Providing secure access to hospital drug safes


Providing secure access to hospital drug safes banner
Project by
Grafton, Auckland
Year of completion
Auckland City Hospital
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Based in Auckland, Challenger Safes operates across New Zealand, Australia and the rest of the Asia–Pacific region. In business for over 30 years, the company supplies a wide range of secure storage options for residential, commercial, corporate and government clients.

Their Drug Safes come in standard sizes – 350mm, 600mm, 800mm and 1400mm high – as well as custom dimensions up to the size of a small room. Doors can be hinged on either the right or left side of the safes, which are powder coated with a special Dulux additive known as Clinikill. This has an antimicrobial effect against many strains of bacteria and fungi, and is particularly suited to sterile environments.


Challenger Safes was tasked with providing a controlled drug storage solution for New Zealand’s largest public hospital. Moving away from the inefficiency of mechanical keys, the hospital needed the safes to be linked into its access control system so that approved staff could use their existing swipe cards.

The hospital also wanted more flexibility in safe placement, without the need to run cabling to a range of pharmacy locations. To achieve this, Challenger looked to a wireless lock from ASSA ABLOY to pair with their Controlled Drug Safes.

Providing secure access to hospital drug safes


We worked with the ASSA ABLOY team to fit the Aperio wireless locking system to the full set of our New Zealand-made Drug Safes,’ says Challenger Safes Senior Security Consultant Brenda Manion. The reader inside the Aperio lock is compatible with most major access control systems for seamless integration.

Locks link to a local hub and relay back to the hospital security team for management. The wireless lock suits a range of applications, from drug safes, drawers and cupboards through to general door locks, allowing the hospital to expand its wireless lock solution over time.

The hub has a range of around 25 metres, and one hub can control up to 16 different locks. In the event of emergency or loss of power to the access control system, there is a mechanical override key associated with a senior level of authority, allowing approved staff to manually open the drug safes.

Some of the safes were hard-wired to the hospital access control system, fixing the safes to their locations, so that moving a drug safe incurred rewiring costs. As a wireless system –with the RFID card reader built into the Aperio lock – the new solution enables the hospital to move safes to new locations.

More control, reduced operating costs

The Aperio system has led to reduced operating costs, detailed user audit trails, and remote access control management for a flexible number of safes/locks.

As the drug safes no longer require cabling, they can be easily moved, with additional door locks added to the system when required.

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Providing secure access to hospital drug safes

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Providing secure access to hospital drug safes

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