If you have valuables in your home, you may have considered investing in a safe. But while a safe can keep precious possessions locked up tight, it can also draw attention to the location of that treasure. Sometimes, a good hiding spot is just as effective as a heavy, intimidating safe -- and a lot cheaper.
When you need to hide away a small amount of cash, coins, jewelry or other pocket-sized possessions, one of the most clever locations may be inside an unconnected electrical outlet.
What You’ll Need
To create your own electrical outlet wall safe, you just need a few inexpensive supplies. You’ll need an electrical gang box, which is the housing that separates electrical outlet hardware from the insulation inside your walls, and an outlet plate.
The type of plate is up to you -- you can choose a standard electrical outlet plate, but keep in mind that the outlets won’t be operable and the outlet hardware will take up a little space. For maximum storage space, choose a solid outlet plate.
You’ll also need a stud finder, a drywall knife, a pencil and a small screwdriver to complete the installation.
Build Your Safe
- Choose a location to install your safe. To make it blend into its surroundings, you should choose a spot where you might naturally install an electrical outlet and ensure it’s level with other outlets in the room.
- Use the stud finder to locate studs near your chosen area. You must be careful to choose a spot between the studs. When you find the right spot, press the junction box against the wall facing backwards and use a pencil to trace around the edges.
- Carefully cut a hole in the drywall with a drywall knife, following the lines you traced. Use shallow strokes when cutting so as to avoid damaging any wiring hidden in the wall.
- Push the gang box into the hole. Use a screwdriver to turn the corner tabs that hold it in place.
- Screw the outlet plate into place. Voila! Your discreet mini-safe is installed.
Whenever you need to add or remove your valuables, just use a screwdriver to remove and replace the outlet plate. Your possessions won’t be locked up, but if burglars are rummaging through your home, they’ll never find what you’ve hidden.
If you don’t want to cut a new hole in your wall for this project, there are a couple of ways you can create a safe hiding space with an existing outlet.
You can convert an unused wired outlet into a secret wall safe, but it’s important to have an electrician completely disconnect and secure the wiring first. You don’t want your valuables increasing the risk of an electrical fire, especially if it’s something combustible like cash.
Another alternative is to use an existing cable outlet. Unlike electrical outlets, your cable outlet’s gang box only contains a short length of coaxial cable that is fully covered with a heavy sheath. That means there’s plenty of room in the gang box and no fire risk. Just unscrew the outlet plate, insert your valuables and replace the plate.
For help disconnecting an existing outlet or any electrical jobs big or small, call your licensed local electricians today.