How To Open An Electronic Safe When The Batteries Are Dead
If you’ve gone to retrieve something valuable from your safe only to discover that you’re locked out, we understand how frustrating this occurrence can be. The batteries in your electronic safe are generally slated to last between 8,000 and 10,000 openings. While that is a lot of times to open and close a safe, what happens when the cells become exhausted over time and the batteries have died?
Locate the override panel on the side or back of your safe’s keypad and slide or pull it open. Insert your safe’s override key, turn it, and open the safe to access the batteries. Now, you can change your safe’s batteries so that you can open it with the keypad.
Although having dead batteries in your safe can be a nuisance, do not panic as you have several options to get your safe open, recover your belongings, and replace the batteries.
What Are The Signs That My Safe Batteries Are Dead?
If you are suddenly locked out of your safe, it quite possibly has to do with the fact that the batteries have reached their life expectancy. However, examine the signs outlined below in order to determine that you do in fact have a case of dead batteries, as opposed to a more serious issue with your safe.
Here are some of the most common symptoms indicating that your safe’s batteries are dead:
- The safe is releasing multiple beeping noises when you attempt to enter the combination. While it all depends on the model of your safe and the type of panel, you may hear beeping sounds or see a small flashing light indicator. However, you’ll want to make sure that you’re entering the correct combination, as this doesn’t always directly signify that the cells in your batteries are flat.
- A low battery warning is present on the display. Safes that are higher-end or on the pricier side will generally have a small LED display that will show notifications if you enter the wrong combination or the batteries have run out of juice. Also, these more modern devices tend to come with additional perks and be much easier to access.
- Your safe has no reaction to any sort of interaction. If you’ve tried inputting both the correct and incorrect combinations and your lockbox is still absolutely silent, this indicates that the batteries are fully exhausted. This sign typically occurs with safes that are lower-end. Read on to learn how to replace the drained batteries in your safe.
Every safe model varies from one to another and each has its own set of individual features. In general, the more expensive the safe is, the harder it will be for the average person to get into it.
How to Open an Electronic Safe When the Batteries are Dead
Electronic safes come in hundreds of different models, but can be broken down into three major types. Determining which category your safe falls under will help you understand the best course of action for getting it open with the batteries have died.
How to Open an Electronic Safe When the Batteries are Inside the Panel
On this type of safe, the batteries are located inside the panel, right behind the keypad. This tends to be the case on lower-priced lockboxes, as the battery compartment is visible from the outside of the safe. In order to open it and replace the batteries, you need to slide the cover in the correct direction.
Locate the battery case either below or along the sides of your panel. Manufacturers of safes that are moderately priced typically install the cell compartment at the back of the keypad. If this is the case, you’ll have three possibilities.
First, try to push the console while rotating it clockwise. If this does not release the cover, try to lift the panel upwards and then outwards. The final possibility is to simply unscrew it. However, you’ll want to be careful not to damage the mechanism in the process.
How to Open an Electronic Safe With an External Supply Socket
Safes that are of the more high-end variety will typically have an emergency power connection, especially those with a biometric scanner. In this instance, the batteries are stored inside of the safe, behind the door, and completely out of reach. These safes are specially designed so that if the power were to run out, there is a socket to connect an external backup battery.
This backup battery will then allow you to open the safe, even if the batteries have run out of juice. For these particular safes, you will either connect the external cells via plugs or manually attach the safe to the connection inputs. Once the backup battery is connected and you can open the safe, locate the battery case at the back of the safe’s opening. You can now successfully replace the batteries and enjoy full access to your safe again.
How to Open an Electronic Safe With an Override Key
Many lockboxes, especially those that are low-cost or purchased from a major retail outlet, come with an emergency override key. If your safe does come with one, this likely means that the battery case is locked inside of the device itself.
In most cases, the emergency keyhole will be located right next to the keypad. If it’s not immediately visible, try looking for a removable cover on or near the panel. Simply insert the key to unlock the safe, locate the battery case, and replace the batteries.
Quick Tip: Always keep your override key in a safe place and never lock it inside of your safe. Should you misplace your key at any point, you can typically contact the manufacturer to secure a replacement for a small fee.
Hiring a Locksmith to Open Electronic Safe
If all else fails, consider hiring a locksmith to open your electronic safe that has dead batteries. Locksmiths can be especially helpful in a pinch and if you are unsuccessful when requesting a replacement key from the manufacturer. For safes with electronic locks, locksmiths will need the safe’s serial number, and possibly the serial number of the lock itself. With this information, they can determine if there is a master override code for your particular safe.
In order to perform these services, your locksmith will need to come to the location of the safe and verify that you are the owner of the property inside. They will not attempt to open it until they receive this verification. It should be noted that having a professional crack a safe can be incredibly expensive, easily exceeding several hundred dollars.
If your safe is inexpensive, the locksmith can, instead, break into them quickly. However, with this method, the safe will no longer operate and must be replaced.
Quick Tip: To save a considerable amount of money when working with a locksmith, bring the safe to their physical shop. This will allow you to avoid paying for the service call charge.
When the batteries die on my electronic safe, is the combination gone?
Although inconvenient, being locked out of your safe due to exhausted batteries is only a temporary issue. Once you gain access to the safe again and replace the batteries, your combination will still be there. Electronic locks consist of what is known as “non-volatile memory,” meaning they will hold onto the combination codes that have been programmed into your safe’s lock.In fact, the memory in your electronic lock will hold onto your codes for up to ten years, even if the batteries are dead or removed.
How often should I replace the batteries in my electronic safe?
Even though the batteries found in most electronic safes will last you up to 10,000 openings, or two years, it is recommended that you replace them every six to 12 months. This will ensure that your safe can always be opened quickly, and as it is intended. In the case of an emergency, you always want to have batteries that are functioning properly in order to prevent a possible lockout.
What type of batteries should I use in my electronic safe?
Believe it or not, the type of battery that you use in your electronic safe does matter. You should opt for high-quality alkaline nine-volt batteries, such as Energizers or Duracells. While there are high-quality carbon batteries on the market, often at a cheaper price, electronic locks are designed to function better when powered by alkaline batteries.Carbon batteries may not offer the consistent power necessary to power the bolt that retracts to open your safe. If you want to ensure proper lock functionality, always choose the necessary batteries.
Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.
More by Jessica Stone