Combination Safe Issues

by AZRealityPrepper

Christmas morning and all through the house, not a critter was stirring…..until my gun safe alarm went off….at 4:12 a.m. ……LOUDLY….

A little background first.  This is one of those gun safes that holds one or two pistols, has a 4 digit combo lock on the top and uses a bunch of batteries inside to electronically lock/unlock the safe.  When the batteries get weak, there is a 9-volt plugin on top to allow you to attach one of those 9-volt rectangular batteries to give it a little boost to allow you to open the safe to change out the regular AA batteries.

So at 4:12 a.m. this morning, suddenly the battery alarm for the safe starts “chirping”, to let me know it was weak.  When I tried to open it up (naturally not thinking very well at that time of night), the alarm went off on the safe.  For the next hour, no matter what I did, I could not get the safe to open.  I am sure I plugged in the right combo many many times, I used multiple 9-volt batteries to boost the batteries inside, I tried combinations that I was sure would work, but nothing would open that safe up.  I was getting a real headache from the alarm going off in one ear and the wife going off in the other ear.  This was not fun!

Finally, I got out another 9V booster battery (probably the sixth or seventh one I tried), plugged it in, tried the combination and ka-ching, it finally opened.  Immediately I took out the contents and placed them into my regular gun safe, then, I removed the batteries from inside this little safe. The alarm obviously stopped at about 6:30 a.m. on Christmas morning.

I have a few lessons learned from this wonderful experience (trust me, when the wife gets woken up at 4:12 in the morning on Christmas morning after having not gotten to bed until VERY late….it is not a “wonderful” experience.)  First, I went a loooong time without checking this safe, so it made the combination not readily retrievable from my somewhat befuddled mind at 4:12 in the morning.  Had this been a real emergency, it would have been a bad experience trying to get the contents out that I wanted.  Second, batteries need to be rotated and used or get rid of them.  The “new” batteries I tried to use were not cutting it because they had sat in the storage area too long.  Maybe if I had them in a recharger it would have allowed me in the first time, but regardless, fresh, fully charged batteries are necessary.  Third, have the combinations available to others in case you are not around.  Write them down and place them somewhere not easily found but someplace that your spouse can get to if necessary, and as a reminder for you if you are not quite sure (at 4:12 in the morning).

I hope my attempt at humor and real life lessons learned is useful to some of you in the pack.  This is just a friendly reminder to change out those batteries and the end of the year is a good time to go around and do that when the weather outside is not so pleasant !!!    A great prepping 2017 to all in the pack.


  1. Thomas The Tinker says:

    I guess if ya got kids in the house… ya gotta have something like this. Ya certainly talked me out of buying one!

    • I so strongly disagree.

      In my house my six kids, (3g and 3b), were taught from toddler age on, all about guns. Guns were never made a mystery. When very young, of course the weapons were place above their reach, but as soon as they were able, my kids handled guns and were instructed over and over on gun safety. And if they wanted to see/play/shoot, we took the weapon, unloaded it together, and went through safe gun-handling before they got the weapon. A gun is just like a knife, a hammer, a car…….you need to teach a child how to handle it and use it. 16th birthday all my kids received their own .38sp 2 inch revolver, (Taurus or Charter). They all owned their own rifles/shotguns 6-8 years earlier. Never been an unloaded gun in my house and the kids and ALSO my grandkids know it. A locked up gun or a unloaded gun is worthless. Any your story proves that very well……thank god you didn’t need your gun right then!!!!

    • azrealityprepper says:

      Thomas the Tinker and Gary, RN – I whole heartedly agree, kids need to know about gun safety and rules !!! I also agree, needing something that you cannot get at is useless. I did NOT have guns in there, but other items that I wanted locked away. Again, I completely agree with both of you.

      • PrepperDoc says:

        While I have guns everywhere, there is a federal law that makes it illegal for a minor to have ACCESS to a firearm.

        We lose about — hope my memory is correct here — 175 kids a year due to getting into firearms. It might not be YOUR kid….it might be the visiting kid. The gun that is out is in my pocket (or a holster) in my house. We also have a gate around our pool because of the same issues.

