Security of Hazardous Materials

Laboratories need to take specific actions in order to provide security against theft of highly hazardous materials, and to ensure compliance with new and existing regulations. The Department of Environmental Health & Safety (DEHS) urges each unit (college, department, research group) to review and develop procedures to ensure the security of all hazardous materials in their area of responsibility.

Many laboratories already implement various means of security, including locking up controlled substances, syringes, needles, and radioactive materials. Additionally, DEHS asks that a review and assessment of the hazardous materials in each laboratory is considered and security issues addressed. The intent is to minimize the risk of theft, especially targeting the five-minute window when the lab is left unattended. One easy way to increase security is to make sure that your laboratory door is locked whenever the lab is left unattended, even for a few minutes. The following are suggestions that can be implemented to increase the level of security in labs.

Please be aware that some labs may have additional, mandatory security requirements beyond what is recommended below due to the type of work being performed (i.e. biological select agent work or radioactive materials work).

Questions regarding hazardous materials security may be addressed to the Chemical Hygiene Officer at or call 302-831-8475.