Locksmithing/Moving a safe


What is the safest way to move a 30" high approx. 300-400 lb. safe out of a basement. There are about six narrow wooden stairs that are very weak and may not support the weight of the safe, a hand truck and two or three men. What equipment and techniques are needed to do this without causing harm to the movers or the safe? Thanks, Jay

Hi Jay,

The safest way to move it would be to hire a safe moving company.   They have all of the equipment to do it safely.

While 300-400 lbs.  may not seem like a lot, but when you are moving up or down steps or stairs, gravity is not your friend, and 300-400 lbs can easily become a missile, taking out anyone and anything below it.

Hand trucks are a waste of time, and when you get three guys and a safe on the steps, they simply get in each others way.

Sorry, but as far as giving you instructions and info on moving safes, places us in a potential liability position, so we do not do that.   Moving heavy equipment is something that takes a lot of training and specialized equipment to do safely, without potential damage or injuries to workers, equipment or your building.   Even professionals occasionally have problems, and with heavy equipment you DO NOT get do overs.   One of our guys got a hand crushed against a wall when a safe shifted.   Last year a professional safe company in the Denver area had a worker killed when a safe shifted and pinned him against a wall.   The other three workers were trapped in the room they were moving the safe into and had to sit there and watch him die.   When the fire department got there, they cut the wall out to get the other workers out, so that they could get extra tools to get the safe off of there co worker.

This IS NOT a DIY type project, and the specialized moving equipment is not available for rent anywhere.

About the best that I can offer is to see what safe companies that are in your area, that I might recommend.


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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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