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Removing or relocating a vault door | Remove a vault door

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Wednesday October 9, 2013 at 10:47am
We specialise in bespoke design and installation of vaults and strongrooms. Replacing a vault or strongroom can be very costly though, so repair over replacement is more popular!

We were only supposed to take the bloody door off!

Vault door | installation and removals | Remove a vault doorWe were recently called to an old building in London which was once a Barclays bank. The building was going through a refurbishment and the vault was no longer needed, so we were called in to help. The door was a Tann 650 and weighs in at around 2.5 tonne! Tann vaults and doors were very popular before they were bought out by Rosengrens who are now part of the Gunnebo/Chubb group. These vault doors were very common in the 70s in Banks and other high security buildings, but are costly to maintain so are usually removed when the building has a change of use.

The Tann 650 door was the entrance to a vault used to store the banks money. The Vault was built into the structure of the room, and this meant that the frame from the door was a substantial part of the structure, so it was left behind to save having to add any other strengthening measures to it.

Remove a vault door | Removing a vault door from a strongroomThis removal took three man and decades of experience to remove.
With the help of our bespoke removal knowledge and our purpose-built carrier, we extracted the door from its position and loaded it onto our purpose-built truck for delivery back to Coventry in the West Midlands.

Without the frame, the door becomes nothing more than scrap, as to have another frame built to match would not be very cost effective, so we removed it and set to work extracting the many useful spare parts from the door's interior.

Many of the parts we removed are no longer manufactured and if you needed to replace them, it would be very costly, as a bespoke build is your only option. We have a large stock of valuable spares like these which we keep for future call outs and service repairs – this often saves our customers from a costly repair.

Vault door nyoln scrollAmong the many rare parts was this, a nylon scroll responsible for drawing back all the bolt work within the door. When these break, you can't retract the door bolts which secures the door completely shut and disables it until replaced. The nylon wears and cracks overtime and it's not unusual for a vault door to be out of action or unable to be opened because this part has failed.

The construction of this vault door is very interesting and the resistance to attack is paramount in the design. In front of the locking mechanism is a glass plate which hold all the wires in place. If an attempt is made to drill the lock, the glass plate will shatter (much like a car windscreen) releasing all the wires attached to it and fire the A.E.D (anti-explosive device) into position, locking all the boltwork into the locked position. This means the handle will not retract the bolts to open the door, and is then inoperable.

We're passionate about safes and all that goes into them, so it's very satisfying that this door will live on and the parts from it will help many vaults and strongrooms continue to stay in service.


We can remove, build, install or advise on strongrooms and vaults and are always happy to help. If you have a problem with your door then give us a call - we just might have the part you're looking for!

BDB Lock and Safe - The complete safe specialist

1 Comment

Philip | Friday January 9, 2015 at 1:14pm
I am trying to put a strongroom in my basement in my house in Europe. (I live in China and use a US VPN- it's a long story). I quite understand if you won't talk to me. The existing walls are 9" brick. I am going to line that with 9" concrete block and pour a heavy roof. Would that be OK for a Chubb 12mm door?

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BDB Lock and Safe Ltd. Unit 3 Amphion Business Park, Silverstone Drive, Coventry.  CV6 6PA  tel: 024 7664 4560  fax: 024 7664 4620