Keeping your guns cleaned and maintained is only one aspect of firearm maintenance. You also need to take care of the gun safe where you store them. A lack of safe maintenance can compromise accessibility and lead to gun and ammunition damage.
Tip #1: Dust It Down
Dust and dirt can settle on your gun safe, working its way into locking mechanisms or compromising the quality of the finish. The simplest way to prevent this is to dust your safe once monthly so the dusty residue doesn't have a chance to build up. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the entire safe. Avoid abrasive cloths, which can scratch the finish, and skip cleaners and polishes that can damage the locking mechanisms.
Pay special attention to the fingerpad if you have safe with a code lock. Oils from your finger can build up on the pad, giving a hint to the combination. Wipe this area frequently so your code numbers don't become obvious from dirt buildup.
Tip #2: Maintain the Locks
Not only does a dirty gun safe exterior not look nice, but dirty locks can compromise the usability of your safe. A drop of a lock lubricant on the exterior of the moving locking parts once a year may be enough to keep it moving smoothly.
A better option is to let a certified locksmith lubricate and inspect the lock once a year. A locksmith can lubricate the lock both inside and out. The combination wheel may also require lubrication. This is difficult to do on your own and without the proper tools because the wheel sits flush to the safe, so you can't easily get lubricant into the working parts. A locksmith can also perform an inspection to make sure that the lock isn't in danger of failing.
Tip #3: Prevent Moisture Damage
Most gun safes are not waterproof, so moisture can get inside and damage your guns or ammunition. This is especially true in moist or humid climates. Running a dehumidfier in the room that houses the safe can prevent this problem. Placing a small, open jar of silica gel crystals inside the safe is another way you can absorb moisture in the safe to prevent damage. Choose crystals that change color as they become moist, so you know when it is time to replace them.
Using your gun safe properly and keeping it inside will further ensure it continues to work properly and stays secure. Don't keep a gun safe in the garage or in an outbuilding where dirt, heat and moisture can cause damage.