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    « | Love Advice | »

    Sentry Fire Safe Won't Open, It's Broken! Can't Unlock Fire Safe

    By lighthouse

    Pictured above, a sentry safe that failed to open after the combination numbers were pushed and the little plastic piece that disabled it.
    So I called the sentry safe company, (800-828-1438), and waited for about 10 minutes to speak to a representative, (that was alright since I have a speaker phone). The first thing they asked me was about the condition of the batteries. I told them that they were brand new. The person then asked about the brand name and expiration date of the batteries. They were generic batteries, but the expiration date was fine. They suggested a new set of batteries, and mentioned that I could bypass the battery pack, (which sometimes fails), by unplugging the pack and using a regular 9 volt battery.. So just to cover the base, I went down to the store and obtained a brand new 9 volt duracell battery. I unplugged the battery pack and plugged in my new battery. I then pushed the combination numbers and my safe again failed to open.

    I called the sentry company back using my speakerphone feature again while waiting to speak with a technician. The tech asked me about the batteries and I told him it had a new 9 volt at the last technician's recommendation. The person began to talk about the actuator cylinder inside the safe, stating that it did not sound like it was actuating. Then they told me something that really made me wonder about the quality of this safe. They told me I would need to hit the safe with a rubber mallet in an attempt to get the actuator to engage so I could open the sentry safe. OK, so the safe is supposively built to keep my belongings safe from thieves and fire, but now I am going to fix it with a rubber mallet? Good thing my sentry safe was inside, somebody might have wondered about my mental state if they had seen me beating this fireproof safe with a rubber mallet! (PS: If you use the rubber mallet option or any other suggestions that sentry's customer assistance supplied, and have firearms or dynamite in your safe, you do so at your own risk, use wise judgement for your own safety)

    Well it just so happens that I had a rubber mallet and did not need to once again go to the store to get something to personally fix my great sentry fireproof safe. So I begin beating the upper middle door area of the sentry safe with this mallet and then tried the combination again. Woolah, It opened! I stopped for a moment and began to ponder how many other things I could fix with this magical rubber mallet. I mean, what about the TV, the computer, my fridgerator and that cell phone that always drops calls? Could it be that I have discovered the fix all to all mechanical issues? As I began to look at my belongings in my fireproof safe that I have just opened with a rubber mallet, I thought  "so if I close the safes door will I need a sledge hammer next time"?

    Time for another phone call, back to the speakerphone. The technician this time listened to my issue and asked me if I had some lubricant like WD-40 with a small tube that attaches to nozzle. I thought,  "well of course I do, I was just using that to fix the broken water pipe in the garage." The phone tech tells me where to spray the lubricant on the inside of the sentry safe door. He has me do this in the open and closed combination positions, and it's now opening when I press the combination numbers with the door open, hurray! The only problem is that after working in the lubricant a few times the handle on the door does not lock into the locked position. I no longer need the combination to unlock my safe, I only need a can of lubricant! OK, this is one really tough safe, what thief would ever think that they would need a rubber mallet and a can of silicon lubricant to open up a safe?

    Back to the speakerphone, this time a lady technician. She wants me to get a screwdriver and pry off the plastic piece on the back side of the door. At this point I said to her, you have built a product that I need to have a rubber mallet, a can of 3 in 1 spray lubricant, and a screwdriver to open? She stated that she was doing all she could to help me fix my safe and asked me how long I had owned the safe. I told her about 2 years and she stated that it was out of warranty. I thought, well who needs a warranty when they have a magical mallet, a can of black led, and a screwdriver? Anyway she directs me to pry the plastic backing off of the door and when I do this little piece of plastic falls out onto the floor. I look at this little plastic piece pondering in my mind, what's it's part in all of this. Well the technician is directing me to look at the arms and gears and some arrows that line up between the metal arms and plastic gears. What's wrong with that picture? Metal and plastic don't really work together long before the plastic breaks. I had to wonder for a moment, is this some really expensive fireproof plastic? The arrows line up and with that information she directs me to the area of the actuator again, she says "you see the circuit board" and a little white button that sticks out from it?" I said well yes, I see the circuit board and the little white button you are talking about seems to be laying on the floor broken off. So I picked it up and said, "this little broken piece of plastic that connects to the metal arm on the safe is why the safe does not work right?" She tells me yes that's the problem, that i have broken it and since it's out of warranty that there is nothing she can do to help me. But she then asks me to hold on for a moment…..

