What Sentry Safe is Best for Me?
I know that I want a Sentry Safe, but there are so many different types available that I wonder how I will know what is the best safe for me to purchase? With a little research I discovered that there are two main questions to ask.
1. What type of items do I want to protect?
2. What type of protection am I interested in receiving?
Once I answer these two questions, then other questions will be easier and quicker to answer. Questions such as: What size Sentry safe do I need? What style safe will best meet my needs? Do I need more than one Sentry safe for different items?
But lets get back to the main two questions.
The first is what am I protecting? The answer to this can include documents, digital media and valuables. These I discuss in more detail in a different article. Especially since some of these things, such as media, need a special type of safe.
The other big question is what am I protecting against? The three main categories are: Fire, Water/Flood and Security. Lets take a look at all three of these possibilities.
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the US and the leading cause of home fire injuries. Other causes of home fires include heating, tobacco products, candles (my parents had a small fire due to a candle a couple of years ago, but it was discovered and extinguished before causing a lot of damage). The last main reason for home fires is children playing with fire. When fires strike a home, it is quick and devastating. So most personal things of importance in a home, should be protected from fire. A Sentry Safe undergoes independent laboratory test and are subjected to fire for a specified period of time (either a 1.2 hour, 1 or 2 hours). To earn a UL classification, the documents stored inside must remain completely undamaged.
When it comes to water damage, it can also strike quickly and when you least expect it, though the potential for water damage can vary depending upon where you live. Not only what region of the country, but also in a microcosm of your own city or town. Where I live, I know people who have experienced flooding, but where my house is located, I am fairly safe and do not have to worry about it too much. A few facts about flooding:
- Floods and flash floods can happen in all 50 states
- Just an inch of water can cause damage to your property
- Flash floods can bring walls of water 10 - 20 feet high
- Hurricanes, winter storms and snow melt (one we worry about in Idaho more than a tsunami!) are common - and often overlooked - causes of flooding.
Finally, so you need to protect against burglary? Over 60% of all burglaries involve a forced entry, and homes are targeted more often than nonresidential buildings. Also, over 60% of residential burglaries occur during the day and average loss is about $1600 per offense. Besides valuables, it is important to protect documents against robbers. Important personal documents in the wrong hands can give someone the ability to commit identity theft. Then you suffer a double whammy - stolen valuables plus your identity and all the problems that can arise from this modern crime that is on the rise.
There are different types of security testing that a Sentry safe can by subjected to, including UL REsidential Security Rating, UL Group 2 Lock and UL Type 1 Electronic Lock. One other thing to consider for a security safe, it how easy it can be removed to be broken into at a different location where there is not stress of time or noise.
It did not take me long to realize that most people need protection ageist all three. As I looked for a Sentry Safe to suit my needs, I noticed that most protect against all three problems or a combination of a couple of them. I just have to pick the amount of protection that I want, since most offer various amounts of protection, meeting different standards. Which, of course, brings in the question of how much do you have to spend?