299 of 305 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2009
-Its a little heavy, so it's not as easy as the small hanging file safes to get up and walk away with.
-The key and the dial are very user friendly. The key doesn't stick at all and works every time without fail.
-The combination is factory set so you don't have the possibility of using a combination that would be easily guessed (a lot of people use their birthdate or home phone number for things like this... BAD BAD BAD).
-There are no batteries required. This is good, because if the thing really is stuck in a fire, there are no electronics to be melted, or to be wet by the water hoses. Plus those batteries can get expensive and corrode if left in there unused for a length of time and I'm guessing you wont be going in this every day, so it's probably better to have no electronic parts.
-Its heavy #but this is a pro, too#, took 2 people to get it upstairs without too much hassle.
-The instructions tell you to drill the holes in the bottom of the safe and on the mounting surface #typically the floor# with a 7/16 drill bit. Well this is the same size as the screw, so I recommend only using the 7/16 bit in the bottom of the safe, and using a slightly smaller bit to drill the holes in the floor #Do this ONLY if you have wood or carpet floors, as doing this on tile will possibly crack it) I say this because the first time I mounted this, I used the 7/16 for both and the screws just slipped right through the holes in the floor. This made the safe slightly harder to move, because you had to lift it 2.5 inches off the floor, but it would still be easy for 2 crooks to lift and move.
I'm recommending this to my mom, so it's not bad at all. Just make sure you register the safe on their website in case you lose your key or combination or if someone needs to get it in the event of something happening to you.
225 of 231 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2009
The safe was delivered by my next door neighbor (a UPS driver) so the damage I later found probably happened in the warehouse or the trip here (I trust him).
The safe is boxed in cardboard only slightly bigger than itself and with foam on the four corners. Nothing to protect the dial or anything else.
There was a small hole in the top of the box and whatever did that, also put a dent in the top of the steel safe.
Amazon.com was nice and we came to a mutual agreement; but make sure you check the safe when delivered.
NOTE: This model (a combination dial-not digital) has a factory combination which CAN NOT be changed.
This wasn't a problem for me as I didn't want yet another item that required batteries like the digital model does.
The combination works well; you can even miss the numbers by one or two and it will still open. You can push in the "key lock" and that disables the dial for extra security.
If you want to mount the safe to the floor, you have to drill holes in the bottom of the safe for the bolts - not a problem for me, I have all the tools, but it may be for many.
If you don't mount the safe down, be aware most suspects will just take the safe (it's about 90 lbs). I'm a retired cop and I've been to plenty of burglaries where they have done just that; so hide the safe or bolt it down (the first place they look is in your closet).
188 of 206 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2010
While the outside of this safe and its sheer girth convey a sense of security and solid construction, a close look at the inner workings reveals a pathetic, cheap, poorly constructed safe that is prone to failure and breakage.
My first safe arrived broken - the combination dial and attached shaft just fell right out! Much to their credit, CSN Stores shipped another right away. They told me to just dispose of the broken one (probably because it's not worth the shipping costs to send back a 143 pound [shipping weight] broken safe), so I decided to see if I could fix it.
To my horror, after prying off the plastic trim on the back door a spray of plastic washers and dials spat out - spring loaded. As I suspected from looking at the shaft attached to the main dial there is just a tiny little circular snap-on washer (not sure the exact name for this part) which holds the whole thing together, and the one sent to me had obviously fallen off in shipping. The plastic dials which determine the combination are thin, flimsy, and would definitely not survive any type of high heat from a fire, and the whole assembly would not survive a drop, nor is it even remotely waterproof or sealed.
In about 20 minutes I was able to re-assemble the discs and washers and figure out what the new combination was. So the broken safe works now, but I wouldn't trust it - and in fact I don't trust the working one I have. The inexcusable lack of quality in both parts and construction has serious implications for anyone who owns this safe, and likely any others from Sentry:
- The safe can be easily broken into by merely jumping on the handle to break through the discs or prying off the combination dial to easily access the flimsy discs inside, which as noted are held together by the tiniest thinnest snap-on washer that I've ever seen.
- The safe is not truly fire-safe - the plastic dials (and most of the innards) will melt long before a fire has an effect on the rest of the safe
- The safe is not water resistant - while there is a rubber gasket/trim around the perimeter of the door, the combination dial is not sealed at all.
So basically Sentry uses the cheapest most worthless unreliable parts where it counts the most, hidden where most people will never see them. Think twice before relying on this safe (or this brand) for securing valuables from theft, fire or water damage.