        There are plenty of ways to operate safes that will work when you need them. But you may have to check them every once in a while.

        • PrepperDoc says:

          Correction: they can’t have it transferred or possession of it….. your state law may bar access…. depends on the state/city.

          • azrealityprepper says:

            I certainly don’t want a visiting kid to handle a firearm, I have no idea what kind of training (or not) that kid has received. Like you, any firearm out of the safe is under my personal control.

  2. mom of three says:

    It’s like the batteries, in the smoke alarm my husband swears they have a code that has them go off at 3 am, I’ve never had a battery chirp at 3 pm. P.S. those smoke detectors, only last about 10 year’s check the date on them when they were made and get new one’s. . We just changed all our smokes out last year and hubby, is an electrical contractorhe has to keep up on all this stuff.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      Yes, smoke alarms use batteries too and its one of those rules of Murphy, the batteries will decide that they are weak at just the wrong time.

      • Almost There says:

        I have hard wired smoke detectors with battery backup…. the one in the garage (picture high ceilings) went off at 3am one time, tried 3 different batteries AFTER locating the 6ft ladder, and it still was going off. I had to call the fire department where they first of all assured me there wasn’t really a fire after answering a few questions, then instructed me on how to take the whole dang thing down using the clips that were providing the power as obviously the detector had gone bad. Of course it was hard to see what I was doing since standard one car garages usually have ONE… SMALL…. light in the middle of the room…. kinda hard to hold a flash light AND try to use 2 hands to take the clips apart….in the middle of the night while trying to think straight with that constant noise blasting in your ears. Not sure how loud the safe alarms are, but can certainly relate.

        • azrealityprepper says:

          Almost There, Yes, loud enough to keep my wife and I awake…irritating thing. It is the small things in life that later on we can look at and laugh but at the time are truly annoying.

  3. Babycatcher says:

    Excellent article! Will get do doing those! Hubby knows the combinations but has not told me. We better get on the stick!

    • American Pacrat says:

      We use an old fashion telephone book(by gone era antique). Looks like one you would keep your friends, family, business phone numbers in, beside that it has the code data for quick easy retrieval. It is also in pencil so data can be changed as necessary, has been a life savor for us.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      Babycatcher, I think that American Pacrat has a great idea. Write you combo’s as if they are phone numbers, then a “bad guy” might overlook that when trying to break into your safe (if that should ever occur, hopefully not). Do change out batteries, and don’t forget smoke alarms batteries too.

    • That’s awesome that you’re taking it seriously, B.C.
      Safe combo’s as phone numbers is the way-to-go.
      We’ve done the same here, though my DW can work our safe combination as a remembered silly song I made up.
      ( I added a super stupid dork-dance with it so it burned into her memory…….It worked! )
      I’m very proud of how well she keeps things secured today and has access to vital items if need be.

      • azrealityprepper says:

        Richard, I had a weird thought when I was thinking of a stupid dork-dance…..I can just see me dancing to try to help my wife remember a combo……LOL……

  4. PrepperDoc says:

    Batteries produce less voltage when the temperature is lower….so obviously the threshold often gets crossed in the colder wee hours of the day…..

    A monthly CHECKLIST is my friend. Crank this, check the oil on that, the water here, the batteries there……will keep you from this kind of difficulty perhaps.

    I have one safe with batteries — I put the lithiums in whenver possible, and it gets changed ASAP if the light ever goes “yellow” when opened. It has not caused me ANY trouible. (and it has an “emp hat” over the mechanism). I have some others that don’t depend on electronics…..

    • azrealityprepper says:

      PrepperDoc, I have a big safe with an easily accessible battery compartment, that is the one I use normally. The little one that went off on Christmas morning I keep some emergency items in that I hope to never need. That is why I had not checked it in a long time. Your checklist idea sounds good, will have to implement that. Thanks for a good idea !!!

      • PrepperDoc says:

        You’re very welcome.
        I counted once and I think I am responsible for over ONE HUNDRED FIFTY *TIRES* at my property…!

        I sometimes go 2 months and then suddenly realize…..that generator over there hasn’t been cranked….or the water in the solar batteries hasn’t been checked……

        Without a checklist I doubt anything around my place would remain working….

