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Got something you need to protect? We all do: jewelry, passports, bank statements, legal documents. That's why many safe manufacturers now offer small, affordable safes. Although they're secure from burglary, most home safes—including the one that we installed—are not completely fireproof. You should keep any irreplaceable documents in a fireproof vault or bank safe-deposit box.

Here, we'll show you how to install Sentry's Steal-Safe Wall Safe (Model 7150) into a closet wall. This compact safe, which fits between wall studs spaced 16 in. on center, features all-steel construction and a dual-locking mechanism: You need a key as well as a three-digit combination to open it.

Step 1

Cut out the opening

Locate the wall studs with a stud sensor or hammer and nail. Then, use a level to draw a 14¼-inch square onto the wall between the two studs. Cut out the opening with a drywall saw; work carefully to make sure you don't cut into electrical wiring. (If you find some, you'll have to push it aside or reroute it.)

Step 2

Fill in spaces

The left and right edges of the cutout will extend ¼-inch beyond the studs on each side of the opening. Fill in these spaces with wood shims or strips of ¼-inch plywood to build the studs out flush with the edges of the opening. Secure the wood with finishing nails.

Step 3

Insert safe into opening

With its door open, tilt the safe into the opening and press it flush against the wall.

Step 4

Secure the safe

Fasten the safe to the studs with the four screws provided. Install the two removable steel shelves, if desired. Note that you'll need both the three-digit combination and the key to open the safe.