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Locksmithing/Sentry Safe Lever Shear Pin


Someone broke into my house and tried to get into my Sentry 1330 fire safe. The safe has only a combination and a handle or lever. Obviously, the thief kicked down the lever while the door was locked trying to get it opened.
Well, the door did not open, and I was surprised that when I returned the handle to the locked (horizontal) position and entered the correct combination, the door unlocked.
So obviously the jamming of the handle with the door locked sheared off or rounded some pin or bolt.
I am afraid that if I close the door and lock it, that I won't be able to get it open again.
Could you help me??? I have left an e-mail to Sentry, but they have yet to reply.

ANSWER: What more than likely happened is that the inside of the handle rounded out a little.

The handle is plastic, formed around a metal shaft.

When the crook stepped on it, he force the plastic to rotate around the square metal shaft.

When you lifted it back, it went back to it's original state.

It shouldn't be a problem to use it, unless it gets repeatedly forced.

Just be aware that if the handle starts to get loose, you should repair it.

Sentry does not have a bunch of repair parts.

Dan Terrigno
American Safe & Vault Service
Cleveland, OH

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks, Dan!
Can you give me any advice on how to repair it.
It is a good safe and serves my needs, I just don't want to worry about not being able to open it when I need to.

I wouldn't worry about it until it starts causing you trouble.

Then I would drill a 1/8" hole through the handle and the handle shaft and squeeze a 1/8" roll pin in the hole.

There isn't much torque on the shaft when you have the correct combination.



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Dan Terrigno


I can answer questions about commercial locks, card access systems, locksmithing except for cars, safes & safe opening, video surveillance and master key systems


35 years as a locksmith, security system designer and installer, trouble shooting and repair of all manner of security related equipment

Associated Locksmiths of America, Safe & Vault Technicians Association

Attended Miami University, Kent State University, continuing education through the Associated Locksmiths of American

Awards and Honors
Certified Master Locksmith. Certified ALOA instructor.

Past/Present Clients
Numerous Fortune 500 companies, DOD, and other governmental agencies

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