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If Your Safe Won't Open, Here's What To Do!

Have you found yourself in a pickle with your safe? If you can’t open your safe, it’s never at a convenient time, and it’s always so unsettling. But you don’t have to let it get to you. Most often, when a safe malfunctions, it remains locked. Let’s look at some common causes for your safe failing. There are a good number of steps you can take before you will need to call a safe technician.

Your safe is in lockout mode. If you enter too many wrong codes in a row, the safe might go into a penalty-lockout mode. Depending on what type of keypad you have, you may hear some fast beeps. In that case, wait for 10 to 20 minutes. Afterwards, your safe should open.

Dead batteries. Maybe there’s enough power to work the keypad, but not enough for the bolt work to function. If the keypad lights up and beeps normally, you can resolve the problem as soon as you replace your batteries. Choose a reputable brand, because off-brands will lose power faster than the top-name brands.

Deactivated code. It may be that your safe isn’t opening because the code has been deactivated unintentionally. If that’s all it is, reset it, and your safe will open.

The wiring is damaged and/or disconnected. The safe’s wiring might be disconnected. Perhaps it has to be repaired. Inspect the wiring behind the keypad, and you’ll be able to see whether any wires are kinked, loose, or cut.

  • If all’s well, disconnect the wire temporarily from the keypad, and take out the batteries. Wait for about 20 seconds. Now reconnect the wiring, put the batteries back in, and it ought to work.
  • If the wiring is damaged, you must call an expert safe technician.

Time delay. Does the safe have a time-delay feature? If so, then you’ll have to wait for a specific time period (often 10 to 20 minutes). After that, input the code again, and now it should work.

Are you inputting the correct combination, but your safe still isn’t opening? If the safe has the traditional three-wheel combination lock (3 digits) then take these steps:

1. Turn the dial to the left 4 times, until the first digit of the combination aligns with the opening index. On the fourth time, stop exactly on your number.

2. Turn the dial to the right 3 times, until the second digit of your combination aligns with the opening index. On the third time, stop spot on your number.

3. Turn the dial to the left twice, until the third digit of the combination aligns with the opening index. On the second time, stop precisely on your number.

4. Turn the dial to the right, till it stops (around 95). If the dial doesn’t stop, then do your regular opening procedure over again, dialing each digit of the combination accurately. Keep in mind that the safe will stay locked if you stop the dial even just slightly past any number where you meant to halt.

5. To lock your combination lock again, turn the dial 4 full revolutions, and make sure to stop on any number that isn’t in your combination.

The bolt work could be jammed. Is the motor working to retract the bolt work, yet it still doesn’t open? Then bang on the door with a mallet. Or, kick it. Go ahead! We’re not kidding! This will be successful ~ as long as you don’t pound the keypad or the handle! If you do it correctly, it will loosen the bolt work. Then you can attempt to pull the handle in the opposite direction of what you usually do; now, enter the code. If you’re fortunate, this will release the extra pressure on the bolt, and the handle will move smoothly.

What if your safe still won’t open? There’s no doubt now: You need to call a safe technician. Don’t drill your safe, or you’ll render it irreparable!

What if your safe stays open, and won’t shut? Investigate these issues:

1. First, replace the batteries. Use a top brand; they’ll last longer.

2. Make sure that the edges of the cover are aligned. Be sure that in the edges there is no debris.

3. Confirm that the bolts are not damaged. Make sure that the holes they go into aren’t being blocked by debris.

4. Try “locking” the safe, even while the door’s open. If the locking mechanism is still working, then the problem is elsewhere.

5. Lubricate the lock mechanism. If the spring sticks, lubrication should solve everything. Bear in mind that the lubricant needed for a combination lock is different from the graphite-based lubricant required for a keyed lock.

Did you misplace your combination? You’ll have to hire a safe technician who possesses the knowledge and expertise it takes to open your safe. An experienced safe technician will surely make your safe more secure than ever, without damaging it.

One erroneous notion regarding getting your safe opened by a professional is that the safe will automatically be damaged during the process ~ but this definitely won’t occur if you locate a legitimate, highly qualified safe technician. Be skeptical of anyone who doesn’t have the proper credentials. Find a safe technician of integrity whom you can count on completely ~ an individual who is suitably insured, fully licensed, appropriately bonded, thoroughly background-checked, and officially certified. Choose an individual who will bring the right tools, with the required skill and sensitivity with sound and touch.

DON’T try to “crack” your own safe! Opening safes, and taking care of combination locks (mechanical or digital), are specialized tasks requiring exacting precision, and exceptional skill and experience. Hire an expert safe technician who has a comprehensive understanding of the locking methods and maintenance requirements of today’s safes.

If you’re anywhere in Evanston, Illinois, consider Locksmith Pro Evanston, where free consultations are available anytime with a mobile staff safe professional. Get all your questions answered to your satisfaction from a reliable technician before you give permission for any work to start.