Help, how can I open my digital safe when the batteries are dead?

Posted on Dec 06, 2018

This is a question I get asked a lot!

So, here is my definitive guide to getting into your electronic digital safe if the batteries are dead.

Step 1. Don’t panic 

You will be able to get back into your safe and as long as you follow the below steps, your safe will be undamaged and useable again in no time

Step 2. Check that the batteries are dead and that it is not another problem

On most higher end electronic safes, the first sign that the safe batteries are dead is usually a longer series of beeps when you input your code or a warning on the display panel if you have one.  If you are getting a low battery warning of any sort and if the safe won’t open it is likely that this is the problem. 

Lower cost electronic safes may not warn you that the battery is running low and the first you may know is when the safe won’t open.   Batteries can be expected to last up to 2 years, depending upon usage, so if yours have been in longer than that, then a dead battery is likely to be the reason. Batteries that are left untouched for too long may corrode, which could create a much more expensive problem.

Step 3. Work out what sort of digital safe you have

Obviously there are hundreds of models of digital safe, but I have split these into three categories depending on the type of electronic lock the safe has.

 

Digital lock with override key

Digital safe with key over ride

If you purchased your safe at low cost online or from a large chain retail outlet, then it is likely to be this type of electronic safe and will have a lock similar to the one in the image above.  Your safe will have come with a seperate key which can be used to open the safe if the electronic lock fails or the batteries run down. Override keys should not be stored inside the safe.

Digital lock with batteries behind the keypad

Digital safe with batteries under the keypad

These higher end locks have the batteries concealed within the keypads with access to the battery even if the safe is locked (often from below, or the keypad will tilt forward to reveal the batteries).  If the battery is running low on a safe with this type of lock, you will get a warning. This may be beeps when you input your code or, if you have a display panel, it may show a low battery warning similar to that you would see on a mobile phone.

Digital lock with emergency power supply connection

Digital safe with battery connectors

Locks like the one in the image above have an external emergency battery connection point on the keypad.  The actual battery housing is inside the safe on the back of the door and inaccessible from the outside, when the safe is locked.

Step 4. Accessing the batteries in your digital safe

Each type of safe requires a different method of replacing the dead batteries:

  • Digital lock with override key  - You will need to use the override key to open the safe.  The battery pack is inside the door and batteries can only be replaced with the safe open.  To access the override lock, there is usually a removable panel to the side of the keypad. Undoing this will uncover the lock for the key to be inserted.  If you have lost the override key then you cannot open the safe. However due to the less secure nature of these sort of key locks, a locksmith will be able to open it for you, for a charge.  
  • Digital lock with batteries behind the keypad - There is normally a obvious catch somewhere on the keypad (often at the bottom) which will release the battery casing and enable you to replace the batteries as seen in the image below
  • Digital lock with emergency power supply connection - These safes cannot be opened without battery power and the batteries are located inside the safe.  If your batteries are dead, you will need to hold a 9v battery (Like the ones you get in smoke detectors) to the connection points at the front of the safe, this should deliver the power you require to enter your code on the keypad.

You will need to keep the battery held onto the connection points while you type in your code and open the door.

Once inside the safe, you will have access to the dead batteries and be able to replace them.

Step 5. If all else fails, contact the experts

If your digital safe is one of the more secure/robust varieties, or none of the above have worked then it is probably time to speak to the professionals.

With our experienced engineers and nationwide service, no matter what grade, cash rating, or make of safe you have, we can get it open for you.

Safes can become stuck shut for a variety of reasons, not just the batteries.  Whatever the issue preventing you from opening your safe, our engineers will quickly diagnose the problem and determine the options for opening it.

If you need help opening your safe, get in touch now 

Things you should not do if your safe won’t open

  1. Kick it: Although this may make you feel better it will not help and may damage the safe locking mechanism further
  2. Spray things in the lock: We have had all sorts of weird and wonderful things sprayed in locks over the years and none of them help.
  3. Force the lock: Any attempt to force the safe open is likely to cause damage.  Safes are designed not to be able to be forced open so any attempt you make to do so is futile.
  4. Drill the lock: Unless you know what you are doing, the only guaranteed result of drilling your safe’s lock is that you will never be able to use that lock again.

We can help you to get your safe open in the most effective and least damaging way.  Please contact us to arrange for an engineer to come out to you asap.