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ADVANCED Safe & Vault Services 415-519-3401

San Francisco Bay Area California
A Fully licensed locksmith specializing in Safe Vault and ATM Opening,
Repair & Maintenance and 24-HR EMERGENCY LOCKOUT SERVICE.


Brought to you by the owner of
Advanced Safe & Vault Engineering
Novato, CA
California Licensed Safe & Vault Technician and Specialty Security Contractor
B.S.I.S. Locksmith #LCO-223 and Contractor #548201

PLEASE NOTE: For FASTER SERVICE, avoid calling me from a Caller I.D. blocked phone number!

I DON'T open or fit keys for cars or do any kind of residential locksmithing, but I will be happy to refer
you to any of the competent, licensed locksmiths who frequently refer safe & vault work to me.

Safe opening, lockout service and repairs of SAFES, VAULTS, ATM cash compartments
SAFE DEPOSIT BOXES and U. S. GOVERNMENT (GSA DOD) FILES, VAULTS for classified records, map and plan or weapons.


Hopefully, you found this site because you're locked-out of your safe, vault or ATM and searching for a locksmith company who offers emergency lock-out services in the San Francisco Area, or you've been searching in the Locks & Locksmithing or Safes & Vaults opening & repairing category of your local yellow pages, but are having difficulty determining which companies are general locksmiths and which are safe and vault specialists, safemen, safe engineers, safe and vault technicians, safe mechanics, safe experts, vault mechanics, or safecrackers in popular culture. If that's true, WELCOME!

The purpose of this page is to educate, inform, to debunk myths and to help you make intelligent decisions about solving your problem. I know it's a lot to absorb, but please take a few moments to read the following information. It may help you save some money or avoid a costly mistake.

Who Hires A Safecracker?

Most people live their whole lives without ever needing the services of a legal, legitimate safecracker or even meeting one. Folks who are unfortunate enough to discover the illegal kind may also have to contact someone like me for repairs or to open your safe in the case of a badly bungled attempt. On the other hand, government, law enforcement agencies, bank officers, ATM and armored courier firms, and many other businesses that deal with lots of cash or high-value items may need the services of a safe & vault technician on a regular basis, even if only to provide preventive maintenance. Although lock-outs on this kind of equipment are not an everyday occurrence, it does happen and it's wise to know something about it before having to choose someone to solve your problem. It's not something you want to learn the hard way, especially if what you are locked-out of looks anything like this:

Believe it or not, I'd guess that 30% of the "problem" calls I receive are solved after asking a few questions and giving some practical advice on the phone... for FREE! Sometimes, when you're experiencing a problem, just talking to an expert may allow you to avoid further damage that can result in a complete lock-out and the need for a substantial opening charge.

Why Is A Safecracker Necessary And What Does He Do?

Most of what you hear and see about safecracking is fantasy, especially the kind of details that are depicted on TV and in films. You didn't really think it was that easy, did you? Often it is possible for an accomplished safe lock manipulator to open a safe by touch, i.e. using the dial to determine and measure design tolerances and flaws which allow him to discover the lock's actual combination setting. This is called the art of manipulation and hiring a safe expert who is competent in this skill means that you are more likely to get that "open safe" result you are seeking, but with no mess and without the possibility of damage done to your safe or it's contents, and it can be returned to useful service immediately and without needing "penetration" repairs.

If you Right-Click on and select "open in a new window" to go to the following hyperlinks, it will allow you to learn more about how mechanical safe locks work and the art and science of safecracking. You can just close it when you're done to return to where you were on THIS PAGE.





OK, OK, I GET IT... I Need A Safecracker. So What's Next?

Here are a few initial questions you might have:

How do I choose a qualified Safe & Vault Technician?

How do I determine the value of these services if, like most people, I haven't had to hire a safecracker before?

What, exactly, am I shopping for?

Hopefully, the answers to these questions will become apparent as you read on....

Skilled Safemen don't grow on trees. Many years of training, skills acquisition and experience are required to become a journey-level safe engineer. Specialized tools, equipment and an extensive technical library are also necessary! These things represent quite a large investment.

I'm sure you have seen BIG ads in your local yellow pages for locksmiths who "also open safes." There is a BIG difference between a general locksmith and a safe and vault SPECIALIST, just as there is between a general medical practitioner and a brain surgeon.... which one would you choose to excise a tumor from your child's brain? When asked, often a general locksmith will be happy to refer you to a safe and vault specialist. Because of the specialized training and equipment required, many locksmiths won't offer these services because it is not profitable for them. On the other hand, they are still interested in seeing that their customer's needs are met.

