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86 people found this helpful
Good for its intended purpose--know what you are buying first.
on September 15, 2012
I've owned my SentrySafe 1170 for over a decade now. This is a good safe for its intended purpose, but it is important that you know exactly what that purpose is (and isn't) before investing in this product.
The 1170 is designed to store documents, and it does this well. It is spacious enough to hold all of your most vital documents. There are a pair of ridges on the inside that comfortably hold the end-hooks of normal hanging file-folders. The unit is pretty heavy (about 30 lbs.). The walls are extremely thick, and so is the lid. The locking mechanism work well; I've never noticed snags or any other mechanical issues with the lock, and I've never needed to use any lubricant in the lock.
Very fortunately, I cannot attest to durability during a fire. I can only assume that the solid body is a good reflection of its 1/2 hour fire rating.
If you are looking at buying this safe you need to take inventory of what you want. As a "fire safe" this will presumably give your documents some level of protection against fire. First, I do not believe that this safe is water-tight, or is even water rated. I looked on the website and there is no mention of water that I could see. This is important if there is a chance that the storage area may flood, or in the event that it is soaked by firefighters. If your documents could get ruined in such an event, you may want to consider a safe that is water rated as well.
Most importantly, as a "fire safe" this safe is not designed to protect against people. Yes, there is a lock on the front, but think of this more as a latch that will keep the lid secure and not a mechanism that would keep an adult out. My wife and I each kept a key for the safe, and during a recent move we both misplaced our only copies. Rather than pay for a locksmith, I decided just to break in. With everyday tools from my garage I was able to break into it in less than a minute with minimal effort. Even if a potential thief couldn't locate proper tools in your house/apartment, even a small person could hoist it under their arm and walk off with it. Mind you, I consider the ease of break-in something of a feature. Since the 1170 is only designed for fire, I don't want to have to pay someone if I've lost a key. (Yes, by breaking in I effectively destroyed the safe as well.)
Most people hear "safe" and they assume that this implies "from people". If you want your goods to be safe from intruders you will need (at minimum) a safe that is either too heavy for one or more people to carry off, or one that is designed to be bolted down and secured to the floor. Even if the lock is more robust if the safe can be carried off the their will have all the time they need to find a way in. A better lock is a useful feature only if they can't physically remove the safe.
As an inexpensive document firesafe, this may do the trick. It is important that you don't purchase this safe with unrealistic expectations.