Can You Put a Gun Safe in an Unheated Garage?

Looking to store your gun safe in an unheated garage? Here are the must-knows for gun safes in unheated garages.

Proper gun storage impacts your family’s safety, protects your firearms, and ensures compliance with local laws and regulations. 

One of gun owners’ most common questions when considering storage options is, “Can you put a gun safe in an unheated garage?” 

In short, yes. You can put a gun safe in an unheated garage. However, weighing the pros and cons and understanding the potential risks is crucial. 

An unheated garage can go below 40 degrees. But, according to National Rifle Association (NRA), gun safe should not exceed 70 degrees. 

Keep reading to learn about the challenges and solutions related to gun safe storage in an unheated garage. Know my expert recommendations on ensuring your firearms remain secure and well-maintained.

Common Reasons for Gun Owners to Store their Gun Safe in an Unheated Garage

For several reasons, gun owners may store their gun safe in an unheated garage. 

These reasons range from security concerns to cost-effectiveness. Let’s delve into the common reasons and explore each in detail.

1. Security

Increased security is one of the top reasons for gun owners to store their gun safe in an unheated garage. 

Garages are typically less accessible than other areas of the house. This makes it more difficult for potential thieves to access the safe. 

Additionally, a garage can deter criminals. They may not expect to find valuable items like firearms stored there.

2. Space

Another reason for choosing an unheated garage is the availability of space. Many gun safes are large and bulky. This can be challenging to accommodate within the living areas of a home. 

Storing a gun safe in the garage provides ample space without encroaching on living areas. This also makes your home remains clutter-free and organized.

3. Convenience

Storing a gun safe in a garage can offer convenience for gun owners. The garage is often the first entry point when returning home. This provides easy access to firearms when needed. 

Additionally, if you’re an avid sport shooter or hunter, storing your guns in the garage lets you easily load and unload your equipment before and after trips.

4. Cost-effectiveness

For many homeowners, heating a garage can be an expensive proposition. You can save on heating costs by placing your gun safely in an unheated garage. 

It still provides a secure and accessible location for your firearms. This is particularly appealing to gun owners who live in colder climates.

Types of Gun Safes Suitable for Unheated Garage

When selecting a gun safe for an unheated garage, consider factors such as temperature fluctuations, moisture, and potential fire hazards. 

Let’s explore the various types of gun safes that can provide the necessary protection in an unheated garage.

1. Fireproof Gun Safe

A fireproof gun safe protects your firearms from extreme heat and potential fire damage. These safes are built with fire-resistant materials and have a high fire rating. 

It ensures that your guns and valuables remain protected even in a fire. This type of safe is suitable for unheated garages. As garages often have flammable materials like gasoline or chemicals.

2. Waterproof Gun Safe

Moisture and humidity can be significant issues in an unheated garage. This can lead to rust and damage to your firearms. 

A waterproof gun safe has a sealed design that prevents water and moisture from entering. This protects your guns from potential damage caused by dampness. This type of safe is especially important in regions with heavy rainfall or frequent flooding.

3. Outdoor Gun Safe

An outdoor gun safe is designed to withstand the elements. This makes it a great option for unheated garages. 

These safes are built with durable, weather-resistant materials that can handle temperature fluctuations. It can also protect you safe against moisture, dirt, and other environmental factors. The robust construction of an outdoor gun safe ensures that your firearms remain secure and well-maintained.

4. Insulated Gun Safe

Insulated gun safes offer extra protection against temperature fluctuations in an unheated garage. These safes are constructed with insulation that helps maintain a consistent internal temperature. 

It reduces the risk of condensation and potential damage to your firearms. An insulated gun safe is particularly important if you live in an area with extreme temperature variations.

5. Rust-Resistant Gun Safe

Rust-resistant gun safes are designed to minimize the risk of rust and corrosion, which can cause significant damage to your firearms. 

These safes are typically made from materials like stainless steel or treated with rust-resistant coatings. This ensures that your guns remain pristine. 

