Tom Kraeutler: Welcome to this edition of the Money Pits Top Products Podcast coming to you from the 2014 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
Leslie Segrete: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Leslie Segrete: That’s right. Here to tell us more about them is Matt Medden with Sentry Safe. Welcome Matt.
Matt Medden: Hi Leslie, hi Tom, how are you today?
Tom Kraeutler: We’re well. There’s so much to be considered when you want to secure your valuables. I think valuables today has kind of a totally new definition, right?
Matt Medden: Absolutely.
Tom Kraeutler: When our parents were growing up, valuables was like cash and jewelery. Today, there’s a lot of digital valuables out there. You have your kid’s photographs and you have your important legal files and things like that and they’re all digital. It presents some really challenging opportunities for a company like Sentry.
Matt Medden: That’s right. Well, we offer a lot of different products and most of our products are rated to protect not only hard documents like a birth certificate or marriage certificate or a passport, but they’re going to also protect digital media, things like hard drives and USB drives. Places where you’ve had the important photos and memories that you want to keep safe.
Leslie Segrete: Tome has always been a proponent of proper digital storage and I’m kind of like, “Oh, I’ve got one box. It actually is a Sentry Box. I’m of [crosstalk 00:01:22]. I got it out like at Staples I think at home, but it’s very small and it’s undersized for the things that I put in it. It’s kind of just in the basement.
I think I read in your paperwork that it says that these boxes will sort of withhold all of your documents for 30 minutes of fire to a certain temperature. For give me if I’m being silly and asking this, but is the goal like the house is on fire, I get the kids out, I get the dogs out and I ran back in and get the box or I just leave it?
Matt Medden: Actually, the whole reason we make our products is that you don’t have to worry about grabbing the box if your house is on fire. God forbid anything happens, but we test all of our products to third party standards including UL and ETL and fire rated products are usually UL rating. Either a 30 minute or an hour or even some of our larger products at two hour fire rating.
What that means is you think about how long a house fire lasts. It could be longer than 30 minutes and you’re right, but usually a fire when it’s passing through a house only stays in one area of the house for 15 or 20 minutes. UL is very rigorous in their testing in setting their standards. You can trust that if our products pass a 30 minute UL fire test, it will survive any house fire. The contents inside the safe will be protected.
Tom Kraeutler: Is the standard for digital media, how does that compare to paper medias like currency? What’s the difference in the temperatures that it could stand up to?
Matt Medden: It all depends on what you’re looking for. Usually, the things like hard drives and USB drives have to withstand various temperatures in the 200 to 300 degree range. The third party test in the case of digital media, we test to an ETL standard which is similar to UL but a different organization.
Again, we verify all of our products so that they survive. We know that when ETL says, it’s going to pass digital media test. You can be rest assured that your hard drive or USB drive will be just fine.
Leslie Segrete: What about the other end? What about water? If you’re dealing with … Obviously, I just told you I store box in the basement and it’s sitting on the floor. You’re like, “Oh dear Lord.”
Matt Medden: That’s okay. I would also imagine you have the hot water in your basement …
Leslie Segrete: It’s next to it.
Matt Medden: So we have many products that offer fire protection but most of our products have not just fire but also water protection. If your basement does flood or if you think about it, even if your house goes through a fire …
Leslie Segrete: There’s water to put it out.
Matt Medden: There’s water to put it out. So you need to protect not only against the fire, but also against the water. Not just the flooding situation, but from the fire hose.
Tom Kraeutler: Let’s talk about the locking mechanisms. I imagine that they’re digital as well like a keypad.
Matt Medden: Yes. On our larger products, we have both digital, a key pad …
Leslie Segrete: Like the hotel ones?
Matt Medden: Like the hotel ones or same thing as a phone. You have a nine or 12 button key. We also have dial combination locks and some of our lower end products like chest and files will also feature just a standard key type of a lock.
Tom Kraeutler: With respect to the digital though …
Leslie Segrete: [Crosstalk 00:04:11].
Tom Kraeutler: With respect to the digital, what happens if the digital pad melts or malfunctions and the box is in the lock position.
Matt Medden: A couple things. One of our new products, we call the alarm safe is actually … There’s a new lock type. It’s a capacitive touch lock. Think of your iPhone or a smartphone, when you touch the keypad, that pad illuminates. That’s the kind of lock that we have on our new alarm safe. We have it in a 1.2 and a 2.0 capacity. Those will be coming out in late summer.
The thing though you got to remember, if you do have a fire and if your safe goes through a fire, chances are the lock is going to burn up and melt anyway. So whether you have a digital lock or even a combination lock, chances are the outside of the safe is going to look like the rest of your house. The thing is the contents of the safe are going to be protected.
If you have a fire in your house, the chances are you’re going to get some help probably a fireman or a locksmith to help you open up the safe afterwards but rest assured that your contents will be protected.
Tom Kraeutler: That’s good news. We’re talking to Matt Medden, he’s the director of marketing for Sentry Safe. You guys have been in the safe business a long, long time. What’s the most …
Matt Medden: Over 80 years. That’s right.
Tom Kraeutler: What’s the most popular product for consumers? What do they buy in the most of?
Matt Medden: Our most popular products would be our chest and File products anywhere from a retail range starting at $20 up through $40 to $50. Those are very popular products. We also have fire safes which are large capacity. Think of a safe with a traditional door and a lock on the front. Those are our most popular product category.
Leslie Segrete: I’m thinking of all types of burglar or thief movies right now. Like stethoscope turning the dial.
Matt Medden: Our products were there to protect you.
Leslie Segrete: That’s so great. Now, what’s the price point? You said the lower end runs 20 to 40. How much do I have to spend? How far can I go up should I say if I’ve got a lot of things I need to protect?
Matt Medden: One of the things that is very important to us is offering great value to consumers. You can buy a larger safe for between $150 and say $300. Really, when you ask people how much do they think safes will cost, more often than not, they think they’re really expensive. You go to mass retail or DIY outlet retailer and you can find really some good value in safes.
Leslie Segrete: Yeah, but think about all that money you’re saving in the long run when you have to replace those documents or your in a situation that you don’t have an insurance document or you don’t have any of the things that you need to continue on with your life after some sort of catastrophe.
Matt Medden: We talked with a lot of people who have our products, have gone through a disaster with their home and they come back to us and say, “Thank you so much. I paid certain amount of money but what I got back was invaluable.” It’s just because the special memories whether they were pictures or irreplaceable documents, that’s really what we’re all about.
Tom Kraeutler: You guys start thinking about these folks. You cannot protect your digital files today. Your memories are all tied up in there, your financial future is tied up in there and Sentry Safe, as Mark said, 80 years and help us protect those assets of our homes and our families. Matt Medden, director of marketing at Sentry Safe. Thanks so much for being a part of the Money Pit Top Products Podcast.
Matt Medden: Thank you very much.
Tom Kraeutler: And if you’d like more information with Sentry Safe, you can go to their website at sentrysafe.com. That’s S-E-N-T-R-Y Safe.com.