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Antique Safes/Steelcase / Metal Office Furniture Co. Asbestos?


I have one just like the one in the picture that you answered for Madeline. Your info was very helpful. However, I am still curious how to find out if mine is asbestos lined or not as I am sanding and painting it? It has 516 stamped on the "lip" of the door. And the Steelcase - Metal Office Furniture Co. badge beneath the door on the front. I cannot locate any other markings. I researched the company, though informative, didn't help with my specific safe. How do I determine age? As well as, fireproofing? Thank you, AJ.

Hi A.J.

I'm sorry, but I don't have any listings for Steelcase having used asbestos as an insulation material.   While this doesn't mean that they didn't, I just don't have any records of them having used it.

If you are concerned, I would recommend having the insulation material tested.   If you don't have a local testing facility, you can purchase a test kit, and mail the sample to the lab.   Test kits are available at most hardware stores, and some pharmacies like:    Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, CVS Pharmacy, etc.

Or you can go to:

As far as the "age" of the container without more info.   While Steelcase did make safes or security containers from about 1912 until around the early 1950's, without more info or photos I have no way of knowing an approximate time of manufacturer.  

As to fire resistance (no such thing as fire proof), if the container was listed or tested to a standard, it would (or should) have a label indicating what standard it was tested to.   If it has no label, then it also has no rating.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

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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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