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We Ranked and Rated the Best Small Home Safes

Our #1 Pick...the SentrySafe CHW2025!

With so many styles, types, and sizes available…we break it down and help make it EZ!

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The SentrySafe CHW20205- Our #1 Portable Small Home Safe Pick


If you are in the market for a small home safe that is portable, waterproof and offers some protection against fire…then you must take a look at the SentrySafe CHW20205. That’s why we ranked it Number #1 in our roundup of the Best Home Safes.

The Sentry CHW20205 Fire & Water Chest is a compact home safe offering fire and water protection. With a UL Classified fire rating of 30 minutes at temperatures up to 1550 degrees F, as well as ETL Verified water protection for up to 72 hours, this safe provides reliable security for valuable items.

Equipped with digital media protection, tubular key lock, and carrying handle, it offers convenience and added security. Measuring 6.60′ H x 15.40′ W x 14.30′ D and weighing 20.40 pounds, the safe provides ample storage space within its interior dimensions of 0.28 cubic feet.

Perhaps it might be better termed as as a portable safe box, it is not meant to be a stronghold to protect priceless artifacts. However, it certainly meets the needs of the average homeowner trying to safeguard important documents, some rainy-day cash, and a few valuables. As a matter of fact, it was our top portable pick in the Best Fireproof Safes of 2023.

If you are looking for small home safe that provides portable protection at a reasonable price, the SentrySafe CHW 20205 is a worthy candidate for your serious consideration.



Rating the SentrySafe CHW20205 – Evaluating the Common Features of Home Safes 


When it comes to choosing the perfect portable small home safe for your family and home, there are several important factors to consider. With a wide variety of styles and features available, it’s crucial to find the right fit for your specific needs. In many cases, security-minded individuals are looking for portable small home safes for documents and small items that can take with them, as well as a more substantial home safe to protect firearms and valuables.

With that in mind, we want to provide an overview of some of the important factors one might consider when evaluating home safes.

The size, type, and features of the safe will vary depending on your priorities and the items you plan to store within it. Whether you’re looking to secure a few important documents or protect a valuable collection of guns, antiquities, or jewelry, the type of safe you require will differ greatly.

In this guide, our main focus will be on finding the best home safes for everyday use. However, don’t be surprised if some of these safes offer more than just document protection. We have a couple of exceptional options that not only provide fireproof capabilities but also ample space to safeguard a wide range of valuables. It’s like getting the best of both worlds!



Top 6 Considerations When Buying a Home Safe 


Best Small Home Safes - 6 Things to Consider - Infographic



The Size and Weight


Home safes come in a variety of sizes. They range from smaller portable ones, for a few documents and small items, to larger units,  designed to house gun collections weighing many hundreds of pounds.  The best home safes are large enough for the items you need to store. You should also factor in a bit of space to keep valuable items you might purchase in the future.

Smaller, portable safes that can be hidden and carried when traveling.

If you are looking for a bit more versatility, there are some modest-sized fireproof safes that will enable you to store documents and some valuables as well. An average-size 1.3-cubic-foot safe typically weighs in the 80-100lb range. This is usually large enough to store important documents, a handgun or two, and expensive jewelry.

While the weight makes it difficult for an intruder to carry it off, these safes can usually be bolted to the floor for an extra measure of security.

Some of them even contain a separate smaller lockbox inside which can be transported.  Additionally, fireproof pouches can easily be taken on the road as well.

The  SentrySafe CHW20205 was rated as the best small safes for home use because it is small enough to be portable, yet it still affords fire and water protection.



Types of Fireproof Safes


Safes for your home can provide protection against a variety of threats – theft, fire, or even water.  Some safes do a good job of protecting against all of them. However, there are typically trade-offs to be made. Not all safes are designed to address all these risks. When selecting your home safe, be sure that it is designed to protect against the risks that concern you most.

When choosing the most secure safe to use at home, there are a variety of styles to choose from:

Portable – If you travel or are away from your primary residence for extended periods, a portable safe might be a good fit. (or work well as a secondary unit). It will be more convenient to bring the safe with your valuables and important paperwork with you.

Wall Safe – Safes for walls are typically installed in between the wall studs. They can be easily concealed behind furniture or prints and paintings.  However, they are not very spacious and often provide less protection against fire and flooding.

