What are most types of narcotic cabinets constructed from and why is this the best material?
In general virtually every model and style of a narcotic cabinet used in a hospital or health care facility will be made of steel. Some will be constructed of stainless steel while others will be of 18 to 22 gauge steel. Generally the larger the gauge number of the steel the heavier and more secure the cabinet will be. Steel is resistant to fire and damage by water, plus it is very difficult to cut or pry apart at seams and joins, making this an almost impenetrable type of cabinet without the keys to open the locks. Even the doors are fitted to closely meet with the cabinet frame, preventing little option for wedging or prying on the narcotic cabinet.
In addition many of the steel narcotic cabinet doors come with full length stainless steel hinges, sometimes known as piano hinges. Having these long hinges down the door prevents the pin from being removed to allow anyone to gain access to the cabinet.
What are some additional features that should be considered when purchasing a narcotic cabinet?
Additional safety features to a standard one door, one lock type of narcotic cabinet can include adding additional locks as well as adding additional doors. Two door cabinets have a different key for each door, both which are independently locked of each other. Double doors also prevent anyone from tampering with the exterior door and immediately gaining access to narcotics within.
Keys that cannot be removed when the door is in the open position provide safety as well. This feature means that keys cannot be taken out of the locks unless the door is secured and in the correct locking position. Warning lights that stay on when the door is open provide a quick way for staff to check that the door is locked and in the correct position before walking away or leaving.
How can a smaller sized narcotic cabinet be made safer within a medical supply room?
Some of the smallest narcotic cabinet models are only 10 by 7 by 7 and may weigh just 5 pounds, very easy to pick up and carry without much effort. In order to prevent this from happening, several security measures can be added. The easiest is to keep these smaller narcotic cabinet models within pre-existing locking cabinets, cupboards or medicine storage areas. This prevents anyone not on staff from having access to the areas where the narcotics are located and stored.
The second option is to also mount the smaller sized narcotic cabinet to a wall, countertop or shelf. Many come pre-drilled with mounting brackets for easy installation. Securing the narcotic cabinet to a permanent surface means it cannot be moved without having the key to access the bracket and screws holding the unit in place.