Locksmithing/Chubb safe


Andy, I have recently acquired a large Chubb safe , 1300mm high x 780mm wide x 800 mm deep, outside dimensions , fitted with electronic lock, the type you can put a 9 volt battery on external lugs.The problem is it has not been used for approx 5-6 years and the present staff from where it came from have no idea of the combo number. { staff turn over is fairly great here }. They say it is empty , but no one is sure.The internal battery could also be severly corroded from our hot climate here causing more problems. Peter , [ our local { 300 klms away } locksmth] sugested cutting the back out , about a 600 x 800 mm hole then jackhammer out the concrete then with jig saw cut the internal liner to reach the inside of the door. I am loathe to do this because if it can be saved I would like to install this safe into the concrete Cyclone proof garden shed / cyclone shelter we are having built, ajoining the house.  I will take a photo of the front of it and send.
Regards ,  Hans.


Your locksmith as very eloquently indicated why I NEVER recommend using locksmiths for safe work.   If you intend to ruin a safe, hopefully you are not going to pay him for his suggestion to "ruin" the safe.   

Professional Safe Technicians ALWAYS approach locked out safes with the BASIC idea of how to open it with the least amount of damage, that is also repairable, so that the safe does NOT lose any integrity or security ratings.

While it's obvious that you can cut a large enough hole in the safe to reach in, or climb in to open it, the problem ISN'T just getting it open, it is also repairing it so that it will still provide what ever protection that it was originally intended for - fire or burglary.    Safes, especially Chubb safes, are NOT simply sheet steel and concrete, they use various barrier materials to keep burglars from doing what your local locksmith recommends.   If it was that simple, burglars would be breaking into safes much more often.    In addition to barrier materials, they use rebar, torch resistanct materials, drill resistant materials and thick steel.   So while this may be a way of getting rid of some frustration levels, taking it out on the safe, it may not actually work, depending on which Chubb safe you have and how it is actually constructed.

While I do realize that Australia is not only a large country but a continent as well, you do have a couple really good safe techs available, that travel, though you will have to discuss prices with them to decide if working on this safe is a cost effective idea.   Buying a new safe may be a better option.
If you are able to travel, or take the safe to the safe company, or possibly meet them half way somewhere, it could save on the fees somewhat.

I recommend that you contact Ratner Safes to see what options you have.   They may also know of, or can recommend someone in your area.

Ratner Safes
12 Longview Court Thomastown
Victoria 3074 AUSTRALIA
Telephone: 03 9465 7833
Facsimile: 03 9464 0828

Hope this helps,


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 42 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. 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 Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes".

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

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 Expert 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 and Western Nevada)

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