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Safe opening charges, etcetera

Posted By: Ken Dunckel Safecracker-Boxman <kendunckel@aol.com> (cache-ntc-aa09.proxy.aol.com)
Date: 4/1/5 16:27

In Response To: Re: Antique Safes, Useful General Information (Greg Scholl)

Safe opening charges:

Some safemen charge by the hour; Service Call, Mileage, and hourly onsite.

My charges are usually flat rate quote to open, repairs hourly plus materials. I know the safes well enough that once I have a detailed description of the safe and the problem, plus any special circumstances, I can give a flat rate for opening with confidence. Five minutes, five hours, five days, same price. My prices start at around $200 and go into the thousands, depending on what/where/when.

Many people feel that if I have an exceptionally easy time I should reduce my fee, but this is the same as being penalized for being good. I can often open (some) safes in a fraction of the time a less experienced, less skilled, poorly equipped technician can. Nobody ever offers me more money if a job turns out to be much harder than I anticipated.

Safe opening rates vary according to the safe make, model, and circumstances. There are safes and vaults designed for fire protection with limited burglary resistance, and safes and vaults designed for varying levels of burglary attack.

Safemen are responsible for being familiar with designs and models spanning over 150 years of US and foreign safe making. Some older safes and vaults can be quite difficult to open some are relatively easy. This holds true for safes made today.

Some of the older safe and lock designs were intricate and elegant, plus very nice to look at. Many had sophisticated anti-defeat designs that are still copied in today's offerings.

How easy a safe is to "crack" depends a great deal on who is making the attempt and with what type of defeat method in mind. There are tools of brute force and tools with more finesse. The majority of attempts by unskilled and inexperienced are either unsuccessful or greatly time-consuming and entail a great deal of needless and wasted effort. Anybody can destroy a safe, but that's not why people and businesses and governement agencies hire the likes of me. Safemen don't destroy -- in most cases if we do any damage it's repairable and often undetectable.

When I work the armchair safecrackers come out of the woodwork -- everybody knows an easy way to do it, everybody knows somebody who could have whipped the safe I'm working on open in seconds or minutes. Funny, though, nobody can ever remember where to get a hold of this legendary wizard, so they're stuck with me. I'm pretty good at it, but I'll never be as good as the "remembered" person who can't be located.

Jokes -- Seeing a safeman work brings out the frustrated stand-up comedian in a large number of spectators. No I didn't bring any dynamite. And no, I didn't learn this in prison any more than one must be a serial killer before becoming a doctor. If the ones in prison are so good with locks, what's keeping them inside?

Ken Dunckel Owner,Safecracker Editor/Publisher Boxman

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