On a traditional safe deposit box, there are two different keys, both of which must be utilized in order to open the box. One key (usually two copies of it) is given to the customer who rents the box. It is the customer's duty to safeguard the key. Typically, it will not have a box number or bank name on it. The box number is omitted because box locks are often rotated.
The second key is known as the "Guard key." It is not a master key like hotels and office buildings have to open all the rooms. Instead it is the second-half of the security on the safe deposit box. The box cannot be opened solely with the Guard key. Both the renter's key and the Guard key must be used.
If the renter's keys are lost, the box lock must be drilled and a new lock supplied. Not surprisingly, under the contract, the renter is required to pay for drilling and re-keying the box.
Published on BankingQuestions.com 7/28/06