  5. CRAIG OZER says:

    I have never trusted ‘battery operated’ safes.
    Fortunately, I have no children and keep firearm in a bedside drawer. Also, the last safe that I bought(at a bargain price, otherwise a quality unit) had a digital combo. I changed the lock to mechanical just after purchase .

    • azrealityprepper says:

      CRAIG OZER, I don’t like battery operated safes either. Unfortunately, most sold today are not the mechanical lock types. I do have a small key safe and a little larger mechanical dial safe. My big safe has a battery, but the battery is easily accessible. It was this little emergency safe that I don’t use for much but I have a few small items in that happened to give me all the trouble. My child has been taught about firearm safety and RULES and knows she is not to touch without my permission, so that is not really the reason for the safes. More to keep honest people….well….honest….

  6. George in Minnesota says:

    I solved the problem of access to safes by hanging the secondary access keys on hooks above each safe (I have two) and writing the combinations on the front of each one in permanent marker.
    This seems to work well as I have hade no problems since doing it.
    I’m not too concerned as I know that if we need to get to firearms the unicorns will fly down from heaven and rescue us

    • LOL Or perhaps the angles will fly down to take you to heaven, (or hell), after you fumble around trying to get to your gun in an life threatening emergency.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      George in Minnesota, I do not really know what to say. Having the keys with the combos printed on them right where a bad guy can find them….well, that sort of defeats the purpose of having a safe. Might as well put out the invitation sign and say “Smorgasbord Here”…… If all you were doing was keeping firearms from kids, well, as I have said to others, my daughter knows the RULES. That is not why I have safes.

  7. Of course, there are key-locked safes that don’t depend on battery or electronics, but I’m guessing the main problem w/ those are the possibilities of losing the key(s). I keep a pistol in a fireproof Sentry safe that’s bolted to the floor, & keys hidden in 2 different places. I’ve told my wife where the keys are, but I probably need to remind & show her again, as she may have forgotten.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      I also have the fireproof Sentry safe (2 of them actually) with keys. My wife knows where those keys are. It was this little electronic safe that caused all the problems…..suffice it to say, if I will use that safe again, will have the combo more readily retrievable and put fresh batteries in on a regular basis.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        A fireproof Sentry safe is not secure at all, it’s only job is to keep things from burning.

        Drop one and if it hits corner first it pops open.

        • azrealityprepper says:

          Chuck Findlay, you are correct in that Sentry Safes are not truly safes or secure. I have one pretty good size one that seems more secure, but, I do not keep guns in it either.

  8. Thanks. I’m going to rush home and change my batteries out

    • azrealityprepper says:

      Doc, Don’t forget smoke detector batteries too !!! I changed those out at the same time as all my other battery operated devices (game cameras, flashlights, and emergency radios).

  9. Carl Daschke says:

    I went through the electronic combination versus a manual type debate with myself when purchasing a gun safe, and choose to go manual. My greatest concern with the electronic – while much simpler to operate, was the thought of potential problems to the circuits by an EMP or similar issue. While cumbersome at first, I have found the manual combination to be quite easy to use.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      Carl Daschke, I have used safes of various types for many many years. Manual combos are easy to use as you say, just not so easy to obtain at a relatively inexpensive price (I found some but did not want to pay the price). It was purely a decision on my part that caused me a bunch of grief that morning. Glad it wasn’t a true emergency.

    • PrepperDoc says:

      You can write the combination on the back of an outlet cover somewhere in your house that only you and your wife know about. 2 screws if you forget the combination.

      I don’t ever let my KEYS get away from me (many women let children play with theirs…..not me!!!) and so I can keep lots of access right there in my pocket also. To each, his own way of doing things.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        You can write the combination on the back of an outlet cover somewhere in your house that only you and your wife know about. 2 screws if you forget the combination.

        That’s a creative idea, and should work well.

      • azrealityprepper says:

        That outlet cover idea is great. Not easy to get at unless you really need it, but not too difficult if you have to have it. No burglar is going to go around and unscrew outlet covers just to see what is behind them either. Thanks PrepperDoc !!!

