How much does it cost to open a fireproof safe
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How Much Does it Cost to Open a Fireproof Safe?

Unlocking a safe without keys, code or combination can be a puzzling problem. One of the first questions that comes to mind is: “How much does it cost to open a safe?” This article will not only answer that question but also provide insights into the various factors that influence the cost.

Locksmith safe opening costs can vary significantly depending on factors such as the type of safe, the method used, the particular locksmith’s rates, and even the brand. So, whether you’re locked out of your regular safe, or you have a fireproof safe or even an expensive anti-burglary model, we will break down the cost for all situations.

Understanding Safe Opening Cost Ranges

The cost of unlocking a safe is far from uniform. It’s a complex equation influenced by several factors, including the type of safe, its lock mechanism, safe’s condition, the brand, the urgency and other variables.

Nationally, the average cost to open a safe is approximately $320, but this figure is just a midpoint on a wide cost spectrum. In reality, you can expect to pay anywhere from $35 to several hundred dollars, depending on your particular circumstances.

Average Safe Opening Costs

To put these figures into perspective, let’s break down the average prices for different safe opening methods as of 2022, according to a locksmith survey:

  • Picking the Safe Lock: $30-50
  • Making a key by code: $30-50, plus the cost of keys
  • Impressioning the lock to make a key: $30-50, plus the cost of keys
  • Drilling and Replacing a Safe Lock: $50-100, depending on the lock type
  • Having a Key Sent from the Manufacturer: $50-100, depending on the manufacturer

Also worth noting that these rates show the cot of the job itself. You will need to deliver the safe to the locksmith yourself. In case you wan to call the specialist to your residence it will cost more. Now that you see how much a locksmith charges to open a locked safe on average, let’s explore other nuances.

Cost of Opening Safes with Key Overrides

For safes that feature key overrides, the process is generally smoother and less expensive. Locksmiths can efficiently open these safes, often at a reasonable cost of around $30-100.

Cost of Unlocking Safes by Drilling

When it comes to high-security safes, opening them can be both intricate and costly. The process typically involves the following cost components:

  • Coming on Location & First Hour of Labor: $250-350
  • Additional Cost / Hour Over 1 Hour: $150-250
  • Cost of New Lock: $175-350

High-security safes, such as TL15 and TL30 models, are designed to be incredibly secure, which makes accessing them challenging. While some locksmiths offer flat-rate pricing for drilling open these safes, many opt for hourly billing, which often results in a more cost-effective solution for customers.

Locksmiths’ Hourly Rates

Last year locksmiths’ hourly rates have seen a significant shift compared to five years ago. According to the National Average Price Survey, the average hourly rate for locksmith services during regular business hours now stands at $92. However, if you require locksmith assistance after hours, the average hourly rate rises to $135.

These rates can vary further depending on your location. Here’s a breakdown based on market size:

  • In large metropolitan areas, you can expect an average hourly rate of around $116.
  • In midsize cities, the rate is slightly lower, averaging about $104 per hour.
  • Small cities tend to have locksmiths charging around $86 per hour.
  • In rural areas, locksmith services come at a more budget-friendly rate, with an average of approximately $73 per hour.

It’s worth noting that while locksmiths primarily focus on lock-related services, some may offer safe-moving and installation services as well. These services often come with separate fees, which averaged around $295 in 2022. Keep in mind that, in some cases, the cost of safe-moving and installation may be based on mileage.

Refer to this table summarizing average locksmiths’ hourly rates based on location and time of service:

average locksmiths' hourly rates based on location and time of service

As locksmith hourly rates continue to evolve, it’s better to inquire about the specific rates and fees from a locksmith you choose. These rates not only reflect the locksmith’s expertise but also the local market dynamics.

Importance of Professional Safe Opening

High-security fire and water-resistant safes are quite different from inexpensive regular ones. Opening them requires expertise and experience. It’s almost always worth hiring a professional locksmith in such cases.

The cost of opening these safes, while substantial, will be less than the price of the safe itself, and most likely value of the items inside it. Once professionally opened, these safes can often be repaired and put back into service. Therefore, you won’t have to buy a new one.


In the world of safe opening, understanding the costs involved is very helpful. As we’ve explored, the cost of opening a safe varies widely based on factors such as the type of safe, entry method, and brand. Nationally, the average cost to open a safe is approximately $320, but this is just a midpoint in a spectrum that can range from $35 to several hundred dollars.

Now, if you’re wondering -“How much for a locksmith to open a safe?” you’ve got the answers. Our locksmith survey from 2022 provides insights into the average prices for different methods, whether it’s picking the lock, making a key by code, impressioning, or drilling and replacing the lock.

Safes with key overrides often present a more straightforward and cost-effective solution. On the other hand, high-security fireproof safes require specialized handling, and the associated costs reflect the level of expertise required.

In the end you can always try opening the safe on your own. We have this Guide describing the methods on how to unlock a safe without a key and a separate guide on How to unlock a safe without a combination.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Q: Can a locksmith open a fire safe? A: Yes, a locksmith with the necessary expertise and tools can open a fire safe. Fire safes are designed to protect their contents from fire damage, but they can still be accessed by a skilled locksmith using appropriate methods.
  • Q: How do I get into my safe if I lost the key? A: If you’ve lost the key to your safe, you have several options. You can contact a professional locksmith who specializes in safe opening. They can employ various techniques, such as picking, impressioning, or drilling, depending on the type of safe. Another option is to contact the safe’s manufacturer or a certified dealer, as they may be able to provide a replacement key or override code.
  • Q: Can a locksmith get into my Sentry safe? A: Yes, a locksmith can often open a Sentry safe. Sentry is a well-known brand, and locksmiths are familiar with its safes. They can use methods like picking or drilling to access the safe, depending on the specific model and situation.
  • Q: What tool can cut through a safe? A: Cutting through a safe is a complex and time-consuming process. Specialized tools like diamond-tipped cutting wheels or torches with extreme heat may be used in extreme cases. However, it’s important to note that attempting to cut through a safe is a last resort due to the risk of damaging the contents.
  • Q: Can a locksmith open a safe without breaking it? A: Yes, a skilled locksmith can often open a safe without causing damage. They employ techniques like picking or impressioning that aim to bypass the lock’s mechanisms without harming the safe itself. However, in some cases, drilling may be necessary, which can result in minimal damage that is repairable.

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