Lockdown Solutions For Schools, Universities And Government Facilities

Aug. 2, 2013
The NAPCO Security Group -- Continental Access, Alarm Lock and Marks USA -- offers lockdown products ranging from mechanical classroom Intruder LocDown locksets to electronic standalone locking access, locking with key fob and panic button, to enterprise integrated systems with global lockdown capability.

In response to recent school tragedies, lockdowns are becoming a household word more common to a wider segment of our society.

Lockdowns may be used to prevent a crime from occurring or to mitigate further disorder. There are several definitions of the term lockdown. The primary meaning is to prevent escape of individuals or information.

Lockdowns are also used to protect people inside a facility from attackers.

So a lockdown can prevent entry, egress or both. It can be virtual by means of network controls; it can be enforced by fighter pilots, it can be or suggested by a municipality and ostensibly enforced by martial law.

There are different levels of door lockdown. A partial lockdown may involve a specific door, for example the door to a classroom, or a group of doors, for example the exterior doors to a building. A full lockdown could involve all the doors in a building or on a campus.

For most people, the term “lockdown” entered their vernacular Sept. 11, 2001, when American airspace was locked down for three days in the wake of the World Trade Center attack. More recently the City of Boston was locked down for a day until the remaining bomber brother was apprehended.

For many individuals who have been involved with national security, lockdowns became a way of life several decades earlier when attacks on United State Embassies occurred in various parts of the world. Those incidents prompted the surrounding of government buildings with concrete barricades the installation of high security door locks, the stationing of Marines, and the deployment of lockdown systems whose intent was to seal the attacker inside the facility along with an armed welcoming committee.

In correctional facilities, a lockdown period is a daily occurrence, and a full lockdown is employed in the event of a riot or uprising.

In healthcare, federal guidelines call for lockdowns during the following emergency situations:

  • Power failure
  • Earthquake
  • Flooding 
  • Fire
  • Bomb threat
  • Hostage event
  • Active shooter

Occasions for preventing both entry and exit from a hospital may include:

External contamination

Civil disturbance

Abduction of an infant or child

The NAPCO Security Group is a New York-based company which is comprised of several companies, each of which are involved in security and access control. Alarm Lock, Marks USA and Continental Instruments are well known within the industry for their quality products innovative technology and hands-on tech support and customer service. Collectively their products are designed to meet end-user requirements for features and they run their companies with their loyal dealer bases’ success as a priority.

Demand for lockdown solutions is increasing, and NAPCO Security Group has responded with what some refer to as a scalable set of solutions, which NAPCO calls their tiered approach.  These include:

  • Enterprise Integrated System with Global Lockdown & Threat Levels (Continental CA 3000 Enterprise Software)
  • Electronic Standalone Locking Solutions with Local down (Alarm Lock Trilogy p/DL 4100/4500 Series)
  • Electronic Standalone Locking Solutions with Keyfob & Panic Button Lockdown (Trilogy Locks with Keyfob &/or panic Option)
  • Wireless Network locking Solutions with Global Lockdown (Trilogy Networx P/DL6100, 6500, 7100 Series)
  • Small Access System With Global Lockdown (Networx NetPanel & Wireless Keypad Solutions)
  • Mechanical Classroom Intruder Lock Down Solutions (MarksUSA LocDown Series)

We contacted representatives from Alarm Lock, Continental Instruments and Marks USA to get firsthand information on their technologies and products. Following are the Ledger’s questions and their answers.

Schramme: Continental Instruments Corporation

First we interviewed Scott Schramme, VP Sales, Continental Access Control, and got a full report on Continental CA 3000 Enterprise Software.

Which markets do you consider are candidates for lockdown systems?

Schools, K-12 and University Hospitals

Which CIC systems offer the lockdown feature? 

All CA3000 software offers Lockdown. Continental Access offers five different levels of Lockdown, through software, card reader, pushbutton and full scripting. With the five levels. one can do a complete lockdown where no badges work, or only allow certain access groups access.

What is scripting? 

Scripting gives us the capability to write a code to do a specific functionFor example, I can write code to allow a certain card to enable a Lockdown.

What features does your product provide? 

Lockdown by area and allow access by groups of badge holders 

Does the CIC lockdown interface with Alarm Lock’s lockdown products? 

Yes, once Continental flashes the AL Networx Locks, these locks become Continental panels.

How is the flashing accomplished?

