How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Cher Your Own Question
Cher, Educator-40+ yrs
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 21446
Experience:  M.A., B.A., Author, Information & Research Specialist
Type Your Question Here...
Cher is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds


This answer was rated:

Hello, and welcome to Just Answer.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX it will be my pleasure to assist you with your safe issue today.

What is the model number of your safe?

Do you know the correct combination?

What kind of batteries are you using?

When was the last time you successfully opened and closed the safe?

Thanks for all your additional information.

Hello again,

I see that you are now offline and wanted to get this answer to you asap.

The first thing I would recommend is changing your batteries again, making sure to use only fresh, alkaline or lithium batteries (no rechargeable ones). Make sure the batteries are seated correctly with the positive and negative terminals making contact in the right places. If there is any corrosion in the battery holder, clean it out with a damp cloth or paper towel, dry thoroughly and reinsert the batteries.

Next, be sure of your combination and enter it on your keypad; you should see a display on your keypad and hear beeping as you enter the numbers. If you don't see/hear anything, there may be something defective with your keypad and/or the opening mechanism/actuator which may be preventing the bars from retracting.

You can try spraying a little lubricant, like WD40 on the opening mechanism inside the door and also on the part of the bars that are closest to the door, enter your combination and try pushing on the bars to get them to retract. You can also use a rubber mallet or a hammer with a towel wrapped around the head to tap on those bars and try to get them to retract.

If you're not sure of your combination, you can retrieve it from the manufacturer in the following way:

You will need to fill out the form below, follow all instructions, get it notarized (this can be done at no charge at your bank) and submit it to the safe's manufacturer, Sentry, via the mode of your choice:

Please keep in mind that no combinations are available on the internet for your protection and security and after proving your ownership of the safe, the manufacturer is the only one that has the original combination on file and can release it to you and no one else.

If you need to speak to Sentry Customer Service to explain your extenuating circumstances, here is their contact information:

For your convenience, I've listed their Customer Service phone and fax numbers:

Customer Service: 1-800-828-1438 (hours are 8AM-6PM Monday through Friday, Eastern time, but are subject to change). Fax: 585-381-2940



If this is an emergency situation and you need the safe closed right away, or if you need hands-on help, your only other alternative is to call a certified locksmith/safe technician. After providing proof of safe ownership/identity, the technician should be able to retrieve your combination from Sentry on the spot if you don't have it. The technician would also be able to help you get the bars to retract so the safe can close. This would, of course, be a more costly way to proceed, but only if necessary. You can try any certified local locksmiths/safe technicians in your area or this company, below, which has offices nationwide; they may have a branch in your town:

I wish you much good luck with your safe!


If your keypad or your actuator mechanism are faulty, Sentry might replace your safe free of charge. I've had several clients with this problem and they received new safes. Of course, every person's situation is different, so you will need to inquire about this option.


If you have any additional questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to click 'Reply to Expert' before rating, direct your reply to me, "Cher", and I will be happy to continue to assist you once you let me know what additional information you require.


IMPORTANT: When you are satisfied with my answer, please choose a positive rating like this one Laughing for 'Excellent Service', as this is the only way in which I am credited by the site for assisting you. Thanks very much!


Please remember, your satisfaction is my main priority!



If you found that this answer did not completely answer your question, please do not rate at this time, but click "Reply to Expert" and let me know how I can further assist you. Thank you!


***Please keep in mind, you are rating the quality of my answer/information, not the unfortunate circumstances of your situation, nor the website. Thank you!***



Best regards,

My name is Mike. I would like you to verify for me that the safe can "unlock" itself. By this I mean, please verify that you receive the unlock symbol when you punch in your code.

I would like to try to figure out what is actually going on with the safe. Thank you.

My name isXXXXX will do whatever I can to answer your questions. This is something you should be able to handle on your own.

Don't forget the deposit you placed to ask this question is not used to compensate me until you rate my service. Remember that when you are asked to give a rating you are rating My Service and not this website or your situation.

Does the handle move at all? If not, try this:

First replace the handle up to the complete horizontal position, the starting position. I DO NOT want you to keep pushing really hard onthe handle, it may have a tendency to shear the parts if the bars are the things that are actually preventing the movement.

If you hear the click and the handle doesn't move this is an indication the door latch bars are stuck - actually somewhat common if the safe isn't used on a daily basis. If you do not hear the actuator "click" you need to be 100 percent sure you are using BRAND NEW batteries on the replacement.

What I am going to give you, you may need to repeat a few times - just be patient.

