Some Major Changes Regarding SCIF’s

Written by Industrial Security Locking Systems on October 14, 2014. Posted in All Articles

In November of 2012, the ICD 705 regulations went into effect replacing ultimately the DCID 6/9 and the JAFAN. This document was updated in April of 2013 to reflect the current standards we use today regarding SCIF construction. The purpose for the ICD 705 was to give a broad common standard that all US government, military and government contractors could use allowing for cross accreditation between agencies. Since the implementation of the ICD there have been some major changes in protocol as well as construction.

Document Preparation

Before the ICD 705 went into effect, construction of a SCIF did not require much in the way of approved documents prior to construction that would guarantee a well-constructed, secure facility. As long as you documented the steps using the common standards and photographic evidence that you could present at a later time, a spec SCIF could be built. That is no longer the case.

There are many documents that need approval from the AO (authorizing organization) prior to any construction being done. Construction plans and documents need to be approved that demonstrate how a certain SCIF level will be achieved in converting an existing space or construction of a new space. These documents include traditional mantrap design to protect observation of the SCIF entry door. The door itself must have a STC 50 sound rating installed. The lock must be an approved UL fire rated lock like the Lockmaster LKM7000/X10.  All exit doors from the SCIF must push out with a one motion egress even with the combo lock spun shut. Walls for a tempest rated SCIF used to be constructed using 9 gauge steel mesh. This can be replaced with 5/8 inch fire rated plywood. This plywood would take the place of one of the 5/8inch drywall layers. The wall foil must be applied according to how each agency prefers for overlapping unto the floor and ceiling. A recent development disallows the use of the GE Sentrol 2707A door contact of the perimeter doors. A class II door contact must be used such as the Magnasphere.

Other documents that have to be presented and approved are the electronic security plan, fixed facility check list and the new Construction Security Management plan. Recently someone asked me regarding SCIFs constructed prior to the ICD 705, whether they would have to be upgraded within a certain time limit. I have not heard anything. However, if the size of the SCIF is altered greater than one third the size, the facility will have to be brought up to the latest standards. If a space previously accredited but sitting de-accredited for longer than a year with no active security system, that space will have to be upgraded. A space that has been de-accredited but has maintained an active alarm system with UL2050 certification can be reaccredited easily.

For any other questions please feel free to contact Mark Jones at

This tutorial was written by Mark Jones.  He has been involved with the secure space field since 2000.  He is a subject matter expert regarding UL681 alarms and UL2050 monitoring.  Mark helped develop and teach the first non-classified SCIF construction management class through Frederick Community College in Maryland. He worked with the Maryland Department of Economic Development  to start the SCIF construction tax credit program. He currently consults on SCIF construction projects nationally and is involved with turnkey delivery of SCIF space in the mid-Atlantic region.

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