    She comes back to the phone sounding sincere, like she has just solved all my problems, and tells me that she has spoke to her supervisor and that they can offer me 10% off on any safe that I would like to purchase. I thought what great customer service, now they want to sell me another safe with metal and plastic pieces that break and give me a huge discount of 10%, and I bet it comes with a free maintenance kit which includes a polo stick, some lard oil, and a screwdriver on the rocks! Needless to say I declined their gracious offer.

    I will say that all the organizations personnel, (that I spoke with), were courteous and trying to be helpful, (that was within the realm of authority they were given). With a product such as this, and the great customer service I experienced, I thought it was probably best to find a safe that was free of little plastic pieces that break off, cause those plastic pieces won't save you 10% !

    A side note, recently I have received a couple of comments from someone who apparently holds stock in this company. He is trying to say that it's a fire safe and it's only supposed to protect your goods from fire. My first thought about that was; HELLO? Why would they put a key lock and combination lock on it then? I mean, are the locking mechanisms solely for the purpose of keeping the fire out of the safe? Then I thought some more, if this safe was in a fire, it would get hot, because it's not like a freezer inside, well except for those plastic parts and the plastic liner around the inside and around the door. What do you suppose might happen to those in a fire? I seen a stove recently that had some plastic on the door of the oven, high temperature resistant or not, it was melted.


    Topics: Kick It To The Curb | 316 Comments »

    316 Responses to “Sentry Fire Safe Won't Open, It's Broken! Can't Unlock Fire Safe”

    Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 » Show All

    1. 1
      jake Says:

      Same thing with me, but mine is broken again… time to get out the hammer.

    2. 2
      Jasmine Says:

      Where on the safe did you hit it with the mallet? I have what looks like the same safe (two years ago, got it on clearance from Office Max, now thinking, maybe defective and; that’s why on clearance…) Anyway, from LED display, it is unlocked after I punch combo, but the handle won’t turn to open…Called Sentry, got busy signal, not even got through to wait on hold!

      RE: I can only suggest you call them again, I would not want to be responsible in anyway for their safes.

    3. 3
      Jen Says:

      Help! I can’t open my safe either! Which way did you hit the handle with the mallet?

      RE: I can only suggest you call them, I would not want to be responsible in anyway for their safes.

    4. 4
      leslie brazelton Says:

      dear sir,
      i have a sentry metal safe. I bought this used at a office supply, I have been using it. the last time i opened it I accidently turned the dial a little and now i cant get into it. The paper work is inside. Is there a way to reset the combination.

    5. 5
      Bob Says:

      OH boy, looks like I’m headed for the same thing. I suspected this thing was cheep. The styling is very misleading, looking all solid and quality. Apparently Sentry isn’t in a hurry to send someone out to help. I think if I get my stuff out I’m gonna get rid if it. Not taking a chance on it screwing me again. Wish me luck. Now where’s that rubber mallet…

    6. 6
      Tom Says:

      Same model, same problem. Your story just gave me more useful advice in 5 minutes than Sentry gave me in 5 days. After days of Sentry feeding me one little useless tip (enter the correct combo, change the batteries) at a time, the mallet tap had it open in 30 seconds. I used a block of wood since I didn’t have a rubber mallet. I was very careful to only tap the flat steel door, not the cheep plastic trim. I only tapped about as hard as you’d use to crack crab shells. Called Sentry anyway and got an ear full about how I shouldn’t have done that without their permission. Let them know their multi day, 1 step at a time process was lame. Also, support hours 8-6 M-F Eastern just doesn’t cut it for working people on the west coast. With repeated prying, got tech to essentially give same advice you’d mentioned (WD40 on locking pins, wait 15 minute, cycle lock several times), although she wouldn’t suggest removing inside cover. I’ll try that tonight anyway. Right now, I have no confidence in Sentry safes. While door still open I will remove contents and unbolt from floor. I’ll see if I can remove panel and properly lube pins. Bottom line, I’ll probably sell the thing since I don’t see myself locking my stuff in this cheep thing and risking this mess again. Shame to see a company kill their good name selling this cheep product then providing inadequate support.

