The SentrySafe SFW205CWB is a great safe for your home that offers reasonably protection for most valuables.
The deep multi-purpose tray and key rack help keep even the smallest of valuables organized.
In this review of the SentrySafe SFW205CWB, I’ll look at how secure it is, how easy it is to use, warranty, frequently asked questions and what alternatives are available.
SentrySafe SFW205CWB Summary
|Security Rating:||No UL Listing|
|Fire Rating:||1 Hour U.L. Fire Rating (Fireproof for 1 hour at 1700°F/926°C)|
|Waterproof:||Waterproof for 24 hours (up to 8 inches of water)|
|Locking Type:||Dial combination|
|Ext. Dimensions:||23.8″H x 18.6″W x 19.3″D|
|Int. Dimensions:||19.6″H x 14.8″W x 11.9″D|
|Capacity:||2.05 Cubic Feet|
|Weight (lbs):||124.8 (shipping weight 131 lbs)|
How secure is it?
This safe is independently verified to protect against fire and flood, which helps bring peace of mind that important paper and digital documents, as well as other valuables, are safe in those emergencies.
It features a combination lock that is reliable and easy to use, pry-resistant hinge bar, 6 large 1-inch bolts and is made from steel.
The SentrySafe SFW205CWB has a UL fire rating. When exposed to temperatures up to 1700 F (927C) for duration of 1 hour, the safe interior will remain below 350 degrees F (177 C).
It has had explosion testing (UL classified) for flash fire in a 1000 degree F (1093 C) furnace for 30 minutes, after which the safe did not (and will not) explode or rupture.
Fire impact (ETL verified) tested, which means it can withstand being heated to 1550 degrees F (843C) then dropped 15 feet onto rubble then cooled, inverted and reheated to 1550 degrees for 30 minutes.
Data Protection (ETL Verified) 1-hour fire protection of CD, DVDs, memory sticks and USB drives up to 1700 degrees F (927C). This product is NOT intended to protect computer floppy or 2 1/4 inch diskettes, cartridges, tapes, audio, or video cassettes, or photo negatives – but really, who uses these anymore?
It is important to note; the fire resistance requires the use of a desiccant inside the safe to protect items from moisture emitted by the fireproofing. To prevent moisture building up inside and maintain good home fire safe practices, the door should be opened periodically.
ETL verified water resistant in up to 8 in of water for up to 24 hours. This means that in the event of a flood, this safe can keep your valuables from water damage while submerged in 8 inches of water for up to 24 hours.
Another concern is in relation to pry-resistant door hinges being on the outside of the door, and the extent to which this may compromise the safe’s protection against burglary.
Arguably, if it weren’t for the six live-locking bolts, it probably wouldn’t take all that long for someone that knows their way around the right blow torch to bust the sucker open.
Is it easy to use?
The SFW205CWB home safe is very straightforward to use and operate. Here’s what you need to know:
How to prepare the SentrySafe SFW205CWB for first-time use?
Step 1: Remove any shipping screws located on the inside of the door.
NOTE: Not all safes have shipping screws. If your safe does have shipping screws, these will be located on the inside of the door.
Step 2: Find your combination on the back of this owner’s manual.
The keys for dual key/combination locks (SentrySafe SFW205CWB) can be found inside your safe. Don’t forget to remove your keys before locking your safe.
Always test your combination several times before putting valuables inside.
How to unlock the SentrySafe SFW205CWB?
Step 1: Insert key into the lock, turn to the ’unlocked’ position, then remove the key.
This is a secondary locking feature, not an override key.
Step 2: Rotate the dial to ’0’, then rotate right (clockwise) passing ’0’ three times, continue rotating until you reach the first number in your combination.
Step 3: Rotate the dial to the left (counterclockwise). Go past the second number of your combination once and stop the second time the dial reaches the number.
Step 4: Rotate the dial to the right (clockwise), stop when you reach the third number in your combination.
Step 5: Rotate the handle downward to open the door.
This may take a limited amount of force if you have a water-resistant safe.
- Make sure the handle is rotated all the way up in the horizontal position before unlocking the safe.
- If the door does not open easily, repeat steps 1-5.
- If you exert too much force on the handle, the handle will move without moving the bolts. If this happens, you will hear a ’click.’ DO NOT be alarmed. This feature is designed to protect the bolts from being overpowered by force. If this occurs, simply exert force in the opposite direction (lifting up) until the handles ’clicks’ back into place and repeat steps 1-5 to open your safe.
How to lock the SentrySafe SFW205CWB?
Step 1: Close the door and pull the handle upward until the handle is horizontal.
For water-resistant units, additional pressure to the front left side of the door may need to be applied prior to rotating the handle.
Step 2: Spin the dial at least 2x to the right (clockwise).
Step 3: FOR DUAL KEY/COMBINATION LOCKS ONLY, insert the key into the lock, turn to the ’locked’ position, then remove the key.
Can you bolt down the SentrySafe SFW205CWB?
The SentrySafe SFW205CWB can be bolted down, however, it doesn’t come with pre-drilled holes.
You’ll have to do the drilling yourself. It’s simple. Just follow the following steps:
The bolt-down kit contents include:
- 2 lag screws
- 2 washers
- 2 masonry anchors
Here are the tools you’ll need to bolt your safe to the floor:
- 7⁄16” (11 mm) drill bit – for drilling into the safe
- 9⁄32” (7.2 mm) drill bit – for drilling into a wood floor
- 3⁄8” (9.5 mm) drill bit – for drilling into a masonry floor
Step 1: Tip the safe onto its right side (door hinges horizontal with the floor).
