Lost Your Safe Keys? Here’s How to Get In

Safe Opened in LA

When you need your safe opened and removed, should you pick up a sledgehammer and try to solve the problem yourself? Or should you just pick up the phone and call a qualified Locksmith in Costa Mesa? If you lose your safe key and don’t know the combination, can’t you just put your ear against the door and listen for the clicking sound like they do in the movies? Well, it’s not quite that easy.

If your combination isn’t working when you try to open the safe and you’ve lost the safe keys, the first thing to do is to check that you’re dialing the combination correctly. Opening a combination safe can seem like a complicated procedure, but once you understand it, it’s actually quite simple. To open a standard combination safe, you start by turning the dial four times to the left. That means that you should turn the dial in a counterclockwise direction, passing the first number three times and stopping at that number on the fourth turn. Then you will spin the dial three times to the right, passing the second number twice and stopping on the third turn. Next, you turn the dial to the left twice, which means that you will pass the last number one time and stop on that number on the second turn. Finally, turn the dial slowly to the right until you feel a slight resistance, indicating that the lock can be released by depressing the lever or pulling the handle to open the safe.

That all sounds simple enough, right? But what do you do if you want to have your safe opened and removed and the combination you have just isn’t working? Should you try safecracking? Although Hollywood makes safecracking seem rather glamorous, in reality it is very difficult. While the process does involve listening for clicks, it requires a LOT more listening than implied on the silver screen. Safecrackers have to try spinning the dial and listening for sounds indicating a “contact area.” However, they have to repeat this process at various locations – usually in small increments of three numbers – all around the dial. Upon determining the contact area for each location, the results must be graphed and after all the spinning and listening is complete, the graphs must be analyzed for possible safe combinations. The kind of lock manipulation described above is what locksmiths will usually do, as it results in no damage to the safe. Criminals, however, are less apt to use such methods given the amount of time and level of skill required.

Criminal safecrackers are more likely to resort to somewhat damaging methods of safe entry, such as drilling. Some safes have extra cobalt reinforcement around the cam and lock area in order to prevent such drilling. Thieves sometimes get around this reinforcement by drilling in to the safe at an angle above the cobalt so that they can insert a borescope. With the borescope the safecracker can see the wheels spin and thus visually determine the safe’s combination.

Safecracking is incredibly difficult and drilling is obviously destructive, so what should you do if you need your safe opened and removed but you don’t have the combination and have lost the keys? Call a professional locksmith.

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