    7. 7
      Matt Says:

      My safe door will not close. The handle is stuck! This safe is horrible, how could they sell such a horrible product.

    8. 8
      Royal D. Says:

      I have a sentry 1250 safe, which I have had more years than I can count. The problem is because I haven’t been in it for years, I’ve forgotten the combination, and I don’t remember where I hid it? Is there someway I can get to get in my safe?

      REPLY: Please call the sentry safe company, (800-828-1438)

    9. 9
      Kristin and Scott Says:

      We are experiencing the same problem as the guy w/ comment #8!!!! What the eff??!!! Rubber mallet?? Some one should suggest Sentry and all their customer service reps get a light slam from the mallet for selling such a P.O.S. and for suggesting such ridiculous remedies for opening a safe! Bad enough a thief could easily pick up this safe and run with it. Nice job Sentry, on the incredible invention of the un-safe safe!

    10. 10
      Chad Says:

      Had all the same great experiences with their customer service as all of you which is why just like the rest of you I started looking elsewhere for information. Found more help and info on sites like this compared to their CUSTOMER SERVICE.

      Well I tried the love taps with the Rubber Mallet, it didn’t work then got a little more aggressive and that didn’t work. So what would any calm and rational person do? Well I did the opposite and grab my mini sledge hammer and tried that and that failed.

      Well needless to say I wasn’t planning on keeping this darned thing after I got it open so I grabbed my sawzall with a lot of good metal blades. I figured give this a shot or it was time to call the lock smith and overpay him to open this up so I went for it.

      I was prepared to fight this thing for hours to try to get it open but all it took was a couple of minutes and one sawzall blade. Yes that is right a couple of minutes and one blade! I cut through the locking pins and even the safe like it was butter. I made two cuts in each corner of the safe along where I thought the locking pins were. Tilted the safe forward and the door fell right out.

      I know this a little more drastic than what people are looking for but if you were as frustrated with me and don’t plan on keeping the safe afterwards it could be an option, a drastic option.

    11. 11
      Jessica Says:

      My husband and I have the same safe as the one pictured. After punching in the code on the keypad, it reads error and beeps five times. Called customer service and they instructed me on how to remove the face of the keypad and check for loose wiring. Everything is secure. We are still locked out. What BS !!!!!

    12. 12
      Jon Says:

      I have the exact same issue. I was too lazy to go out to the car and get out the rubber mallet so I go a dress shoe and hit the front of the safe on the metal door below the handle. Three good whacks and I entered the combo…voila…it opened. It amazes me how a product like this can be sold without a recall!

    13. 13
      Tina Says:

      I am so glad I found this web page because mine did the same thing. I tried everything to get it to open and was very frustrated. I got a price of wood and a hammer, gave a few hits and it opened ! Was careful not to place the wood on the plastic face but just below it. It saved me a call to customer service

    14. 14
      Steve in Oregon Says:

      After reading so many complaints what cheap product Sentry makes, I decided to leave my guns in my guns in the closet. Whats the point in having something in the safe you can’t get…Its like seeing a woman without lipstick…what the heck.

    15. 15
      James Says:

      I don’t have the same problem. I know my combination and recently have trouble opening my safe. Only after I removed the circular security key would my door open. This is NOT what the website instructions say to do. Since I now have the safe open I want to change the single AA battery, just to do it since the safe is 7-8 years old. My question is will MY combination remain intact or do I need the factory combination to reprogram the lock?

      -sorry we do not represent this company in any form, thus we can not answer your question.

    16. 16
      Tina Says:

      I have the same safe pictured and the same problem. I have been trying to open this safe for days..have received no response from Sentry. Thank goodness I found this posting. I have been anxious that I would not be able to get my documents out of this safe. I used the rubber mallot and presto my safe is open….THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS INFORMATION. I am now removing my documents and getting rid of this worthless safe. Thank goodness, it wasn’t an emergency that I needed to get into the safe, only wanted to hide a Christmas present for my teen-age daughter!!!