  10. I have one and it has a backup mechanical lock which would be good in an EMP as well.

    • PS, I keep it plugged in, the batteries are for backup if the power goes out.

      • azrealityprepper says:

        Thor 1, I am guessing you also paid a pretty $ for your safe too. My big safe has a backup key lock for emergency, it was just this pesky little safe that gave me this problem.

        • azp, no it was free, a Christmas present several years ago. I keep a 44mag in it 2 speed loaders a box of 44 mag &a box of 12ga 00 buck & a flashlight. Just in case some unwanted snowflakes or zombies show up. Lol

          • azrealityprepper says:

            I hope we do not get a whole lot of snowflakes this winter (or ever) that we need our firearms for. Zombies also….

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        PS, I keep it plugged in, the batteries are for backup if the power goes out.

        If we did have an EMP event having the safe plugged in may doom the lock as the long wire could act as an antenna and allow the EMP pulse an entry point to fry it.

  11. That sounds like a nightmare, especially on Christmas morning. It is funny in the hearing but I am sure no one was laughing and probably you wife is still not laughing.

    I have a method for keeping codes, one I don’t currently use. I put the number in my phone and in my paper phone book/dayplanner. Put the area code first, then a three number prefix, then a four letter/number code. It looks like a phone number, but only you know it is a code. Of course, if the code is six numbers, you just remember the last six numbers are the code. That way, if I lose my dayplanner or the phone is not available or not working, I don’t fear anyone else using my information.

    • Anonamo Also says:

      I use a similar way to remember numbers. Write the numbers with $ signs and decimals, as check /book keeping record. I keep assorted pages in some container/depends on situation.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      LindaW, You are correct, my wife is still a little unhappy about being woken up so early Christmas morning. My daughter thought it was great until I explained that until I got the safe to stop beeping, no presents would be opened. Then SHE got on me about getting it to stop too !!! Ah…the wonders of parenting. Many ways to code combos, I frequently use 6 letter words and then match the letters of the phone keys to those numbers on the phone keys to make up my combos, for example, “MICKEY” would be 64-25-39. Just one of many ways to memorize/make a combo.

  12. A weapon/gun that is not instantly available is an invitation to be hurt, robbed, and killed. Keep most of your weapons in a safe if you want, but keep your “SHTF”—-“GTH” weapon close….on you or beside you at all times. It might just save your life.

    • Carl Daschke says:

      Could not agree more, that’s why my SHTF pistol is within an arms length – learned that in Vietnam. The rest are in the safe.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      Gary, RN and Carl Dashke, Agree with both of you 100%. This little safe does not have my go-to gun in it, as a matter of fact, did not have any gun in there. Had some other items I wanted locked up, but no gun. Even so, I HAD to get that safe to stop beeping because it was LOUD and attached securely to a shelf in the bedroom closet where it was keeping my wife and I from getting ANY sleep at all. Just a reminder to change batteries.

      • PrepperDoc says:

        On your person is the safest. Then a visiting child cant’ find it and a tragedy happen. And in my state, totally legal at your home without even a concealed weapon permit (which you should have, anyway).

  13. I have most of my weapons secured, but not those that I keep in Condition 1. That means they are loaded and ready to go.

    I have raised 2 generations of children with guns openly in the house. Zero failures!

    I believe that you need to train the children, keep them from touching things that are not theirs. Yes, it is a lot of work; there is no easy way except constant vigilance. But it does work. Boys or girls can overcome their “natural” curiosity to touch stuff. It also makes them better citizens in later life. IMO.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      JP in MT, Agree with you 100%. No kid should be in a house without rules, and rules need to be enforced and reinforced. I too keep my go-to firearms in a different place, NOT in the pesky safe that caused all the grief. That had other items that I wanted to keep out of sight and not easily gotten to.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        When my son was little (he’s 26 now, God I’m getting old!!!) I kept all but one gun in the safes. But like any boy he had an interest in guns. I would show them to him when he asked to see them. I taught him how to handle them, how to always check to see if it was loaded.

