Question Recently, I was having some flooring installed and the installers realized that there was a floor safe hidden in a closet in my den/office. I am not sure that the previous owner even knew that it was there. The house was built in 1947 and it appears to be poured into the foundation, so I would imagine that it is about that old. It is a Gary Safe Company round safe. The top label read "Gary Safe Co., Los Angeles (21) with a serial number of 6278. The bottom label (seems less relevant) reads: "Underwrites Laboratory Inc., Inspected, Tool resisting safe, T-20 Burglary serial number 59453".
The locksmiths I called suggested that this safe was not manipulatible and would have to be drilled. True or should I keep looking? I like the idea of having a safe in the house and would consider drilling and replacing the locking lid if that was an option.
What do you think?
Chances are more likely the safe was installed in the 1960's.
Chances are the lock IS manipulatible, however you simply may not have anyone in your area trained in manipulation. My first recommendation is quit calling locksmiths, they are generally NOT trained and don't have the knowledge or tools to work on safes without damaging or destroying the safe. As your safe is obsolete and parts are not available, this should NOT be an option.
What you need is a trained safe technician from a local safe company. While the safe tech still may not be able to manipulate the safe lock, you can be more assured that if the safe has to be drilled it will be done in a fashion that will NOT damage the lock or safe head, and if done correctly WILL be totally repairable.
Not only are parts NOT available for this door, but replacement doors are NOT available, and haven't been for around 30 years. While parts and or the safe head can always be machined or fabricated, it would probably be cheaper to simply replace the whole safe.
I'm not sure where you got the "Tool Resisting Safe" part. The "T-20" lable stands for "Tamper Resistant", NOT tool resistant. If it were Tool Resistant, it would state "TL-15" on the label, NOT T-20! Again, if the locksmiths indicated this, it further amplifies my statement about not using locksmiths for safe work.
If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located and I'll see who I know in your area. Before you hire anyone to open the safe, make sure that you know up front WHAT the charges are going to be for the complete OPENING and REPAIR of the container! If they can't give you a flat rate opening, chances are they really don't know what they are doing, and may simply rack up charges for the work! If you have questions concerning there proposed method and/or charges run them by me first before having the work done, as afterwards is simply crying over spilt milk, and I don't have a lot of sympathy!
Hope this helps,
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Thank you for your very prompt and thorough response!
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