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Locksmithing/ilcan unican floor safe


Have a ilcan unican floor safe that I cannot open. The lid has been run over but was still working okay until recently & now Icannot get it to open. I have the combination & know how many turns but won't open up. WEould love some advice on it please.


Hi Tricia,

Sorry, but "no", you don't have an Ilco Unican floor safe.    While Ilco Unican "BRIEFLY" made safe locks, they did NOT make safes.    Various companies USED these locks on their safes.

"The lid has been run over" sounds a bit ominous - so I would have to believe that there may have been some damage, though it may not have been obvious to you.    Mechanical items like locks don't work "okay" and then simply stop working.   They have a problem which gets continuously worse UNTIL it stops working.

In general, my BASIC service advice is as follows:

1.  Annual maintenance, inspection and resetting of the combination for commercial use.

2.  Maintenance, inspection and resetting of the combination EVERY three to five years for residential use (light use)

3.  Caveat to the above schedules - or as SOON as a problem is noted or something happens to the safe or lock!

As you didn't mention how long you have had the container, I have to assume that it has NOT had any type of regular maintenance done and as you have indicated - it was recently "run over".    So it appears that it is long overdue for service!

The problem with the lock may be minor or it may be serious, in either case, you are pretty much at the point where you need a trained safe technician or safe engineer, to look at it.    If it is something minor, they should be able to get it open, serviced and back in business relatively easily.
If it is something more serious, or if a portion of the lock is broken, then it may have to be drilled to open it up.    Drilling if done correctly WILL NOT ruin the safe.   The usually small hole(s) can be easily repaired and if the lock can't be repaired, it can be replaced.    

As the Ilco-Unican Locks have not been made for around 20 plus years, if there is a problem with it - have them put a new, current model lock in, so you don't have future problems.

So pretty much at this time - this is going to be a hands on, diagnostics, opening and repair for your safe.    Check your local phone book to see what safe companies are available.

The only company that I'm familiar with in Australia would be the Ratner Safe Company in Thomastown, Victoria, AU.     
You can call them at:    03-9465-7833

They may know of someone in Queensland to refer you to.

The only company I know of in Queensland - though I'm not familiar enough with them to recommend them is:
Queensland Safe Company
16 Boothby Street
Kedron, QLD   4031


They do list that they have service technicians and can open safes, though you may want to contact them to discuss your safe.

Hope this helps,  


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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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