Safe and secure: How to move a safe like a pro

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Moving safes can be challenging and more complicated than moving other household items. Safes are bulky and heavy, but with proper planning, tools, and techniques, you can move your safe safely and securely without causing harm to yourself or damaging your belongings.

This guide outlines how to move a safe by yourself, including tips and tricks for preparing your safe, choosing the right equipment, and navigating tight spaces.

Things you’ll need

When dealing with a heavy item such as a safe, it’s vital to protect your body at all costs. Here are the proper safe moving equipment you’ll need to learn how to move a large safe:

  • Heavy-duty appliance dolly or moving dolly

  • Furniture support straps or ropes

  • Thick moving blankets

  • Work gloves

  • Dolly

  • Moving truck with a loading ramp

Before you start

Before knowing how to move a safe like a gun safe or jewelry safe successfully, preparing well for the task is important. Be sure to do the following before you start moving your safe:

  • Enlist help. Moving a safe alone can be dangerous, so having at least one or two people to help you with the move is crucial.

  • Measure your safe. Before renting or buying the equipment needed, measure your safe’s dimensions and check the weight to get the appropriate moving dolly. You can find this information in the safe’s documentation or by looking up its model online.

  • Dress for the job. Avoid wearing baggy clothing and long jewelry that could get caught on something. Choose comfortable, closed-toe shoes with good traction, and wear high-quality work gloves for better grip and hand protection.

  • Plan your route. Walk the intended path beforehand and identify any obstacles or dangerous zones. Plan each step and share your exit strategy with your helpers. Reassess if the path includes tight corners, narrow corridors, or flights of stairs.

  • Protect your other valuables. Place protective coverings along the exit route, and use film protectors, old carpets, blankets, or large pieces of cardboard to avoid damage to your other valuables or walls and floors. You can also tape thick blankets over narrow corners, staircase handrails, and wall frames that may come into contact with the safe during transportation.

A step-by-step guide to moving a heavy safe

Now that you’re prepared to move your safe, it’s time to get down to business! Here are the steps on how to move a large safe:

Step 1: Lighten the load

empty metal safe

Remove all items from the safe–all your valuables. This will reduce the weight of the safe and minimize the risk of damage to the content. Pack and transport these items separately. Once done, make sure to securely close and lock the door of your safe before loading it on the dolly. An open door can cause damage to the safe or result in personal injury.

Step 2: Wrap it 

Use moving blankets to wrap the safe, cover all the metal parts, and secure them with tape, straps, or rope. You can also use bubble wrap if you have those around. 

Padding your safe before moving serves two purposes: protecting the safe from damage and preventing damage to floors, walls, and other household items and people if the safe accidentally bump into them while being moved out of the house.

Step 3: Load it safely

helpers loading a sfe on a dolly

Place the moving dolly next to one side of the safe and have your helpers stand on the other side. Then, tilt the safe slightly and slide the dolly under it until it’s in place. Use straps or ropes to secure the safe to the dolly tightly, and make sure it’s balanced to avoid tipping.

Step 4: Take it slow

Keep things steady as you move the safe to the dolly, if you’ll use one, and onto the truck with your helpers. To avoid danger before it happens, decide on some warning signs among yourselves. Having someone walk in front and ensure everything is going according to plan would be wise.

Figuring out how to move a safe upstairs or downstairs is the most complex part. If there are only a few gently-sloped steps, you can try moving the safe with the help of others, but if there are many stairs involved, it’s best to call professionals to avoid accidents.

Important tip: Be very cautious when moving it through the house towards the exit! Maneuvering around tight corners can be difficult, so take it slow and go wider than usual to avoid hitting walls.

Step 5: Hoist it up

removal truck waiting to be loaded

A motor-driven loading ramp can help you load your safe into the moving truck. But if there is no mechanized ramp, you may use a standard one. To do this, have one person pull the dolly up while others push. 

Keep the momentum going and get the heavy load inside the truck in one smooth attempt. Once inside, secure your home safe tightly to the side of the vehicle with straps or rope.

Step 6: Place it in its position

When positioning and moving your safe to its new place, remember the safety precautions you took when carrying it out of its former place. This includes covering your valuables, walls, and floors along the way; and planning your route properly. 

Prioritize your safety

Although moving a safe can be challenging, you can ensure a secure and stress-free move by following the helpful tips provided in this guide. Be extra careful, though!

But if you’ve never moved a heavy safe before or the tough task makes you anxious, there’s no need to panic. Instead of attempting this yourself, post a task and hire professional movers on Airtasker. You can relax knowing that you won’t injure yourself since trustworthy Taskers in your region can suit up, grab your dolly, and move that safe quickly!

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