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Quick overview: School door lockdown and devices

School door lockdowns – A school’s safety plan must include effective school door lockdowns. They support initiatives to prevent theft, anti-social conduct, and other unlawful behaviors in addition to assisting in the protection of students, staff, and visitors during emergencies. This article will help you safeguard your school by explaining the significance of school door lock systems and walking you through the different options and interfaces with other school safety technology.

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Key vs. keyless school security door locks

In 2019–20, 97% of schools have some type of door lock for school safety, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. You undoubtedly already know that key-operated door locks, which need a physical key to open, are prevalent in many contexts, including schools, despite the fact that they may seem outmoded in comparison to keyless school safety door locks. Although they still provide high levels of security, key-operated locks may be trickier to operate than keyless school security door locks.

There are many reliable keyless school safety door locks on the market since access control system technology and software have advanced significantly over the last decade or two. Keyless locks do not require keys and instead use a variety of electrical devices to control access. These electronic school security door locks have shown to be a wise investment for schools and colleges because they’ve increased security, made user experience simpler, and provided a strong return on investment over time. After discussing school door locks for both interior and exterior use, you can look more closely at each type of key and keyless lock later in this tutorial.

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Exterior school security door locks

A lot of people enter and exit schools through exterior school access points, which are located along the building’s perimeter. As a result, school safety door locks at outside access points must be simple to operate and maintain while still being in compliance with building and fire requirements. The majority of keyless entry devices are compliant and simple to operate in an emergency. Don’t overlook the use of panic bars, which offer a speedy escape route.

interior school security door locks
When it comes to interior school door locks, you should be aware that classroom security locks, as well as locks for staff rooms, offices, and other restricted places, will be necessary. All of these spaces’ door locks must be simple to operate and maintain during lockdowns and emergencies. The security lock for the classroom, for instance, should be simple for teachers to operate from within. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 1 in 4 public schools in the United States lacked classroom doors that could be secured from the inside in 2019–20. This puts the teacher or staff member at danger because they would have to leave the classroom in the event of an emergency to lock the door. In addition to having classroom security locks that can be operated from inside the room, first responders must be unhindered while entering such areas without the proper credentials, and these door locks must also comply with building and fire requirements.


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Types of classroom door locks and devices

Cylindrical lever locks
most frequently used for internal school doors with low security requirements. These school safety door locks are known as cylindrical lever locks because they have door handles on both sides of the door and a little cylinder in their mechanism.


Easy for users to use and quick to install and maintain.
obtainable in a variety of styles to accommodate various designs.

Maintaining and renewing school keys for this kind of lock might be a significant effort, and associated expenses could rise quickly.
If the key to a school door lock is lost, the school’s security may be jeopardized if it ends up in the wrong hands.
lacks the capability for more sophisticated security systems, such as remote door unlock.
mortise locks
Mortise locks, which are frequently employed to prevent forceful entry, have a striking plate and a deadbolt that is located inside the lock’s mechanism. These door locks for school safety are typically seen on exterior-facing school doors since they offer greater strength than cylindrical locks, although depending on the thickness of the doors, they can also be used inside.


Heavy-duty and offers excellent defense against repeated use and forced entry.
simple to keep up.
compared to a cylindrical lever lock, a more aesthetically pleasing design.

Due to their weight, these school security door locks must be installed with a significant pocket inside the door. This lock might not be an option for your school’s doors, depending on their thickness and substance.
If a key is misplaced or stolen by an unauthorized person, security may be jeopardized.
Mortise locks, like cylindrical lever locks, lack modern security features like automatic locking that are frequently seen in electronic locks and gadgets.
deadbolt locks
For further security, deadbolt locks are frequently used in conjunction with other styles of school door lock. Deadbolt locks are typically seen on school interior doors, making them a possible choice for classroom security locks.


simple to set up and manage.
Because of its robust construction, it is a secure lock whose strength is unlikely to be quickly undermined.

