Does My Safe Need Service?

Should you have your safe serviced on a regular basis?

Short answer: YES

The long answer is that a lot depends on the particular safe, its age, and your usage of it.

If you own a business and the items you keep in your safe are essential or at least important to the smooth day-to-day operation of your business, the answer is the safe should be on a maintenance schedule that reflects the frequency and character of use.

In other words, a safe in a business that gets opened and closed several to dozens of times daily should probably have its innards checked out by a safe technician at least once a year.

Several factors come into play here. If the safe is in a store and one or two people on each shift go in and out of it several or more times each, that safe needs more frequent inspections. Each user's treatment of the safe will invariably be a little different.

For instance, a fast food restaurant with two managers and two assistant managers, all with access to the safe, is generally a harsh environment. If they actually think about it at all, such users are interested only in opening and closing it quickly. Thinking about routine motions slows them down when there are counter people waiting for change and burgers in need of flipping.

Safe technicians love such customers, because they usually don't call for any help with their safes until they're locked out, and the lockouts are usually related to long, hard use without service.

It's different at a business like an office, in which the safe gets opened once in the morning at the start of a business day, then is left open until closing. This would be considered light use.

Safes in homes get even even lighter use; many homeowners with safes don't go in and out of them much more than one or two times per week, if that. I usually tell such safe owners they can probably get away with service every 4-6 years.

But You're Charging More to Open It Than I Paid For It!
Is there some kind of unwritten rule that the price of my time and effort, applied on an on-call basis, at whatever location you summon me to, must never exceed the cost of your safe?
Nobody told me this.

When you buy the discount type (think Costco, Office Depot, Staples) safes, your dollar savings are on the front end. When you buy the discount safes (or even safes of decent quality) and use them but never service them, think of the cost of opening and repairing it after a lockout as paying for all that missed maintenance in one swoop, instead of having parceled it out over the years. I should add that some of the discount type safes are in effect almost unserviceable, being considered throwaways even by the people who make and sell them.

Problem is, you still need to get it opened before you toss it out, don't you? Hey, I didn't stick a gun in your ribs and force you to buy the discount box, did I?

But nobody ever told me my safe needed service!

Maybe so, maybe not -- I wasn't there when you bought it. Guess what, though . . . when you buy a car the salesperson rarely tells you that your car needs maintenance. It's generally understood that things with moving parts that you will be using for several years or more need some looking at now and then.

So whether you realized it not, doe not knowing that safes need periodic service somehow excuse you from paying for problems related to abuse, neglect, or misuse?

Short answer: NO


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