Stand-Alone – They come in a variety of sizes and can even be bolted to the floor. These safes offer more durable construction and may provide additional protection against fire, water, and theft.

Gun safes – Are available in various sizes, from small handgun boxes to massive safes for rifles

In addition, there are different levels of protection against specific types of threats.  Keep this in mind if you are looking for safes that are fireproof.


Fire Resistance


Although they are often referred to as “fire-proof” safes, a more accurate term would be fire-resistant.  Fire-resistant safes are rated Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and other agencies based upon the safe’s ability to keep the contents below a certain temperature after the exterior is exposed to fire-level temperatures. It is based on keeping the temperature below 350 degrees F for times that range between 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

This temperature was selected because these safes are commonly used to protect important paper documents.  Paper begins to char at 387°F and ignites at 421°F.

The most common UL classification system is as follows:

  • Class 350-4Hr.      (formerly Class A)    4 hrs.   @  2000°F
  • Class 350-2Hr.      (formerly Class B)    2 hrs.   @  1850°F
  • Class 350-1Hr.      (formerly Class C)    1 hr.     @  1700°F
  • Class 350- 1/2Hr.  (formerly Class E)    30 Min. @  1550°F


Most fireproof home safes are designed to maintain temperatures below 350°F for at least 30 minutes when exposed to flames. This level of protection is usually sufficient because house fires rarely reach temperatures higher than 1200°F and are typically extinguished within an hour. However, if you live in a rural area with longer response times, it may be wise to consider safes with higher fire ratings.

To ensure the best fire resistance, it is recommended to place your safe on a concrete surface like a basement or garage floor. This reduces the risk of extreme temperatures affecting the contents of the safe.

Certain items, such as computer disks or DVDs, are highly susceptible to damage from extreme heat. If you intend to store sensitive information on such media, you will need a safe that can maintain temperatures below 125°F. Keep in mind that these safes tend to be more expensive. Alternatively, you could consider converting your data to digital media and storing it securely in the cloud.

By following these guidelines, you can provide optimal protection for your valuables while also considering practical and cost-effective solutions.


Home Security Safe Rating Index


Not all safes have UL Ratings. However, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) rates certain safes based on the construction, design, and capability to deter forced entry attempts.  Following are some very general industry guidelines commonly used to recommend safes by specialized safe retailers.

The most common burglary ratings are:

B-rated –      $5,000 or less worth of important items.

Rated B/C –  Up to $10,000 worth of content.

UL RSC  –     Up t0 $15,000 worth of content.

C-rated –       Up to $25, 000 worth of content.

UL TL -15 –    Up to $100,000 worth of valuables The safe can be able to withstand an attack of 15 minutes using ordinary tools and devices.

These values are typically doubled when combined with top-rated monitored home security systems!



Lock Type


One of the features that distinguish fireproof home safes is the type of locking mechanism it uses.  The lock type can be a simple as a key or combination…or as sophisticated as a fingerprint sensor.

A biometric safe is opened by using a fingerprint sensor that matches fingerprints that are programmed into the safe.  This can be the fastest and most efficient system, but some of them can be finicky.

Also,  bear in mind, it will require a power source-either battery or an AC outlet. (as does an electronic keypad)

Keys and combination locks are more traditional and don’t require power.  However, keys can be lost, and codes can be forgotten.  As a result, it is always best to have a backup means of opening the safe.

The most common types of safe locks are:

  • Traditional lock: This safe opens with a traditional key.
  • Combination lock: Uses a series of numbers like vintage school lockers.
  • Electronic Keypad: Requires the entry of a personal PIN code.
  • Biometric lock: Access is gained by registering fingerprints into the system.
  • Dual lock: Multiple methods are required for access. For example, you may need to enter both a combination and use a key.  Some systems include the key as a backup.



Waterproof Rating


Water-resistant safes can safeguard important documents and valuables from water damage resulting from flooding, broken pipes, leaks, and water damage caused by extinguishing a fire.

The possibility of water damage may be much higher in areas that are prone to flooding, or when storing a safe in the basement. Also,  safes located on upper floors can end up submerged in a fire if the wood floors are compromised. The weight of the safe can crash through fire-ravaged floors and the safe can end up underwater in the basement if the fire damage is extensive enough.

For protection from water-related damage, look for a safe that has an ETL waterproof certification. This independent Electrical Testing Laboratories (ETL) rates safes based on their ability to withstand a certain amount of exposure to water for a specified period of time.


