Locksmithing/Safe

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QUESTION: Hi Terry. I recently purchased 2 safes from a closeout store in Greenwich, CT. I am unable to find out who manufactures them. One is a combo and the other is digital. Is there anyway to tell? Model # is f-5XDE and serial # is 9709074 made in Korea. That is the one with the digital lock. I need to send to my insurance. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am also looking to change the combination on the other one if possible. That one is model US-100XD, serial A9604049. They forgot the combo but I have the key and can open it as long as I dont turn the dial, lol. Thanks so much, Frank Reese

ANSWER: Frank,

I'm not sure what info you are going to send to your insurance company as neither of these safes provides any burglary protection.   They are both Asian made fire resistive safes, with no burglary protection.   They should have a label inside the safe door which indicates what their "level" of fire resistance is.

You will need to be more specific about what info your insurance company is looking for, and/or I will also need to see the safes.

As for identifying the manufacturers - the majority of similar safes in this company were all made by 1/2 dozen or so companies in China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines.   These safes were imported into the US under a lot of different labels - usually not associated with the actual manufacture.

As far as NOT turning the dials - can you guess how many safes that I get to open every day, because someone said the same thing, and low and behold, someone came behind them and locked the safe!!!   Keeps me in business! :)

Contact a local safe company to have them come by to either recover or reset the combinations for you.   The cost of having the combinations reset is going to be WAY LESS  than having someone come out to open it up!

Sorry, I can't be more specific, but I will need a better idea of what you are looking for.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks so much Andy. That was very helpful. I was looking to get insurance but i guess the safe has to be ul certified and i bet these are not since they are only fire safes. Back to shopping for one. Lol. Ill call to get the combo reset. Thanks again.

Answer
Frank

UL is only a testing agency - they don't certify any safes.    When a manufacture wants a particular rating, they submit the safe to be tested for that standard.   The "manufacturer" certifies that ALL of the safes built based on the TESTED safes, are built to the same standard.

UL occasionally pulls safes out of the manufacturers assembly line to ensure that they still meet the same standard.   It is very rare for UL to pull a label from a manufacturer, but it did happen several years ago to one of the imported High security safe manufactures.

If you are looking to get a safe for insurance reasons, you need to discuss what you are insuring (keeping inside the safe) with your agent.   Depending upon the amount of RISK that the insurance company is accepting, THEY will dictate WHAT level of protection that YOU will need.   These usually include a burglary rating and possibly a fire resistance rating.   Generally insurance companies don't insure or require safes for homeowners - mainly these are business requirements for banks, credit unions, jewelers, ticket agencies, coin and valuable metals dealers, etc. etc. etc.

First recommendation I have, is to learn all of the various UL safe ratings, and how safes are constructed.   Once you have educated yourself on how real safes are made and rated, THEN you are ready to start looking.

A great place to start would be:   http://www.amsecusa.com/ChoosingSafe/BurglaryRating.aspx
you can also download a copy of their product catalog to get some ideas on what is available.

Again, while you can buy from anyone, if you have the basics down, you won't wind up buying the wrong safe for the wrong reason.   This doesn't mean that you can't have more than one safe.   Including my antique safes, I've got 13 safes at my house.   You can have fire safes for document protection, burglary safes for burglary protection, composite safes which offer both burglary & fire resistance, etc. etc. etc.

hope this helps,

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

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.

Experience

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".

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

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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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