Think “The Italian Job,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” and “The Score.”
Movies can make safecracking look easy. A safe is defeated in mere seconds with steady hands and a good ear—that, or by using a sophisticated set of explosives. While safecracking isn’t as easy it may appear, expert safecrackers—or those with know-how—can “crack” a safe with the right tools, skills, and some patience. That’s why quality safes are so important.
While safes are designed to be just that—safe—they do have a shortcoming: they must be accessible to a locksmith or other authorities in case of a lock-out or malfunction, hence the root of safecracking and, consequently, the need for tried-and-true quality safes.
A popular method of safecracking is to simply steal the safe and move it to a place where the safecracker has time to take the safe apart and remove the contents. But there are other ways that a safe can be cracked without physically removing it.
Sound and feel
The lock of a safe can be manipulated to obtain the combination without damaging the safe. Sounds and/or feel may be used to determine the combination on some simple rotary locks.
Many manufactured safes come with a manufacturer-set combination designed to allow the owner initial access to the safe so that they can then set a new secure combo. These try-out combinations can be found by doing a little homework. Owners of the safe need to be sure to change the combination to a difficult-to-guess combination promptly.
Searching for Clues
The combination to a lock may be discovered through taking a few guesses. The owner of the safe may unintentionally compromise the security of the safe by selecting an easy-to-guess combination such as a birthday or a driver’s license number. Many people also record the combination near the safe or actually on the safe itself; searching the room may lead a burglar to find the numbers he or she is looking for. A lock may also be opened by attempting every possible combination.
Although most are difficult to open, some safes are susceptible to drilling or other invasive techniques. Drill-point diagrams for specific models of safes are produced by manufacturers; however, these should not be accessible as they are safely guarded by both manufacturers and locksmiths. Drilling is commonly used by locksmiths to open safes. It’s also commonly used during burglaries as well as for malfunctioning or damaged locks.
GunVault to the Rescue
At GunVault, we are one step ahead of safecrackers. Our safes include the following features to thwart safecracking:
—Some information collected from Wikipedia’s “Safe-cracking” page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe_cracking) and How Stuff Works’ “How Safecracking Works” page (http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-safety/security/safecracking.htm)