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Antique Safes/Safe moving and Safe mat questions


1) what equipment is used to MOVE a safe

a) up and down a couple of steps (3- 5 steps)
b) to load  off truck
c) to wheel the safe around a few blocks

2) is there such a thing as a safe MAT?

a) where do you buy them
b) what do they cost about
c) any good brands of safe mats

3) Is there a consumer report kind of mag or book that talks about safe brands


much of the equipment that we use is "special" equipment, that we either make or have made special for us.  Equipment is designed to handle the size of the safe and the weight of the safe.

Standard equipment would include pallet jacks, or power pallet jacks or lifting equipment.   

I've never heard of a "safe mat", so I have no idea what it might be or where you would get one.   I doubt that it would lift much weight.    There was a device which used a vacuum to blow air into the mat, which was placed under furniture or a small safe.   It was used similarly to a air cushion type vehicle to allow the furniture to "glide" across the floor.   Obviously this device also didn't work that great or sell well.

We have specially designed dollies to allow us to take safes up to 1500 lbs up stairs, and/or to move them easily from area to area.

We have custom made "crawlers" which, like a little tractor, will pick up the safe, and move it.   It is designed to move up to a 3500 lb safe, and will track up stairs and even into the back of a van or pick up (if done correctly).

Loading and unloading is generally accomplished with our 6000 lb lift gates, forklifts or our crane.

Equipment for moving safes is generally specialized, in order to SAFETLY move it.   If done incorrectly, moving safes can EASILY result in serious injury or death.   The following report illustrates WHY this is NOT something to be done as a DIY project.   The man killed in this report was experienced and yet he was killed moving a medium weight safe.

To my knowledge there are no consumer reports, magazines or books that discuss "safe brands".   Who "MAKES" the safe is not nearly as important as "HOW" the safe is made, and to what standard it was designed.
All safes tend to "LOOK ALIKE", but just "looks" are ONLY skin deep.   Just because two containers have a combination lock, does NOT make them equal.    Burglary safes are designed to keep PEOPLE out of your safe, while Fire resistive safes are designed to keep HEAT out of your safe.   Composite safes generally provide BOTH burglary and fire resistance.

The AMOUNT of protection any particular safe provides IS determined by how it is built.   For instance 1/2" of steel does NOT provide the same protection of 2" of steel, just as a 1 hour fire resistive safe does NOT provide the same level of heat resistance as a 4 hour fire resistive safe.

A good place to start would be to down load a factory product manual, they generally have a lot of information concerning the different levels of protection that any particular safe might provide, and give some definitions concerning fire and burglary protection.    You can find one by going to:
If you have another manufacture in mind, you can check their web site out to see what they offer.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes". Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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