Having been a locksmith for 8+ years, and Safe Technician for 5+ years, these safes are often dismissed by locksmiths because the replacement value is so low, the locksmith doesn't have much room for profit. To some extent this is true, why spend $175 on a $150 safe? The answer is the contents! I have seen over $10k in CASH sitting in a $150 box. I have seen priceless family heirlooms in a $200 model. Many locksmiths will simply destroy the safe to get at it's contents. In fact, in some cases I think the owner could have done a better job, however, it doesn't HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!
First of all, most Sentry's are rated for fire, not burglary. Exceptions do exists, but most of the ones you are likely to see are meant to resist fire. Now, they do work to deter burglars or nosy sisters, house guests, etc. but they are generally not rated for such a thing. One thing you will often notice on these is two methods to open it. For example, a spinning combination dial and a keyed lock. Or an electronic combination keypad and a keyed lock. The keyed lock is an override in almost all cases, intended to be used if the dial or keypad malfunction. What this means is your safe will open if EITHER of these locking mechanisms are opened. Pick the lock OR dial in the combination, not both. In most cases, picking the lock is the easiest route. Not all have two methods of entry. These can be a little more tricky, but to an experienced Sentry Safe Technician, with the right tools, it can be done WITHOUT destroying your safe! Not only that, but through Sentry it can take WEEKS to get replacement keys or combinations, calling a Safe Technician will save you precious time!
Also, when ordering new keys and combinations from Sentry, it is based upon the key and combination as they left the factory. If they have been changed at any point, which is common when these are bought and sold used, you will have wasted your time and money. There are key configurations that require the keys to be ordered from the Sentry Factory, however, these are not common and often other options exist.
Just beware if your locksmith wants to destroy your container to open it....it really should be done without any permanent damage!
Kristopher P. Kaiser has been a locksmith in the Denver, Colorado area for 8+ years and a Safe Technician for 5+.
Born and raised in Denver, Kristopher has been serving the Denver Metro area as a locksmith specializing in Automotive and Safe work.
Visit http://www.thedenverlocksmith.com for more about me!
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