Locksmithing/Opening an old safe

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Question
Safe info
Safe info  
Hello. My neighbor just recently had his fathe pass away and received every thing from his will. This included a safe, he wanted my help opening it and to research about it. All the information that is on the front is the following: Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Safe 321366 Fire Classification C, Tool Resisting Safe t-20 burglary 56748. Any info would be amazing. Thank you!

Answer
Riley,

First item - the tags and info.   These are simply testing agency "RATINGS" and have nothing to do with the safe or the manufacturer.   They ONLY indicate what the safe was built for and/or designed for.   In this case the "Classification C" rating indicates that it is a standard "1 hour" fire resistive container, designed for storage of documents, to protect them from fire or heat, for at least a 1 hour period.
The "T-20 Burglary rating" is actually NOT a burglary rating, the "T-20" stands for TAMPER Resistant - 20 minutes, NOT burglary resistant.
The serial numbers on the tags are for the tags, NOT the safe.

Even if you had the manufacturer of the safe, chances are they are out of business.   Manufacturers NEVER published or released ANY information about the safe (like combinations) for obvious security and liability reasons.    How safe would your safe be, if there was a book published with combinations for safes, based on serial numbers????

So you basically have two options for opening the safe at this point.   You can test every one of the possibly 1,000,000 potential combinations, or you can have it opened by a safe technician from a local safe company.    Testing 500 combo's every day it will only take about 5.3 years to test them all.

Have your friend contact a local safe company (NOT a locksmith company) to schedule up an appointment with their safe tech, to have the safe opened.

Sorry the news isn't better, but at least it gives you a place to start.

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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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