Rust-resistant gun safes are ideal for unheated garages, where moisture levels fluctuate.

Pros and Cons of Placing a Gun Safe in an Unheated Garage

Ensuring the safe storage of your firearms is a top priority. 

Let’s explore the pros and cons of placing your gun safe in an unheated garage. This will help you decide on the best location for your gun safe.

Pros of Placing a Gun Safe in an Unheated Garage

Before we delve into the potential drawbacks, let’s examine the advantages of placing a gun safe in an unheated garage.

1. Easy access to the garage

One of the main benefits of having your gun safe in the garage is the convenience of access. This location lets you quickly retrieve your firearms in emergencies without navigating through your entire house.

2. Space-saving in the main living area

The first place that burglars check into your home is your living room. A gun safe can be large and heavy. This makes it finding a suitable spot inside your home challenging. Placing it in the garage saves valuable space in your main living area, freeing it up for other uses.

3. Lower risk of theft

Garages are typically more secure than other areas of your home. They are often equipped with heavy doors and locks. This makes it more difficult for thieves to access your gun safely, reducing the theft risk.

4. Privacy

Another pro of placing your gun safe in the garage is increased privacy. This location keeps your firearms away from guests and other household members. There are also many ways to hide your safe in your garage. This can help to prevent unwanted attention or curiosity.

Cons of Placing a Gun Safe in an Unheated Garage

While there are some clear advantages, you should consider several potential drawbacks.

1. Temperature fluctuations

Unheated garages are subject to significant temperature changes. This only depends on the time of year and local climate. These fluctuations can cause damage to your firearms, as the metal components can expand and contract, leading to potential malfunction.

2. Humidity issues

High humidity levels are often found in unheated garages. It can lead to rust and corrosion of your firearms. This can particularly damage older or antique guns that may not have been manufactured with modern, rust-resistant materials.

3. Difficulty in climate control

Maintaining a consistent climate within an unheated garage can be challenging. It is often subject to outdoor weather conditions. This means you may need to invest in additional equipment. Examples are dehumidifiers or heaters. This is to keep your gun safe and its contents in optimal condition.


You can store a gun safe in an unheated garage, but you must be aware of the risks and take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety and longevity of your firearms and the gun safe itself.

You must weigh the benefits and risks. It’s crucial to recognize that the primary concerns in an unheated garage include moisture, fluctuating temperatures, and security. 

These factors can damage your firearms and compromise the integrity of your gun safe over time.

Proper precautions and maintenance are of the utmost importance to mitigate these risks. Consider investing in a high-quality, moisture-resistant gun safe. You can use desiccant packs or a dehumidifier to control humidity levels. 

Furthermore, proper garage insulation, regular maintenance, and security measures will go a long way in preserving the condition of your firearms and gun safe.

Making an informed decision about safe gun storage is essential. By doing so, you’ll ensure the safety and functionality of your firearms, as well as uphold your commitment to responsible gun ownership.


Will cold temperatures affect my gun safe’s performance?

Yes. Cold temperatures can cause mechanical components such as locks and hinges to freeze. This makes it difficult to access your guns. It can also cause the metal to expand and contract, warping or damaging your safe.

Can I store other valuables in my gun safe in an unheated garage?

Yes. A gun safe is a great place to store other valuable items, such as jewelry, cash, and important documents. Just make sure that you choose the right size safe for your needs and that it is properly secured.

How do I maintain a gun safe in an unheated garage? 

To maintain a gun safe in an unheated garage, you should protect it from moisture, keep it clean, lubricate the lock, and check it regularly for signs of damage or wear.

Should I insulate my unheated garage to protect my gun safe? 

Insulating your unheated garage can help protect your gun from temperature fluctuations and moisture. However, the decision to insulate your garage should be based on your specific situation and the climate in your area. 


“How Cold Does an Unheated Garage Get?” Wakelet, Wakelet, 2023,

Safety 101: Where Do Burglars Look First» Ambassador Locksmiths. 15 Dec. 2019, ‌

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