ll fab a sheet metal cabinet, sized to fit in the thickness of a stud framed, exterior wall, this in turn provides a hidden, in the wall, safe.
This cabinet would have a rigid metal frame, on the exterior side of the cabinet. To this frame, 2 cables would be attached on either side, as high as possible so as to create more leverage when pulled against. These cables would be connected to each other with a shackle, and then to a longer, primary cable.
This would look like a Y configuration. These cables would be covered by siding, a false exterior door, false window, etc. Each install would have unique requirements. The primary cable could be discreetly located a safe distance from the wall in whatever you could dream up — a bird bath, a patio stone, a plumbing cleanout, etc. The camo is in the eye of the beholder.
From this point, in case of something as catastrophic as a house fire, retrieval could be achieved with a vehicle, i.e. a fire truck, simply by pulling the safe through the wall, out of harm’s way.
I like this choice, rather than having to choose. I’m sure I left some details out and I would like to hear any input, comments, thoughts on improving or questions.
- Posted in Urban Survival