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Rather than renting a safe at the bank, why not install one at home? This easy-to-implement solution, as here in a chimney, allows you to preserve important documents and valuables.

Installing a safe in a chimney

Necessary material

  • Safe model fireproof one piece (capacity 16 liters)
  • Ankles and lag screws
  • Ready-to-use sealing mortar

Difficulty: 2/4
Cost: 454 € (safe + hardware)
Time: 1 day
Equipment: hammer, chisel, pipe wrench, trough, trowel languede- cat, marker, sponge, perforator-chisel

The installation of central heating has often relegated fireplaces to the rank of decorative objects. It is then possible to assign them a new function. For example, in this house, the foyer of the hearth hides, behind its metal curtain, a fireproof safe with electronic lock.

A well-defined use for the safe

Before acquiring a safe, it is better to take an inventory of objects that you want to shelter. After determining its capacity, an additional internal volume margin of at least 20% must be added to add objects and documents at a later date.
Different models exist on the market: to recess in the ground, to wall or to ask. The first is uncommon, the position of use being uncomfortable. As for the second, it requires a wall of a certain thickness. The most common model is the monobloc which is mechanically fixed on a wall or, as here, on a concrete slab.

A clever fixture for the safe

The safe must find its place in a discreet place while remaining easily accessible. Here, the trunk being deeper than the hearth of the chimney, the reluctant (bottom of the hearth) was broken to allow to embed the element. It was then necessary to mason the perimeter to properly imprison it and thus provide additional security to tearing, in addition to its fixing by screwing.

Preparation of the installation of the safe

Mark the trunk locations in the home

  • Place the chest in the fireplace.
  • Center it, then trace its template to the marker on the bottom wall.
  • The marking done, remove the chest.

Drilling bricks

  • Pierce the refractory bricks with the perforator.
  • If the horizontal mark is halfway up a row of bricks, remove them completely by digging the top joint.

Aspirate the remains of rubble

  • Remove the rubble, then carefully clean the fireplace with a construction vacuum so that the installation of the trunk is not hindered by the debris of brick.

Install the safe box

  • Carry out a new blank test to check if the depth and opening are sufficient and the safe covers its place without forcing.

Pierce the wall

  • If resistance is encountered, widen the opening or dig a few inches.
  • If the operation is important, use a perforator.

Dig with a chisel

  • If there is little to remove, work rather with a chisel and a hammer.

Practical tip for handyman

It is not uncommon for the room below is also equipped with an identical fireplace and therefore a fireplace. In this case, the exhaust duct of the latter travels a few centimeters behind the reluctant chimney floor. Therefore, gently remove the first bricks, in order to evaluate the distance of the conduit so as not to damage it...

Install the safe box

  • Install the safe without securing it.
  • Check that it does not interfere with the movement of the metal curtain of the chimney.

Securing the boot

Remove the caches

  • Remove the covers that obstruct the two holes placed diagonally at the bottom of the trunk.

Mark the piercing points

  • Slide in a felt pen and mark the piercing points on the ground.

Drill the benchmarks

  • Drill the two fixing holes (ø 12 mm) using a drill, set in percussion mode.

Fucking the ankles

  • Vacuum the dust and push the dowels with a hammer.
  • Depending on the nature of the support, use the supplied nylon dowels or metal dowels.

Screw the lag bolts

  • Slide the lag screws (ø 13 mm) into the holes of the safe, then screw them with the help of a pipe wrench (or a ring wrench) of identical diameter.

Apply the sealing mortar

  • Mix the (quick-setting) mortar in a trough or bucket and, before applying it, carefully moisten the opening made in the brick wall.

Apply mortar to the top of the trunk

  • Apply a mortar pudding above the chest and let it pull.

Fill mortar

  • Do the same on each side.
  • Gradually close the opening.

Smooth the mortar

  • Work with the tongue-of-cat trowel to smooth the mortar on the surface.
  • The space is quite small on each side, so use a flat-jointed iron.

Allow the mortar to dry

  • Let the mortar fire.
  • Before complete drying, pass a sponge to perfect its smoothing.

Clean mortar remnants

  • Also clean the surface of the safe with clean water.


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