An Indicator of Things to Come?

Dec. 4, 2023

Status indicator locks have been a mainstay in the school security market for many years, with indicators to assure teachers and school staff that classrooms are locked down in an emergency. Several new models have come to the market in 2023, making these locks available for new applications.

Arrow and Yale Cylindrical Indicator Locks

The cylindrical indicator lock from Arrow and Yale Commercial, introduced this summer, made our list of Top Products of 2023. In 2022, they introduced retrofit indicator kits, allowing locksmiths to convert existing BEST or Schlage mortise locks to indicator locks. These kits provide a seamless upgrade to existing sectional mortise locks to add security and privacy. They made our list of Top 20 Products list last year.

Indicator locks have become increasingly popular in applications requiring clear, visible door status signage, said Lori R. Brown, senior product category manager, ASSA ABLOY. But, until now, those indicator locks were mortise locks.

“Most of our focus over the past few years has been with mortise locks,” she noted. “However, there are a lot of existing bored lock prepped doors and we’ve received multiple requests on being able to offer indicators for cylindrical-type locks to be used in commercial applications, where durability and longevity are important.”

The initial offering is a privacy function, targeted for single occupancy restrooms, mother’s nursing rooms, quiet rooms and even dressing room applications. More models are envisioned down the road, including cylindrical locks from ASSA ABLOY brands SARGENT and Corbin Russwin.

These new cylindrical locks are ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 certified and UL listed for fire doors. They also operate according to the ANSI F76A function, which means they have one motion for egress and the button will release when the door is closed. Therefore, unoccupied lockouts are prevented.

The visual indicators can be found on the rose. A red, locked padlock signals that the room is occupied, and a green, unlocked padlock icon signals that the room is unoccupied. Available finishes are Satin Chrome, Bright Brass, Dark Oxidized Satin Bronze equivalent and Black Suede Powder Coat.

Additional features include:

  • Patent pending
  • ANSI/BHMA Grade 1
  • UL/cUL listed for 3 hour doors
  • Americans with Disabilities Act compliant 
  • Three-year mechanical warranty

Here are some of the additional indicator locks in this growing sector.

Detex Indicator Exit Devices

Detex Corp. introduced its first indicator exit device in September (We believe this also would have made our top products list if it had been introduced earlier in the year.)

The 1010D Double Cylinder Rim Exit Device and the 3010DM Double Cylinder Mortise Exit Device have an indicator on the inside of the door that allows quick visual identification of the lockout status of the outside trim. This feature is desirable for lockdown or active shooter situations. These heavy-duty exit devices can be used on fire exits and are easily installed with Detex's patented mounting plate and strike locator system.

101D Features:

  • Ability to lock outside lever trim from the inside, protecting people and property inside from outside threats
  • Stainless steel deadlocking, Pullman-type latch bolt
  • All exposed surfaces are finished over stainless steel with PVD, an environmentally-friendly finishing process
  • Tested beyond 1,000,000 cycles – Twice the cycling required for Grade 1 UL testing
  • Outside trims are easily changed or re-keyed without removing device from door
  • Heavy duty angled end cap deflects damage away from device

3010DN Features:

  • Ability to lock outside lever trim from the inside, protecting people and property inside from outside threats
  • Heavy-duty angled end cap deflects damage away from device
  • Tough and durable design for years of trouble-free service in high-use, high-abuse environments
  • Anti-friction, deadlocking, latch bolt
  • All exposed surfaces are finished over stainless steel with PVD, an environmentally-friendly finishing process
  • Handed, field sizeable
  • Outside trims are easily changed or re-keyed without removing device from door
  • Fast and easy installation saves time and money

Camden Restroom Privacy Kit

Another noteworthy indicator lock introduced in 2023 is the Camden Door Controls Model CX-WC17VR-PS restroom/privacy kit with an additional benefit – no-touch wave activation. It features Camden’s CM-7536VR Column switches with built-in no-touch sensor activation.

These Column switches are ADA-compliant and designed to meet building code requirements for ‘high/low’ activation switches. They also feature a red/green LED to indicate door lock status, eliminating the need for separate ‘occupied’ and ‘locked’ annunciators.

The CX-WC17VR-PS restroom/privacy system kits are a complete solution that includes ‘Push/Wave to Open’ and ‘Push/Wave to Lock’ activation switches, a 2 Amp power supply and controller in a small metal cabinet, ‘universal’ electric strike, and door contacts.

Corbin Russwin ML2000 Series / SARGENT 8200 Series

Status indicator options for the Corbin Russwin ML2000 Series and SARGENT 8200 Series mortise locks provide clarity on the locked or unlocked status of a door. The window design allows users to easily and clearly see whether a door is locked or unlocked or a room is occupied or vacant. 

An available thumbturn simplifies locking the door during stressful situations, and the lock itself supports more than 25 functions. The directional engraving provides guidance to lock or unlock the door.

Multiple color, text, graphic and language combinations are available, and the locks have a wide range of trim options available. Plus, upgrade kits allow installers to retrofit existing ML2000 or 8200 mortise locks to include the status indicator.

Alarm Lock Trilogy PDL4100 and PDL4500

Alarm Lock’s PDL4100 cylindrical lock and PDL4500 mortise locks are available with a privacy feature.  The Privacy feature comes in two versions and is designed to deny access to other users after an individual enters a room, typically used for bathrooms, dorms and meeting rooms.

Privacy Feature Mode 1 provides a normally locked state for the lock. To enter through a monitored door, the user must use an access code or key, or present a prox card. 

After they’re inside, the user presses a button and disables the keypad and card reader, which prevents another user from entering for a preprogrammed amount of time.

A red LED on the exterior side of the lock blinks, which indicates that the room is occupied. When the initial user exits, the lock automatically returns to the original locked mode and allows access to any authorized users. The lockout time can be programmed to disable access code and card access for up to 250 minutes.

Configuring either lock for Privacy Feature Mode 2 means the lock initially will be unlocked (passage mode). No access code or card is necessary to enter. Otherwise, the operation is the same as with Privacy Feature Mode 1. The keypad and reader shut down, which prevents other users from entering, again for a preprogrammed amount of time. A red LED on the exterior side of the lock blinks. However, when the initial user exits, the lock returns to its unlocked status.

SDC E75 Series

SDC’s E75 Series of cylindrical stand-alone electrified locks include models that have a privacy function that’s aimed at use for restrooms.

The keypad or prox card versions have red and green indicator lights on the exterior side of the lock and a lockout button on the interior. When a person enters the restroom and presses the button, it not only indicates that the restroom is occupied through the flashing red LED, but it also locks out the exterior keypad until the person exits the restroom or after a set length of time.

The lockout duration can be set in 15-minute increments up to 60 minutes. When the time is up, the privacy function can be set to disengage or alert someone that an occupant has exceeded their allotted time. Turning the lever deactivates the privacy function.

More info:

Arrow E Series Status Indicator Deadbolts

Arrow Lock and Door Hardware modified its E Series cylindrical deadbolts to include enhanced visual indication, which provides privacy assurance through bold visual indicators on the inside and outside of the door. The enhancements include wording and a “lock” symbol to note the lock status of a door quickly.

This lock is aimed at use in public restrooms, dressing rooms, nursing-mothers’ rooms and other areas that require visual communication of use and assured privacy. The E Series occupancy indicator has an emergency key override to unlock a door from the outside in case of emergency. When the deadbolt is in the locked position, an external slot is exposed that provides for the use of the override key.

About the Author

Emily Pike | Managing Editor

Emily Pike is managing editor of Locksmith Ledger International.