Lockdown School Locking Systems

Feb. 2, 2021
Whether they can be activated manually or remotely, today’s systems include valuable features.

School security continues to represent an important market for locksmiths. The higher security measures being used in schools are similar to those used in corporate, institutional, health-care and military markets.

Security management addresses physical security (people and premises) and ties into information systems and personal protection against health threats.

School security involves a full range of events, conditions and scenarios. The starting point in achieving acceptable levels of protection is security management that’s able to control who enters the campus, knowing who is present at all times and locking doors and securing all relevant openings and areas.

New technology and increased demand have resulted in a larger market for locksmiths as well as a broader selection of security products and a wider range of prices.

Four categories that are obvious product groups in which locksmiths can participate are: visitor-entry control, lockdown systems, locksets that have enhanced security functions and features and architectural features that help to deter, control, detect, identify and interdict in situations that pose a threat to occupants. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on mechanical locking systems or those that have remote functionality.

BEST SHELTER Lockdown System

The SHELTER lockdown system by dormakaba brand BEST provides administrators with a quick course of action to lock down buildings, campuses or zones through the click of a button. SHELTER is a wireless responsive lockdown solution that can be configured to adapt to a building’s layout, traffic flow and security protocol.

SHELTER has a web-based portal, so school administrators and security officers can configure the system from any web browser, wherever they are. In addition, the software can be used to view self-diagnostic test reports and send email or text notifications for lockdown status changes.

It has simple lockdown initiation, so administrators can initiate a lockdown with a wireless fob. Lockdown can include a single door, a set of doors, an area of the building or the entire building or campus. SHELTER also connects with an alarm panel to notify first responders immediately.

SHELTER has easy installation and maintenance, which allows for the system to expand as security priorities change. Nationwide technical support is available.

More info: www.bestaccess.com/products/wireless/shelter/

Keyscan Aurora

A secure environment demands accurate identification and authentication of credentials when admitting authorized personnel. dormakaba’s Keyscan Aurora access control software does just that. Through its many features and integration options, it provides a single solution for access control.

You can control the system from any web-enabled computer or mobile device, and it provides enhanced network-based lockdown, which is well-suited for any emergency response plan.

When in lockdown, teachers simply close and lock the door without stepping into the hallway. Only the mechanical override key or the Normal Operation Command from the dashboard will open the door from the outside, so free egress (the ability to exit the building or specific room) is maintained. In addition, none of the other valid user credentials will open the door unless the system settings have been customized and the key override isn’t the default. As a result, if an intruder has obtained access to a credential, card or PIN and attempts to access a door, access won’t be granted.

More info: www.dormakaba.com

SDC Selectric PRO 7800 Series

The electrified Z7882 lockset, which has a manual deadbolt, is at the heart of the SDC Classroom Lockdown Solution. It provides reliability for security, life safety and flexible access and lockdown control.

The Z7882 allows a door to be locked quickly from the inside of a classroom, yet it provides lock-status notification and allows authorized access by staff and emergency responders in case someone inside the room intends to cause harm or injury.

The inside thumbturn projects the deadbolt. Throwing the deadbolt locks out electric operation of the outside lever. The Z7882, which is locked from the outside only, is unlocked by an access control system or key from the outside. Egress is provided by turning the inside lever handle, which retracts the deadbolt and latch and ensures fire life safety while providing classroom-lockdown security. Full monitoring capability is optional.

The lock is designed specifically to retrofit mechanical mortise locks in existing classroom doors.


  • Field-selectable handing
  • SDC trim available, also compatible with Schlage trim from others
  • Key latch retraction
  • Fail-secure

More info: www.sdcsecurity.com

Precision Hardware APEX 2110VI

The APEX 2110VI is a heavy-duty exit device that includes an intruder function that enables the locking of an exterior exit device, mortise or cylindrical lever handle from the interior side without having to open the door. 

The 2110VI includes a visual lock or unlock status indicator, which allows users to determine quickly whether the outside lever is locked (red) or unlocked (green). The visual indicator has bright, reflective material to enable easy to identify lock or unlock status even in low light, and because it’s integrated, it’s less vulnerable to damage and ensures continuous performance even in high-use environments.

A directional indicator clearly shows the correct direction to rotate the key or thumbturn for a quick quarter-turn lockdown.

Multiple finishes are available, including stainless steel that has an antimicrobial coating. Conversion kits enable simple field conversion of existing APEX 2108 or 2110 models.

More info: www.precisionhardware.com

BEST 9K Series with Intruder Function

Mechanical locks are an integral part of a comprehensive security strategy and are a cost-effective way to make schools and classrooms more secure. The BEST 9K lock is a cylindrical classroom lock that has a visual indicator that shows which way to turn the key to ensure the door is locked securely.

Faculty can lock the door from the inside without going outside the classroom, and the visual indicator ensures that anyone can lock the door correctly and quickly.

The lock has been tested to over 4 million cycles, which exceeds the ANSI standard for Grade 1 cylindrical locks and exceeds Grade 1 abusive locked lever torque. A pre-assembled hub design greatly reduces the complexity and time required for installation. Using a BEST interchangeable core allows for customized masterkeying and quick keying changes.

