What happens when you want to open your safe but realize that you forgot the combination? A quality safe is a secure alternative to finding secret hiding spots for your prized possessions. It keeps thieves from taking your valuable items, but a forgotten combination can keep you away from them too. Before you resort to drilling the safe to break in manually, there are other options that won't damage the unit. Starting with the least damaging option saves you money and protects the safe's contents.
Identify Your Safe's Information
Before you do anything, you need to know what type of safe you have and the identifying information. Your safe can be a dial safe that requires you to rotate the dial to each number in the combination or an electronic safe with buttons to push. This information is necessary if you need to call a locksmith.
You'll also want to look for the manufacturer, model number and serial number. This is the identifying information that the safe company or locksmith needs to help you open the safe. You can often find the serial number on the safe door near the bottom corner or on the back of the safe. Since different manufacturers and models use different anti-theft mechanisms, having as much detail about the safe as possible helps you find the best solutions.
Use a Key Override
Home safes usually come with a key that allows you to override the combination. If you forget the combination, you can use the key to open it. This method requires you to know where the key is, though. If your safe is old and you no longer have the key or you've misplaced the key, you'll need to try a different method. Getting a replacement key from the manufacturer might also be an option, but you'll have to wait to get it.
Contact the Safe Manufacturer
If you have the safe's manufacturer, model number and serial number, you might be able to get the combination from the manufacturer. Most safe companies have a service that allows you to request the combination or a replacement key. This service usually comes with a fee.
However, safe manufacturers are careful about handing out this information to protect safe owners from theft. You'll need to prove that you're the owner of the safe. Some companies allow you to register your safe after purchasing it, which makes it easier to retrieve your combination or a replacement key. If you haven't registered your safe, you'll likely need to verify your identity as the owner in another way, such as through an online verification service or by having a form notarized.
Call a Locksmith
A last resort if you can't get the safe open on your own is to call a locksmith. This method is usually the fastest option since locksmiths know how to do the job quickly. Always choose a licensed, reputable locksmith for help opening any lock.
Your locksmith needs your safe's manufacturer and model information to know the specific features of the safe. This can help the locksmith choose the best approach for the safe that causes the least amount of damage. To maintain your warranty, you might need to contact the safe manufacturer before having a locksmith work on it. For example, if you're trying to open a Liberty safe, having a locksmith work on it without contacting Liberty voids your warranty.
If your safe is open, a locksmith can change the combination for you even if you don't know the combination. If it's closed, the locksmith might be able to use safe manipulation methods to open it for you without damaging the safe. As a last option, the locksmith can drill the safe to gain entry, but this option damages the safe.
Shelley Frost combines her love of DIY and writing in her freelance career. She has first-hand experience with tiling, painting, refinishing hardwood floors, installing lighting, roofing and many other home improvement projects. She keeps her DIY skills fresh with regular projects around the house and extensive writing work on the topic.