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Locksmithing/Diebold Insulated Filing Device


I recently purchased a home that had a large safe left in the basement. It is a Diebold safe and the previous owner said it was a laboratory safe. It opens on the top and the top slides to the front of the safe. It has two plaques below the Diebold Incorporated name. One says Safe Manufacturer National Association - Insulated Ledger Tray and one says Underwriters Laboratories, Inc - Inspected Insulated Filing Device. The whole safe is on wheels. I was curious if these safes are at all valuable and if it was worth trying to sell. I have several pictures that I can email to you for more reference.

Hi Meredith,

First off, there is no such thing as a "laboratory" safe.    While it may have been used by a laboratory, it was not made specifically for that use.    Safes are ONLY made with two purposes in mind - to protect documents and items from "FIRE", and to protect valuables from theft.   This gives us three basic types of safes - fire resistive safes, burglary resistive safes and composite safes which offer both fire and burglary protection.

The "Safe Manufacturers National Association" (SMNA) and "Underwriters Laboratories" (UL) are simply "Standards Testing Agencies".   They both developed levels or "STANDARDS" for both fire and burglary resistance.   Depending on which levels of protection that the tested safes meet, will allow manufacturers to place a label on all similarly made subsequent safes until the next testing or model line.

In this case, as you have noticed your container is an "Inspected, Insulated Filing Device" and NOT a safe.    Regardless of if it has a combination lock on it or not, this is and only will be considered an insulated filing cabinet and NOT a safe.

As for value, while I would be more than happy to look at your container to see what you have, and to answer any specific questions that you may have about it, I can already tell you, without looking at it the following values:

Fire Resistance:     $0     As this container is OVER 50 years old it does not meet any current standards for fire resistance.
Burglary resistance: $0     This is NOT a burglary resistive container.
Resale value:        $0     This container has no commercial or retail value.   It should not be used for overnight storage of ANY cash, jewelry or valuable documents.
Antique:          $0     This is not over 100 years old and is not an antique.
Collectible:         $0     As this container is considered simply "office equipment", unless you are collecting office equipment it has no value.

While it doesn't have value under any of the above categories, this doesn't mean that it has no value.   As mentioned while it does not meet current standards for fire resistance this doesn't mean that it won't provide some level of fire protection.   I personally have a couple similar containers which are both from the 1950's, which I use for storage of items which I want to provide with a measure of fire resistance, but which are also easy to replace and not extremely valuable.    As long as YOU understand what its limitations are and use it accordingly, I'm sure that it will have value to you as well.

If your goal is to sell it, while I'm sure that you can ask any amount that you wish for the container, and I'm sure that for the right price some will be willing to take it off your hands, for all practical purposes it has no value under any of the above categories mentioned.

One good note though, which usually at this point I'm still bringing the bad news for similar containers, this container does not use any asbestos as an insulation media, so this should not be of any concern to yourself or anyone you might sell it to.

hope this helps, if you have any additional, specific questions, I would be happy to answer them.  


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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

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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