New Schlage Lever Lock with Built-in Alarm

March 2, 2012
Schlage's FE51 grade 2 lever lock contains both a deadlocking latch for security and an alarm system in the same unit. Whenever the door knob/lever is disturbed, the FE51 will sound a 90 db alarm for approximately 15 seconds.

Reduced to the basics, commercial locks are designed to prevent or deter someone from entering a premises while alarms are designed to indicate when someone has already entered a premises.   Locksmiths have always taken the position that a good lock, correctly installed, is the best defense against forced entry while alarm companies have thrived by telling people that a mechanical lock is not enough protection. This argument will go on indefinitely, but Schlage now has a solution for the problem which will stop the alarm people in their tracks. 

The new Schlage FE51 grade 2 lever lock contains both a deadlocking latch for security and an alarm system in the same unit. The FE51 contains a sensor unit. The lockset has three different settings.  The "Tamper Alert" setting is the most sensitive. Whenever the door knob/lever is disturbed, the FE51 will sound a 90 db alarm for approximately 15 seconds.  The unit has modern styling which will upgrade the looks of any residential door but the element of surprise comes when a burglar moves the lever and the alarm sounds before any attempt at forced entry has been made.   

According to FBI reports, an estimated 2.1 million burglaries took place in the U.S. during 2010. Burglaries are classified as the unlawful entry of a structure. Approximately 60 percent of these burglaries involved forcible entry, 30 percent involved entry where no force was used and the remaining percentage involved attempted forcible entry. Finally, the FBI states that a burglary occurred in the U.S. during 2010 every 14.6 seconds.  As the alarm begins sounding after movement of the lever, a Schlage FE51 can make the difference between being another forced entry statistic or sending a would-be burglar away empty-handed.


Cutouts required in the door are identical to the Schlage "F" series locksets. The crossbore hole must be 2 1/8" in diameter and the edge bore for the latch must be a 7/8" hole.  A drive-in face cap is included. The standard latch face can be removed and replaced with the round drive-in face cap. Drive-in face caps require a 1" edge bore.  The "F" latch contains two hub settings and is automatically interchangeable for either 2 3/8" of 2 3/4" backsets.  Replacement of an existing cylindrical key-in-knob of lever lock with an FE51 lock with built-in alarm requires no extra drilled holes or door remortising.    

Two AAA batteries are required for the alarm operation. Two batteries are included in the FE51 package. The two AAA batteries must be installed in the battery brackets on the inside trim plate before installing the new lockset on the door.  After initial installation the alarm function must be activated.  Press the "Schlage" button inward and hold for approximately five seconds. The alarm will be set to an activated condition when the section around the Schlage button illuminates.     

Alarm Functions

There are three possible alarm settings: Activity, Tamper and Forced (entry).  The factory-set setting is Forced Entry.

*Activity: This setting is used to monitor doors and alert the homeowner who may be caring for either very small children, an elderly parent or someone with special needs. The FE51 alarm will beep twice whenever the door opens or closes regardless of whether the lock is in the locked or unlocked mode.  After the alarm sounds, and after a three second delay, the alarm is automatically reset.

*Tamper Alert:  This is the most sensitive setting. The Tamper Alert setting detects any subtle movement of the lever handle.  Even though the door remains in a closed and secure position, an alarm will sound for approximately 15 seconds at a 90 decibel noise level. The alarm will sound regardless of whether the lock is in a locked or unlocked position. A built-in 60 second delay allows the building occupant to normally exit and lock the door without causing the alarm to sound.

*Forced Entry: Alarm will sound only if significant force is exerted against the door such as someone trying to kick the door in. The alarm will then sound continuously for approximately three minutes.

In all cases, if the alarm sounds, the alarm can be turned off by pressing on the "Schlage" button for a short time until the alarm sound ends.

The FE51 has five sensitivity levels. Level 1 has the highest sensitivity (most sensitive) and level 5 has the lowest sensitivity ( least sensitive). To set sensitivity, press the Schlage button until the LED light in the button flashes three times (about 10 seconds), then release the button.  The FE51 is now set to program the sensitivity. Now tab the Schlage button to cycle through the sensitivity levels. After each tab, the alarm will chirp one to five times indicating which sensitivity level has been set. Once the level has been chosen, the alarm will chirp once more indicating the end of the sensitivity setting cycle.

To set the alarm function, press the Schlage button until the LED light in the button flashes once (approximately 2 seconds). Now tab the Schlage button to cycle through the alarm settings. When the left LED light flashes, the Activity Alert is set. When the middle LED light flashes, the Tamper Alert is set. When the right LED flashes, the Forced Entry alert is set.

Schlage instructions indicate that battery life should be approximately three years.  If the left and right LED lights blink periodically, it is an indication that the battery strength is low and only about 30 days of battery life is left.  Interior trim must be removed to install new batteries.

Imagination has been curtailed in the mechanical lock industry as many companies move instead to make competitive but similar products. The Schlage FE51 with built-in alarm is a product with an idea which differentiates itself from the pack; a new product with features of interest for your customers.

For further information contact your local locksmith distributor or call Schlage at 888-805-9837.