Safe Problems: More Simple Solutions

Safe Lock Problems
Electronic/Digital Safe Locks

At least once a week, but usually more often, someone calls and tells me their safe's push-button combination lock won't open when they enter the combination.

When asked, they're positive they have the correct combination.

The Most Common Solution:
Try a new battery first (or batteries, if your lock uses more than one). The best and perhaps most easily available batteries for electronic safe locks will be Eveready Energizers or Duracell.

Other battery brands might be just fine for plenty of other battery-powered items, but trust me on this, in a safe lock you want to use either the Energizer or Duracell brands.

Did I say "new" battery? I'm pretty sure I did. Don't be a dummy, okay? Quite often after telling a caller to try a new battery they call back and report that a new battery didn't do the trick, can I please hurry over and get their safe open?

When I arrive, it often turns out that one of two things has happened:

1) Instead of installing new batteries, they rummaged around and found a "different" battery sitting in a drawer somewhere. Though it was the recommended brand, it wasn't "new," it was just a different battery.

Once again, this time in English: "New" battery means take yourself out to the store and buy a BRAND NEW BATTERY, one that's still in the factory package.

In such cases when I install NEW batteries while they watch, then try the combination, it miraculously works for me. The safe owner is relieved and happy. That is, until he or she sees the price on my invoice and realizes these were the most expensive batteries they ever bought, and the whole episode could have been avoided by following my simple directions.

2) Or, when I arrive and check out the battery compartment, sure enough, I find fresh new batteries, but they're not the brand I advised getting.

When I mention this, I get the lame reply "these were all the store had," or "I know they're not what you told me to get, but we had these new ones here already."

I tell people to get specific battery brands for a reason, and it's not because I own stock in the companies. It's because very often other battery brands will work erratically or not at all.

You don't have to follow free advice you get on the phone. You do have to pay if you don't follow free advice and instead insist on a service visit . . . even if they just do what you could have done a lot more cheaply yourself.

Make a resolution:
If your safe lock uses batteries, find out where they are (usually inside the keypad), and change them on a regular basis. Every six months minimum, more often if you use your safe frequently.

Don't tell the service technician "nobody ever told me to change batteries," or "I didn't know it used batteries," or "I couldn't find the batteries."


And to add to the Instructions for Dummies series: "new battery" also means that it hasn't expired (check the date on it or the packaking). I've seen one idiot pull out a 10-ish year old battery and claim it's new because "it is still in factory packaging!"

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