Federal Specification AA-F-363D

Dealing with Un-Insulated Security Filing Cabinets

                Most of the time when people think of secure containers, they think of safes and vaults. More rarely, do they think of filing cabinets, however as we know, filing cabinets are an important part of many businesses and organizations for their security operations. Filing cabinets can be put in far more places than a safe or vault, they don’t have to be hidden away but that doesn’t mean they’re not capable of being secure. Many security cabinet designs are made of strong material and have good locks on them. Since they are useful, the federal government and the General Services Administration (GSA) have devised a Federal Specification to dictate and guide the construction and placement of un-insulated security filing cabinets; the specification is called AA-F-363D.


                This federal specification was developed by the Furniture Commodity Center which is a part of the Federal Supply Service which is under the GSA. The specification was lat updated in June of 2001 and covers un-insulated security filing cabinets. These cabinets are designed to conform to the standards set for physical security for the classification, declassification, downgrading and safeguarding of national security information. The specification details all aspects of construction and purpose.

                The specification also details how the cabinets should be classified and what models fall under the authority of the standard.

                For Class 5 cabinets; the standards are as such:

                Resistant to 20 man-hours of surreptitious entry

                Resistant to 30 man-minutes of covert entry

                Resistant to 10 man-minutes of forced entry

                Class 5 is also divided into types; Type I is considered size I with hangers and suspensions. Type II is considered size I/II/IV with no hangers or suspensions.

                The standards for Class 6 models are as follows:

                Resistant to 20 man-hours of surreptitious entry

                Resistant to 30 man-minutes of covert entry

                No forced entry requirements

                Class 6 models are also divided into types; Type I/size I with hangers and suspension, Type II/size I/III without hangers and suspension and Type III/size V with drawers for flat filing.

                There are also specific styles; for example, the Class 5/Type II/size II cabinets shall be of the following styles; Style A: with channel base assembly and Style B: without channel base assembly.

                The specification also requires combination locks which must adhere to the requirements of FF-L-2740A. There are also different military standards that must be followed when the cabinets are used in non-civilian organizations. The specification also covers all requirements; from the construction materials used, the tests against forced entry, the face hardware and finishing materials.

                This GSA link provides a complete breakdown of the specification and is the best source for exploring the rules, regulations and standards that any contractor needs to abide by.

                Here at www.safeandvault.com we offer the products that fulfill all the needs of the specification. We have GSA approved Class 6 file cabinets. We also have Class 5 GSA approved file cabinets.

                We’re doing this series on federal specification because we believe that our customers deserve the best. Not just the best products but you also deserve all the knowledge we can give you. If you work for the government; as an employee, contractor or either wise and you are responsible for secure storage, then you need to be aware of and ready to respond to all relevant specifications.