Reviews

SentrySafe SFW205CWB Review

Looking for an extra large heavy-weight floor safe to protect documents and valuables from fire, flood, or theft? The SentrySafe SFW205CWB might be exactly what you’re looking for. In this review, we’ll take a look at what exactly you’re getting.

SentrySafe SFW205CWB Review

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The SFW205CWB is designed to give you solid protection against natural elements like fire and water, as well as against theft. Theoretically, you’ll never have to worry about losing anything to damage, or risk having your valuables get stolen.

Theft Deterrence

Let’s start with theft. First of all, this steel box weighs in at a solid 138.2 pounds (56.6 kg). Even if it’s not bolted to the floor, that’s a pretty hefty load for someone to pick up and walk off with.

In addition, the safe can easily be secured to the floor to make it even less likely to disappear. It has two areas to drill through inside the bottom shelf of the safe. By using the provided mounting hardware, you’ll be able to ensure that your safe cannot be removed.

One negative to this model is a lack of drilling areas on the back side, so it cannot be mounted on the wall, unlike some similar models. The substantial weight is probably a factor in this too. Despite not being wall mountable, this model does claim protection against a fall from as far as two stories high.

Damage Protection

Not only is this safe water-resistant in up to 8 inches of water for 24 hours, it’s rated to withstand fire for up to one hour as well. It offers protection against temperatures reaching up to 1700° Fahrenheit (927° Celsius). Unlike some of its competitors, it’s rated to protect electronics like USB drives and hard drives as well as media like CDs and DVDs.

As with any air tight safe, be sure to place your valuable documents into airtight, dishwasher and microwave safe containers, because there is moisture involved when the safe reacts with heat. Like any safe of this kind, you’ll want to put a desiccant material inside as well to absorb moisture from the safe “sweating.” Something like this should do the trick.

This model comes with a warranty and insurance policy to cover losses up to $50,000 if the safe is registered. The insurance policies provided by the manufacturers do not cover burglary. However, your home-owner’s insurance (or renter’s insurance) likely covers burglary. Check your policy to be sure. Register your safe and get warranty details here.

Sentry Safe InteriorDimensions are 19.3 by 18.6 by 23.8 inches, making this safe larger than most cheaper models. It has an advertised interior space of 2.0 cubic feet (56.5 cubic liters) – pretty good for a home safe in this class.

The safe also provides convenience for all your items, especially smaller items such as keys, as the safe comes with adjustable trays, a key rack, and a slot for smaller valuables. For full details, see the owner’s manual here (PDF link).

Decision Guide

Pros:

  • Although the safe has exterior hinges, there are no specific weak spots that can be tampered with, making it a reliable, trustworthy safe you can count on.
  • It protects CDs, DVDs, USB sticks, and other memory drives for a guaranteed 1 hour against a fire up to 1700° F.
  • Thanks to its solid weight, it requires strength to be able to move it, making it more reliable against thefts of opportunity.
  • By having a six-digit combination code to the safe and no key, it provides additional protection against theft, and it is also very simple to use.
  • As the safe is heavy steel, it is very durable and solid, making it difficult for thieves to steal since it is not a one-man job.
  • 7-inch and 1-inch interior drawers allow for organization.
  • Lifetime anti-fire replacement warranty from manufacturer.

Cons

  • Once you have set the combination for the safe, it can no longer be changed, and there’s no backup key.
  • The safe (when exposed to fire) does not protect computer floppy disks, ink cartridges, videotapes, audio/video cassette tapes, or photo negatives, according to the manufacturer. This is normal for this class of safes, but still unfortunate.
  • Although the safe becomes more secured when being drilled to the floor, drilling can potentially compromise the water protection provided by the safe.
  • Delivery and installation requires at least two people to carry and move due to the product’s weight of being over 100 pounds.
  • Despite the accessibility of the trays, some customers report they are not made with very good material and cannot fit easily into the slots.
  • You must “air out” the safe at least once a month.

Overall, the SentrySafe SFW205CWB is a solid (pun intended) entry from a well known, reputable manufacturer. It is quite capable of providing reliable protection for your important valuables and documents against fire, water, and theft. Beyond the obvious reassuring heft of the safe, the manufacturer’s warranty should make this an easy purchase.

