Locksmithing/Victor Safe

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Question
Hi Andy! I really enjoyed reading your post and responses to a previous Victor safe owner who acquired his safe from his dad. Similarly, I have a Victor 'certified' (n. tonawanda, ny) safe from my mom, kept unlocked/opened at her medical offices, for decades. I am interested in using the safe to keep under $2-3k of office materials locked in the device. My first problem is I do not have the combination. There are two tags bolted to the safe on the bottom. They both say Underwriters Laboratories Inc. one has a fire classification of C, and a 6 digit number; the second tab has a relocking device no 6-digits long.  On the inside, i found a non attached tag with the spec number of f2-ND and and 4W followed by 5 digits, SAFE MANUFACTURERS NATIONAL ASSOCIATION tag. And inside the safe I have 2 other small locking file cabinets from 'Hercules' Toledo, Ohio with working keys. Is there a way for me to get the unlocking code for the main safe (fyi the turn wheel goes up to 89). i am also interested in sandblasting/powdercoating if we can get it working, do you recommend? Thanks a bunch!

Answer
Hi Kawal,

In General, these containers were ONLY designed to protect documents from fire, NOT valuables from burglary.

With that being said - No, I don't recommend using it for overnight storage of any cash, jewelry or valuable documents.

However it is not my container, it is yours, so "YOU" are the one that has to determine how much "RISK" - "YOU" are willing to accept.

Let me explain - If you were to go to Las Vegas, with a limited amount of cash to gamble with, obviously you don't want to just "throw it away", so you would look for a game which gives you the best odds or rate of return - usually something like red & black or odd & even on the roulette table is slightly under a 50/50 bet - similar to getting burglarized.   The "RISK" that you are willing to accept would be the amount that you are willing to lose on each bet, or the maximum that you are willing to lose in total - similarly with your safe, "IF" you are burglarized, what would be the maximum amount that you could lose????    

Obviously the correct answer is that you don't want to lose anything - however if this is the answer, then you have answered your own question and don't need me any further.

Burglary safes are rated in their ability to keep people OUT of the safe, just like fire safes and containers are rated in their ability to keep heat out of the safe.   If you need BOTH features, then you would need a composite safe, which has ratings for both fire and burglary resistance.    Your containers only "HAD" fire resistance.

Because they are OVER 50 years old, they are considered to no longer meet any current standards.

Ok, so I've provided the black & white of the issues, now YOU have to determine whether or not YOU want to accept the risks associated with using these containers.    Hopefully you never suffer a loss due to either fire or burglary, but waiting until AFTER the fire or burglary is NOT much of a plan.

Hopefully this helps you out somewhat.  

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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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