Frequently Asked Questions

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Technical Question & Answer

Q. I just received my safe, the keypad seems to accept entries correctly, but the handle will not turn. Why?

A. During shipment, vibration can cause pressure to be applied to the door bolts. This pressure affects the lock. In most cases, you can access the safe by holding the handle hard counterclockwise / clockwise, depending on the model, entering the combination, then turning the opposite direction. Once inside, check for obstructions and pressure marks where the door bolts may be touching the interior.


Q. I have entered my combination several times, and it doesn’t work. What am I doing wrong?

A. The dial locks used on Heritage and Fortress safes are of the highest quality, which also makes them very sensitive. Accuracy is of great importance when entering a combination. The dialing procedure used should be as follows:

Q. What happens if someone takes my keypad? Can they determine my codes?

A. The keypad is a “dumb” input terminal. Your codes and security information are stored in the lock body inside the safe.


Q. How do I get into the safe if the user codes are lost?

A. Heritage safe programs into every electronic lock a unique super master code. The super master code is serial number specific, which means no other safe has the same code as your safe. Using this code, we can reset the lock to factory default settings. Dealer’s can call the factory to obtain this code. Customers must fax in a notarized request with the safe serial number, as well as proof of purchase.


Q. I have a dial lock on my safe; can I change my combination?

A. The combination installed by Heritage Safe Company is unique to your safe. However, some customers do prefer to have a combination of their choosing. If you choose to have your combination changed, you will have to hire a certified locksmith to perform the service. This is not covered by your warranty. Also, to keep your warranty valid, you will need to provide Heritage Safe with your new combination so that we can enter it with your safe information.


Q. How often do I need to change the batteries in my electronic lock?

A. Heritage safe uses both Sargent and Greenleaf, and LaGardlocks on our safes. The Sargent and Greenleaf lock utilizes one or two 9-volt batteries and they should be changed approximately every two years. The LaGard lock uses one 9 volt, and should be changed every three years. If your lock is not operating correctly, changing the batteries is always the first and best corrective measure. Both lock manufacturers require alkaline batteries be used, and both strongly advise using Duracell.


Q. My lock is becoming very difficult. It only opens occasionally; what should I do?

A. The very next time you get your safe open, leave it open! Locks almost always give “warning signs” that they are beginning to fail. This is a “big” warning sign.

If your lock is not operating correctly, leave your door open, and call Heritage Safe as soon as possible. We will work with you to get the problem corrected as quickly as possible. The worst scenario is to have a lock fail with the door closed. In most cases, this requires the door to be drilled.


Q. How should I clean and service my safe?

A. The internal mechanism of the door is permanently lubricated, thus needing no maintenance. Occasionally, it may be necessary to lubricate the door bolts. To do so, extend the bolts completely with the door open. Wipe a small amount of oil on each bolt. We recommend cleaning your safe with a soft cloth and ammonia free window cleaner. Avoid using paper towels.


Q. Should I have to move the safe, are there any guidelines?

A. The safe must always be handled with care. The internal relocker is designed to release if the safe is jolted; this will cause a lockout resolvable only by drilling the safe. If you do have to move the safe, it is strongly recommended to either have it professionally done, or at the very least, utilize the proper equipment.


Q. When should I use a dehumidifier with my safe?

A. We recommend the use of a dehumidifier for long-term storage in areas of high humidity and frequent temperature fluctuations. All Heritage and Fortress safes require circulation regardless of whether a dehumidifier is used. We suggest you place a spacer under the safe, and also keep at least an inch space between the safe and surrounding walls.


Q. I have put several batteries in my lock and they keep going dead?

A. We will send you a new keypad. Is it Gold or Chrome?


Q. My safe won't open; my e-lock is making all the correct tones?

A. For Centennial/Tradition/Fortress safes, you will need to put counter clockwise pressure on the handle while putting in the combination. Legacy/Ultimate models will require clockwise pressure on the handle while putting in the combination. If there is no pressure inside the safe, and it takes 5 or 6 times to get into the safe, and all correct tones are present but the bolts will not retract, the problem is most likely low batteries, or a keypad failure. In this situation, if the batteries are not low, the keypad may not be transmitting full data to the lockbox.


