Locksmithing/Lost Combination


I have a 30 year old Star American Security Products safe and have lost the combination. It is Approximately 15in wide by 18in high and 18in deep. It is a digital only safe with a keypad only. I contacted a locksmith who contacted AMSEC and they told him that the safe was to old to look up an over ride code. I ripped the keypad off to reveal two wiring harnesses. One went to the keypad and one to the digital display. The batteries are in the safe. Is there a way to cross the wires to get the bolt to retract? Thanks. Pat

Hi Pat,

Yes, AMSEC only has info on STAR safes built AFTER serial number 370940.

If your safe has a digital lock there probably isn't an override or reset code - this didn't begin happening until much later in the evolution of digital locks.

By "ripping" off the key pad you have effectively lost all communications with the lock, and there probably aren't any older key pads left around to try to hook it back into.    

As far as hooking up two wires to retract the solenoid - with the exception of some REALLY Cheap safes you can't do this.    Manufacturers figured out this trick really early on and took great care to ensure that this wasn't possible.  

Even if jumping the lock from the outside was possible for your lock, this is information that we would NOT provide you with.    Sorry but we have no idea who you are or what your actual relationship is to the safe, or whether you even have authorization to open it.   Sorry nothing personal - just stating the facts.

At this point you are pretty much left with two options:

1.   You can contact a local safe company to have their safe technician (not a locksmith) open the safe for you, or
2.   You can destroy the safe trying to get it open.

Sorry I wish I had better options for you, but at present you haven't left yourself with many.

If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see who I might know and/or recommend in your area.

Sorry the answer is what you wanted to hear.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland safes from the 1860'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.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

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 - 2014 - 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)

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.