Sentry Group

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HeadquartersOak Creek, Wisconsin
A SentrySafe safe; requires a combination and a four-way key

SentrySafe is a brand of safes once manufactured in Rochester, New York. It is owned by The Master Lock Company,[1] which is headquartered in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. It includes safes designed for home, business, and gun storage. In addition to security, SentrySafe includes a wide variety of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) rated safes to protect valuables from both fire and water.


In 1930, John Brush, Sr. and his brother-in-law, Willard Punnett, opened a small shop for the manufacture of safes at 545 West Avenue in Rochester, New York. The Brush-Punnett Company was an early pioneer in the stamping (metalworking) of steel safes. After a long and arduous startup period that spanned the Great Depression and World War II, The Brush-Punnett Company made some early successes by selling safes to Vassar College for its dormitories and steel skids to Eastman Kodak.

In 1943, after purchasing his sister and brother’s-in-law interest, John Brush Sr. became the sole owner of the company. It was Mr. Brush's intent to pass the business onto his sons; John Jr., Richard, and Robert. John Brush Jr. joined the business in 1954 after serving active duty in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and graduating from St. Lawrence University (1950) and Harvard Business School. The company changed its name to the John D. Brush & Co. in 1955.

The factory side entrance of the Linden Avenue plant in Rochester, NY. At the base of the silos are a furnace (used to fire-test safes) and a rock pit (used for drop-testing safes from a height 30. ft.)

Brush & Co. moved into a new plant at 900 Linden Avenue, Rochester, New York in 1968, with over 50,000 sq ft (5,000 m2). Then, in 1987, it began doing business under the name Sentry Group, in order to better identify the company with its trademark name safes - "Sentry".

Sentry Group produces more fire-resistant chests, safes, security storage containers, and gun safes than any other company in the world and has won numerous awards for its product design and retail service. It was awarded "Vendor of the Year" from Lowe's in 1999, Wal-Mart in 2001, and OfficeMax in 2002.

In 2014 Sentry was sold to Master Lock, which is an operating division of Fortune Brands .

In 2016 Master Lock closed the Rochester, NY based production facilities and moved production to Mexico.

Legal cases[edit]

In 1991, Michael Redman of Virginia brought a products liability suit against Sentry Group after his coin collection was stolen out of his Sentry Supreme Safe, Model #5570. Redman originally noticed the safe in a Value-Tique advertisement that appeared in the magazine Coin World. The magazine had advertised the safe as a “burglar deterrent”.[2]

Redman won the jury verdict in district court, but the case was appealed. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed the decision, holding that Redman failed to present evidence demonstrating that the safe violated industry standards, government standards, or reasonable consumer expectations. Also, Redman’s safe was specifically designed to meet fire-resistant standards, but not “burglar deterrent” standards, even though it did provide “a degree of protection against burglary.” An expert witness testified that materials that enhance burglar-resistance on safes consequently reduce the fire-resistance.


  1. ^ "Service & Support". Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  2. ^ Redman v. John D. Brush and Co., 111 F.3d 1174 (4th Cir. April 28, 1997).


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