Safes & Security Containers/LeFebure undercounter



I have a chance to buy a LeFebure under counter teller safe  It has a front pull down door with a twist handle key lock.  It has a 1 hour fire list on the door and it is very heavy.
Would this make an adequate home safe or is it easy to break into for a burglar.
Should I look at a better all around safe.

Any info and your expertise is appreciated.

Thank you in advance.


Safes are built for different purposes.   Fire safes are designed to keep "HEAT" out of the safe, Burglary safes are built to keep "PEOPLE" out of your safe, and Composite Safes are designed to provide BOTH burglary and fire resistance.   How well each of these perform would depend on the standard or level that it is built to.   Weight of a container is NOT a standard that determines how fire or burglary resistive a safe is, though it does make it harder for someone to drag off.

Chances are your container is built to the minimum levels for burglary and fire.   While there are containers that offer 30 min or 45 min - the MINIMUM standard for fire resistance is "1 hour"!   So if your container has a 1 hour label, it meets the minimum standard to keep heat in the INTERIOR of the container, below 350 degrees F, for a minimum of 1 hour.
If the container has a combination lock, with a minimum of 1,000,000 possible combinations, and the door is secured by at least 3 locking bolts, operated by a separate handle, then it meets the MINIMUM standards for burglary resistance.    If as you suggest, it is secured by a handle with a key lock, then it has no burglary resistance.

Generally as no cash was left in these undercounter teller units, overnight, they were not required to meet any type of burglary resistance level at all.

So in answer to your question, this container would NOT be an adequate home safe, and should NOT be used for overnight storage of cash, jewelry, valuables or valuable documents.


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 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. NOTE: I also answer safe related questions in the Locksmith and Antique Safe Categories sections.


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 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.

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2009 - 2015 - Listed in AllExperts top 50 experts. All Experts 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

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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, including western Nevada

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