I had no delusions that installing the safe would be easy. I knew it would not be. However, I was surprised by what parts of the procedure gave me the most trouble.
For some time, Lydia and I had been interested in buying a small safe to store hard to replace items like important documents (e.g., passports, insurance, and legal papers) and such.
A few weeks ago, Lydia located and bought a safe that offers theft, fire, and water protection, which seemed ideal for our needs. It also had a method for securing it to a wall or floor to make removal difficult. Also a good feature to have.
Unfortunately, the installation kit was missing from the safe. However, the company was very accommodating in sending a replacement kit. Today, Lydia asked if I would install the safe in a spot we had picked for it. Since that was a good idea, I agreed.
The first part of the process was to tip the safe onto its side and drill two holes in diagonally opposite corners of the bottom. Since there were two predetermined spots for this, the drilling, even through the metal exterior, went easily. I was surprised to see that there was a lot of clay or putty on the drill bit when I removed it. This filling evidently provides the heat and water resistance.
With the holes drilled, the next step is to move the safe into position and mark the floor through the holes. This would let me move the safe to the side, but still see where to drill pilot holes for the lag screws. Seemed like this would be the easy bit of the procedure. Yes, it seemed so.
The first wrinkle was that the area where the safe was to go is carpeted. Once the safe was positioned, I needed to push a pen (or something similar) through the holes far enough to mark the carpet underneath the safe. This took several attempts. After each attempt, I had to move the safe out of the way to confirm that the mark was visible. When it wasn’t, I had to push the safe back into position and try something else.
As it turned out, a ball point pen was thin enough to pass through the holes, but left no mark on the carpet. On the other hand, a marker would leave a mark, but was too large for the hole. What could I use? Both Lydia and I thought spraying paint into the hole would do the trick. And we just happened to have some fluorescent pink spray paint, too.
Since we didn’t want to mark the inside of the safe, I folded and taped some newspaper around the one hole, then the other, spraying a few short squirts into each hole. I waited for a few seconds to let the paint settle through the holes and onto the carpet. While I did, I read the panel on the spray paint can as saw this warning:
VAPOR HARMFUL. MAY AFFECT THE BRAIN OR NERVOUS SYSTEM CAUSING DIZZINESS, HEADACHES, NAUSEA. CAN CAUSE NERVE DAMAGE TO ARMS AND LEGS. EFFECTS MAY BE PERMANENT. CAUSES EYE, SKIN, NOSE, AND THROAT IRRITATION. HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED.
Needless to say, I opened the nearest window. Wide. My brain and I have been good friends for a long time and I saw no need to cause it unnecessary damage. Neither to my nervous system, arms, legs, eyes, skin, nose, nor throat.
Feeling somewhat less in danger, I moved the safe to see if the paint had done the trick, but it hadn’t. Rats! Once again, I move the safe back to its intended position to try again. I needed a longer burst of paint, but I didn’t want it all over the inside of the safe or, much worse, inside my lungs. To help direct the spray, I rigged a small funnel out of paper, which actually worked well.
I was able to get a longer, directed blast of paint into the hole. Again I waited to let the paint drip down on to the carpet. As I move the safe, I made sure to tip it on its edge, so that I wouldn’t smudge the spots that were marking the drill points. This time, success. Two small, bright pink paint spots right where they were supposed to be. Yippee!
Since the safe was heavy and awkward to hold on an edge, I set down where it was. Almost instantly, I had a bad feeling. I tipped the safe back up and looked at where it had been sitting. Ah, Jiminy Cricket! Sure enough, there were three bright pink, fluorescent paint smudges on the carpet in a very visible spot.
Moving quickly, I tipped the safe all the way onto its side and wiped off the excess paint from the holes. With Lydia’s help, and some nail polish remover, we were able to get almost all the paint up. Whew! (However, in the process, I also marked the butt of my jeans with a nice pink “kiss” that did not come out.) Oh well, time for some new jeans, anyway.
After that excitement, it was time to drill the pilot holes. Again, the drilling went easily. The final step was to position the safe for the last time and attach it to the floor with long lag screws. It took some time and a few false starts to find the pilot holes. Yet, found they were and the safe was finally in place and secured.
Lydia has already started to populate it and I feel safer already.