Locking Cabinet Features & Applications

A locking cabinet is a secure storage solution where access is controlled via a key and/or electronic code. Depending on its use, you are likely looking for a solution with specific features. A file cabinet, a medication cabinet, a garage cabinet, or a key storage cabinet are a few examples of a locking cabinet. Granted they all provide a lockable storage solution, they come in various sizes, shapes, materials, and colors.

Small Wall Mounted Locking Cabinet - Angle

To help you choose the right solution, consider the essential locking cabinet features and applications.

Features & Specifications

When considering the features, it will be helpful to answer the following questions:

  • What are you using the locking cabinet for?
  • What size are you looking for?
  • Do you need drawers or shelves?
  • Do you need a locking cabinet or a safe?
  • Is it for indoor or outdoor use?
  • Do you want a standalone, surface, or wall mounted locking cabinet?
  • What type of materials suit your needs?
  • Which color or lock type fits your needs?


First and foremost, determine what you will be using the locking cabinet for. When searching for a locking cabinet, you can find models ranging from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. Not all locking cabinets are built the same nor are they comparable in terms of compliance, quality, or materials.

There are industrial, commercial, and consumer models.  Consumer models tend to be more affordable, while commercial and industrial models are often of higher quality for better durability and have a higher price tag. Furthermore, depending on what you are storing, the locking cabinet may have been designed for regulatory compliance.

Even though our secure storage solutions are ideal for storing medications in healthcare and clinical settings, our solutions can be used to secure other critical items in veterinary clinics, ambulances, construction, schools, military housing, aerospace, and corporations.

Exterior & Interior Size

Locking cabinets range from tall standalone locking storage cabinets for the garage and/or industrial use to small locking cabinets for interior rooms.  Consider how deep, tall, and wide the locking cabinet needs to be for your storage purpose. The dimensions of the locking cabinet will directly influence the interior storage space.

Riemer Systems offers locking cabinets with the following exterior dimensions:

  • Small Wall Mounted Locking Cabinet – 4.25″D x 12″W x 12″H
  • Medium Wall Mounted Locking Cabinet – 6″D x 14″W x 15″H
  • Large Wall Mounted Locking Cabinet – 8″D x 16″W x 18″H
  • Tall Wall Mounted Locking Cabinet – 4.25″D x 14″W x 22.75″H
  • Hallway Compliant Wall Mounted Locking Cabinet 14” W x 22-3/4” H x 4” D

Drawers vs. Shelves

Determine if you need drawers or shelves. Locking cabinets with drawers are best for file storage, while locking cabinets with shelves are better for large and/small critical items. Some locking cabinets already have the shelves in place, while others may be adjustable.  

Depending on the size, our locking cabinets comes with two or three pre-installed shelves.

Locking Cabinet vs. Safe

A locking cabinet is different than a safe. A safe has thicker walls and doors, is fire resistant, more expensive, and typically used for highly sensitive information or high-value items. A locking cabinet has thinner walls, is not fire-resistant, and is more suitable for critical item storage such as keys and/or medications.

Our secure solutions are locking cabinets, not safes. They are not fire-resistant.

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Locking cabinets that are designed for outdoor use need to be weather resistant, keep moisture out, and are suited for various temperatures. Often, outdoor locking cabinets are very small and are well suited for realtors and/or contractors who need to securely store keys. Other locking cabinets are designed for indoor use and are often larger.

Our locking cabinets are intended for indoor use only.

Standalone, Surface, vs. Wall Mounted

Depending on the space, you may want a standalone, surface-mounted, or wall-mounted locking cabinet. If you are looking for industrial storage, a standalone cabinet will likely be best. If you have a flat surface like a countertop and cart, a surface-mounted locking cabinet would work better. If you have limited flat surfaces and need to secure the locking cabinet, a wall-mounted locking cabinet is the way to go.

Our locking cabinets can be surface mounted, or wall-mounted. The locking cabinet can be used as standalone cabinet. However, it is less secure when it is not mounted, so most of our customers choose to mount their locking cabinet to a surface/wall. If you need a portable solution, our Portable Electronic Control Box is a great alternative to our locking cabinets.


Steel, plastic, and polyethylene are just a few of the possible materials. The material will directly influence fire resistance, temperature range, durability, abrasion resistance, etc.

The material the cabinet and door are made of is an important consideration depending on its use. A steel locking cabinet is gray and hides the items inside, while a PVC cabinet may have a clear door that is see-through so the items inside are visible.

Our wall mounted locking cabinets are made of PVC construction, which provides a clean, crisp look when mounted on the wall. At Riemer Systems, our locking cabinets come with four different door types:

  • Clear Door: Ideal when you need to see & know exactly where items are.
  • White Door: Provides privacy when you need it.
  • Frosted Door: Provides HIPAA compliance by protecting patient information.
  • Simulated Wood Grain: Provides a homey feel for long-term care.