Premium Features to Look for in a Home Safe


The best fireproof home safes may offer additional features to enhance usability, security, and convenience:

  • Hardware – Additional mounting hardware for securing the safe to the floor or a wall.  This provides an additional measure of protection against theft.
  • Lighting – Interior lighting can aid in identifying the contents of the safe. Backlit keypads make it easy to gain access in the dark
  • Adjustable Shelves – Help you optimize the interior space and customize it to your needs.  Some home safes even have a lockable shelf or box which can be quickly removed and taken with you.
  • Carpet or Felt Lining – A carpeted lining can protect firearms and valuables from getting scratched or marred.
  • Tamper Alert – An audible alarm that is activated if it detects vibrations due to a possible break-in attempt or if the passcode is repeatedly entered incorrectly.


These are some of the most common features that we evaluated in determining our list of the Best Home Safes of 2023.


Not only does the SentrySafe CHW 20205, offer a measure of fire and water protection at a wallet-friendly price,  but you can even take it with you!

Best Portable Small Home Safe

SentrySafe CHW 20205

SentrySafe CHW20205 Fireproof Waterproof Box with Key Lock and Interior Light, 0.28 Cubic Feet




  • Dimensions – (L) 15.4″ x (W) 14.3″ x (H) 6.6″
  • Item Weight – 20 Pounds
  • Waterproof? – Yes
  • Fireproof? – Yes, .5 hour at 1550°F
  • Lock Type – Key
  • Capacity – .28 Cubic Feet








Carrying Handle


Interior Lighting


Too Small For Some Items

Best Security Safes for the Home - SentrySafe PortableAt just 20 pounds, the SentrySafe CHW20205 is the ideal solution for someone who wants to be able to secure important documents and small items and be able to take them with them when the situation calls for them. 

Because it is small in size, it can be tucked away in the closet or concealed easily, and yet still affords both fire and water protection.

The interior lighting option and carrying handles make it simple to transport and access and identify the contents with ease.


Best Small Safe For Home Documents

SentrySafe CHW 20205 Small Home Safe Review

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SentrySafe CHW 20205 Small Fireproof Document Safe

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SentrySafe CHW 20205 - Best Small Home Safes for Documents - Video Transcript

SentrySafe CHW 20205 Small Fireproof Home Safe Review – Transcript


If you are looking at a budget-friendly small fireproof safe for your home, this waterproof and fireproof box might be considered among the best small safes for the home. .

At just 20 pounds, the SentrySafe CHW20205 portable fireproof safe is the ideal solution for someone who wants to be able to secure important documents and small items. Unlike many fireproof safes for the home, this fire safe can be taken with you in an emergency or when the need arises.

This small document safe can be tucked away in the closet.

While it may not be the best fireproof safe for thwarting burglars, it is a waterproof fireproof safe that is portable, easily concealed, and protect against catastrophes.

See current Amazon pricing  of the  SentrySafe CHW 20205 Small Home Safe at:

For more information on SentrySafe CHW20205 Waterproof Fireproof Safes, click on one of the links below or visit The Home Security Advisor.

Get More Details and Current Pricing

SentrySafe CHW 20205 – One of the Best Small Safes for the Home

Best Small Home Safes- SentrySafe CHW20205


Dimensions and Weight

The Sentry CHW20205 Fire & Water Chest is a compact and lightweight safe with dimensions of 6.60′ H x 15.40′ W x 14.30′ D on the outside and 4.40′ H x 12.80′ W x 8.50′ D on the inside. It weighs a mere 20.40 pounds, making it easy to transport and install in various locations.

When considering installation, the carrying handle provided with the safe allows for convenient transportation during the setup process. The lightweight nature of this chest further facilitates its placement in desired areas without much effort.

In terms of storage capacity, this compact fire and water safe offers ample space within its interior dimensions of 4.40′ H x 12.80′ W x 8.50′ D, providing sufficient room for storing important documents, digital media such as tablets or external hard drives, and other valuable items.

The exterior design is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. The sleek and compact design allows for easy integration into any home or office environment.

Additionally, this small home safe exhibits excellent water resistance capabilities as verified by ETL standards, ensuring protection against potential water damage for up to 72 hours.

Overall, it is an ideal choice for individuals seeking a small-sized safe with practical features such as a carrying handle, optimal storage capacity, an appealing exterior design, and reliable water resistance properties during installation processes.


