Locksmithing/UL BP-280 safe


A friend has given me a Underwriters Laboratories model BP-280 safe. Serial number 23430-17
Problem is the door is closed and locked and no one knows the combo. Is it an expensive process for a Locksmith to come out and get into it? Or is there a way to crack the combo somehow?

Thanks in advance for the info.


The "UL" specification BP-280, has to do with the relocking device.   It is NOT a model and has nothing to do with the safe.   It is simply an out of date "standard" that the relocking device was built to, and installed according to.

As to the question "is it an expensive process for a locksmith to come out and get in to it?"   Generally the answer is "YES"!    Locksmiths generally do NOT have the training, knowledge and/or tools to work on safes, especially locked up safes.   They routinely cause excessive damage and charge exhobant rates for ruining your safe.   Trained safe technicians on the other hand, generally don't cause any excessive damage, and fees should be flat rate and fairly reasonable - unless you are expecting something in the $50 to $100 range.

Cost to open and repair the safe, recovering or resetting the combinations, WILL depend on what you actually have.   Basic, reasonable pricing would be in the following neighborhood:

Non-rated (unlabeled) or fire resistive models should be in the $350 to $500 range.
Medium security, TL-15 rated safes or TL-15 composite should be in the $500 to $800 range.
High security, TL-30 rated safes should be in the $800 to $1200, per lock, range.
Ultra-high security, TRTL-30x6 and above should be in the $1000 to $1500, per lock, range.

Note:  These prices should include basic repairs.  Parts would be additional, but if the safe is opened correctly, generally parts are not necessary.

Obviously, any other repairs or restoration not associated with the actual opening procedure would be considered extra work, and would be additional pricing.

Your other option would be to test all of the 1,000,000 possible combinations for the lock on your safe.   Testing 500 per day, every day, will only take about 5.3 years.

I would recommend that you contact a local SAFE company to have their trained safe technician check out, and/or open the safe for you.


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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

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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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