Sentry Fire-Safe Waterproof File (H4100) Reviews
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Sentry Fire-Safe Waterproof File (H4100)

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I Think I Might Need Protection From My Sentry Safe

Jan 25, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Water proof. Fire proof. Holds your valuables.

Cons:Difficult to open. Can be dangerous (details in review).

The Bottom Line:

Yes, the SentrySafe H4100 offers both fire and water protection for your valuables. However, it's simply too difficult to open, not to mention slightly dangerous, for me to recommend.


At one time, I thought I owned several valuable items. So much so that I asked for a safe a few Christmases ago. Santa Claus obliged as I got the safe and was happy. But then, when I went to load it up with all of my valuable collectables, I sadly realized that I didn't have nearly as much as I thought. Stupid baseball card collection! However, I did have papers and such that still needed a safe home so I had plenty of other items to fill up my SentrySafe H4100.

Probably the first thing you'll need to think of when purchasing a safe is exactly what you're going to store in it. As I didn't have any large items like guns or elephants, I only needed a small safe for some assorted files and some valuable collectibles. The SentrySafe H4100 is a smaller sized safe with the following dimensions: 13 3/32" high, 15 7/16" wide and 14 11/16" deep. Those are the exterior dimensions. You'll need to make sure that it will fit where you intend to place it. For those dimensionally impaired, the size of the safe is about the size of a milk crate. The inside capacity is .7 cubic feet with the following dimensions: 10 5/16" high, 12" wide and 9 ½" deep. Again, that's probably hard to visualize, but I it's large enough to hold a bowling ball. Keep in mind that it's a square/rectangular shape so you actually have more space around the hypothetical bowling bowl for storage. It's ideal for hanging folders and there are lips on the side of the interior that hold them nicely. You can use one or several folders and use the remaining space for additional storage.

While storage space is a key component of any safe, security is probably more important. The SentrySafe H4100 is a waterproof safe that protects the contents even when the safe is not locked. There is a latch that seals the safe even if it isn't locked. That's most impressive, especially for those that need that protection from water disasters. The safe is also fireproof for ½ hours with a temperature up to 1550 degrees Fahrenheit, even for CDs, DVDs or USB drives. And, if your safe is damaged in a fire, the company will replace it free of change if you provide them with proper documentation. As this is a relatively portable safe with a weight of about 50 pounds, it is possible for it to be stolen during a home invasion. You'll want to keep this in mind when you decide where to place it in your home. If it's out in the open, it is possible for it to be taken along with any other transportable valuables.

So, now that you have a description and the features of the SentrySafe H1400, let me get to the bad parts. And, I would guess that what's actually one of the problems with the safe is also one of its advantages. Basically, the safe needs to be locked with one of the two keys provided. And, when I say "needs to be" that's up to you. It will still hold your valuables with or without it being locked. But, for safety reasons, let's assume you've locked it. Locking it is not the problem, it's unlocking it. Or, more accurately, opening it. A simple turn of the key locks and unlocks the safe. However, to open it, you must press down on the lid with a lot of force as well as press the latch release right under the lid. Seems simple, right? Not in the least. For one, the latch is tight and difficult to press and secondly, the pressure needed to open the safe is unreasonable. I have difficulty doing it. I think elderly individuals are going to have an extremely difficult time opening it. Another issue with the safe is the lid. If you are not careful and don't secure the lid when it's open, it's apt to smash down right on your fingers or hands. Believe me, this is not a pleasant feeling and I have the cuts and bruises to prove it.

Unfortunately, in an attempt to create a secure safe, SentrySafe actually developed a unit that is difficult to use and almost dangerous to the owner. The safety precautions of the lid and opening procedures are commendable. But, because it's difficult to even open as well the possibility of injury, I can't recommend the SentrySafe H1400. If you are in the market for a safe, please look elsewhere and please check others to see if they have the same issues. If they do, you'll want to stay away.


Recommend this product? No

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