A professional safe technician who is truly skilled, experienced, knowledgeable and thoroughly equipped to service your needs, while preserving the appearance, integrity and usefulness of your unique, antique, or high security safe or vault is not as easy to find as you might think. You can't tell just from looking at a Yellow Page Ad! That's why professional safe & vault specialists are listed in both Locks & Locksmiths and the Safes & Vaults section of your phone book, as well as in the SAVTA DIRECTORY SEARCH. You're more likely to find a competent technician and avoid the multitude of locksmith scammers, especially after hours, if you're smart about where you search to solve your problem.

When shopping for safe and vault services, don't forget to ask lots of questions! If you pay attention to the answers, it will be easy to tell whether the person on the other end of the phone is well-qualified and professional or merely someone who wants you to think they are.

Important Questions

Here are 10 questions you can ask that will help you decide whether or not the person or company you are considering is up to the task and will provide you with good value:

1. Will the work be performed by your own staff or do you sub-contract these jobs to others and add a fee?

2. Do you have the skills, specialized training and equipment to do this job in a professional manner and can you supply me with current client references?

3. Will my safe need to be drilled or are your technicians skilled and competent in advanced diagnostic procedures, combination lock manipulation and other non-invasive/destructive techniques.

4. Are you licensed, bonded and insured (numbers and coverage limits) in my location?

5. How many years of experience do you have opening and repairing the type of safe, vault or ATM that I am locked out of?

6. Do you charge a "flat-rate, not to exceed price" or an open-ended "hourly rate" for openings?

7. If needed, do your service personnel carry locks, parts and supplies on-board that will allow them to return my equipment to full function and integrity?

8. Can you open my safe, vault or ATM and return it to service, even if it has already been damaged by a burglar or amateur opening attempt?

9. Can you usually complete the job and return my safe, vault or ATM to useful service in one visit?

10. Do you guarantee results, as well as your workmanship?

If you or your company require the services of a top-notch safe, vault and ATM specialist, I am certain that you will find ADVANCED SAFE AND VAULT to be:


Safecracker "manipulating" a safe's combination lock (left) and drilling a malfunctioning vault door (right)

Please feel free to contact me to discuss your needs or to obtain an opening or service quote! Click HERE to send an e-mail or CALL 415-519-3401. I will be happy to answer any questions that you may have, and send you a list of client references.

You can also CLICK HERE to download a PDF that has more information on safe & vault services, and a short brochure featuring some of our safe and vault products.

Of course, if you found this site by mistake and you are actually looking for someone who can rekey your house locks, open or fit keys to your car, master key an entire office building or install a door closer, I will be happy to refer you to a competent, licensed locksmith who is nearby and just as interested in providing excellent customer service as I am.


Classified material is stored in special containers made to exacting specifications. These are commonly called "GSA Containers". They are not cheap and there can be no substitution when they are required. Some containers, although old, are still serviceable, even if they require minor repairs or a lock upgrade. Others, may "appear new" or in perfect condition, but can have hidden flaws and vulnerabilities. With our national secrets at risk, we must do everything within our power to be certain our classified information is stored in containers that provide the intended security and protection.

Advanced Safe & Vault Engineering is a recognized US Government security contractor and has been providing our government and DOD contractor customers with excellence in Quality, Service, & Price for years. Through continued education, we are able to meet the needs of an ever changing world. Allowing Advanced Safe & Vault Eng. to service (and open, when necessary) your GSA containers will provide you with the peace of mind that your containers have been serviced properly. We keep up with the latest training, tools and techniques so we can troubleshoot and open containers with Kaba Mas X-07, X-08 & X-09 locks that meet FF-L-2740 standards. All our repairs are in accordance with Federal Standard 809.

The DOD requires that all classified documents be secured in GSA Approved Containers. Ken Doyle has been fully trained on KABA-MAS X-07, X-08, & X-09 locks. The X-09 is the latest lock to meet Federal Spec FF-L-2740 (A&B) and is used to replace all mechanical combination locks as well as malfunctioning X-07's and X-08's.

These locks are used on files, map & plan containers, weapons safes, and vault doors made by Art Metal, Diebold, Hamilton, Mosler and Overly, as well as pedestrian doors to secure areas and SCIF facilities.

Advanced Safe & Vault Eng. is also the preferred warranty service provider in Northern California for many lock, safe, vault, banking equipment and ATM manufacturers.

Please CALL 415-519-3401 for a FREE, no obligation phone quote.

THANK YOU for visiting my site and please come again!


