Frequently Asked Questions for Security Containers

The questions below answer some of the most commonly asked questions about security containers. Please see the GSA Global Supply FAQ for general information about GSA Global Supply.

No. GSA Approved Safes and doors are not fire rated or waterproof. For more information on storage of AA&E, contact the DoD Lock Program Technical Support Hotline at 800-290-7607, 805-982-1212, DSN 551-1212, or by visiting DoD Lock Program.

No. GSA does not sell used or refurbished containers or locks. ISOO Notice 2012-04 [PDF] states “Classified information may not be stored in security containers that have been reconditioned, refurbished, or remanufactured …”

No, GSA does not provide credit or accept trade-ins of used GSA Approved containers.

No. Security container items are not available through our Federal Supply Schedule (FSS), Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program. “GSA Approved” vendors listed on the Federal Qualified Product List (QPL) do not have a schedule contract for the security containers. Security containers must be purchased from GSA Global Supply per the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). ISSO Notice 2014-02 [PDF] which requires federal agencies to purchase “GSA Approved” containers using National Stock Numbers (NSNs) through GSA Global Supply. Items may be purchased either on GSA Global Supply or GSA Advantage. GSA Global Supply will be listed as the contractor. GSA Global Supply conducts competitive procurements to ensure compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and other relevant mandates before offering products to its customers. Customers can confidently place simple requisitions with GSA Global Supply for desired items without having to solicit comparison prices from multiple sources since procurement is completed and compliance guaranteed.

It is highly recommended to replace “Black Label” containers. These containers are at least 25 years old and are all nearing the end of their expected life cycle.

Some agencies/commands may have procedures above the minimums described on the Security Equipment Disposal page. Check with your local agency/command to see if they want to keep old locks for parts cannibalization or other reasons.

Please call the DoD Lock Program Technical Support Hotline at 800-290-7607, 805-982-1212, DSN 551-1212, or by visiting the DoD Lock Program website.

No. GSA considers vault doors with the GSA Approval label compliant (provided no other modifications/damage to the door are present) regardless of the other labels. DSS inspectors also follow this criteria and this is the basis for the AR 190-11 provision. Reference ISOO Notice 2014-02 [PDF].

The Style 1 lock (Kaba-Mas) has a digital readout, the Style 2 lock (S&G) has indented numbers and marks. The Style 2 lock has some networkability whereas the Style 1 does not. The Style 1 lock utilizes electromechanical movement of the knob to energize the digital display and does not require batteries, while the Style 2 lock works as an electronic lock from the inside and does require batteries. To learn more about the lock features, please visit the manufacturers’ websites.

Federal Specifications and Qualified Product Lists (QPLs) are located at the NAVFAC Department of Defence (DoD) Lock Program website.

The Information Security Oversight Office (ISSO), 2014-02 notice [PDF] directs customers to purchase the Information Processing System (IPS) containers from our Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) 71 under Special Item Number (SIN) under SIN 489 190. These items are part-number specific to the manufacturer and not National Stock Numbers (NSNs). These items are not currently available for purchase under GSA Global Supply. Reference GSA eLibrary for MAS 71 SIN 489 190 information.

In addition, there are other vendors listed on the Federal Specification, Qualified Products List. These vendors do NOT have a Schedule contract. If you purchased the IPS containers through them, it would be an “open market” purchase versus a “Schedule” buy.

Only GSA authorized inspectors are qualified to inspect and approve a container to be used for the storage of classified materials or weapons. The inspector may place a GSA certification label on the container after determining the equipment has maintained its security integrity.

The cost to recertify a container varies and depends upon the extent of the repairs needed.

To retain an authorized inspector contact MBA or Lockmasters at:

Lockmasters Security Institute
1014 S Main St
Nicholasville, KY 40356

Phone (toll-free): 866-574-8724
Phone: 859-887-9633
Email (training):

200 Orchard Dr
Nicholasville, KY 40356 USA

Phone (toll-free): 888-622-5495
Phone: 859-887-0496
Email (training):

*MBA & Lockmasters are re-training organizations that provide the training for GSA Certified Inspectors. As part of that program, they maintain lists of the certified inspectors located all over the world.