Q. My safe will not open, and my e-lock is not making any tones?

A. Again, the first step is to always try fresh (Duracell) batteries. When replacing the batteries, remove the connecting wire coming through the safe door from the keypad. Leave the wire disconnected, insert the new batteries, and then re-insert the connecting wire. (This cannot be done on new S&G model keypads.) If this procedure does not result in a functioning keypad, then a new keypad will be needed.


Q. I have a dial lock and when I get to the last number it stops turning, and my handle just spins in a circle both ways.

A. Try tightening the handle with an allen wrench by putting the allen-wrench hole directly at 6:00. Take out the bottom spoke to help you turn it more easily. Turn the handle clockwise, it should be difficult to turn, if it is not, continue turning clockwise for 2-3 minutes (if needed). We have a disengaged clutch and this procedure is an attempt to get it to re-tighten itself. If the handle tightens, enter code and attempt to open. Locksmith will be needed to torque locking nuts on drive spindle (lock-tight them as well).


Q. What is a "Quad Sleeve Relocker"?

A. This term is actually more of a description for the protection of our relocker, than a trade name for the relocker itself. "Quad Sleeve" refers to the layers protecting the relocker from would be criminals. Because the relocker is a final, positive and secure way to thwart forced entry, it makes sense that this device needs to be secure so that it cannot be defeated. "Quad sleeve" describes the four layers separating the relocker and the outside of the safe. The first layer is the door itself. Secondly, we have a layer of hard plate. The third layer is another sheet of hard plate, which is recessed and holds the fourth layer, which is our ball bearing pack. The reason for protecting the relocker, leads well into a second question:


Q. Why do safe manufactures put so much emphasis on the door and not the safe body?

A. The answer to this question is almost a study in criminal psychology. The overwhelming majority of break-in attempts on safes are conducted by people who are:

  1. Opportunistic
  2. Short on time
  3. Poorly equipped
  4. Trying not to raise attention
  5. Want sellable goods, not damaged items.

For these reasons, the door is almost always the area attacked. Because it is designed to open, it would seem the most logical place to begin an attack; not to mention that most common thieves do not realize what they are dealing with! One needs to remember that most safe attacks occur by common thieves who have broken into a residence and "discover the safe." They have limited tools, and are anxious to make a quick exit.

To attack the safe body, and be able to remove items, would require use of either power or gas cutting equipment. Even for someone who's only intent is to defeat a safe, this would require carrying equipment to the safe's location, creating a loud, bright environment, and most likely damaging the safe's interior contents.


Q. May I leave my ammunition or black powder in my safe?

A. Looking at information from some of today’s largest providers of powder, we find that these substances show instability at temperatures above 248 degrees F. Heritage fire ratings are based on a fail temperature inside the safe of 350 degrees F (paper chars at approximately 350-400 degrees F). Based on this information, it is safe to assume that powder, stored inside a safe, may auto-ignite at a temperature and time earlier than when the safe would normally allow damaging heat build up. For this reason, we recommend that powder and ammunition be stored separate from your firearms and other valuables.


Q. My instruction packet states that the safe should be elevated, is this really necessary?”

A. Heritage safes are built with a solid bottom; there is no airspace under the safe. If you are mounting your safe on a wooden floor, you are perfectly fine not to elevate the safe. The primary concern here is mounting the safe on concrete, as concrete often bleeds moisture.

Elevating the safe is not an exact science. The material used is not particularly relevant, as long as it will support the weight of the safe. Height also is not of great concern; just enough is needed to allow airflow under the safe, and if the safe is to be bolted into position you will certainly want to minimize the height. The best solution we have come across is to use two pieces of 1” x 6” hardwood on the front and back of the safe. Cut to size, this has a nice appearance and suits the needs of the safe.


Q. Where should I install my dehumidifier?

A. Dehumidifiers always work best placed as low in the safe as possible. Mounting position is not necessarily important, but it is vital to keep the door area clear of any obstruction. Installation along the back wall or underneath one of the small side shelves is the preferred method.