        He knew he didn’t have to sneak a look (not that he could as he didn’t have the combo to the safes.) because he only had to ask and he would be able to handle them whenever he wanted. I also took him shooting a lot and he learned to shoot well and handle them in a safe way. All his friends were a bit jealous because he went shooting where they only got to play with guns in video games.

        When he was 6-years old I gave him a S&W 6-inch K-frame 32 Mag revolver. It stayed in my safe, but it was his gun.

        Take the mystery away and give some guidance and guns are not a problem as they relate to kids.

        • azrealityprepper says:

          Chuck Findlay, you are correct in that people get curious about those things they cannot have access to. My daughter also, has been carefully taught that access and “need” are two different things….she can have access whenever daddy is around, she does not “need” to touch it if I am not there.

          • PrepperDoc says:

            I went and re-read the Youth Firearm Safety Act…. what it actually seems to make illegal is the possession or transfer of a firearm to a minor. So the federal law doesn’t prohibit them knowing where you keep it…..but your state law may. My state law is a bit stricter than that federal law…..

  14. TPSnodgrass says:

    We have no safes in our home with the digital electronic locks, for the reasons outlined in this article. We do keep our daily EDC’s within reach while sleeping, IF/WHEN, danger presents itself.
    I cannot for the life of imagine why someone would choose the “convenience” of a battery powered digital combination over a mechanical one. That is just my subjective opinion is all.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      TPSnodgrass, My first choice would be mechanical also…..this was another safe that I had that I DO NOT keep firearms in. Even so, with the alarm going off….had to get it open to change out the batteries.

  15. Good article. My friends safe has one of those 4-digit electrical locks that are operated by a 9-volt battery. When the battery got low, she couldn’t hear it because it was in the laundry room. Bottom line is she tried to replace battery, broke a piece of the device that held the battery. Had to get a locksmith come out to fix. He replaced it with a better locking device (still battery operated), but a key backup. Just gotta remember where to keep the key however.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      Jean, yep, keys work a lot easier, but as you say, gotta remember where you keep the key.

  16. azrealityprepper says:

    Just a reminder to all…this was a “gun” safe, but I did not keep my go-to gun in it. As a matter of fact, I kept no firearm in it all, but, other items that I wanted to keep secure. The real lesson behind this story is that batteries need to be changed out in items that we might need. I probably should have mentioned in the article that I also ended up changing out batteries in my smoke detectors, my flashlights, and my game cameras. I want to change out batteries in my solar recharged lawn lights (great backup for when the power goes out) but those are expensive !

  17. William W Flint says:

    What will a full-scale solar CME or a nuclear EMP do to your ELECTRONIC lock on your gun safe?

    • azrealityprepper says:

      William W Flint, I am not sure, probably ruin the lock so that it would not open. It is my guesstimate that those are not going to be an issue I will worry about for now, although I do not deny that they could happen. I am more concerned with keeping items out of sight and away from grasping hands of visitors to the home (wanted or unwanted visitors).

    • PrepperDoc says:

      Hi William —
      A CME will do nothing at all to an electronic lock.

      And EMP has the poossibility of doing damage, but it is unlikely due to the short length of wires, generally behind metal, and especially if you cover the lock with a metallic cover. I actually published an article where I explained that and had a photo of how to do it. I still hve that on my electronic safe even today. Google Prepperdoc and electronic safe and I’m sure you’ll find the article.

  18. Chuck Findlay says:

    I will not use a battery or any kind of electronic safe, there is a chance (be it small) that the electronics will fail. And batteries loose power from the moment they are made.

    It’s all too easy to forget to swap the batteries out for new ones.

    I also don’t like keyed safes, I use combination safes as I feel they offer the best protection.

    Yes combination safes can be more costly, but I feel it’s worth it by the protection they give you and the fact they can sit for years upon years and work perfect.

    And like almost every other product mankind has ever made you can buy a used one to save money. But it takes somethings most people are not willing to do, that being the time, effort and legwork to find a good deal.

    The last safe I bought is worth $1,400.00 (I checked after I bought it) I bought it for $25.00 because the door was locked in the open position and the people at the thrift store did not have the combination. I called a lock smith and he said it would be $30.00 to figure out the combination. So I bought it and took it to him. He figured the combo out, lubricated the gears and levers, and for $55.00 I ended up with a $1,400.00 safe.