I was contacted by Sentry Safe, and to their credit they are very attentive to these issues and wanted to clarify some of the finer points above.
The DA3410 safe is rated for 2 hours of fire at (I think 1500) degrees. They claim that the plastic actually melts and forms a seal which helps to protect the inside from water damage. I can't verify or discredit this claim, but the safes are independently tested by UL to get their rating.
Sentry was also quick to point out that less than one half of one percent of the safes they sell ever have reported problems. Again, can't verify this, but presumably the safes work for most people or else they wouldn't sell. They also claimed that the plastic parts are used in part because they are strong enough where needed, but also have a breaking point which if exceeded (as in the case of applying excessive force to handle) will cause the mechanism to fail-safe, meaning that the handle would just spin and fail to function.
My concerns and issues with this safe still remain.
1) Durability: The wobbly flimsy plastic parts that form the assembly of the combination dial are cheap and unreliable to the point where my first safe couldn't even survive shipping.
2) Functionality: As reported by other reviewers, the safe can stop functioning after time. The weakest link in this safe is the actual locking mechanism, not the materials of the actual safe (metal and concrete)
3) Protection of Valuables: Sentry points out that these safes are not TL rated (look up TL rated safes online) - so these safes are a best-effort against the average uninformed burglar. If someone's intentions were to destroy the contents of the safe, again, that's trivial - lay the safe on its back, pop off the combination dial, poor in gasoline through the open shaft and light a match. You've got a direct pathway into the center of the safe with almost no effort. Same hole could be used to insert a blow torch or something similar to melt the 2 ounces of plastic that keep the handle from turning.
4) Water resistance: Sentry points out that these safes are not water proof, they are water resistant. Fair enough - I just didn't expect to be able to so easily obtain a direct path into the safe by popping the dial off. Surely water could make its way in, but again - water *resistant*, not water proof.
I appreciate Sentry's response and in an effort to be fair to them have updated the review. However, I still think that the weakest link in the chain (so-to-speak) are the cheap plastic parts used in the locking mechanism. It seems like a very modest amount of re-design and more robust hardware would go a long way to ensure long-term functionality, improve security, and prevent the type of failure I experienced, having received a 143 pound safe rendered useless for lack of a sturdier lock washer which probably cost $0.03.
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2010
After about two years of being protected in the confines of our closet from weathering the plastic locking mechanism froze inside the safe. I had to input the combination a multitude of times and literally beat the safe with a rubber hammer to get the lock mechanism to disengage, which it did after about ten to twenty minutes of "persuasion". I took the mechanism apart sprayed it with silicone, placed it back together, and put a baking soda pack inside there to absorb moisture and guess what, six months later, surprise surprise, I had to do the exact same thing. That safe it not safe and DO NOT buy this. For you own sanity, stay away from Sentry.
If I could put a negative star rating I would.
53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2010
The Sentry safe appears sturdy but they do not last. After several years keeping it indoors in a safe place so the elements would not harm it, it became more and more difficult to get it to respond to the code until it finally stopped. Yes all my valuables are locked in the safe! I have the combination and it wont work!The Sentry company simply responded that after a year it is no longer under warranty so I will have to find a locksmith who will open it! I searched the web to find help some other way only to find my complaint was not at all isolated! Google "cant open my Sentry safe" and see how many hits it gets! Well, I am filing a complaint and hope Consumer affaires will look into these costly but unreliable "safes". I thought this was an investment to give me piece of mind for my valuables! I wont buy another one of the Sentry products. A simple lock box like my parents had will do and wont cost as much.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2010
I bought this safe primarily to have a fireproof place to store important papers and computer backups. I'm satisfied that it will do what I want but I had a couple of surprises:
1. The double locking system really means that it takes both a key AND a combination to open the safe. If you loose the key or forget the combination you will have some difficulty getting to your valuables. The safe can be "single locked" with just the key or just the dial, but it is very easy to double lock it by accident.
2. I hadn't considered that fireproof did not necessarily mean air or water tight. I watched some video of fire testing and it came through with flying colors. The problem is that most fires also involve water damage when the fireman shows up to put out the fire. Some water is going to get inside if there is enough put on the safe during the fire suppression effort.
The user documentation is "OK", and there is a web site that lets you recover your combination once you register. You can buy new keys there as well.
The safe is heavy, but can be carried around by one person. I hauled it up two flights of stairs in the original packaging. It can be bolted down with the provided hardware and this seems like a good idea.
The packaging consists of a cardboard box and four Styrofoam inserts. If the box is punctured or dropped the safe could be damaged. Mine was delivered by FedEx and had a dent in the back left section even though the box was undamaged. Amazon was great: They offered to replace the safe, but I decided to keep the first one because the dent isn't obvious and the safe's function has not been compromised.