    17. 17
      Sean Says:

      Thank you for the help! With the mallet I was finally able to open the safe. I then pried open the back of the door. Lubed all the moving parts and successfully tested everything with the door open. After replacing the back cover and closing the door the solenoid immediately failed to release again. Not sure why. Again with the mallet I was able to open the door. This time I completely removed the solenoid from the door and I now only rely on the key for security. Despite not having the added security of the electronic lock the safe should still protect against most amateur thieves, but more importantly it should protect against fires – assuming Sentry did that right.

    18. 18
      Vinny Says:

      I have had the 1250 for 16 years. Forgot the combination and could not wait 48 hours for a emails. Sledgehammer on both hinges and off the door came in my hand. Glad the crooks never got hold of it!

    19. 19
      Jeff Says:

      Thank you all so very, very, much! Having the same safe as pictured above, with the same problem, I used a hammer and beat the safe and it finally opened after 2 days of prior unsuccessful attempts of entering the combo. I can’t tell you how important it was to be able to remove what I had inside the safe and I was frantic. I am extremely relieved!! What other safes and manufacturers have you guys since found to be better?

    20. 20
      James in NM Says:

      I got the same safe as shown in the pic above. The door handle jams intermittenly. For some reason, loose particle of fine grit or sand bits keep dropping out from the lock bolts opening. However, I couldn’t find a good way to look inside the door for the rootcause. I noticed some of you guys have successfully pried open the back cover, would really appreciate if you guys share with me how you did that.

    21. 21
      jt Says:

      Thanks for posting this! after entering my combination about 20 times I decided it wasn’t be, but the safe. found your post, then proceeded to beat the crap out of my safe with a rubber mallet. Still no effect, so I pulled the safe out and vigorously stood it face up and tried the combination again. It worked!! WHEW. Pulled everything out and decided to close the door to see if I’d fixed the problem. Nope, back to not working. sealed shut forever because I’m now taking it to the junkyard and selling it to whoever I can convince there is treasure still inside. What a piece of junk, spread the word. sites like there are the real customer support.

    22. 22
      Dave MI Says:

      I have safe Model # S3807. I was just in it earlier this week and tried again 2 days ago and kept getting an error. Call the wonderful customer service and they said that the safe will not recongnize my 5 digit code. I had to use the original code. Like i have that around still. Had to pay $15 to get my code, which was pretty quick to do. Entered that and same damn beeping after that code is entered. Waiting to call customer service today. Not sure what they are going to tell me to do. Maybe the mallet, who knows. I think i just gave them $15 for nothing. Anyone have any suggestions?

    23. 23
      Seth Says:

      SENTRY should be closed down. I’ve had a safe since 2000 (oh..my God…) ..Each time I tried to open it, there would be a problem with the battery. You couldn’t leave a battery in it without it dying over a 2 month period. So, much so, that I let it sit for a while. I then bought a new battery (9 Volt) and decided to try my combo. I went crazy trying to get it open. Kept getting error codes, and I then rummaged through the basement frantically looking for the lost book that came with the treasure because I had to hide that from the person who lived with me. I also had to hide the combo somewhere else. Come the time I needed to open the ‘safe’ the individual that lived with me caught me trying to open my secret safe…which was not so secret anymore. I beat it, kicked it, cried. I thought my titles were in there, and I was going to buy a car and trade mine in. Luckily..I never put those titles in there and they were behind me on the back shelf! AHHH..Still….it is 2009 and some items I’d like to see are still in there. SENTRY will send you a new combination for a price…because they won’t tell you they’re defective..they’ll tell you — you lost the combo.
      So, here’s what they want you to do:
      Go to a notary with the safe serial number, and get them to notarize a statement you said, claiming that the safe is yours!! HUH!! Ok..so, I’m going to lug this huge mothereffer into a courthouse and say it’s mine. Ok. PROVE IT!

      Then what? Then Sentry will send you a new combo for your safe at a price of $12.00.

      Wow..what a relief…thanks to this site I think I’ll attempt your method first. These people should have a class action against them just for the shear frustration of making contact.