Fire and Water Protection

UL Classified fire rating for 30 minutes up to 1550 degrees F and ETL Verified water protection for up to 72 hours are key features of this small home safe box. It provides reliable fire resistance and water resistance, ensuring the protection of valuable documents and digital media items.

The UL Classified fire rating guarantees that the safe can withstand temperatures of up to 1550 degrees Fahrenheit for a period of 30 minutes, providing ample time for emergency response measures. Additionally, the ETL Verified water protection ensures that the safe remains watertight for up to 72 hours, safeguarding its contents from potential water damage.

In addition to its fire and water protection capabilities, it also offers a measure of digital media protection. This feature is particularly important in today’s digital age, as it allows individuals to securely store their tablets, phones, external hard drives, and other electronic devices within the safe. By doing so, these sensitive electronic items are shielded from both fire and water damage.


Locking Mechanism

The Sentry CHW20205  is equipped with a tubular key lock for secure storage of valuable documents and digital media items. The tubular key lock ensures that the contents of the chest are protected from unauthorized access. This type of locking mechanism provides a high level of security, as it requires a specific key to be inserted into the lock in order to open the chest.

In terms of security, the tubular key lock offers reliable protection for important documents and digital media items. It is designed to prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access to the contents of the chest, ensuring that valuable items are kept safe and secure.

Furthermore, this type of locking mechanism is highly accessible. With the use of a specific key, users can easily unlock and access their stored items. The simplicity and ease-of-use make it convenient for individuals who need quick and easy access to their belongings.

Maintenance for this type of locking mechanism is relatively simple. Regular cleaning and lubrication can help ensure smooth operation and longevity.



Ease of Use and Features

One important aspect to consider when evaluating small home safes is whether or not they provide lighting. This small home safe is equipped with an interior light that makes it easy to locate and identify important items or documents…even in poor lighting conditions.

Itt offers convenient accessibility, thanks to its tubular key lock for security and a carrying handle for easy transportation. With outside dimensions measuring 6.60′ H x 15.40′ W x 14.30′ D, and inside dimensions of 4.40′ H x 12.80′ W x 8.50′ D, this safe provides ample interior storage space of 0.28 cubic feet.

In terms of fire and water protection, the Sentry CHW20205 Fire & Water Chest has a UL Classified fire rating for 30 minutes at temperatures up to 1550 degrees F, ensuring the safety of valuable documents or other items during a fire incident. Additionally, it has ETL Verified water protection for up to 72 hours.

When it comes to delivery options, customers can choose between small package delivery or curbside delivery depending on the weight of the item. Inside delivery options are also available but may require assistance from the customer in pushing the product into their garage.

Overall, the Sentry CHW20205 Fire & Water Chest with Interior Light offers user-friendly features, quick and simple setup, intuitive operation, hassle-free maintenance, and convenient accessibility making it an excellent choice for those seeking a reliable small home safe for their valuables.



Home Safe FAQs

Where should I place my safe?

Where to place portable small home safes?



This is largely dependent on what you are protecting, how often you will need access, the size, and type of the safe, and the size and room available in your home or apartment.

Just make sure that it as accessible as you need to for your own access while still being difficult to find by an intruder- or anyone that you don’t want to be able to access it.

What to store in a home safe ?

Protecting Valuables in Small Home Safes


The items you choose to protect in your home safe will often dictate the size, weight, and capacity of the safe that you choose.  This can vary greatly, but some of the most common items are:


  • Important documents- I.E. a property deed,  car title, a will, home, and health insurance, bank account information, medical records, etc.
  • Guns –  Guns should be secured against unauthorized use- and should really be stored in a more secure safe. 
  • Cash – Having an emergency stash of cash tucked away in a safe can provide some peace of mind in times of trouble.
  • Valuables –  The same thing goes for expensive jewelry, silver, gold, or family heirlooms.
  • Computer Backups-  A large-capacity flash drive or backup drive can be periodically updated to preserve digital data and photos if you don’t want it on the cloud.
  • Keys- A set of spare house or car keys, or keys to a safety deposit box at your bank.
  • ID – Documents such as passports, social security cards, birth certificates, or marriage licenses should be kept in a safe place that can withstand fire or flood.


How do I maintain my safe?

SentrySafe Small Home Safe Maintenance Tips


Safes don’t really require much maintenance. 

