Requirements of DEA Compliant Safe


When it comes to running a pharmacy or an addiction treatment center, narcotic safety is paramount. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) requirements should be followed while designing safes. DEA compliant safes are built to satisfy the needs of Schedule I – IV controlled drugs. Drugs and chemicals that the government regulates are referred to as controlled substances. Vaults that have been approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) can also be used to store lawful and medically essential medications. DEA storage rooms are designed to meet a diversity of requirements.

Storing schedule I and II substances requirements

Schedule I and Schedule II materials, such as pentobarbital, should be stored in a secure or sturdy steel cabinet. If the safe or cabinet weighs less than 750 pounds, it should be fastened or secured to a crucial structure. It can be screwed into a concrete wall, floor, or foundation. The closet must contain two doors, one inside and one outside, each of which must be closed in a different way.

Storing schedule III, IV, and V substances requirements

Schedule III, IV, and V narcotics like ketamine and buprenorphine should be kept in two-door, two-lock wall-mountable lockers. Each lock should be secured uniquely. The single padlock box must be kept in a locked drawer with a shackle and padlock. Drawers should be built in the same manner as the bench or cabinet installed on the wall or floor. If the laboratory is not open to the public, always use a locker with a key, which is stored in a locked room drawer.

Cold storage for controlled substances

Use the lockable single lock lockbox in the refrigerator or freezer for storage below 4 ° C. The room should be lockable, and it must be secured at the end of the day.

Secure Ceilings

The DEA also has guidelines for DEA-compliant safe ceilings. The ceiling and walls should be erected in the same direction. Alternatively, the vault might be constructed flush with the camp’s roof.

Common Requirements

  • The vaults’ walls and ceilings must be made of reinforced concrete or “hard” masonry.
  • Trespassing should need 30 “man-hours,” while locking operations should require 20 “man-hours.”
  • Self-closing and self-locking day gates should be installed on the vault door.
  • Sound accumulators and ultrasonography should be incorporated in DEA-compliant safes as alarm and monitoring equipment.
  • A 10 gauge or bigger steel mesh wall erected on a steel post set in concrete, or a wall-mounted with pinned or brazed lab studs and a mesh size of 2.5 inches or smaller, is required for the cage.
  • Depending on the scenario, arched ceilings constructed of lighter steel mesh or permanent cells at the top of the storage facility may be required.
  • Cage doors with automatic closing and locking mechanisms. Alternatively, a 24-hour monitoring service for cell access on a case-by-case basis.


Reliable safes for controlled substances are essential due to their potential for misuse. The DEA-compliant safes meet the DEA’s most stringent guidelines for practitioners and non-practitioners. It also meets SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) requirements for Federal and State Grants to expand or open a new Narcotic Treatment Clinic.

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