Fire Safe File Cabinet: Issues and Solutions

If you plan to buy a fire safe file cabinet, you should be aware of the possible problems that you might encounter while using it. Using a fireproof cabinet for the first few months or years can be very smooth. But, after a while, a few problems will pop up one after another.

You’ll need to prepare yourself for the possible issues that may appear. If you’ve been using your file cabinet for many years, it’s just a matter of time before a problem appears.

Below are some of the possible issues that you may encounter with your file cabinet along with the solutions.

Fire Safe File Cabinet Issues

  1. Being Locked Out of your File Cabinet

    This is one of the typical issues that you might encounter if you have a file cabinet. This issue might even appear sooner than you expected. There are some reasons why your cabinet failed to open:

    • Batteries are already dead
    • You’re typing the wrong code
    • Bolts are jammed
    • The wiring is damaged
    • The keyhole is rusty
    • It’s on lockout mode


    If the batteries are dead, you just need to replace them. But, the tricky part is opening the file cabinet without using the electronic lock. Check if your fireproof cabinet has an override key or an external power supply socket. You can also check if you can replace the batteries located behind the keypad.

    Jammed bolts and a rusty keyhole are not too difficult to handle. You just have to slam the top file cabinet to force the moving parts to loosen up. You can do this as well when the keyholes are rusty.

    You should check if you are also typing the right code. This problem would happen if you are changing your code often. Always keep a record of the code so you won’t forget it.

    Your safe will go on lockout mode if you typed the wrong code multiple times. The best solution is to wait around 10 to 20 minutes before you try again.

    1. Moisture Build-Up

      A fire-safe file cabinet is prone to moisture build-up. If you are living in an area with a humid climate, the chances of having moisture in your file cabinet would increase.

      Moisture can damage the files in your cabinet. Since fire safes are made to resist fire, they would prevent fresh air from entering inside as well. It can also happen to file cabinets that are not properly sealed. If you bought a cheap file cabinet, this is one of the issues that will surely make your head hurt.


      • You should check the area where your file cabinet is placed. Make sure that the moisture is not entering the room.
      • If you don’t have a lot of files in the cabinet, you can put them in an airtight container. This would prevent moisture from damaging your files while they are kept inside the safe file cabinet.
      • Use a dehumidifier. If you don’t have a choice, just install a dehumidifier as it can take moisture out of the air. The moisture will be collected on the tubes inside of the unit and push dry air out. With this, you can prevent moisture from building up inside the file cabinet.
      • Include a silica gel or camphor inside the cabinet. Although silica gel can’t remove all the moisture in your cabinet, it can support your dehumidifier. They are available from packing supply stores in your area. A single pack contains crystals that will absorb moisture.
      1. You Forgot your Code

        This is not an issue with the file cabinet. But, this is a problem that many safe owners experience. There are instances where you forgot your code and failed to open your fireproof cabinet. This dilemma is very common for most safe owners.

        This is extremely frustrating, especially if you need to get something inside. You don’t need to worry because there are specific solutions that you can do to reset the password or open the safe through other means.


        • You should first figure out the brand of file cabinet that you are using. Most brands have different methods of changing the password of the file cabinet. Some of them would require you to access an app on your phone. You can change the code by resetting it using your email. Some would even ask for a security question and answer.
        • Look for the override key. Most of the modern fireproof file cabinets have override keys. They are used to open your safe if you forgot the code or the batteries are dead. If you’re using a cheap file cabinet, there is a chance that there is no override key included.
        • Look for a change key. Top-of-the-line file cabinets usually have this. This type of key can help you change the code to your safe. If you use it, you can easily change the code without resetting the password.
        • Search for a locksmith. If all else fails, your last resort would be a locksmith. When the vault is cheaply made or you’ve been using it for many years, there’s a chance that the electronic lock will become faulty. Even if you try to input the right code, the file cabinet will not open. A locksmith can help open your vault without damaging its lock.


        A fireproof file cabinet is not foolproof. It will malfunction if you’ve been using it for a long time or you did not follow the instructions on how to use it properly. The good thing is for every issue, there is always a straightforward solution available.

        The best method to handle these issues properly is to stay informed. Figure out all of the possible issues that you might encounter while using a file cabinet and research the appropriate solutions. Since we’ve already given you everything, you won’t have to look elsewhere.

        If you need a solid fire safe file cabinet fully packed with security features, there are a variety of options available for you.