What do we do?

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Not too many people know what a safe technician is when i tell them what i do, so here’s a little insight.

The easiest answer, here’s what i’ve been up to this week,

Monday started around 7:30 pm on Sunday night  with a long trip to Donegal where I was faced with a locked out SMP  community III(Grade 3) safe,which had to be opened first thing Monday morning, a lot of safe technicians will put themselves forward as being “non destructive” specialists, the truth is about 90 % of call out are dealt with in this manner, by manipulation of keys,codes,locks or bolt work,key locks can be picked, mechanical combination locks can be manipulated but in other circumstances the skill of the technician lies in limiting the “destruction” to an absolute minimum,the term destruction in its self is a bit, over the top, it basically means drilling, after which the hole is repaired to a standard that does not compromise the safe in any way. So back to my locked out safe in Donegal, this safe is a high security safe fitted with an advance electronic combination lock which suffered a mechanical breakage inside, rendering the controls on the outside of the safe useless, so the only option was to drill a small hole, 8mm, and override the breakage,this is where the knowledge, experience and skill of a safe tech comes in,within a short period of arrival,I had correctly diagnosed the problem, opened the safe, replaced the part (not the entire lock),repaired the small hole and was back in my van.


Tuesday,tired from a 14 hr round trip i was delighted to be faced with another locked out safe but this time in County Cork, a Dudley Windsor Grade 1 safe, it was in a shop that had changed hands but unfortunately the codes to the 3 wheel combination lock wasn’t passed on with the purchase, with a 3 wheel combo (that is 3 separate no’s  each with 100 different variables) it would literally have been a 1 in a million shot to guess, so again knowing the safe and the lock after attempting to manipulate the lock for a short time i decided to drill a 6 mm hole, and using a 4mm bore scope I cracked the code in a matter of minutes, without touching the lock with a drill, infact if the customer didn’t want to upgraded to an electronic combination lock I could have just reset the code on the existing lock and it would have been good as new, again the hole was repaired and you’d never know I was there at all.


Wednesday, on the road again, County Wexford this time, I had a nice easy day ahead, meet with alarm company to wire up a new high security safe and locking system to the customers alarm system and programme up the lock to the customers settings and then do a full demonstration and hand over, even had time on the way back to call into a bank and open a locked out safe, this time a fichet bauche, one of the locks on it was not opening even with the right key,this time i was able to bypass the lock and open the safe using non destructive means and once again the safe was up and running when i left, good as new.safes are what we deal with day in and day out,there are very few occasions when we need to make a return call to finish a job.

Thursday thankfully was a “local” call again, here the customer wanted their 1990’s SMP  safe serviced and more importantly modernised, it was originally factory  fitted with a mechanical combination lock,after a consultation visit with the customer they decided that a Kaba 525 lock was the way to go this lock is an electronic combination lock that gives the customer various access options, most importantly it is pre-programmable to have numerous time lock periods where, even when the correct code is entered outside of these times access will be denied,




so by simply changing the lock the security of the safe was greatly enhanced,while there i was asked about an antique safe they had but had no keys,it was open but couldn’t be locked, new locks are impossible to come by for these so when i told him i could make up a set of keys for them he was delighted at the chance to put it back into action.


After that call, it was a routine service call in a bank and back to the office,

Friday and heading in one direction up the country then had to turn around and head for  Co. Kilkenny, on this occasion it wasn’t a lock out, it was the only other  problem i’m faced with, they couldn’t lock their safe, this can be even more of an emergency than not opening, at least then the contents are secure, When a safe won’t lock it’s always a lot easier, you can immediately see what the problem is and go about rectifying it,

So those were the highlights of  my week,thats what we do,throw in a few house calls to fix pvc doors, open locked out doors and fit new locks and thats my average working week if there is such a thing, every day in our work  brings a different problem so their is always a challenge and always something new,