Deadbolt locks typically need a door thickness of at least 35mm to install properly. This lock might not be appropriate for internal doors in schools, staff rooms, and other areas as a result.
Deadbolt locks, like the school door lock systems mentioned earlier, lack the most recent security measures, and if keys are gained by attackers, the door’s security is put at risk.
Panic bars
In order for students, staff, and visitors to be able to safely exit the building in an emergency, panic bars are a crucial need for schools and colleges. These bars contain a mechanical or electrical dogging mechanism that allows the latches to be held retracted to form the push and pull approach. For use in schools, it is crucial to keep in mind that anyone, from a tiny pupil to a staff member with a disability, may be necessary to utilize a panic bar. As a result, panic bars must be reachable for all users and function with just enough force for most people to be able to release the latch.

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Keyless school door locks and devices

The school door lock and classroom locks are operated by keyless lock solutions, which can be wired or commercial wireless locks. To operate these locks, a device, such as a keypad, RFID reader, or something else entirely, is typically put alongside the door to permit or restrict entry.

Users of access control keypad systems must enter a PIN code to get entry. These kinds of school door lock systems are more frequently used in schools to secure doors to restricted areas like staff rooms, storage areas, or server rooms. Keypads are occasionally used in conjunction with a key-operated lock for enhanced security because they can either provide a single PIN number for all users or different PIN codes for each user.


improved security because you won’t have to worry about misplacing your keys and letting security slip as a result.
Keyless door locks for school safety offer additional security features including automatic locking.
When coupled with the school’s access control system, the security team can receive real-time notifications of situations, enabling them to act promptly.

Users may forget their PIN codes, making it impossible for them to use keypad locks.
PIN numbers must be regularly updated in order to preserve security, as well as when staff members leave their jobs or pupils eventually graduate from school.
When a keypad device is used in conjunction with a key-operated school safety door lock, users must operate both locks in order to obtain access, which can make for a challenging user experience.
RFID key cards and key fobs
RFID key cards and access fobs, which are frequently seen in a variety of situations, are also utilized by schools and colleges to grant students, staff, and visitors access to specific areas within their buildings. These RFID commercial door locks are simple to use and may be opened by merely swiping them in close proximity to a scanner close to the door.


easy to use and maintain.

A badge access system and key cards can both be used.

Can be designed to allow time limitations and unique location permissions. Security professionals can utilize this function to prevent certain users or groups of users, such as students or visitors, from accessing school premises after hours.

The security staff can receive real-time emergency notifications, allowing for a quicker reaction and even an automatic lockdown if necessary.

An activity log for each reader, card, and fob can be retrieved to expedite inquiry timeframes.

If a key card is reported missing or stolen, the security staff can deactivate it, rendering it useless.


Unlike a key card, a key fob is much smaller and cannot contain visual ID information.
Due to its small size, it is vulnerable to injury.
It can be expensive to replace and issue key cards and key fobs, especially if this occurs frequently.
Key cards and key fobs can be cloned using certain devices, compromising security.
Mobile access control
Mobile access control, which is similar to the key card and fob system, enables users, whether they are students, staff, or visitors, to enter restricted places using their mobile devices. The user would only need to swipe or have the mobile device in close contact to the scanner to unlock a door because these mobile devices would already hold the credential information required to access buildings, rooms, and spaces.


Unlike a key card or fob, mobile devices are less likely to be forgotten or lost by a person.
enables security workers to give instructors and staff permission to enter areas where students aren’t allowed, making it easier for them to do so.
Simple management – credentials can be given or cancelled instantly.
Mobile access solutions for college campuses would enable students, who typically carry mobile devices, to visit locations other than only classrooms and lecture halls. Among other facilities, they have access to libraries, labs, and student union areas.
With access control systems like those from Avigilon, mobile access can be coupled with an RFID key card solution on the same school door lock device.

Not all kids may have access to a mobile device, so this is not the best option for K–12 schools.
During school hours, students could enter school buildings through exterior doors without permission.
biometric devices
Biometric devices are an advanced access control solution that offer high levels of security. They require the user to present their fingerprint or a retina scan in order to obtain entry to a guarded area.


As a form of two-factor authentication, it is frequently used in conjunction with another type of access credentials, like mobile access or key cards.
offers a high level of security.
Users wouldn’t have to carry anything about like they would with mobile access control and key card or fob solutions.

