When I was the service manager, I would occasionally cover the late shift. I remember one evening I received a call from manager trying to close up for the night who frantically said “My safe won’t open; help!” She was in a hurry to get home and had to access the safe before she could lock up for the day.
One of the most common troubleshooting calls we receive is:
“My safe won’t open. What do I do?”
Here are five common reasons why your safe won’t open, and what steps you should try before you call a technician.
Five Possible Reasons Your Safe Won’t Open
Fingers crossed, the reason your safe won’t open is as simple as dead batteries.
Before you try anything, change the batteries using brand name batteries. Off brand batteries lose power much faster than their brand-name counterparts.
It is important to try this step first, even if your keypad beeps and lights up as normal. There may be enough power in the batteries to operate the keypad, but not enough to completely retract the boltwork.
Jammed Bolt Work
At times, the bolt work can get jammed for a wide variety of reasons. If you hear the motor trying to retract the bolt work, but the safe won’t open, a jam could be the culprit.
It’s time to unleash your inner-frustrations; you get to mule kick the safe. Turn your back to the safe, and kick the door, hard, a few times. Be sure that you do not kick the keypad or the handle. This will help loosen the bolt work.
Next, pull the handle in the opposite direction than you normally do and enter the code. This will release some of the extra pressure on the bolt and should help the handle move more freely.
Lockout Mode or Time Delay
Many safes go into penalty lockout mode if too many wrong codes are entered. Depending on the type of keypad, it typically emits a rapid series of beeps. If this happens, wait 10 to 20 minutes, and try again.
Your safe also may have a time delay. If this is the case, you will need to wait for the specified time delay period (typically 10 minutes) and re-enter your code.
Another possible reason your safe won’t open is your code has been deactivated. Have someone else try their code to see if theirs works.
Disconnected and/or Damaged Wiring
As with any electronic device, wiring can get disconnected and/or damaged. Remove the keypad and inspect the wires to see if they have come loose, are kinked, or cut.
If everything is intact, disconnect the wire from the keypad, and remove the batteries. Wait at least 20 seconds, then reinstall the batteries and reconnect the wiring.
If wiring is damaged or cut, you will need to call a technician. Be sure to tell them the type of keypad you have installed so they can bring one when they come.
If you try all of these steps and your safe still won’t open, it’s time to call a technician. If you have any questions, let us know. We’re happy to help!