Sure, security is important for everyone and everything, and standard security lock systems may work, but some things require more guarding and safekeeping than others. Therefore, even safes and locks are made differently to suit different security needs.
While there are several safes and locks, GSA-approved security lock systems are rated the best and even recommended to store classified and sensitive materials. Here is everything you need to know about GSA-approved lock systems:
What Are GSA-approved Security Lock Systems?
First off, GSA refers to the US General Services Administration. To imply that lock systems on their safes and containers are GSA-approved means that they have passed the GSA security standards and are certified for use under the GSA-approved security lock systems.
If a company is GSA-certified, they are authorized to sell its security products to the US government through the GSA schedule.
The GSA schedule is some sort of contract that also spells out the required standards for a certain service or product that a vendor intends to provide to the US government.
Through the legal schedules, the GSA ensures that the vendor or company is aware of the legal obligations that come with their dealings with the GSA and what is expected about their products.
This applies to locksmiths who supply GSA-certified safes. Enforcing and implementing security standard regulation is one of GSA’s responsibilities. They, therefore, set the expected standards of safes, locks, vaults, and various government storage containers and equipment.
Although the GSA does not set the standards, the Interagency Advisory Committee on Security Equipment ensures that the GSA is aware of the expected standards.
They then communicate the same to their certified locksmiths. They have to understand the required standards of the safe as listed on the Federal Supply Schedule, their legal obligations regarding the safes, and their dealings with such highly protected products.
What Types Of GSA Security Lock Systems Are There?
GSA systems are categorized into classes. Different classes of GSA-approved safes and containers offer different levels of security.
The GSA classes began at GSA class 1, mainly used to store classified documents with sensitive information safely, and are now up to GSA class 7. This goes to show how fast security solutions are growing.
Locksmiths keep upgrading their skills and products for GSA-approved safes and containers depending on the government’s security needs.
This progression comes with embracing the security lock systems that work and discarding those that do not.
Classes 1,2,3, and 4 have not been manufactured since October 1990. After that, only the GSA classes 5, 6, and 7 were manufactured, and now, class 7 is no longer manufactured, leaving only the class 5 and 6 GSA-approved lock systems.
GSA Class 5 Security Lock Systems
These Class 5 containers have good and trustworthy security locks. They come in different types to diversify their use; some are used as filing cabinets, some are used as weapon containers where weapons are safely stored, and others come in a more digitized form, IPS.
What is Stored In A Safe With A GSA class 5 lock system?
- Valuable minerals and metals such as gold and diamonds
IPS containers are GSA class 5 security lock systems used to store computers safely while the class 5-W is used for weapon storage
GSA Class 6 Lock Systems
The GSA class 6 security lock systems are used to provide higher security. While the class is highly secure, it cannot be used to store classified documents, while the GSA class 6 is made for that.
They are fortified to be used on a ship to provide the necessary protection for classified information.
What’s Stored In The Current GSA Class 6 Security Containers?
- Classified documents
Can GSA Lease GSA-Approved Safes?
No. The GSA does not lease their GSA-approved safe because of the level of security they demand. Their standards are particular to what the government requires for safe storage, and therefore, only the government can use them
Leasing then exposes the secrets and standards only meant for the government’s security lock systems to the public and possibly to people who might not have the government’s best interests at heart.
Therefore, leasing GSA-approved safes would expose the government to danger.
What Makes GSA Lock Systems Safe?
The government’s standards of security are quite high. Since the GSA issues the standards and expectations to the locksmiths, they have to meet them. They ensure that:
The safes should protect against unauthorized entry for over 20 hours of surreptitious entry, 30 minutes of covert entry, and 10 minutes for forced entry.
This shows that the security lock systems are made so that only authorized people and parties can access the contents of the safe or container.
How Do You Know That A Safe Is GSA Approved?
The only way to tell whether or not a safe or container is GSA approved is by checking for its label. Approved lock systems have a GSA label of approval or re-certification.
They cannot be used without the label since it shows that they are safe for use and meet the required standards per the FSS.
Who Makes GSA-Approved Security Lock Systems?
Not everyone can make the GSA lock systems as per the FSS requirements. Therefore, the GSA chooses a few locksmiths whose quality of security locks is remarkable and entrusts them with making the safety locks, container locks, and other locks for their offices and buildings.
The GSA must ensure that the locksmiths pass the required tests and training courses.
They conduct a thorough background check to ensure that the locksmith is legally fit to work with the GSA and then train them on the required standards and what is lawfully expected.
At Affordable Lock, we are GSA certified, and we are known for quality when it comes to security lock systems. Call us today for the best locks!