An expensive solution to install and run, especially for schools and universities on a restricted budget.
To comply with applicable requirements, the school or institution would need to consider worries about data privacy and the management of sensitive information.

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Types of keyless access control systems

door locks for school lockdowns
It is crucial that educational establishments have a thorough lockdown plan in place because in the worst-case scenarios, security officers may not have any choice but to start a school and classroom door lockdown across a school building or college campus. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 98% of all public K–12 schools had a lockdown practice with their kids that year, and 96% had a documented plan outlining what to do in an emergency.

The kind of school lockdown door locks utilized is a crucial component of a full and trustworthy lockdown plan. To select the best safety locks for interior doors and outside access points, you must select the appropriate lockdown system option for your institution or college. There are two kinds of lockdowns for classroom doors and schools:

Global Lockdown: This system option locks all doors from a single location. Often, the school’s access control system is used for this procedure.

Local Lockdown: This system setting locks certain classroom doors from the inside. This allows the teacher or other staff member in the classroom to choose between locking the door and leaving.

The application determines the best campus security technology for your school or college. The two lockdown alternatives are typically combined, according to security experts and emergency personnel. Simply put, a school building’s perimeter can adopt the Global Lockdown system option, while the interior can adopt Local Lockdown, such as a classroom door lockout.

Barriers for school doors
School door barricade systems, devices, or school door barricade locks are intended to wedge or barricade doors and provide classroom door protection from the inside during an emergency or lockdown scenario to prevent intruders from entering a space such as a classroom as part of a comprehensive school security system. These secondary classroom door lockdown mechanisms, however, have the potential to work against their intended purpose and become hazardous in dire circumstances. The Security Industry Association (SIA) has expressed its worries regarding these school lockdown door barricade devices in an article. The SIA found three major areas of concern:

Such gadgets might bar both escape and first responder assistance.
Several of these door stoppers and classroom door barricades do not adhere to ADA accessibility standards and do not comply with fire code regulations.
Most classroom security locks currently available have lockdown features that would protect students, staff, and visitors. In truth, there have never been instances where an intruder physically entered a locked classroom door in any of the numerous reported occurrences in the United States.

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Key questions to consider when choosing the right school door lock system

Now that you’re aware of the numerous school door locks and security measures, consider the following inquiries when choosing the classroom security locks and school safety door locks that are best for your campus.

Who will use the lock first?

Consider the amount of users, the times they will require access, and how your team will be able to handle school door lock operation if the door lock for school safety needs to be handled by children, school personnel, and guests.

2. How frequently will the lock be used?

It’s crucial to install strong school security door locks on doors that get a lot of use since locks that are used frequently will wear out faster.

3. Can the emergency door locks in the classroom and on the school’s outer doors be opened quickly in an emergency?

Your school’s emergency door locks must be easy to operate in order to secure children and staff during lockdowns and other emergencies.

4. Is it required for doors to lock themselves automatically?

If so, you must look into electronic locks with spring-loaded mortise latches.

5. Would you like a hold-open feature?

During school hours or during a school-wide event, such as an open day, the hold-open capability enables security staff to grant access to classrooms, gym halls, libraries, and other school locations. The school’s security door lock might limit access outside of certain hours.

6. Do you need a tamper-proof feature in your lock system?

This function offers additional defense against individuals attempting to enter a restricted area. It often activates after several unsuccessful efforts to get access, such as via a keypad, and shuts down the item automatically to stop additional attempts.

7. Will your current access control system and your school door lock system need to be integrated?

If so, it’s crucial to talk about which school door lock systems can work with your existing access control setup. For instance, Avigilon Unity works with top lock suppliers including ASSA ABLOY, Allegion, and SALTO.

8. How much money do you plan to spend on new emergency classroom door locks for school security?

This will have the most impact on the door lock you choose for school safety. Calculate the overall cost of buying door locks for your school or college building, and don’t forget to include in future maintenance and upkeep costs as well as any prospective expenditures for integrating the lock system with other school security systems. In order to fund various security upgrades across the campus, schools can also apply for grants for school security.

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