- Opened with minimal damage – residential and light commercial grade
- Combination changes on dial locks
- Safe locks installed
Safes are strongholds designed for the purpose of preventing or deterring theft of valuable items or cash. The material that safes are manufactured from are various and include mild steel, hardened steel, glass, concrete and fire rated components. Locksmith Sydney
In order for a locksmith to open a safe without knowing the combination or having a key, the locksmith needs to have an intimate knowledge of the lock installed on the safe and the locking points, i.e. the bolt work just in case forced entry in necessary.
Generally forced entry is a preferred method of safe opening for most locksmiths as the time involved in manipulation is never a definite factor. More often than not, it is not worth the time to gain entry by manipulation as it can sometimes take days to defeat certain locks, for this reason manipulation only is only suitable for select jobs.
If destructive entry is the decided course of action, a skilled locksmith that has a comprehensive understanding of the boltwork design should always be used. Usually it only takes a couple of holes in the right place to gain access, these entry points can then be plugged and the safe remains useable. If an inexperienced locksmiths attempts to force entry on a safe that he is not familiar with the damage caused to the locking mechanism and door may be irreversible, resulting in the extra cost of having to purchase a new safe.
To increase the security level that safes offer, extra security measures are sometimes incorporated into the bolt work; one of these is known as a relocker.
A relocker is designed to go off if a thief attempts forced entry by attacking the lock or the door. Attacks have to include enough force to trigger the relockers, such attacks generally includes hammer attacks or attempting to drill the lock off the door.
Once a relocker has gone off the safe is in a semi permanently locked state and it can be a costly exercise having a locksmith gain access to a high security safe, such as a CHUBB mini banker or a LORD SAFES platinum. High security safes have several layers of protection designed to slow down an attacker before they set the relockers off. One commonly used method is affixing a hardened steel plate positioned in between the door and the lock body. Hardened steel repels attacks by increasing the time to takes to drill through, compared to mild steel there is a significant difference in the time taken to penetrate through. Some hardened steel plates even have tungsten carbide bits embedded throughout, designed to break drill bits upon contact. Fortunately there are other strategies that a good locksmith can employ to open such high security safes.
Safe design has been incorporated into securing large areas as well, for examples, vaults and strong rooms. Vaults in banks are an adaptation of safe design and are an integral part of a banks design, with the vault being designed first and the bank being built around it.
Depending on the goods that you want to protect, a fire rated safe may the answer.
Fire resistant safes are designed to protect valuables such as cash, photos, laptops, albums and any material that has a low melting or burning point.
It is important to note that not all fire rated safes offer the same level of protection.
At Link Locksmiths, we recommend the purchase of a “data safe” if you are looking at securing memorabilia such as photo albums or cash. Considerably dearer than standard fire rated safes, they have an extra layer of insulation. This extra layer compromises the internal volume as it is quite thick, so it is a trade off, in this case smaller internal volume for extra protection.
Under floor safes that are manufactured of mild steel are considered as fire safe if mounted in a concrete slab, even though mild steel is not considered as a fire safe material. To determine fire rating you need to take into account the combination of the safes design and the installation method. Under floor safes are one of the most secure ways to store valuables at home. Often savvy builders are able to hide them in closets that at first appearance aren’t obvious to an intruder and if an intruder finds it then there is no chance of ripping out of the concrete and running away with it. Depending on the lock, differing levels of security are available; with the emergence of digital safe locks, new high security features have become available. For those seeking to increase the security of their safe with a digital lock, we can help.
When it comes to installing a safe we recommend using dynabolts for concrete or wood screws for timber floors. It is important to achieve a sufficient level of penetration when affixing your safe. Dynabolts should penetrate 120mm into the floor to achieve an acceptable level of security. Most fire rated safes have pre-drilled holes for securing your safe. These pre-drilled holes should always be used rather than drilling new holes as the fire rating will be compromised this way.
Various locking combinations are available to have installed on your safe. In a high security application we recommend the use of a digital safe lock incorporating a time delay feature in conjunction with a mechanically operated key lock. This combination of electronic and mechanical security is an effective deterrent to thieves who often look for easy targets. There are other security features available on digital safe locks that are very important to have especially in a commercial situation, please call us to have a locksmith help you with your queries.
Also important is the design and build quality of the safe. There is little point fitting a top of the range digital lock or ROSS 900 key lock to a safe that has design flaws or weaknesses in its manufacture that are relatively easy to exploit. We can recommend a safe for almost every situation.
Banks offer secure storage for valuables in their vaults. Along with the development in safe technology, vault development has also progressed and new ways to make vaults more secure have surfaced over time. These days, modern vaults are almost indestructible.
Historically, key operated locks were first installed on vaults, unfortunately there was an inherent weakness in this design as criminals exploited the opening in the keyhole to load explosives into the vault, which would lead to the door being blown off its hinges. To counteract this form of theft an inventor named Linus Yale junior (revered by us and others in the locksmith industry) developed a solution – the combination lock.
The combination lock offers various levels of security; the more wheels, the higher the security. Unfortunately it also makes the lock more cumbersome to use that’s why digital safe locks are very popular, they are quick and easy to operate in comparison to mechanical combination locks. The advantage of a mechanical combination safe lock is its price, it’s relatively economical when compared to a digital one, whilst still providing a high level of security against manipulation.
The combination lock eventually found its way onto bank vaults in place of the key operated safe locks, however there were weaknesses in this design too. Thieves could knock the lock off the door or manipulate the lock to gain access. This specific form of attack was counteracted with the invention of relockers. Each time a lock was defeated new measures of security were integrated into the design, and modern day combination locks are far more secure. Kaba make a digital combination lock that is highly resistant to manipulation.
Modern vaults use materials such as concrete and steel to deter potential attackers. Concrete is resistant to oxy acetylene cutting, a distinct advantage over older steel vaults.
Modern day vaults have lights and emergency exits on the inside for safety reasons.