    No these deals are not common (that’s where the legwork thing comes in) but being on the hunt for deals all the time and ready to move on them when they pop up gets you some nice things for a great price.

    I did the same thing with 2 dehydrators, I found 2 Excalibur Dehydrators for $15.00 each at a garage sale. I sold the second one to my brother for $40.00 and kept and still use the other one.

    How to get a good deal is easy.

    Always have some cash on hand as small business may not take electronic money, but always take cash.

    For the rest of your life never drive by a Thrift Store, Garage Sale or Flea Market without stopping. Even if you were there yesterday, stop by today as they can and will have new things out.

    don’t be afraid to throw out a low price, they may say no, but it’s just as likely they will say yes or counter with a price 1/2 way between your and their price.

    I could type for the next hour with examples of the good deals I have found on the used market. In the last “What did you do to prep” thread I pointed out how I bought a bunch of JWR patriot series of books (in hardcover) for $1.00 each, these are $30.00 books. I have $100.00 of books that I bought for less then a Mickey D’s lunch.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      Chuck Findlay, WOW !!! You got a great deal on your safe. I am slightly envious.

    • PrepperDoc says:

      I’m jealous!!!!!

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        It takes time to find deals (time most people don’t have or will take as they have busy life’s) but they are out there to find. Every day someplace, somebody gets a good deal, why not you?

        Early last Summer I bought 2 watches at a garage sale. One was a Casio G-Shock (worth $50.00 ) the second is a Montblanc Chronmeter (had it appraised at a local store and it’s worth $5,600.00) I intend to keep both of them as it’s unlikely I would ever buy a Swiss watch like the Montblanc, it looks new.

        In the Summer I go to a lot of estate and garage sales, hardly a week goes by where I don’t find good deals.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          Forgot to mention, both watches were $1.00

          Husband passed away and the wife sold his stuff at the garage sale. I had no idea the Montblanc was worth so much, before that day I had never heard of a Montblanc, didn’t find out it was worth so much till I got home and did a net search.

          • azrealityprepper says:

            Chuck Findlay, you got yourself some sweet bargains on those watches. I wear a good watch but nothing worth $5600…Estate sales and thrift stores are certainly good ways to obtain items at a discount, just wish I had more time (busy life) and the wife and I would go more regularly. As it is, we do shop at Salvation Army, Goodwill and St Vincent de Paul on occasion. Never saw a safe for sale at any of those locations.

            • Chuck Findlay says:

              The safe was in a small family owned thrift store, I don’t think they had any idea you could have it looked at to get the combination.

              Estate sales are good to go to in the winter when it’s too cold for garage sales. (I say that when it’s 63 deg’s today) Look on-line for estate sales in your area and go on Thursday morning, this is when you get the deals. By the weekend they are picked over.

              I needed a watch winder (more like wanted it) for several of my watches, good ones can go for $100.00 and up, well I found one at an estate sale for $4.00. Looks and works like new, just keep looking and at some point you probably will find what you want.

              • Chuck Findlay says:

                Azrealityprepper that $1.00 Swiss watch has cost me a lot of money.

                It has caused me to get back into collecting watches again. I use to have a lot of them but marriage and other things caused me to drift away from it and sell off several that I had.

                But now I have been collecting them again and spending money on them.

                I have my preps pretty well squared away so it’s not a drain on prepping.

                I just bought (my second) Vostok Russian watch, it’s coming from Moscow and should be here in a few weeks. If you like watches look up Vostok watches on U-Tube. It’s a Vostok Amphibia, the other one I have is a Komandirskie that has been a very good watch so far (8-months old.) And the price of them is great.

                The nice thing about Vostok watches is that they need no batteries. The Komandirskie you have to wind every day, and the Amphibia is a self-winding or manual wind watch.

                Most automatic (self-winding) watches (including Rolex) need to be serviced (taken apart, cleaned and lubricated) every 2 to 5 years to stay in good shape and keep good time. Vostok’s are good for 10-years without service. A Rolex cost $500.00 to have it serviced . A Vostok Amphibia is only $78.00. It would be less expensive to just buy a new one.

