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Hercules in wall firebox
Hercules in wall fireb  

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I have an in the wall Hercules fire box with a combination lock (Meilink Steel Safe Co. of Toledo.  The door is open but I do not have the combination and would like to use the box, though I suspect that it would not meet current specifications.  Where might I find directions on re-setting the combination?

Answer
Hi Mark,

You are correct, these little fire resistive containers are over 50, and probably closer to 60 years old, so they do not meet any current standards for fire resistance.   They are also NOT a burglary resistive container.

While I wouldn't hesitate to use it for daily storage of items which you use regularly, I would recommend that when ever you leave your home, everything of value be transferred to a more modern safe that does meet current standards for fire and burglary resistance.

Nothing worse than coming home to find your house burned or burglarized, and the majority of your stuff is gone!    On the other hand, coming home to find that all the really valuable items ARE still accounted for is like winning the lottery!!!

The lock on these containers is a three wheel hand change unit, meaning that the lock WILL have to be disassembled to either recover the current combo or to reset it.    I NEVER recommend lock disassembly as a DIY project for the same reason that I don't recommend using locksmiths for safe work.   You need a trained safe technician from a local safe company.    Check your local yellow pages under safes & vaults for companies in your area.     It should be a very simple job for them to check it out, service it (yes they do require maintenance), and either recover or reset the combo for you.

Hope this helps,

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

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.

Experience

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

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

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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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