So first thing is getting rubber mallet or a hammer wrapped with a towel. Or a phone book for that hammer. We are going to be carefully striking the safe with a medium to light blow on the side the door opens from, the non hinge side. Do not allow the door bars to strike the edge of the safe case since the door is open. Place a phonebook or something to block the door open, and lightly strike against that.

Basically the moving parts have frozen in such a way that the linkage is non responsive because of the binding of them. Usually this happens with moisture, and since fall is here for most parts of the country its probably a bit damp.

To free the bound locking latch bars you need to hit the safe(with one of the padded ways I mentioned) a few times on the side it opens from, avoiding the keypad and other electronics for obvious reasons, give it a handful of careful strikes then dial out the safe and press in while opening - basically combine all the tools here. Again, you may need to repeat the, strike, dial, press in, handle down process several times just because they can stick pretty well.

What you can VERY CAREFULLY also do, is LIGHTLY tap the bars that are sticking out, I wouldn't start by tapping them back in but, but rather on each side, just to free them up a bit. Then you can use some moisture displacing lubricant if needed.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

too tired tonight, will try again tommorrow. did what you said and didn't work!!!!!!!!!

Hello, this is Cher again.

I see that you rated my answer negatively. You were asked not to rate the answer until you were satisfied with the answer. If you were not satisfied, you should have responded to me with your additional questions, before rating, as stated in my answer.

Your safe is defective and you need to contact Sentry to request they send you a new safe at no charge to you. First, they will send a certified Sentry technician to your home (also at no charge) to assess the situation and if your locking mechanism, handle or keypad are defective and that is why your bars will not retract, you have the right to ask for a safe replacement at no cost to you. Sentry stands behind their products and has a great warranty program. You have absolutely nothing to lose by calling Sentry or emailing or faxing with the information I included in my first answer, and letting them know your problem and that you have a defective safe which won't close, then take it from there.

For your convenience, I've listed their Customer Service phone and fax numbers:

Customer Service: 1-800-828-1438 (hours are 8AM-6PM Monday through Friday, Eastern time, but are subject to change). Fax: 585-381-2940

We cannot come and physically repair your safe; we can only make suggestions as to what may be wrong and provide possible solutions to fix the problem. It is not our fault if you have a defective or broken safe, therefore, I do not believe your rating of my answer was due to 'Bad Service'. I provided 'Excellent Service', but you need hands-on help from a safe tech and/or your safe deemed defective by the manufacturer, and that is something that neither I, nor any other expert can do online, unfortunately.

Please rate this answer as 'OK Service' or above, so that I am credited for my answer and can retain my good ratings. That would be greatly appreciated! Laughing

If you do not feel that this answer was helpful, please DO NOT RATE at all, but please do not hesitate to send any replies (direct them to 'Cher') with additional questions you may have and I will be glad to continue our conversation. Thank you!

Best regards,
Cher, Educator-40+ yrs
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 21446
Experience: M.A., B.A., Author, Information & Research Specialist
Cher and 21 other General Specialists are ready to help you

I am sorry you feel you have gotten bad service.. I know this is not the ideal situation, but we are limited due to working over the internet rather than being there in person

It seems as though you have rated your situation, not the fact that we are trying to diagnose the issue over a computer, exhausting any thinkable measures we can of the most common problems based on absolutely minimal information provided by you.

Also, I asked you some questions and need some information to be able to troubleshoot the issue. You provided no answers, so I have nothing to go by.

So again I ask:

Are you able to verify the safe has power?

Are you getting the green unlock symbol when you punch in the code?

Please respond TO ME and let me know the answer to these questions. Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I tried everything, so it must be the safe itself. thank's for giving me sentry's customer service number. sorry i gave you a bad rating, if you send me another request, i will rate excellent!!!

Hi again, and thanks for your reply.

You are most welcome for Sentry's customer service information, and I hope they will replace the safe if it is defective.

You have already given me an 'Excellent' rating which cancelled out the 'Bad' one, and I appreciate it very much! Thank you!

I wish you much good luck with your safe!

Best regards,
(the system will tell you more information is needed, but that is not required; I must send this as an 'information request' because it is not truly an 'answer', so no reply is needed)
Its Mike again,

Would you kindly indicate whether the physical intervention answer(of tapping and trying to free up the bound parts) was helpful to you despite the safe being broken. In other words was my service of good quality to you?

I was involved in answering your question along with another expert and would like some feedback myself.

Thank you very much in advance - and my apologies for the safe's issues.