46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2009
I'm giving this safe 5 stars because it fit my needs perfectly, especially for the price. The Amazon service was great, it arrived well packaged with no damage to the safe. After reading some of the other reviews I was a little worried about the robustness of the safe, but it is heavy (which I wanted so that it could not be easily lifted), solid and well-constructed.
Everyone needs a good safe and this is a good one. For my needs the interior is very roomy, much more than I need at the moment. I am very pleased with this product.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2012
I bought this safe in order to protect my families valuables. It was heavy ,seemed robust and strong. I read the reviews here on Amazon as well before purchasing. I am writing this review 5 weeks after our house was robbed. This safe which was bolted to our wooden floor looked like it had been run over by a cement truck. Here were the particular issues I found out afterwards that I will now warn you about. 1) the hinges are on the outside. This is a manufacturing issue that decreases the cost of the safe. The best safes have integrated hinges where they are hidden behind the door on the inside. 2) the metal is stamped, meaning that this is a this steel sheet bent into the appropriate shape. Good safes have steel plates that have a associated rockwell-hardness number (this number indicates the toughness of the metal) 3) There are only 2 bolts per side and they bolt through the plastic into the body of the safe. Better safes have the bolts go through directly into the steel frame.4)Better safes have a variety of tamper- resistant features that deter drilling or popping off the combination lock. The combination of these issues makes it pretty easy to open this safe even with primitive tools. You can use a pry bar to get into the seam between the door and the frame pry up the steel sheet and open it, or you can work on the hinges or the lock. The fire-proofing on these safes is gypsum which is common. I mention it for the fact that once this safe is opened it gets on everything as a fine powder. Burglers (like ours) will typically empty all your household cleaners ( windex etc. ) on the safe as they are breaking it open to decrease the amount of dust. As an aside, this process will definately ruin the finish on your floor. You may wonder how long this process takes. The police officer who visited our home estimated it took the burglers about 15 minutes from breaking into the house to leaving. These 15 minutes included the time need to open the safe (estimated by the officer to have taken about 5-10 minutes). So, in conclusion, this safe is great if hidden away in a unaccessable location, covered, and you are being robbed by a drug addict who doesn't have time to search. Any dedicated burgler should be able to open this safe in about 5 minutes. Hope my family's story will help you chose wisely.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2010
We bought the safe because we have valuables around the house, including jewelry and important papers. For the price I went ahead and bought the larger safe on the theory that the amount of valuables around the house will expand to fill the space. While I can't comment on the two hours of fire safety of the safe (because my house hasn't burned down yet), I was a bit concerned with the whole "gosh, let's put all my valuable things into a convenient and burglar-friendly carrying case" thing, so I bolted it down to our raised wooden floor.
This required a quick trip to the hardware store to pick up the required bits (a 7/16" drill bit and a 9/32" drill bit). One instruction (drill a hole through the bottom of the safe for the lag bolt) made me a bit nervous: you really want me to mutilate this thing I just bought? But (aside from insulation scattering everywhere) it was fairly easy. With a stud finder I found the floor joist, drilled a couple of 9/32" pilot holes, and bolted the safe down using a ratchet wrench: no problems. (SentrySafe says you need a 3/8" instead of a 9/32" drill bit if you're drilling into masonry.) The safe I ordered from Amazon did come with the necessary lag bolts, washers and masonry anchors that are labeled as an "optional floor mounting kit" in the instructions on SentrySafe's instructions.
The combination is fixed: you can't change it (like you can with the electronic version), and you need to open both the combination lock and the key lock to open the door. The back of the door has some hooks to hold important keys, such as spare car keys. And the only down side for us is that this only comes with one adjustable shelf: a quick trip to Sentry Safe's web site fixed that. (I bought three more shelves to help hold all the small stuff we're storing in the safe.) Other than that, the safe is quite handsome, and looks fine sitting next to my wife's shoes in our closet.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2011
The safe apparently gets its fire rating by having a moist clay between the plastic inner shell and the thin metal outer shell, a couple inches all around of moist fiberous clay like material. To bolt it to the wall you have to drill through the plastic the clay and the metal outer shell.This exposes the damp clay to the inner area. Mine molded, it has stunk up my grandmothers silver folders and the documents I had inside, this is not a good design, I totally would not recomend one of these Sentry Fire safe types to anyone, I have a couple of the non firesafe types and they are fine, I am going to have to throw this one out, totaly disgusting.