Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner, a safe is always a great choice for protecting your valuables. While you can trust these to provide you durable security, there’s always the odd occasion when you might be faced with a safe that’s no longer opening as it should. A locksmith will be able to help you with these issues, but there are some quick checks you can do yourself before calling for assistance. If you find yourself with a safe that is jammed, here is what you need to do:
Possible reasons your safe won’t open
1) Dead batteries
The best case scenario for all safe troubles is that the culprit is simply a dead battery. Even if you see lights shining through your keypad, it’s always best to test the batteries – before applying any other fixes, as a low-power surge may impede it to complete its opening operations. See if a battery change resolves your issues. But take note: off-brand batteries wear out much quicker than branded ones, so it’s best to invest in a battery that will have a longer lifespan.
2) Your bolt work is stuck
If you can hear a motor running but you can’t open your safe, the most likely reason for it will be that the bolt work is jammed. The first thing you need to do in order to get it unstuck? Kick it. Yes, you read that correctly – turn your back to the safe, and mule kick the door a couple of times. Be very careful not to hit the keypad or handle: you’re trying to loosen the bolt work, not damage the safe’s components. After doing this a few times, try and turn the handle in the opposite direction it’s supposed to go, and enter your safe’s combination. All these steps should release the pressure from the bolt work, allowing you to move it more freely.
3) Deactivated code
When you have a safe with multiple combinations, a code deactivation could explain why your safe is not opening. In this situation, get someone else who has access to the safe through a different code to check if they can open it. If their code works without a hitch, you may need to set up a new combination for yourself.
4) Penalty lockout modes and/or time delay
Many safes will penalize you for entering the wrong digits too many times. This can come in the form of a time delay, where you have to wait a few minutes before you try again, or a full lockout mode. You’ll know when you’re faced with the latter as it often comes with a loud beeping noise. In both cases, wait about 10 or 20 minutes, and try opening it again.
5) Damaged wiring
Your safe’s keypads, like any other electronics, are not fully immune to damaged or faulty wiring. If you’re confident about your DIY abilities, remove the keypad from the door and inspect the wiring to see if anything has come loose, snapped, or there are any kinks causing an interference. Everything looks intact? Then try disconnecting the battery for 20 seconds, reinstalling it again, and connecting everything back together to check if it’s all back to normal. Seeing strong signs of damage? You’ll need to call a locksmith – make sure to tell them what type of safe and keypad you own so they can come with the right parts for your replacement.
6) Shifting numbers
This is something that occurs in safes with older combination locks or locks that haven’t been properly maintained, where the code would have shifted positions. Combination shifting is a sign that you’ll need to call a professional, as these tend to indicate that, without proper repairs, the lock will fail completely.
The way to check for combination shifting is to either subtract one from each number, and keep trying this until you’ve subtracted five, or to proceed with the same steps but adding to the numbers instead. In other words, if you have a safe combination of 50-60-70, you would initially try 49-59-69, then 48-58-68 and so on until you’ve reached 45-55-65; and then you would do the same with addition: from 51-61-71; 52-62-72 right until 55-65-75.
Getting help from a qualified locksmith
A qualified locksmith will be well-versed in safe installations, repairs and replacements. If you’re experiencing any kind of issues with your home or business safe, these pros should be your port of call – they will have all the right equipment to solve your issues promptly and efficiently. Remember to always hire a locally-based expert who specializes in the type of protection you are looking for – some locksmiths may only focus on residential services, for instance, while others may offer a fully-inclusive set of options.
When choosing the right professional to hire, it’s always best to get recommendations and take the time to do some background checking. Local lock and key services providers won’t balk at you for requesting information like license and insurance details, how long they’ve been in business, and a list of client references in your area. Reading up on online reviews and cross-checking each company through your local Better Business Bureau will also help you get better insight into the locksmith business’s reputation.
Always get a full cost breakdown for your safe repairs, and be very wary of any locksmith who changes their price quote upon arriving to your property. Whenever possible, try to visit a company on their location and consult with a professional about their solutions. Never hire a business you can’t trace a physical address back to, and be very wary of any locksmith who changes their price quote on arrival and tries to get you to agree to a full safe replacement without a valid reason.
Are you looking for safe repairs in and replacements in Aurora, CO? The licensed and insured team at Aurora Master Locksmith will be able to help. We’re available 24/7 in case of emergencies, and you can always get a free consultation and price quote from our locally-based business too.
No matter where you live, a locally-based locksmith will help you resolve any issues that emerge from a jammed up safe. Whether you need to replace a keypad, or you simply need to change the combination, a qualified expert will bring you full peace of mind in all situations.