Maintenance Tips for Residential and Commercial Safes

Safes and vaults come in many different sizes and styles for a variety of uses. Because they are used to protect valuables, they accumulate significant amounts of dust and moisture over time, leading to corrosion and rusting. Keeping your safe deposit boxes clean can help protect their contents from damage such as rust, tarnish, fading or mold. Today’s safes often include dehumidifiers and electrical outlets, making them more convenient to use; however, these additional features increase the daily maintenance required.

Why Do You Need to Maintain Your Safes?

There are many reasons; however, the most important reason is to ensure the quality and security of your valuables. It will make them last longer and keep your items secure and free from damage and corrosion. Also, safes need to be cleaned regularly in order for their performance to remain optimal. The following guidelines will provide some simple steps you can take on a monthly basis to prevent costly repairs down the road:

1. Regularly inspect your safe for any signs of damage

If you notice any problems like scratches, dents, corrosion, or rust, call a professional to come and take a look. If you have a safe with fireproofing or water protection, inspect the warranty to determine if the damage is covered. If it is not, then carefully consider your options before using your safe.

2. Clean your safe on a regular basis

Take a vacuum hose to remove any dust that has accumulated in your safe deposit box. Do not use compressed air because this can cause abrasions to surfaces and equipment. Wipe down all metal surfaces with a slightly damp cloth to remove dust before it reaches critical mass. Whether you use a commercial dehumidifier to remove moisture or clean it using natural methods, regularly caring for your safe will help ensure that rust and corrosion do not accumulate.

3. Test humidity levels in your safe

Many manufacturers include built-in dehumidifiers which discharge periodically through the electrical outlet inside the unit; however, periodic power outages may result in these units not working to full capacity. You can conduct a simple test by placing a moisture meter in your safe for several hours and checking the readings to determine if the humidity is within recommended levels. If it isn’t, then you have two options: purchase a new dehumidifier or invest in an external unit that you plug into your safe’s electrical outlet – just be sure not to overload its circuit with too many items plugged in simultaneously, which could result in a fire hazard.

4. Check all mechanisms and equipment

Make sure your safe still works before you need it to. It is also good to check the key mechanism to see if its serial number matches that of your safe or lock, in case there has been any tampering.

5. Change the batteries in your keypad if they’re not working properly 

This simple task can save you a lot of time and trouble if your lock malfunctions. If the batteries are working correctly, but the keypad is not responding to touch, have it serviced by a locksmith.

6. Check your fire protection rating

Most insurance policies include a stipulation requiring a minimum 2-hour fire protection rating for any safe deposit boxes. You should also check with your local authorities or fire department to see if additional requirements exceed those recommended by the manufacturer.

7. Keep track of your key inventory

If your keys go missing, accessing your safe deposit box can be challenging until replacements arrive from the manufacturer. In addition, you will need to contact all third parties who have copies of the key in case they are lost or stolen.

8. Isolate your safe from other equipment

Do not place anything on top of the unit that might weigh it down. Also, please keep it away from heat sources and water pipes, which could damage items inside the box.

9. Check for cracks or holes in your safes

If you find any, then water may leak through the foundation walls during a flood or wet basement. This could cause all kinds of problems to items within the box, so do not ignore this problem even if it appears small. You will need to have repairs performed as soon as possible before anything becomes damaged beyond repair.

10. Regularly test the locking mechanism 

Your lock might have been broken into, or it may require an upgrade because it has become less efficient at the opening through time, especially with a standard keyed dialing lock that gets opened several times a day. In both cases, it would have lost its “spring tension,” though this is usually easily fixed by simply replacing the springs if they have worn out. If you have a key locking safe, ensure that the lock is not damaged or rusted. If so, you should replace them to avoid being locked out of your own safes. Many people forget that regular maintenance for their safes involves oiling and greasing the moving parts to ensure smooth operation. Oiling hinges and moving parts will reduce friction during opening and closing, resulting in less stress on the overall mechanism of your safe.


Each of these tips is important to maintaining your safe deposit box or vault, which contains valuable items that you want to keep secure. If you follow these simple maintenance tips regularly, you can ensure that your safes will continue to offer reliable service for many years. Furthermore, you will lessen the chances of any costly damages occurring to your belongings.

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