Hiring an unlicensed contractor (especially with regard to your safety or security) can be a very costly mistake. The chances of being victimized by one of the many illegal locksmith scams that proliferate yellow page directories and online search engine results are much higher because you might not check for evidence of licensing and professional accreditation. Before you "let your fingers do the walking", why not read what the Federal Trade Commission has to say about obtaining the services of an emergency locksmith or safe technician here:

Instead, you may wish to do an easy Zip Code SEARCH for a competent and reputable safe and vault technician using the FREE search engine located at the official web site of the Safe and Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA) here:

You can verify my license status or that of any other Lock and Safe Professional within the state of California here:

You may also want to check the current license status of any California Contractor (yes, locksmiths and safe & vault technicians are required to have a current contractor's license and bond) here:

Safes, gunsafes, vaults, bank equipment and ATMs we have opened and serviced:
A&B, Access, Allied-Gary, Alpine, American, American Security Products, AmSec, Armor, Atlas, Auditcon, Baum, Bernadini, Bischoff, Bode-Panzer, Brown, Cannon, Cary, Cencon, City Safe, Chatwood-Milner, Chubb, Collier, Cross, Corporate Security Systems (CSS), De La Rue, Diebold, Docutel, Eclipse, Emo, Empire, EXL, Fichet-Bauche, FireFyter, FireKing, FKI, Fujitsu, Gardall, Gary, Giant, GlobaLoks, Graffunder, Granite, Hamilton, Hayman, Heritage, Hermann, Herring-Hall-Marvin, Ilco-Unican, International, Intersec, ISM, Invincible, John Tann, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-Mas, Kaso, Knight, Kumahira, Kumihira, Kumihara, La Gard, Lefebure, Liberty, Lord, LP Locks, Major, Mancini, Mas-Hamilton, McGunn, Meilink, MGM, Modul-X, Montgomery-Ward, Mosler, Mutual, National, NCR, NKL, NL Locks, Overly, Pacific, Pacific Security Products, Phoenix, Protectall, PSP, Remington-Rand, Remington & Sherman, Rosengrens, S&G, Sargent & Greenleaf, Schwab, Sears, Securifort, Sentry, SLS, Sportsman Steel, Star, Sturdy Safe, Tann, Tower, Tranax, Triton, US Security, Vector, Victor, Visalia, Waltz, Wincor-Nixdorf, X-07, X-08, X-09, and many, many others.

Service areas in Northern California:
Alameda, Albany, Atherton, Bel Marin Keys, Belvedere, Belmont, Berkeley, Bernal Heights (SF), Bodega Bay, Bolinas, Booneville, Brisbane, Burlingame, Calistoga, Castro Valley, Clearlake, Cloverdale, Coast Guard Island, Colma, Concord, Contra Costa, Corte Madera, Cotati, Cupertino, Danville, Daly City, Davis, Dillon Beach, Dublin, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Fairfax, Fairfield, Forest Knolls, Forestville, Foster City, Fort Bragg, Fremont, Gilroy, Greenbrae, Guerneville, Half Moon Bay, Hayward, Healdsburg, Hillsborough, Ignacio, Inverness, Jenner, Kelseyville, Kentfield, Lagunitas, Lakeport, Larkspur, Livermore, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Lucas Valley-Marinwood, Marin City, Martinez, Mendocino, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Mill Valley, Monterey, Monte Rio, Mountain View, Muir Beach, Napa, Nicasio, Novato, Oakland, Olema, Orinda, Pacifica, Palo Alto, Petaluma, Pinole, Pleasanton, Point Reyes Station, Redwood City, Richmond, Rohnert Park, Ross, Russian River, Sacramento, Salinas, San Anselmo, San Francisco, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Jose, San Leandro, San Mateo, San Pablo, San Quentin, San Rafael, San Ramon, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, Santa Venetia, Sausalito, Sonoma, South San Francisco, Sebastopol, Solano, Stinson Beach, Strawberry, St. Helena, Sunnyvale, Tamalpais-Homestead Valley, Terra Linda, Tiburon, Tomales, Treasure Island, Ukiah, Union City, Vacaville, Vallejo, Valley Ford, Walnut Creek, Windsor, Woodside, Yountville, and most other Northern California and San Francisco Bay Area communities.

Area codes in our service area: 209 408 415 510 650 707 831 916 925

Zip codes in our service area: 940 941 944 945 946 947 948 949 950 951 952 954 956

Copyright 2001-2014 by Ken Doyle
ADVANCED Safe and Vault Engineering - Novato, CA.
Phone: (415) 519-3401
All rights reserved.