    24. 24
      DeeJay Says:

      I was locked out of my safe, the same exact model. You’re trick with the mallet worked! You saved me, thank you for posting this.

    25. 25
      Dave Says:

      Thanks!! I bought a new motorcycle today and they are delivering it within a couple hours. Title for trade in is in the safe that won’t open. Beat the crap out of it and bam!, first time I’ve seen the inside of the safe in about 6 months. Needless to say, I’ll empty it and find a new one.

    26. 26
      RH Says:

      WTF…wow…mine just did the same thing (entered code, showed it was unlocked, but wouldn’t open). same model as pic above. Didn’t have a rubber mallet so I hit my fist against it a few times, then entered the code, and magically it opened…what a joke

    27. 27
      Teresa Says:

      Wow…I am shopping around for a good home safe and I am SO GLAD I came across this site. I have read so many complaints about Sentry safes, both here and on retailer’s websites that it’s a wonder this company is still in business! Thank you all so much for your honesty–and I am so sorry to hear about the troubles you’ve had with this product. Someone above mentioned a class action lawsuit–it might be worth looking into your state atttorney general’s office to see if there is a file for this company and its products. You might have some recourse there.

    28. 28
      Frkychkn Says:

      hey thanks for the mallet trick. I had a different model of sentry safe that locked up and wouldn’t open. It had VERY important documents inside. I tried the mallet trick and it popped right open after entering the 5 digit number. Thanxs again!!

    29. 29
      Larry Says:

      I recently bought a Sentry model A5781 at Lowe’s. I wish I had found this website before I made the purchase. After straining my back to get the 205 pound safe up the stairs to my 2nd floor home office, I was livid when I couldn’t get the safe to open. Since it was a weekend and I couldn’t get through to Sentry’s tech support, I Googled the problem and came across this site. So I was well prepared when I called Sentry’s technical support on Monday morning. The first thing the tech support person did was talk me through the very basic instructions on how to open the safe. After I assured him that I understood and had already followed the simple directions on how to open the safe, he recommended I try new batteries. I was told that the brand new batteries I used (Rayovac) were not recommended because it was critical that the batteries supply exactly 6.0 volts. Duracell and Everready were suggested. Then I was told I should try pushing on the upper right side of the safe door and pulling up on the handle when entering the code. This wasn’t a one time solution; I would have to do it every time I opened the safe. I stopped the tech support person at that point and told him about some of their other ridiculous solutions that have been shared on this site. I also told him I wasn’t interested in work-arounds and that I was returning the safe to Lowe’s. At least, as others have noted, the tech support person was pleasant as I ended the call. After hanging up with Sentry, I called Lowes and explained the situation. I also told them that I didn’t think I should have to return the safe myself given the circumstances. To Lowe’s credit, they agreed to send two delivery people to my house to pick up the safe and offered to a full refund. I’m lucky I found out about the problem so soon after the purchase. Thanks to everyone who shared their stories. I realize that there will be manufacturing issues with every product, and without knowing the number of safes that Sentry sells, I don’t know their defect rate. However, just based on their approach to troubleshooting, Sentry obviously have a high tolerance for defects in their products. Rather than offering ridiculous work-arounds, Sentry should be offering immediate replacement of their products. I’m now considering a Liberty safe. The price is quite a bit higher, but sometimes you really do get what you pay for.

    30. 30
      Martin Says:

      The internet is hands down the greatest thing humans ever built. You guys are awesome. Several bangs later, I have my green card, passport, medications, back. I’m returning this sucker to costco.

    31. 31
      Danny Says:

      The more bells and whistles the more troubles. Get one of their models with a regular dial……works everytime. Simplicity is a lost art although when found it is our choice to use it or not. Good luck and God’s speed

    32. 32
      Unimpressed Says:

      Glad I found this website. Our safe stuck closed just before we were going on vacation to Mexico with all our passports inside. The hammer thing didn’t work, but the sawzall sure did. Thanks for the tip. Won’t be buying another one of this brand.