With a firmware download to the lock

Is a credential designated as the lockdown token, or a reader or specific readers? 

Either way or both. A specific reader or a specific card can do a lockdown.

How can you assist the end-user begin the process of assessing their needs and implementing a security management plan with lockdown as an element of the solution?  

SS: Either a Continental representative or a Continental VAR will assist to properly assess their lockdown needs.

Swoope: Alarm Lock Systems

With Alarm Lock products, global lockdown can be implemented in seconds, activated from the server or Trilogy® Networx™ Lock. Ledger interviewed  Bob Swoope, Vice President Sales - Alarm Lock Division;

Which markets do you consider are candidates for lockdown systems? 

Schools are the logical choice given the gravity of recent tragedies. But really any vertical market in the retail or government  sector as well.

What products does Alarm Lock offer as a lockdown solution? 

Alarm Lock offers several standalone solutions as well as wireless access control systems that allows for wireless remote programming of up to 2,000 locks using our free DL Windows software. We can also integrate withContinentalCA3000 Enterprise Software.

What features does your product provide? 

The ability to Lockdown up to 2,000 locks within 10 seconds from the PC, the lock itself and, in the near future, from a keyfob. Networx is a wireless standalone access control system allowing the ability to lock down an entire system of up to 2,000 locks in less than 10 seconds. 

The Networx system uses Gateways (encrypted radio transmitters) connected to the customers’ existing IT network to communicate to the Networx wireless locks using an encrypted 900Mhz radio signal. When there is a lockdown situation, the end user can lock down their system from the PC or from any lock within the system as long as they have been authorized. The gateways must be set with static IP addresses and the IP tables downloaded to each gateway. 
A third way to lockdown will be added in the near future allowing a key fob to deploy global lockdown.

How can you assist the end-user begin the process of assessing their needs and implementing a security management plan with lockdown as an element of the solution?  

We have regional sales managers and reps across the country trained in making professional sales presentations, demonstrations and surveys.  We also offer free online software certification videos available to the locksmith or the end user.  We can also conduct on-site certification training for a very reasonable cost to the end user.


Locksmith Ledger interviewed Bill Sporre, VP, sales and marketing. Marks USA. The Marks USA LocDown Series provides mechanical classroom intruder lockdown solutions.

Sporre has been with Marks USA for 30 years and has helped in developing locksets that meet both the designs and durability needed to meet security demands of school facilities. Marks USA is specified in Los Angeles School District, New York City schools, Dade County School District, Denver Public Schools, Washoe County Schools District, to name a few.

Which markets do you consider are candidates for lockdown systems? 

All school facilities are the core market, but actually any facility that needs to secure access (i.e. Office, Retail, and Government).

What products does MarksUSA offer as a lockdown solution? 

Marks USA manufactures a complete line of cylindrical and mortise locksets that allows teachers to lock their classroom doors from the inside in the case of emergency, with a series of LocDown function locksets.

What features does your product provide? 

Features of the Marks LocDown locksets are:

  • Economical – cost effective, easy installation
  • Lifetime mechanical warranty
  • Adapts to the existing keying system – both IC core or conventional cylinders
  • Available in all lever and escutcheon trim designs

How can you assist the end-user begin the process of assessing their needs and implement a security management plan with lockdown as an element of the solution?

Marks USA has a network of Regional and local trained sales representatives that will set up training and presentations to facilities to present them security options that will adapt both to their facilities and budget.

The NAPCO family of companies have addressed the control of access security to the school facilities with a program the will help them secure their locations by offering solutions that will work within their financial capabilities. All of these companies have security access product to address school security and through shows, webinars, and direct school presentations will help these facilities in their solutions choices.

All three companies (Marks USA, Alarm Lock and Continental Access) have worked addressing solutions to securing facilities for many years and have hands-on sales people who are aware of what these facilities need and more importantly we have working solutions. Solutions offered range from mechanical classroom Intruder LocDown locksets, electronic standalone locking access, locking with key fob and panic button , small access system w/ global lock down and  to enterprise Integrated systems w/ global lockdown.

For more information, visit the following web sites: www.cicaccess.com, www.alarmlock.com, www.marksusa.com.

To read additional Locksmith Ledger articles on lockdown, visit http://tinyurl.com/lockdown813

About the Author

Tim O'Leary

Tim O'Leary is a security consultant, trainer and technician who has also been writing articles on all areas of locksmithing & physical security for many years.