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Security! You Can't Handle Security!

With over 20 years in the locksmith industry I’ve worked in several different areas of security. In that period, I’ve realized time and time again that most people are only really interested in the appearance of security. Let’s use safes for our example.

I may have changed anywhere from 500 to 1,000 customer safe combinations so far. A pattern I noticed almost immediately was that most people want an easy combination. It is easier to use your kid’s birthday or an anniversary, but what if you have to share the combination with someone? Chances are you use that date or favorite set of numbers on other password protected items. Do you really want those numbers floating around? Besides if an incident occurred and you had to change your combination you would lose your lucky numbers.

The next step up in customer perceived security is what I call the "Top 10 Safe Combos". Believe it or not there are 10 sets of combinations that are repeatedly used by not so clever people across the country. I’m constantly amazed that people will spend $100’s if not $1,000’s on a safe to store their valuables only to have me set the combo to 1 of 10 different combos. You might think I’m joking. So as a reward for reading this far here are the top 3 on my list.




Pretend you came into the office one nice sunny morning only to find your safe door wide open. All of your valuables are gone and may never be recovered. You call the police and they come out, look around write a report up that states no signs of forced entry. I can’t imagine your insurance company just handing over a claims check.

At the end of the day a safe is just a big metal box. Some are better than others, but by using a good combination you will be utilizing them to their full function.

Now that you’ve been informed you can’t use ignorance as an excuse. The first step if you’ve got an easy combination is to change it. It’s actually a good idea to get it changed on a regular basis so that the safe tech has an opportunity to inspect the safe lock and bolt work for any issues. This time don’t be afraid to use an odd number or two for your new combination. If you can only see the 5’s and 0’s on your dial it may be time to get a keypad installed.

For instance, the most used code on a safe keypad is 1-2-3-4-5-6. Reason being because it is the factory default and no one bothers to change it. Please ask whoever you buy the keypad lock from for the directions and have them show you how to change the combination.

About the Author

Mike Foster is a licensed security professional with 20 years of experience in the door security arena, having implemented over 15,000 IC Cores and hundreds of key management systems. Mike is currently a leading security solutions project manager for Rolland Solutions. Mike currently lives in Dallas with his wife and their pug named Princeton.

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