Locksmithing/Safe Puzzle


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An old bank building (built in the 1970s by Wachovia in Durham NC) has recently been renovated to house a bunch of startup companies.

The renovation kept the original vault location - turning it into a lounge and keeping two of the original vault doors.

The landlord has issued a challenge to the first company to open one of the two doors. The access panel on the *inside* of the door is available for inspection and manipulation.

The front/outside of the vault has a spin dial and two combinations. I am assuming that no electricity is currently being supplied to the vault. Is that necessary to open? Assuming we can't get the vault wired - is there any other way to open it (other than drilling / etc).

I don't currently know the manufacturer of the door/lock, but will go back tomorrow and see if I can figure that out.

I do have pictures and will upload a picture of the inside mechanism for your inspection.

Once I get your email - I can send pictures of the outside as well.

I understand this is likely not yet enough information for you - but it's a start. Other than manufacturer and additional pictures, let me know what else I can give you to help us solve the riddle!


That is the time lock and it has run down.

Are these vault doors locked? I don't understand what the landlord wants. Do they need to be opened or just serviced?

Where are they located? If an unskilled person closes the door without the combination you're looking at a big bill to get it open.

There is no challenge here. We do this for a living. Tell the landlord that a REAL safe and vault company will not open it just for fun.

Sorry I don't have better news.

Dan Terrigno
American Safe & Vault Service
Cleveland, OH


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Dan Terrigno


I can answer questions about commercial locks, card access systems, locksmithing except for cars, safes & safe opening, video surveillance and master key systems


35 years as a locksmith, security system designer and installer, trouble shooting and repair of all manner of security related equipment

Associated Locksmiths of America, Safe & Vault Technicians Association

Attended Miami University, Kent State University, continuing education through the Associated Locksmiths of American

Awards and Honors
Certified Master Locksmith. Certified ALOA instructor.

Past/Present Clients
Numerous Fortune 500 companies, DOD, and other governmental agencies

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