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Antique Safes/Vintage Baum safe fireproof?


Hi.  I have a vintage Baum safe that has been in my family forever and a day.  It stands about 30 inches high (standard small safe size from what I've seen online).  Are these old safes considered "fire proof"?  The safe operates perfectly and appears to have about three inches of what looks like concrete between the walls.  Also wondering if I should grease graphite or oil to the tumblers inside the door by removing the plate inside.  Ive cleaned them and they dont look worn.    
Thanks very much for your help

Hi Joe,

Unless your safe was harvested or bottled in a vineyard, you don't have a vintage safe.   It may be old, collectible or antique but it is not "vintage"!

As far as the safe being "fire proof" - there is no such thing as a fire proof safe.   They are fire or heat resistive.   The amount of resistance would be based on standardized testing.   Prior to UL and/or SMNA (Safe Manufacturers National Association) testing, manufacturers simply put them in a fire.   If the test documents survived then the insulation material was deemed successful.    

Because of age, misuse and abuse (slamming the safe door) over the years insulation becomes cracked and damaged, so pretty much ANYTHING over 50 years old is considered to NOT meet ANY current standards - this would include your safe.   If you need a safe for document protection then I recommend you acquire something much newer.

As for cleaning the lock - I NEVER recommend lock disassembly as a DIY project for the same reason that I don't recommend using locksmiths.   Lack of training, knowledge and tools can result in a very expensive lockout.    Using grease inside of a safe lock is one of the surest ways of having a lock failure.    
"IF" you decide to try this yourself, use a light lubricant like a spray on silicon or Teflon like "TRIFLOW" to clean and lube the lock, then wipe it dry.   Excessive lubricant is NOT your friend, and won't make the lock work better.

Check the operation of the lock and bolt work SEVERAL times before you actually close and lock it.    RULE:   One step at a time - if something isn't correct, you only have to go backwards one step.    If you do 15 steps and something isn't right, then you really don't know WHAT the problem might be.

If you would like me to look at your safe, I would be more than happy to, but will need photos of it.

hope this helps out.

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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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