Lock Type

Some boxes lock automatically, require an electronic code, require a key, or even require two keys! You will want to consider which lock type is appropriate, how many user codes you will need, and if an audit trail is required for compliance.

Browse our locking cabinets online and customize it to fit your needs. If you don’t find a product on our website that meets your needs, contact us and let us know what you are looking for and we can develop a solution for you.

Riemer Systems offers 3 different lock options to fit your needs (How to Choose the Right Lock for Your Locking Cabinet). Our self-locking lock automatically locks when the door is shut. Our manual/shared use lock is like a hotel safe that allows for a revolving user code, so that multiple users can use the lock without having to reprogram the lock. This is great when you have patient turnover or individuals on various shifts who require access. Our audit trail lock provides a time and date stamped record also. 

Riemer Systems Locking Cabinet Applications

These are a few examples of how our customers have used our locking cabinets. If you are a customer who has used our locking cabinet in another way, we would love to hear more about its application.

Hospital Nurses

Hospitals and medical centers use the Wall Mounted Locking Cabinets for secure medication storage in the patient rooms. The Wall Mounted Locking Cabinet enables nurses to re-use multi-use patient medications and ointments. Hospitals often choose the standard self-lock that requires a code to open and automatically locks when the door is shut with either a clear door for visibility or a frosted door for HIPAA compliance.

Surgeons & Hospital Surgical Departments

Our Portable Electronic Control Box (PECB) is designed to be mounted on anesthesia carts to store medications safely, securely, and conveniently on the cart. It enables anesthesiologists to save time and money by not having to transport drugs back to the pharmacy when the surgery is delayed while adhering to JCAHO compliance standards

veterinary clinic 4-3

Veterinarians & Veterinary Clinics

Veterinary clinics store a variety of medications to vaccinate and treat animal patients. With both federal and state regulations, veterinary hospitals are held to the same standards as hospitals and pharmacies. For secure medication storage at room temperature, veterinary clinics often choose the small, medium, or large Wall Mounted Locking Cabinet with a frosted or white door.

Home Care

LTC Caregivers, Nurses, & Pharmacists

LTC facilities use the Wall Mounted Locking Cabinets in patient rooms so caregivers can re-use multi-use patient medications/ointments, reduce pharmaceutical costs, increase safety, and increase efficiency. LTC Pharmacies use our portable electronic lock box with tracking software as a narcotic lock box and/or prescription lock box to improve DEA compliance, secure medications, and track prescriptions every step of the way.

Senior taking medication

VA Medical Center Nurses

Similar to LTC facilities, VA Medical Centers use the Wall Mounted Locking Cabinets in patient rooms so caregivers can re-use multi-use patient medications/ointments. Furthermore, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Veterans Affair (VA) Medical Centers faced the challenge of improving infection control by storing medications, creams, and ointments close to the patient rooms but outside of the infectious zone. The Hallway Wall Mounted Locking Cabinet is slimmer in design with the lock on the side of the box instead of the front. It projects no more than 4 inches from the wall (View the Hallway Compliant Keyless Wall Mounted Locking Cabinet).

Correctional Institutions, School, and Military Housing Nurses

Correctional institutions,  schools, and military housing often have a nurse who needs to secure medications and other critical items in a sanitary environment. These customers have ordered our Wall Mounted Locking Cabinets in various sizes with either the shared/manual use lock and/or the audit trail lock.

Aerospace & Aviation Maintenance Technicians

Aerospace, air force bases, military bases and aviation companies need secure storage for critical aviation parts and tools. Our locking cabinets with an audit trail secure these items, allow individuals on different shifts appropriate access, and provides a record of access. Furthermore, storing critical aviation parts and tools in the same place can help maintenance professionals stay organized and increase productivity.

Construction Contractors

Construction contractors have purchased our locking cabinet with an audit trail to secure critical parts, tools, and keys and provide a time/date stamped record of access.

Management & Employers

In some cases, your management team may need to control usage of items from shift to shift. Some companies need to control usage of sensitive materials, while other may have more unique needs like controlling the usage of billiard balls for the pool table in their game room.

Hotels Managers

Hotel managers have ordered our wall mounted locking cabinets for secure storage of keys and other critical items behind the main desk. Our locking cabinets also provide hospitality employees secure storage for the phones, wallets, and other critical items when they are working. Thieves sometimes sneak into employee only areas to scope out and take the workers possessions. The manual/shared use lock provides access to various shifts and the audit trail will take security a step further with a time/date stamped record of access.

Browse Medication Locking Cabinets

Shop our medication lock boxes online. If you are buying in bulk, please request a quote for a quantity discount. If you don’t find a product on our website that meets your needs contact us and let us know what you are looking for and we can develop a solution for you.