If the code to your key safe is forgotten or compromised, how do you go about changing it?

Key cabinets and key safes with a combination lock are a great choice for offices, hotels or car rental businesses, offering good security for all your keys without the danger of the safe key going missing. Why, when and how do you reset or change the combination number?

  • Why change a key safe’s combination number?
  • Changing dial lock key safe combinations
  • Changing push-button key safe combinations
  • Securing your key safe combination number
  • Why change a key safe’s combination number?

The security of a combination lock depends on keeping the combination number secret. If somebody writes down the number on a piece of paper or employees who knew the code leave your company, security will be compromised, and you should change the code.

When you get a new key safe, the lock may or may not have had a combination set at the factory. If there’s no combination already, you will have to set one in order to use your safe. If the factory has set a combination number, it is very likely to be the same for every new device: 0-0-0, for example. If you don’t change this, anyone who happens to know the default combination can open your key safe. It’s easy to discover the default combination for whole ranges of key safes simply by looking online.

Forgetting the combination number and finding yourself locked out of the safe is another common reason you will need to reset the code. But how do you do it?

The exact method for changing the number on a key safe lock will depend on your safe’s exact make and model. That said, many key safes and cabinets use broadly similar methods of changing the combination. There are two general kinds of combination-locked key safes: those with dials and those which are operated by a push-button system.

As examples, it’s probably helpful to consider two of the most popular makes of key safe. Here we will look at dial combination key safes from the KeySecure range, and push-button digital combination locks from the Securikey range.

Changing dial lock key safe combinations

Dial lock safes like the KeySecure KS100 come with a ‘locks change key’ that allows you to change the combination number. The dial has two lines on it. To open the safe, you turn the dial and pause with the number you want to select lined up with the vertical line (this line called is the ‘opening index’). The line to the left of this is the ‘changing index’ – that’s the one you need to change the code.
To change the combination:

  • Open the lock and door. The close the lock while the door is open.
  • Dial the existing code using the changing index, for example, 10-20-30.
  • Turn the dial LEFT, pass ‘10’ three times, and the fourth time stop with ‘10’ exactly on the changing index.
  • Turn the dial RIGHT and pass ‘20’ twice and the third time stop with ‘20’ exactly on the changing index.
  • Turn the dial LEFT and pass ‘30’ once, and the second time stop with ‘30’ exactly on the changing index.
  • Insert the change key (with the long side) in the keyhole at the back of the door and turn to the RIGHT until it stops.
  • Then remove the change key and dial the old code on the changing index, this time stopping exactly on each number.
  • Now choose your new combination number. The last number of the code must be higher than 20, and the numbers must be more than four increments apart – for instance, 47-8-82.
  • Turn the dial LEFT, pass ‘47’ three times, and the fourth time stop with ‘47’ exactly on the changing index.
  • Turn the dial RIGHT and pass ‘8’ twice and the third time stop with ‘8’ exactly on the changing index.
  • Turn the dial LEFT and pass ‘82’ once, and the second time stop with ‘82’ exactly on the changing index.

Turn the change key LEFT and remove the key. The new code is then set.
Try the new combination several times to make sure the lock opens and locks perfectly, before locking the door.

Changing push-button key safe combinations

To change the code on a push button key safe, like the Securikey KVD048PB, you need to remove the lock from the safe door. Luckily this isn’t too tricky to do.

To change the combination:

  1. Unlock and open the door, then remove the lock.
  2. Remove the four retaining screws from the back of the keypad. Take extra care to keep the keypad on a flat surface when you are removing the covering plate, because there are a lot of small components inside.
  3. You will now see that there are 5 red coloured coded tumblers and 8 blue coloured uncoded tumblers plus 1 clear tumbler (‘C’ button).
  4. To change your code push the ‘C’ button down and hold it. You can easily remove one or more of your coded and uncoded tumblers, using the tweezers supplied with your safe. Remember, the red tumblers represent coded digits and the blue represent non-coded digits. Rearrange the tumblers to correspond to your new code. Note, you should NEVER remove the ‘C’ tumbler.
  5. Note the different shapes of tumblers before reinserting them into the lock body. Firstly there is a difference in shape between the coded and uncoded tumblers, (see a diagram here). And secondly, when refitting the tumblers into the lock body, they must be fitted facing the right way, (see the diagram). All square cut-outs must face outwards.
  6. After you have refitted the tumblers and have memorised your the new code, replace the metal plate with the four screws and fix the lock back to the safe door.

Securing your key safe combination number

Keeping the combination number to your key safe or key cabinet secret is an imperative part of your security. But you might not want to rely on your memory either. For maximum security, you should never write down the combination number unless you destroy the piece of paper straight afterwards.

You also should be wary of sending the combination number to a colleague via email or using any other public communication channel that could be intercepted, especially if the message includes any reference to the key safe. Don’t leave your colleague a post-it note or even an email saying, ‘The key safe code is 1224’!

A good solution is to use a secure online vault to store your combination number (and any other passwords or codes your business uses). Have a look at a service like 1Password or Master Lock Vault – these provide highly a highly secure place online where only people you approve can access the codes and passwords they need.

Call us for more help

If you have a different key safe model and these instructions don’t work, feel free to give our expert team a call on 0800 567 7549 and they may be able to direct you to the information you need. If you want to upgrade your key safe, browse our wide selection of key safes here.