    33. 33
      GLM Says:

      To All, As a former supplier to Sentry please note they do not sell security safes. They sell fire safes. Buyer be aware these mechanisms inside are the lowest cost junk they can engineer. Notice their advertising only states how the box performs in fire conditions. When they started with the Brush Pundit safes it was a different story. Consider yourselves lucky they answer the phone from their US office seeing that they abandoned their US factory.

    34. 34
      Oh My Says:

      Thanks for all the thorough information! I had the same problem. The batteries were fine, the code was fine, it just wasn’t “clicking” or engaging the solenoid when it was supposed to.

      The rubber mallet did the trick. I also squirted some WD-40 into the small access port on the back of the door. So far it’s working smoothly now, but who knows for how long?!

      I spoke with the SentrySafe people and they were trying to get me to spring 50 bucks for a new solenoid. But your tips saved me the money. Thanks! I’ve never had to try breaking into my own safe before. I don’t have much confidence in SentrySafe products anymore.

    35. 35
      Kristin Mooney Says:

      Unbelievable. I am a 45 year old woman who is not technically inclined. Never thought the mallet trick would work and I would have to pay a locksmith. Oxymoron – “safe” – I keep my guns in there to keep them safe from my kids and easy access in case someone broke in to my house. “Wait Mr Robber, I have to find my mallet and pound on the safe door – could you please not kill me while I pound on the door so I can get my guns – so I can protect myself? Now the guns are out of the safe and out of the house because I have to protect my kids. Should be a class action lawsuit.

    36. 36
      Whackin Away Says:

      I am presently whacking away at the face of this very model. No luck yet. I have had it for 4 years now and in the last 6 months it began giving me problems. Changed the batteries to no effect. I will take the sawz-all to it and toss this piece of cr@p.

      I guess I should not have put the keys to my other two safes in this one…

    37. 37
      JEFF Says:

      Man this Safe sucks *ss. Leaving the country in 2 days the wife decides at 2am to get the passports out of the safe. She couldn’t open it so she wakes me to have a crack at it and knowing that I have to goto work at 7am. I don’t remember how many times I put in that dam code and the safe door just wouldn’t open. The clicking sound that came after you put in the code wasn’t there so I knew it wasn’t me. So as far as Sentry picking up the phone at 3am ain’t going to happen. At this time both of us was going crazy. She goes online to look for a locksmith and I went to the Sentry site and got NO Answers. I changed all the AA battery also used a 9V with no results. Then I googled “sentry safe no click heard after combo is placed and cant open” and found this site started to read the comments and didn’t really believe it at first…RUBBER MALLET yeah right. At this time getting close to 4am and I’am hitting this F**KING thing with everything but the RUBBER MALLET cause I didn’t have one. Tired and Pissed I went to sleep only to be waken again to be told it would cost $299.00 for 24hr replacement passports each which I needed 3 at $900.00 yeah whatever I to sleep even more pissed not at the fact that I was going to pay 9 bills but that I was WOKEN UP AGAIN!!. So finally morning came time to goto work I was putting on my boots and saw the rubber sole. No rubber mallet so I started kicking the safe with my heal, then bent down put in the code and heard that CLICK of the solenoid and was thinking NOWAY! pulled the handle and the S*it opened. Didn’t even use a tool so to the next victim try RUBBER WORKING BOOTS. One more thing this SENTRY SAFE S*CK *SS. Thanks to this site Japan here I come.

    38. 38
      MadCustomer Says:

      My safe is Sentry A3750. The code was right and the lock worked great. The handle was only half way down and the door was not open. There was not “clicking” sound. Changing batteries had no effect.

      Searched the Sentry website and could not find a solution. Googled the Internet and found this thread.

      Used the “standard” tool, a rubber mallet, to tap the door above and below the handle a few times. Hold the handle up and entered the code. I heard a “clicking” sound. Pushed down the handle. Vola! The door was unlocked.

      Think positive. A sentry safe needs three things to open: a code, a key and a hammer.

    39. 39
      Don Says:

      Thank you callitout.com, lighthouse, and especially Sean. I’ve had my OA3810 for a little more than two years and had occasionally experienced the same problem. Unlock with key, enter combo on keypad, try to turn handle, nothing. Try again and again, with handle jiggling, and eventually it would work. Today I tried it more than 20 times before it would open.