Step 2: Unlock the safe and open the door. Look to the bottom of the safe for two indentations on the feet in opposite corners.
Using the 7⁄16” (11 mm) bit; drill a hole through each indentation perpendicular to the bottom of the safe. DO NOT drill from any location inside the safe.
Step 3: Tip the safe upright, place the safe in the desired location and open the door.
Step 4: Use a screw or pencil to mark the floor through both holes.
Step 5: Move the safe aside to clear both marked spots for drilling.
Step 6: Drilling into:
- Wood flooring: use the 9⁄32” drill bit, drill a hole 21⁄2” (64 mm) deep in each marked spot.
- Masonry flooring: use the 3⁄8” drill bit, drill a hole 21⁄2” (64 mm) deep in each marked spot. Install a masonry anchor in each hole.
Step 7: Replace the safe in the desired position, with the holes in the safe aligned with those in the floor.
Step 8: Securing the safe into:
- Wood flooring: Pass each lag screw through a washer, then through the safe, and into a hole. Tighten with the wrench.
- Masonry flooring: Pass each lag screw through a washer, then through the safe, and into a masonry anchor.
Tighten with the wrench. Place masonry anchors into the holes in the floor.
NOTE: The product is not water-resistant once it is bolted down. The ETL verified water resistance claim applies to the product prior to the application of a bolt-down kit.
- DO NOT drill from any location inside the safe.
- DO NOT bolt through the walls.
- The safe should not be bolted to a wall, this will compromise the fire rating.
- Drill holes through the feet only. DO NOT drill through the back or sides.
Does it include a warranty?
The SentrySafe SFW205CWB comes with a Limited Lifetime warranty.
If your safe is damaged by fire at any time while still owned by you, the original, registered owner, Master Lock will either ship a replacement or provide a credit or refund equal to the purchase price paid, at Master Lock‘s own and sole discretion.
To be eligible for this Limited Lifetime After-Fire Replacement Program, the original purchaser must have registered the product within 30 days of purchase, online at www.registermysafe.com or using the card included with the product.
Do not ship your product back to Master Lock.
To obtain service under the Limited Lifetime After-Fire Replacement Program, please contact Master Lock Customer Care by phone at 1-800-828-1438 or via www.sentrysafe.com.
Do not ship your product back to Master Lock.
When contacting Master Lock Customer Care, you should have the following information available:
1) A description of the fire event;
2) unit model number;
3) serial number;
4) a photo of the burned safe; and
5) a copy of the report from the fire department, insurance or police.
Is the handle made from plastic?
Yes, the outside of the handle is plastic, but the actual handle mechanism is metal. When you’re opening it, the motion feels solid so at least the innards are metal. If someone tries to turn the handle without knowing the combination, there’s a feature that allows the handle to still turn without engaging the bolts. This is a security feature.
Are there holes pre-drilled for bolting to the floor?
No pre-drilled holes in the safe. The SentrySafe SFW205CWB safe comes with 2 – 4″ lug screws, 2 washers, and 2 masonry anchors. To anchor the safe to the floor, follow the instructions above.
I have focused on the SFW205CWB model for this review, rather than the SFW205GQC (digital keypad lock) model.
I prefer the SFW205CWB model’s dial combination lock over the SFW205GQC model’s digital lock because it is more affordable and reliable as it isn’t susceptible to electronic failure or malfunction.
However, if readers would like me to cover the SFW205GQC, please leave a comment below.
Alternatives to the SentrySafe SFW205CWB
If the SentrySafe SFW205CWB is not exactly what you’re looking for, then there are a number of other safes which might be more suitable…
Looking for something cheaper?
The First Alert 2087F Waterproof 1 Hour Fire Safe with Combination Lock, 0.94 Cubic Foot is marketed as a waterproof fire safe.
Not only is it less than half the capacity (0.94 cubic feet) of the SFW205CWB, it is also less than half the price too.
Frankly speaking, the First Alert 2087F is a cheap home safe. That said, you do get some great features for the price.
It is built with water tight seals that prevent water damage to your valuables caused by flooding or by water used when putting out a fire.
The First Alert 2087F will float, making it easy to find during a flood, and it will remain dry inside even if fully submerged.
This safe has a UL classified 1-hour fire rating, verifying that it can withstand an external temperature of 1700 degrees Fahrenheit while maintaining an internal temperature of less than 350 degrees.
Anti-theft features include patented pry-resistant concealed hinges, 4 number combination dial security lock and 4 solid locking bolts.
The interior of the safe includes an adjustable and removable shelf, key rack and small door pouch.
The safe also includes an override key that will open the safe if the combination is lost or forgotten.
The safe is covered by a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty and will be replaced free of charge if damaged in a fire.
Personally, I’d only get this safe for items with more sentimental, rather than, monetary value.
The 2087F is great for items like personal documents including wills and photographs. It is not so great for items such as expensive jewelry, cash etc. mainly because it offers little by way of protection against burglary.
In summary, it will offer great protection against water, pretty good protection against fire, however, very little burglary protection.
Looking for something more secure?
Check out my review of the Mesa Safe MBF1512C to learn more about it.
If none of these options are quite right for you, try my simple 7 step guide that guarantees to find the right safe for you and your home!
Alternatively, check out my article reviewing the 7 best home safes.