You can purchase it here on Amazon.

Comments welcome! Do you have experience with this model? What are your thoughts? Share below!

First Alert 2096DF Waterproof Fire Safe Review

First Alert 2096DF Features

Looking for a good waterproof fire safe? The First Alert 2096DF might be exactly what you’re looking for. The First Alert 2096DF safe can protect all your valuables from fire, water, and theft. This model can withstands temperatures up to 1700° F for up to an hour. It also provides a waterproof seal to ensure moisture doesn’t get in.

First Alert 2096DF on Amazon.comThe safe has high quality hinges to keep thieves at bay, but it also provides wheels and a handle for convenient transportation if necessary. This particular home safe is fully waterproof, preventing any moisture from getting to any of your important items — even if the chest encounters floods or a sudden burst of water from a broken pipe or failing roof.

If your primary concerns are protection for your important valuables against theft and robbery, the 2096DF doest disappoint. Not only does the safe come with an easy-to-use digital lock, it also forces you to place a key into the lock in order to open the safe as an added second security factor.

2096DF Details

The First Alert 2096DF safe is composed of steel with a plastic covering, and it weighs in at a solid, but not unmovable 145 pounds. The dimensions of the safe are 24.13 by 17.63 by 23.38 inches, with 2.1 cubic feet of usable interior space.

Here’s a link to the PDF manual for this model.

Purchasing

Built-in Key Holder and Passport Rack

Built-in Key Holder and Passport Rack

The 2096DF ships with “four AA batteries, two adjustable/removable shelves, one removable file rack, two emergency override keys, one removable handle, and one operation and installation guide.”

Although the safe comes with a five-year general warranty, it has a lifetime after-fire warranty that can help cover the loss of your important items after a fire, so be sure to read all the details and send in the registration information when you get it!

If you order through Amazon, this safe can also be shipped to a variety of countries beyond the United States. When you receive and unbox your safe, be sure to keep the desiccant bag it comes with, since it will absorb the moisture that enters the safe once you close it. This can help protect your important items from moisture, or water, damage.

First Alert 2096DF Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Easily store documents, along with CDs, USB drives, external hard drives, and other items where you store your important files.
  • Digital lock is easy to set up, allowing for a range from a three-digit code up to an eight-digit code.
  • Weighing in at 145 pounds, it provides protection against burglars since it requires at least two people to maneuver.
  • Lots of room inside to place variously shaped valuables, and there is no hassle with opening the safe.
  • Simple, precise setup instructions.
  • Batteries included

Cons:

  • It requires 4 AA batteries for the digital lock, but the product comes with these batteries. Eventually, of course, they’ll need to be replaced.
  • The instructions to program the digital lock code are incorrect. According to one product user, “The proper sequence is as follows:
    1. Safe open, bolts extended, door handle in down position.
    2. Open plastic cover.
    3. Press reset button in door.
    4. Enter new passcode on keypad follow by #.
    5. Enter new passcode again followed by #.
    6. Green light = passcode changed successfully.”
  • Each time you open the safe, you must lift the plastic cover (which seems to be “cheaply made” as referred to by one customer).
  • Even with the convenient use of wheels and the handle, the safe cannot be wheeled across carpet; therefore, it must be dragged across carpeted floors. The safe may also leave behind unwanted track marks on hardwood flooring.
  • Important documents, jewelry, money, and other fragile items need to be placed in an “airtight dishwasher safe container” when placing these items into the safe, as it is possible, over time, some moisture may accumulate inside, as in any safe of this type.
  • You must air out your safe every 30 days to let the moisture out of the safe, leaving it open for at least 20 minutes.

Verdict

View on AmazonThe First Alert 2096 is a great value if you’re looking for some added protection for your important items and documents. Your stuff will be protected against water, fire, and theft. Importantly, it is spacious enough to keep all of your valuables inside.

Although you do need to be a little cautious in what kind of items you place in the safe, as temperature sensitive and explosive items are not advised to place in here, since the internal temperatures of the safe cannot support items like pearls when the safe comes in contact with high temperatures, I still recommend the First Alert 2096DF. It’s simple to use, with easy-to-follow directions, and will help ensure that your items are safe and sound

Go check it out on Amazon for more information and to purchase.