For additional information, please visit NAVFAC Department of Defense Lock Program.

No. Only government agencies can purchase the containers and vault doors through the GSA procurement channel. See “Purchasing Guide” page for information on how to order if you are a Government contractor. In order to receive authorization to provide GSA Approved equipment outside of the procurement channel, please follow the steps outlined in the Non-Government Ordering Process for Security Equipment [PDF - 60 KB].

No. Due to the security level, GSA does not lease the “GSA Approved” safes.

No. GSA does not have contracts for replacement parts. Some replacement parts, including replacement drawer heads for red label containers, are available from the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Safes are made to order. Shipment terms are 90 days, but most vendors ship within 10 to 75 days after receiving the order.

  1. Determine whether the material to be stored in the container is classified or arms, ammunition, and explosives (AA&E). See the Storage Matrix tool on the DoD Lock Program site.
  2. Figure out how much material there is so the size of the container can be selected (e.g. single-drawer, 2-drawer, 4-drawer, or 5-drawer).
  3. Decide how many locks are needed on the container — one per container or one per drawer.
  4. Finally, view the Class 5 and 6 Security Container catalog.

Once you’ve determined which NSN you want to order, you can obtain your official GSA price quote by going to GSA Advantage! or GSA Global Supply.

View the Class 5 and 6 Security Container catalog. These files will list which National Stock Numbers are available for purchase, along with their dimensions, color, and accessories.

All security container orders must come through GSA procurement channels. You may place your order on GSA Global Supply or GSA Advantage! Prices and terms are the same.

When looking up the GSA Unique Entity Identifier in your system, enter and the name will show as Heartland Finance Center.

Designated points of contact at military and civilian agencies work closely with GSA to coordinate the management of Activity Address Codes. To identify your agency coordinator and initiate a request for a new AAC, see the relevant list of liaisons for Civilian Agency AAC contacts [PDF - 106 KB].

AAC stands for Activity Address Code and DoDAAC stands for Department of Defense Activity Address Code. All Military agencies have a DoDAAC and non Military agencies use an AAC. You can get these codes from your finance office or your contracting officer. You can also go to GSA Advantage. Select “Help” (in the top right of the page) for more guidance.

No, you should be able to use an interim AAC (700ADV) to place your order as long as you are paying by Government Purchase Card. If you are utilizing direct payments through the treasury, you will have to obtain an AAC for your specific agency. AACs are set up by each agency individually.

DLA Disposition Service (formerly DRMO/DRMS) handles military property that is no longer needed. Contact them by at 877-352-2255. The GSA approval label must be removed from the container before it is sent to the DLA Disposition Service, so you will need to have the container inspected and (if it passes the inspection) relabeled before it is approved. Find out more about the GSA-Approved Security Equipment Inspection Program.

No. All GSA Approved containers are designed, tested and approved to Federal Specifications. Any modifications of the containers from the approved design invalidates the approval. The limitations on modifications for GSA Approved equipment are found in Federal Standard, FED-STD-809 [PDF]. Para 4.2 Repair states, “GSA approved containers and vault doors that have been opened or repaired in a manner other than as described herein are not considered to have been restored to their original state of security integrity.”

The “Test Certification” label on the inside of the locking drawer or door, and the “General Services Administration Approved Security Container/Vault Door” label on the outside of the container/door will be removed. Therefore, the only approved or allowed modifications are the repairs to neutralization or replacement of parts such as drawer slides and handles.

All FMS orders for containers which require mechanical locks will continue to use the S&G 2937 in accordance with Federal Specification FF-L-2937 [PDF] as there is no limited use requirement. This includes Field Safes, Weapons Containers, and Armory Vault Doors.

Within the DoD, certain materials must be stored in specific ways. For storage requirements, please visit the DoD Lock Program.

For additional questions, Call the DoD Lock Program Technical Support Hotline at 800-290-7607, 805-982-1212, or DSN 551-1212.

Last Reviewed: 2022-11-25