                The Amphibiaa is a 200 meter dive watch so it can handle any water most people will ever expose it to. It would be a good SHTF watch.

                Look on U-Tube to see how people abuse them and they keep working. They freeze them in ice, boil them in water, throw them off bridges, run over them with autos, drop them from drones, and they keep working. Supposedly the Russian’s strap them to the outside of subs and they hold up.

  19. Lol just had this happen this past week, except it was the safe in my suburban, been driving the truck and went to check the contents, battery dead, no idea where the back up key is!, managed to use a key from a locking file cabinet as a kind of. Ump key and got it open.

    • “Bump key”

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        As far as keyed safes and locks a few years ago I did some research on locks and keys and it’s scary how fast a person can open a lock. A set of lock picks, a pick gun (I have both) and a set of bump keys can allow a person access to anything that uses a key.

        That’s why I won’t have a safe that uses a key, all my safes (I have 3) are combination locks. They are all used older safes that are quite heavy. You put things in a safe to keep them safe from others and combination locks do this the best.

        PS: No one should have all their gun in a safe, if you need one at 3 AM you need it at 3 AM, not 3:05 Am after you opened the safe. And turning on the light to open the safe can give away your tactical advantage.

        • PrepperDoc says:

          AGreed. I’ve slept many a night with one on my person.

          • PrepperDoc says:

            (but not one in the chamber)

            • Chuck Findlay says:

              I always have all chambers loaded in the guns I keep loaded, but then no kids come to visit me and I don’t play with the guns (like a foolish friend of mine does).

              And if I do for some reason fiddle with them I unload them.

  20. I use Daylight Savings Time switch for changing batteries on clocks, flashlights and etc. that need new batteries. Yes, that means twice the batteries but better safe then sorry. Its better then getting woke up at O:dark 30! Now make a paper list of all battery powered items you have. Leave space for a check-marks every time you change the batteries in that item. Next go to your wife and profusely apologize for making such a dumb mistake.(flowers are helpful roses are best)

    • azrealityprepper says:

      Conrad, good idea ! Except here in Arizona, we don’t do daylight savings time (don’t ask me why, I don’t know). I figure the end of the year (except I hadn’t gotten to this safe yet).

  21. I’ve got no kids around to worry about so I have a set of these:

    One on the nightstand in the bedroom
    One on the end table in the living room
    One next to the keyboard in my office

    and each has it’s own little goodie on it

    Got one of these mounted on the wall by the headboard, it holds the same shotgun I’ve used twice before to stop intruders. I don’t even have to sit up to be able to grab it. Got a second one by the back door for pest removal.

    Though I will admit it’s a pain to to have to go through the house to put everything in the safe when we leave for errands.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      There is a window ext to my bed, what I did is to put a hook in the wood frame around the window. I have a Beretta 92 9MM hooked on it. The curtain 100% hides the gun and I can grab it in a second.

      I don’t have any kids come to my home so I don’t have to worry about a kid finding it. My son is 26 and knows the combination to the safe I keep my silver in and in it is the combination to the other 2 safes. If I die for some reason he can get to the guns, silver and other things. Plus I have a few of his guns in one of the safes. He has his own safe (I bought a Homek keyed gun safe at a garage sale that was new for $12.00, another example of a good garage sale find.) but he hasn’t been over to get his guns yet.

  22. I’ve had our big gun safe changed back to the old school dial combination.
    It wasn’t cheap, but I don’t have to fret over a dead battery keeping me out of my own safes.
    Even our smaller safe has a dial combination that my DW uses all the time to lock up jewelry, purse, files, the Glock-19 she claims is hers but it’s NOT!
    The old dial combination system is comforting to me but I can see why some may not agree.

    • PrepperDoc says:

      Roughly how much did it cost?

      • PrepperDoc,
        It was around $150 and that was 3-4 years ago.
        $90 was for a La Gard dial set ( After ) a locksmith charged $60 for the house visit, measurements and installation.
        I learned it wasn’t that hard to do at all.
        Big thing is getting a lock that works with your safe.

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