More info: www.bestaccess.com

Schlage Classroom Security Upgrade Kit

Most Schlage locks used in classroom environments have the necessary flexibility built into the lock, so changing the functionality of a room doesn’t require replacing the entire lock. Conversion kits for Schlage L Series mortise locks and Schlage ND Series cylindrical locks are low-cost options for schools looking to upgrade classroom door functionality and security. Schlage’s classroom security function allows the teacher to lock the outside lever with a key from inside the classroom without opening the door. Although this is a double cylinder lock, free egress still is enabled.

There’s also the option of a security indicator. For the Schlage L Series, the indicator has a 2-by-1/2-inch display window that provides 180-degree visibility and a high-mount design that clearly shows the locked or unlocked status of the door.

Schlage ND Series locks are available with a turn-indicator rose, which identifies the key rotation direction for rapid lockdown.

More info: https://us.allegion.com

Detex Electric Dogging EasyKit

The Electric Dogging EasyKit is aimed at locking down large campuses through a single switch. Electric Dogging EasyKits are designed for entrance and exit doors that require panic or fire exit hardware. When energized, and after the pushpad is depressed, the pushpad and the latch bolt remain retracted, providing push-pull operation.

Relocking all devices is accomplished by using a single switch or through a fire-alarm input.

All components required for an installation are included in one easy-to-order kit.

More info: www.detex.com/industries/by-application/lockdown/

Securitech Solutions

Securitech offers a selection of locking solutions suitable for high-security applications, such as schools.

SAFEBOLT is a code-compliant instant lockdown lockset that empowers anyone in the classroom. By simply pressing the red button, the door bolts to the frame, preventing unwanted entry. SAFEBOLT retrofits over grade 1 cylindrical locks and maintains full code compliance and single-motion egress at all times. No one is locked into the classroom. SAFEBOLT also works with some sectional mortise lock trims.

QID mortise locks are ideal for new doors or retrofitting into doors that have mortise lock openings. A simple press of a red button locks down the room instantly, while maintaining code compliance and single-motion exiting at all times. QID also is available in a function that’s designed for universities, where exiting unlocks the lever, so students can re-enter a classroom or lecture hall easily.

Auditoriums, gyms and cafeterias that have multiple exit doors are among the most difficult spaces to lock down instantly in a code-compliant manner. LEXI Lockdown trim retrofits to existing exit devices, which helps to control costs and maintain code compliance. Lockdown stations, distributed across the room and near the door, allow instant lockdown of all doors simultaneously. Exiting never is blocked, and the system can be reset easily.

More info: https://securitech.com/

ASSA ABLOY Solutions

Numerous types of locks can fit into a school lockdown plan. Choosing the right locking device depends on the school’s strategy.

A centralized approach occurs when a decision is made from a single location to lock all doors campuswide instantly with the push of a single button. A decentralized decision allows each teacher to decide whether to evacuate or lock their own door based on their situational awareness and options. The right solution often includes a combination of these two lockdown strategies.

ASSA ABLOY has a wide variety of locks that fit any school’s lockdown strategy.

Mechanical lockdown options from ASSA ABLOY Group brands Corbin Russwin, SARGENT and Yale include:

Bored/cylindrical locks. Corbin Russwin CL3300 locks, SARGENT 11 Line locks and Yale 5400LN Series locks have classroom-security functions that allow locking from inside the room.

Mortise locks. Corbin Russwin ML2000 locks, SARGENT 8200 Series locks and Yale 8800 Series locks allow locking from inside the rooms and have lock-status indicators.

Exit devices. Corbin Russwin ED5000 Series and SARGENT 80 Series exit devices are available with classroom-security functions and security kits.

For centralized lockdowns, ASSA ABLOY Aperio wireless solutions feature real-time communication with online access control systems. The Aperio IN100 Series from Corbin Russwin and SARGENT responds quickly with remote lock and unlock functions, enabling systemwide lockdowns in a matter of seconds.

Online locking solutions that have integrated Wiegand and Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology feature real-time connection to electronic access control systems.

More info: https://www.assaabloydss.com/en/solutions-by-market/school-safety-security/lockdowns/

NAPCO Security Technologies Solutions

NAPCO provides a number of mechanical and remote locking solutions aimed at the educational market under the Marks USA and Continental Access brands.

Continental CA4K Enterprise software is a multipronged solution that controls alarms, video, wireless locking, doors, elevators and access within one interoperable platform. It provides real-time integration with all Alarm Lock Wireless Networx locks and panic buttons and features a comprehensive visitor-management system that includes live background checks and integration with government  “watch lists.” It has five-stage threat-level management and provides temporary visitor badges that automatically expire.

The LocDown Series Cylindrical F110 and Mortise F32 functions by Marks USA allow you to lock down classrooms, offices and common areas by using a key from the inside. Either model retrofits a standard lockset and comes in several lock body styles and finishes. They have a long-life lever and support springs, as well as a lifetime lockset warranty.

NAPCO’s free and objective Security Access-Control Vulnerability Index (SAVI) Self-Diagnostic System helps schools to evaluate their security levels and vulnerabilities and determine steps to improve them. SAVI is presented in an easy, electronic self-scoring checklist format. Download at: https://www.napcosecurity.com/media/pdfs/savi-whitepaper.pdf.

More info: www.napcosecurity.com

Tim O’Leary is an experienced security consultant and a regular contributor to Locksmith Ledger.

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.