This really depends on the kind of Sentry Safe you have.
Sentry does make a range of pistol safes that can be used to store your pistols. These are small lockboxes specially designed to keep your gun safe and allow you access when needed.
The pistol safes are quick access utilizing biometric locks to let you into the safe at critical moments. The safes also have a silent digital lock that allows you to use a passcode for entry and an override key entry.
The Sentry pistol safes are designed and built with speed and silence in mind. They can be opened silently, and with one hand which means that intruders or assailants won’t know you’re reaching for a weapon.
But what about the other Sentry safes? Can they be used to store guns?
The truth is it depends on the specifications and your state’s legal requirements. In states like California where you must have a gun safe, they need to be certified by the Department of Justice.
Some Sentry safes are certified, others are not. You will need to pay close attention to the certification and specifications to make sure it is legal in your state.
If your state does not have any laws or guidelines on gun safes then you could, theoretically store a gun in a Sentry business or deposit safe. There are few issues that you’ll need to deal with to make these safes suitable for guns, though.
Why Can’t you store a Gun in a Sentry Safe?
Again, you can use some Sentry safes for gun storage. As for the others, well, there are a few reasons why you probably don’t want to store your guns in them.
The first thing to think about is the level of protection the safe offers. For guns, the safe must be able to withstand a minimum of one hour at 350 °F.
Another thing to think about is the moisture levels within the safe. Standard safes are geared toward keeping documents safe and preserved. This means they are usually at about 50% relative humidity.
The insulation is where most of the moisture can be found. In the case of a fire, the insulation steams up the safe making your documents damp but protecting them from fire.
The amount of moisture in general safes is bad news for guns. It can cause rusting and water damage over time. You don’t want to reach for your gun and find it unusable due to rust!
While we’re talking about moisture, you need to check that any safe you buy has a seal. The seal is designed to keep water out of the safe. This is important in flood situations but also during fires. Seals will help prevent the water or extinguishing foam from getting into the safe and damaging your guns.
The other thing with Sentry safes is that they have horizontal shelves that prevent you from placing larger firearms inside. You could put a pistol in there, but there’s no chance for your rifles.
Gun safes are typically designed with rests and holders for your weapons. Often these lock them in place so that they don’t rattle around if the safe is moved or shaken.
Are Sentry Safes Fireproof?
No safe on the market today is truly fireproof. They can only rightly be called fire-resistant because they will eventually succumb to fire given enough time and heat.
That being said, Sentry offers safes with and without ‘fire protection.’ There are actually three kinds of protection offered by Sentry. The first and most basic level is theft protection, then you have fire and water protection.
If you’re thinking of storing a gun in your safe, then you definitely want to look at the fire-resistant safes. This will keep your guns away from fire damage, but it will also help mitigate any accidental explosions that can be caused by fires.
Ammunition has been known to explode when it reaches high temperatures. Instances of this happening during house fires have been documented. Fire resistant safes will mitigate the heat of a fire for a certain duration which should keep your bullets safe.
Sentry’s fire protection safes are UL rated. They list their fire protection levels according to the amount of time the safe will hold out at a specified temperature.
At the cheaper end of the spectrum, you have safes that can withstand 1550 °F for 30 minutes. At the higher price points, you can expect fire protection for an hour at 1700 °F.
These ratings are given by the Underwriters Laboratory which is one of the most respected safety testing laboratories. If you are thinking of buying a safe, from Sentry or any other company, you should check that it has a UL or ETL rating. ETL ratings are given by Intertek Laboratories and have pretty much equal standing with UL.