Replacing Locks In A Bank Vault: How A Commercial Locksmith Helps Reassign Safety Deposit Boxes

Posted on: 27 April 2015

Safety deposit boxes are rented out as a service to bank members. When bank members stop renting a deposit box, the box is emptied of the previous owner's effects and the box awaits reassignment. In the event that not all of the keys that open the boxes are recovered, then a commercial locksmith like A & R Lockshop steps in to help. If you have ever wondered how this process works, read the following to find out.

First, the Bank Charges the Previous Customer 

Without all of the keys for the safety deposit box, the bank has to replace the lock and supply it with new matching keys. That costs money, so the bank charges the previous owner for the missing keys. (The only exception to this rule is if the previous owner is deceased and he or she did not have an heir assigned to the contents of the box.) Usually, the bank waits until it has a couple of boxes that need lock and key replacements, because commercial locksmiths charge by the hour. Thus it is too costly to call a locksmith every time another safety deposit box needs a new lock and keys.

Second, the Bank Secures the Services of a Trusted Commercial Locksmith

The locksmith is shown to a table inside the vault where all of the boxes that require new locks sit. Usually, a bank employee will oversee the work, or a video camera is trained on the table where the locksmith will work. This is not because the locksmith is not to be trusted, but because the bank is protecting itself and its customers as much as it is trying to protect the locksmith from false accusations of larceny.

Third, the Locks are Replaced 

The locksmith replaces all of the safety deposit box locks that needed the service. Then, he or she places the matching set of keys inside each lock box and leaves the vault. A bill is left with the bank's accountant, and the locksmith moves on to the next business call.

Finally, the Bank Can Reassign the Boxes

The bank now has safety deposit boxes that are secure and ready to rent to new customers. The keys, of which there are usually two, are both tested in the new locks to make sure they work. One key is given to the customer that rents the box, while the other stays with the bank. If the customer chooses to have a co-renter on his or her box, the bank, at its discretion, may ask the locksmith to duplicate the key the bank has, such that the duplicate goes to the co-renter and the bank still has one of the originals.