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Antique Safes/Guardian safe


We have a Guardian safe in our office that is at least 20 years, it's about 2ft6 ins high with a numbered dial in the centre of the door and a pull down handle.  The only mark on the front is Guardian Safemakers Womborne England.
We are no longer able to open the safe using the codes we've used for years and need somebody to get it open and then reset if possible.  Do you know who I can contact.

Many thanks

Hi Susan,
Thank you for your enquiry. You will need to contact a safe engineer who should be able to manipulate the combination and open it. You should change codes every 6 months. Leaving it set on the same code for long periods can cause wear and eventually lead to a lockout.
Go to to find a locksmith near you. Look for one that provides safe engineering services and ask for an estimate. They may need to know what model Guardian safe it is, so if you would like to send me a picture I can probably tell you what it is.
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Mike Palmer FSyI
Mike Palmer Consultancy

Antique Safes

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Mike Palmer


I earn my living identifying safes and suggesting cash limits for risk advisors and insurance surveyors in the UK. I'm am pleased to comment on safes manufactured in the UK or Mainland Europe but I am unable to accept questions regarding safes made in the USA or elsewhere.


I have been in the UK safe industry for 40 years and have one of the largest archive databases of old safe literature and serial numbers in the country. I started with Chubb in 1960 and became Assistant Manager of their Bank Security Division before moving on to become the Insurance Liaison Manager with the John Tann Group. I became Sales & Marketing Director for Guardian Safes Limited before semi-retiring. I am a Fellow of the Security Institute and ex-Chairman of Eurosafe UK, a trade body representing the interests of UK safe makers and distributors. I now work as a part time consultant.

I am an advisor to the Safe Committee of the Association of Insurance Surveyors, a Fellow of the Security Institute and founding Chairman of Eurosafe UK.

I have had literally scores of articles published in various security trade publications. So far this year I have had 24 features published in various journals including Keyways, Professional Security, Pawnbroker and Safe India. I have published one book, Peckham Boy, the life and times of the world's greatest safe cracker.

No relevant educational credentials.

Awards and Honors
In 1997 I was awarded the annual shield by the Association of Insurance Surveyors for "..outstanding services to crime prevention"

Past/Present Clients
I have represented or been an agent for the John Tann Group (Stratford, Ratner, Dreadnought and Tann safes); Churchill Safes, Chubb Safe Co Ltd, SLS Safes, SMP Safes, Dudley Safes and several others

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