Recommended service to change a safe battery(s) once a year is good, if not great, idea to have as part of a service contract with your customers. This can be an annual “safe” checkup for the entire home, office, etc., which includes making sure the locks properly operate, adjusting door...
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Recommended service to change a safe battery(s) once a year is good, if not great, idea to have as part of a service contract with your customers. This can be an annual “safe” checkup for the entire home, office, etc., which includes making sure the locks properly operate, adjusting door closers, and doing a site inspection for the customer’s safety. Even if you do not have a contract, keep a record and mail a post card or call once a year to keep your name in front of your customer.
NOTE: Use brand name alkaline batteries unless the manufacturer recommends something different. Extra heavy duty batteries are not alkaline.
Although many electronic safe locks are capable of operating using the same battery for more than one year, safe owners tend to not replace the battery(s) even after the “low battery” warning signs have stopped.
The customer will almost always call on a pre-weekend/holiday afternoon, saying they must have the safe opened within the next three hours (sometimes two) because it is the event of the century and the safe you sold them does not work.
The opening problem is almost always one of two scenarios. Either the combination has been lost or misremembered, or the battery(s) are dead to the point the combination can not be entered in order to unlock the safe door (and the owner will usually deny that he or she is using the safe even after hearing and/or seeing the warning indicators).
If you have not sold the safe, you probably will not know the make and model of the safe or the lock. As a result, you may not know how to service the safe before you see it. Ask a few questions. Is there a name on the lock? Some safe manufacturers place their name on the lock instead of leaving the lock manufacturer’s name. Another change is changing the lettering on the keypad. One lock manufacturer has changed from having “CLEAR” and “ENTER” back to “*” and “#”.
One of the ways some safe producers cause headaches for locksmiths is by changing the name and part number on a safe. The safe itself has not been changed. A new name and part number are introduced to stimulate sales. This can cause confusion in being able to identify a safe. Look at the following safes. If your safe appears to be physically the same as one of listed models but the name or part number is different, consider attempting to follow the information in order to replace the battery(s) or to unlock and open the container using the key lock override.
If the batteries are externally mounted and there is no mechanical override, try to operate the safe lock. If there is no mechanical override and the lock will not operate, only then replace the all of the batteries. Check the condition of the removed batteries before installing new batteries and trying to operate the lock electronically.
To test a battery, use a voltmeter or multi-meter to check the voltage. Each 9 volt battery should indicate at least 6.6 volts. If a 9 volt battery is below 6.6 volts, replace all of the 9 volt batteries. Fresh 9 volt batteries will have voltages of 9.2 volts or more. Each AA (1.5 volt) battery should indicate should indicate at least 1.1 volts. If the AA battery is below 1.1 volts, replace all of the AA batteries. Fresh AA batteries will have voltages of approximately 1.6 volts.
When the electronic safe lock has more than one battery, be sure to replace all of the batteries at the same time. If not, the worn batteries will draw current from the new batteries, causing them to become depleted prematurely.
To help solve the problems of safe and/or electronic lock identification, the following are descriptions and graphics of a number of safe and electronic locks. With each safe and electronic lock included, there are methods for replacing the external battery(s) or gaining access to the override key lock in order to open them.
IMPORTANT: Whenever possible, open the door and throw the bolt before changing the battery(s). Once the battery(s) have been replaced, try the code/combination a number of times before closing the safe door.