Frequently Asked Questions about Safes & Safecracking | The Safe House™

The Safe House™

For security or breach thereof.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a good safe?

There are two types of safes worth having: those that resist burglary, and those that resist fire. A few safes have both of these qualities. Some have neither, though the marketing may claim otherwise. For a good burglar-resistant safe, look for drill-resistant barriers, relock devices, and a good lock.

Common burglary-resistance ratings are as follows:

For overnight storage of thousands of dollars, I recommend a safe with a U.L. listing or equivalent rating of at least TL-15.

What makes a good lock?

On any safe intended for burglar-resistance, I recommend locks that meet or exceed the standards of U.L. Group 2 or an equivalent. Sargent & Greenleaf and Chubb make some excellent mechanical combination locks, while Millennium and LaGard make good electronic models. The qualities of the locks vary greatly by model.

How do you crack a safe?

It’s a lot like in the movies. The general idea is there anyway, but some of the details are different. My methods include the use of various tools, not the least of which are the fingers of my right hand. I also use amplifiers, borescopes, and drills as needed. I have not yet attempted to open a safe underwater. I do not use nitroglycerin or any other explosive. Sometimes that does sound like fun, but I prefer to leave the safe undamaged. When I use a drill, it is to make a rather small hole that helps me get the safe open without damage to the lock. At the end of any job that requires such a penetration, I repair the hole, replacing any drill-resistant barrier materials with equally drill-resistant materials, such as hardened steel bearings and tungsten-carbide chunks.

Is there any safe you can’t open?

No. Some safes, however, make certain techniques infeasible. This is where the safecracker needs a mastery of various techniques. Don’t worry. I’ll get it open.

How much do you charge?

As of March 2014, my service rates are as follows:

The price for a safe or lock varies with the level of security and other features. I sell good security products at fair prices, but there’s no one-size-fits-all security solution. Just give me a call, and I’ll be glad to discuss your security needs with you.

What do you do when you’re not cracking safes?

Well, I wish I were riding a sexy Italian sport-bike, but I’m between motorcycles at the moment. Meanwhile, I cook tasty Danish grub.

Sometimes I play a sweet electric guitar with cool custom pick-up wiring. I’m better at the wiring than I am at the playing. But anyway, here’s some instrumental music for your enjoyment: The Star-Spangled Banner (MP3)

I’m also a community defense enthusiast.