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If you're looking on the internet about how to steal money from ATM machines for illegal purposes please see these articles:

  1. How to Steal an ATM with a car and a chain

  2. How to Steal an ATM with a Tire Iron (Car Jack)

  3. Is ATM Theft worth the time?

If you're an ATM owner that got locked out of your ATM machine or need advice before calling a lock smith to drill out your lock keep reading.

Most of the ATM machines you see in retail merchant locations such as night clubs, bars, convenience stores, Adult Entertainment Clubs, restaurants, liquor stores and most other retail locations, include two different Underwriter Laboratory ratings (UL Ratings).

There are typically only two levels of safes or security cabinets for securing money in the variety of ATM Machines . One type of ATM safe is the Business Hours (BH) vault which has to meet the UL 291 Security Standards.

The other type of ATM is a 24 Hour Level 1 Safe. This safe also has to meet the UL 291 security standard plus a more strict standard.

The UL 291 Standard was designed by Underwriters Laboratories, an independent product-safety testing company. The same guys that rate house hold appliances, electrical cords and almost everything that goes to consumers.

The UL 291 standard requires that the ATM machine offers a certain degree of protection against unauthorized removal of the ATM contents (currency) as well as the removal or manipulation of transaction records.

In other words, if you are a business owner shopping for an ATM look for at least the UL 291 standard. This standard must withstand attacks from someone trying to rob money or change the transaction records. Both type of ATM safes have environmental and endurance requirements.

UL 291 Standard

Business Hours ATM Machine:

An ATM machine with a "Business Hours" rating is only designed to hold and store cash during normal business hours (when someone will be on the premises) . Basically this ATM is designed to be loaded and unloaded like a cash register by a responsible owner, manager, or employee.

The money kept in this type of ATM vault should be removed at the close of the business day. Now if your store or location where the ATM is located is operated 24 hours per day (or has employees on site 24 hours a day), then removal of the cash is not necessary.

Specifications: The metal of a UL 291 Business Hours ATM Machine can withstand a physical attack from a potential thief armed with wires, lines, chisels, pry bars, or wrenches for several minutes (at least five sometimes more). Rarely is an ATM theft attempted during business hours. It's a very stupid thing to try and almost guarantees incarceration. Should anyone see a person attempting to open an ATM by force, the store owner, manager, or employee would call the police.

For more information see the UL site

24 Hours Level 1 ATM machine:

ATM Machines with a Level 1 safe rating are designed to protect currency storage 24 hours a day with our without supervision.

These ATM machines typically weigh around 300 lbs or more. The steel used in a Level 1 safe can typically withstand physical pressure of 50,000 psi. This type of ATM is designed to withstand an attack, using fishing, trapping, and forcing techniques, on the currency container from the customer access panel for 30 minutes or more.

Attacks on other portions of the safe, using picks and portable electric tools like drills and grinders, can also be resisted by this type of safe for 15 minutes or longer.

ATM Machines sold and used by ATMDepot.com have the ATM safe separated from the customer access panel area, which is an extra security feature that makes ATM fraud and robbery that much more difficult.

Standard Environmental requirements:

All ATM machines have to withstand 85% humidity for 24 hours. This ensures that all ATMs maintain records and the quality of the currency in the cash dispenser.

If you are an ATM owner and lost or forgot your ATM machines combination, first try to contact your service provider. They may know someone in your area that can help you drill out the lock carefully without damaging any other part of the ATM.

Trying to break into an ATM by any means other than having a professional drill out the lock will risk damage to the machine and could be a potential liability. If hiring a locksmith to drill out your combination, be sure they are bonded.

Noah Wieder, Founder of ATM Depot an ATM Machine Processing Company, has been in the ATM Machines business since 1994 and was founder of the former XtraCash ATM. Jeremy Camhi, National Sales Manager, ATM Owner and resident in-house ATM Expert has been in the ATM Machines business since 1999. Follow us on Twitter