However, because fireproof safes are sealed, it is a good idea to use some sort of desiccant to prevent moisture build-up and keep things from smelling musty.

Home Safe Security Recommendations

Top 5 Tips to Keep the SentrySafe SFW123GDC Secure



 SentrySafe SFW123GDC Review - Top 5 Tips to Keep  Home Safes Secure


  • Keep it Locked – Develop the habit of always locking your safe right away.  If the safe isn’t locked, it is nothing more than an organizer for your most valuable items.  You never know when you might be unexpectedly distracted or called away suddenly.


  • Use a Complex Code – Avoid using the year of birth, birth dates, last 4 of social. It is important to pick a code that can’t be easily guessed or that you commonly use.


  • Bolt it Down –   If you take the extra step of bolting it to the wall or floor, it will be far more difficult to remove. Although 100 lbs. might be difficult for you to lift, determined thieves might find it less challenging…


  • Select Strategic Location –  It is usually a good idea to try and keep it hidden and out of view, if possible.


  • Conceal Contents – Keep the contents and the location of your safe to yourself. Never advertise the whereabouts of your safe or what you are keeping in it to others.  If you need to access the safe while others are around, ask that they remain in another area of your home.


Bonus Tip –  Think of a home safe as adding a layer of protection to secure important documents and valuables.  It is one part of a comprehensive home security plan. However, you shouldn’t let having a safe create a false sense of security.  It should be part of a larger commitment to protecting your home, family and valuables.  At a minimum, one should monitor the safe location with security cameras-but, a monitored home security system will ensure that you have optimal protection for the things that matter most.

For a higher level of protection, a top-rated monitored home security system will provide more comprehensive overall home security.  Even the best home safes can be compromised- but adding multiple layers of protection will serve as a more effective deterrent and provide greater peace of mind.

Summary –  The SentrySafe CHW20205 Delivers Outstanding Value


In conclusion, the SentrySafe CHW20205 is a portable small safe for home use that is a reliable and cost-effective option that makes it one of the best safes for the money.

With its UL Classified fire rating and ETL Verified water protection, it offers peace of mind in case of emergencies.

The tubular key lock adds an extra layer of security, while the digital media protection feature ensures the safety of electronic devices.

Additionally, its convenient carrying handle and various delivery options make transportation and installation hassle-free.

Overall, this safe is a practical choice for protecting valuable items in any home.



OUR #1 Pick for the Best Small Home Safe that is Portable

SentrySafe CHW20205




Of course, if you have more specific needs and requirements, we have selected other alternatives that might be better suited to your individual needs and tastes.

Ultimately, a home security safe is only one component of a more comprehensive approach to protecting your home, valuables, and family.  You may wish to also consider checking out our best home security systemsfor additional options.



Alternatives to a Portable Small Home Safe 


Perhaps you have more specialized needs, are considering multipe safes, or are looking for other budget-friendly options.  We have compiled a list of some of the very best safes in a variety of categories that should meet almost anyone’s needs or budget.


Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Is Purchasing the SentrySafe CHW20205 Enough?


While getting a highly-rated small portablewaterproof and fireproof safe to secure important documents,valuables, and cash is a worthwhile investment- you might not want to stop there. When it comes to protecting your home and family, investing a few dollars in a monitored home security system may be the next logical step to protecting the things that are most important to you.

A monitored alarm system can help protect your home and family against many threats.  Among them are break-ins, home invasions, and environmental threats such as fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, floods, frozen pipes, and more.

And it might be much more affordable than you think.

Today’s home security systems are typically wireless and can be either professionally installed by companies like ADT, or self-installed.  DIY systems like Frontpoint, make it even more affordable…and don’t require a long-term contract.

Looking for all the bells and whistles? Companies like Vivint can also serve as the hub for a smart home automation system that includes cameras, doorbell cameras, energy management systems, lighting, and smart locks.

Including your new fireproof safe in a fully integrated security system can take it to the next level, and afford you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your valuables, home, and family are fully protected.


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Thank you for your interest in this Best Small Home Safes – SentrySafe CHW20205 Review.  We hope you found it helpful. If you are looking to enhance the protection of your valuables, home and family, click the button below for our top-rated home security recommendations.


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Last Updated on October 24, 2023 by

Best Small Home Safes – SentrySafe CHW20205 was last modified: October 24th, 2023 by

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