      Sentry’s website was useless and I don’t like playing phone support games. After finding and reading this thread, I popped the inner plastic cover and used my Dremel to cut off the metal tab that’s blocked by the solenoid when the handle’s closed. The keypad is now useless, but the safe still locks & opens via the key. Like Sean, I’ll cross my fingers and hope it preserves my stuff in a fire.

      In my experience (mostly irrigation systems), most solenoids do wear out, stick, or otherwise cease to function after some number of years. This safe’s solenoid, a thin metal rod in a plastic sleeve, seems prone to sticking especially if the handle is not completely locked (pulled all the way up) when entering the combination.

      No more electronic Sentry safes for me.

    40. 40
      Debra Freeman Says:

      My safe will not open went through the sentry safe customer BS. It as not the batteries. It just would not open. My husband and I hit it hard it will not open. My safe is 9 years old. I will not buy Sentry Safe junk again.

    41. 41
      lyle Says:


    42. 42
      Jason Says:

      Same problem- my mallet worked!

      What safe would you guys reccomend? I want to buy a new one, and have NO idea what to get.


    43. 43
      jeffx Says:

      Same safe with the same problem today. Could not find my rubber mallet so I have the face of the door a few good hammer fist blows and it opened!

      Pulled off the plastic cover inside the safe and sprayed some wd-40 in the solenoid and tested about 30 times, worked 100% of the time now.

      I also found another point of failure that also prevented me from unlocking the safe. Under the locking pin for the key lock there is a piece of black plastic with a spring holding it in place that appears to have no purpose whatsoever other than blocking the opening mechanism even with the key is unlocked. I removed that piece and the spring and am hoping for no further failures anytime soon.

      I have a sawzall if that every becomes necessary in the future.

    44. 44
      Mark Says:

      I had the exact same problem. I banged it with the rubber head of my screwdriver and it opened. What a piece of junk!

      SentrySafe is Junk

    45. 45
      Coleman Says:

      I brought a Sentry Safe from Lowes. After it was loaded on my truck, they told me that they cold not find the manual. That I would have to call you and tell you that I need a warrant. Well, it’s been months and I still do not have a manual. Send me a manual for the A5781 Sentry Fire=Safe. I am not a patience person. Clean up your mess.

    46. 46
      Billy Says:

      Man I thought I would never get in my safe, thanks for the post

    47. 47
      EZ Lee Says:

      I was having the same problem everyone was having for a week I could not get into my safe which I have only been in 3 or 4 times the last time 2yrs. I read sentry’s desciption and watch the video how to open the safe. I must have tried to open it 300 times in the last week. One thing they didn’t tell you was how to lock it back. After a lot of frustration I tried the mallet and that did not work. I tried 1 last idea before I got out the angle grinder. I lifted the handle up before I locked it back with the key. RELIEF RELIEF this time I turned the key the lock popped out as it had done 300 times before, I put in the code and it opened. I tried this same method 3 more times and it worked. Wohoa Wohoa

    48. 48
      John Allen Says:

      My brother had been trying to get into his sentry for several days now. And tonight had just gotten to the point where it was critical that we do. So after several attempts by me, I looked it up here on the net, using key words. And found this page, so after reading all the possible ideas, I finally came upon #38, because we too do not have a rubber mallet. But my work shoes for crews is rubber soled and it solved the problem. Thank you to all of you for your suggestions.

    49. 49
      Paula Says:

      Thanks for all the great advice! We dumped our safe out on the patio so we could whack it with the mallet, and then tried it one last time. It opened! I got all my stuff out. When we closed it and tried it again it wouldn’t work. What a piece of garbage. Never again.

    50. 50
      Kristin Says:

      Thank you for posting this! I had the same problem, I would enter my code and you’d hear the correct beep for it to open but the lock would never open. I just opened my safe for the first time in about 8 months! I didn’t have a rubber malloy but I found that one of my solid pair of wedge heels did the trick! Just one hard smack on the door right where it opens and walla! This safe is a piece of crap, i’m taking my stuff out and trying a different brand next time…

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