Is it impossible to get your safe open? First, don’t get stressed out. It’s certainly unnerving and inconvenient if you’re safe stops functioning, but don’t let it get you down. Typically, when a safe malfunctions, it happens while locked. Here are some common reasons why your safe won’t open. There are several things you can attempt before you have to call a safe technician.


Dead batteries. It could be this simple. There may be sufficient power to operate the keypad, yet not enough for the bolt work to work. Therefore, even if the keypad beeps and lights up like normal, the issue may solved when you replace the batteries. Be sure to choose only a reputable brand, because off-brands generally lose power quickly.

Time delay. Does your safe have a time-delay feature? Then it’s necessary to wait for a specified period of time (usually 10 to 20 minutes). Now put in the code again, and it should work again.

Deactivated code. Your safe might not be opening because your code has been deactivated. In this case, it needs to be reset.

Jammed bolt work. Is the safe’s motor trying to retract the bolt work, yet still not opening? If so, kick the door, or bang it with a mallet. Not kidding. Go ahead and do it, as long as you don’t pound the handle or the keypad. If you do it right, it will loosen the bolt work. After that, try pulling the handle in the opposite direction of what you regularly do, and then enter the code. If you’re lucky, this will release the extra pressure on the bolt, so that the handle will finally move.

The wiring is disconnected and/or damaged. Your safe’s wiring may be disconnected, or it could require repair. Inspect the wiring behind the keypad, and you’ll find out if any wires are loose, kinked, or cut.

  • If it’s all good, then disconnect the wire temporarily from the keypad, and remove the batteries. Wait about 20 seconds. Now you can reconnect the wiring and put the batteries back in.
  • If the wiring’s damaged, it’s time to call a professional safe technician.

Lockout mode. If you’ve entered too many incorrect passcodes in a row, the safe will go into a penalty-lockout mode. Depending upon what kind of keypad your safe has, you may hear some rapid beeps. If so, wait 10 to 20 minutes or so. Then try opening your safe again.

What if you’re using the correct combination, but your safe still isn’t opening? If the safe has the traditional three-wheel combination lock (that is, three digits) then do this:

1. First, turn the dial to the left four times, until the first digit of your combination aligns with the opening index. On the fourth time, make sure to stop precisely on your number.

2. Now, turn the dial to the right three times, until the second digit of your combination aligns with the opening index. On the third time, stop exactly on your number.

3. Next, turn the dial to the left twice, until the third digit of your combination aligns with the opening index. On the second time, stop spot on your number.

4. Lastly, turn the dial to the right until it stops (around 95). If the dial doesn’t stop, then repeat your routine opening procedure, precisely dialing each digit of your combination. Remember, the safe will remain locked if you dial even slightly past any number you meant to stop on.

5. To lock your combination lock again, turn the dial four complete revolutions, stopping on any number that’s not part of your combination.


What if your safe still won’t open? Please, don’t drill your safe, or you’ll damage it! At this point, there’s truly no denying that you’re going to have to call an expert safe technician.


What if your safe doesn’t lock at all, but it stays open instead? Check on these issues:

  • First, replace the batteries. Use only a top name brand.
  • Now, be sure the edges of the cover are aligned. Make sure there isn’t any debris stuck in the edges.
  • See that the bolts aren’t bent or otherwise damaged, and ensure that the holes that they go into aren’t blocked by any debris.
  • Try “locking” your safe, even if the door stays open. If the locking mechanism still functions, you’ll know the problem lies elsewhere.
  • Finally, lubricate the locking mechanism. If a spring is stuck, this might do the trick. Be sure to use the proper lubricant. Lubricant for a combination lock is different from the lubrication applied on a keyed lock, which is traditionally graphite-based.


Did you forget or misplace the combination? Then find a legitimate safe technician with the expertise and knowhow required to open your safe. A premium safe technician will make your safe more secure than it was before, without damaging it.


Do not try to “crack” your own safe! Getting safes open, and properly working with combination locks (digital or mechanical), are very specialized tasks requiring exceptional skill, precision, and experience. Hire a trustworthy expert with an in-depth understanding of the maintenance requirements and various locking methods of today’s safes.

One mistaken belief about having your safe opened by a professional is that the safe will get damaged in the process ~ but this won’t be the case if you find a legitimate qualified safe specialist. Be skeptical of anyone claiming to be a safe professional who doesn’t have the proper credentials. Choose an accomplished safe technician you can rely on, someone who is officially certified, fully licensed, appropriately bonded, thoroughly background-checked, and suitably insured. Hire a dependable individual who will bring the right tools, possessing the necessary sensitivity and skill with touch and sound.

If you’re located anywhere in Avondale, Arizona, consider contacting Avondale Locksmith Stars, where you can request a free consultation with a mobile safe technician on staff. Be sure you get your questions answered to your satisfaction before you give permission for any work to begin.


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