Classroom Security Function Locks: Do They Improve School Safety?

Published: May 11, 2022

5 minute read

One of the most critical tools for school safety is used daily by students, faculty and visitors, but people rarely ever think about it.

The various doors and entryways into the building, classrooms and offices play a significant role in keeping children and adults safe. More specifically, the classroom locks can be the deciding factor in preventing someone from entering a room or barricading themselves inside to cause harm.

Current building codes mandate classroom doors use locks that can be activated from outside the room with a key or other form of approved credential. This style of lock is called a traditional classroom function lock, and it allows emergency responders to access a room during a lockdown situation.

The Problem with Traditional Classroom Function Locks

Traditional classroom function locks meet most of the needs of a school. Unfortunately, this lock function can lead to grave consequences in a school shooting because it requires the teacher to open the door and step out into the hallway to lock a door. In an emergency situation like a school shooting, seconds matter, and this practice puts teachers and students at risk of allowing an unwanted entrant into their room.

Are Barricade Devices the Solution?

At first glance, barricade devices seem like a sensible choice. Schools using barricade devices keep their code-compliant traditional classroom function locks but add a layer of security to prevent unwanted entry. However, these devices can create unintended consequences because they restrict door hardware from working properly, prevent room occupants from exiting and typically conflict with local fire codes.

Classroom Security Function Locks Are The Answer to this Conundrum

Knowing existing equipment in the market wasn’t cutting it, the door hardware industry introduced the classroom security function lock. This style allows a key on either side of the door to lock the outside lever only, and the inside lever always remains unlocked. Classroom security function locks meet building codes, eliminate the need to step outside the classroom to lock a door and allow for students and teachers to exit at any time.

comparison graphic between classroom security function locks and traditional locks

Take School Safety a Step Further with Schlage and Von Duprin

There are five different classroom security function locks (three mechanical, two electronic) from Schlage and Von Duprin that we recommend to our partners in the local school systems. Here is why we feel confident putting these locks on the same doors used by the school-age children and grandchildren of our Architectural Sales team members.

Mechanical Locks:

All these mechanical units provide easy-to-read visual references indicating if the door is locked or unlocked. In an emergency, this quick visual guide lets staff and students determine if the door is already locked. Also, these locks can be installed on existing hardware with conversion kits, which reduces the overall expense to change to classroom security function locks.

  • Schlage Mortise L Series
    • This classroom security function lock indicates lock/unlock status on a large display with 180-degree visibility. The indicator shows the lock and unlock symbols on the display, and it color codes everything in red and white to allow individuals with color blindness to read the display with ease.
  • Schlage Cylindrical ND Series
    • This classroom security function lock comes with a turn indicator identifying key rotation direction for rapid lockdown.
  • Von Duprin 2SI Double Cylinder Exit Device
    • Exit devices are typically found in assembly areas of a school. This particular version from Von Duprin comes with a security indicator making it easy to determine if the exit device is locked or unlocked from inside a room and if it is dogged or undogged.

Electronic Locks:

Electronic locks offer schools an added layer of control to each classroom door because they can be locked and unlocked from a central location. This kind of lock gives school administrators flexibility in controlling the lock function by a command in the access control system, setting a door schedule or using a toggle credential. Having access to each classroom lock through the access control system plays a critical role in quickly locking down classrooms in an emergency.

  • Schlage AD-300 Hardwired Lock
    • This hardwired electronic lock features a built-in credential reader and access control sensors to make it easy to install. Schlage designed this lock to integrate into several popular electronic access control systems that are in many schools already. The credential reader on this lock is built to allow for easy upgrades as technologies improve and schools move to smart and mobile credentials.
  • Schlage AD-400 Wireless Lock
    • This wireless lock comes with the same benefits of the AD-300 hardwired lock except it does not require schools to run wires to every door. It comes with a long-reception range that doesn’t interfere with other wireless networks in the school.

Invest in Improving School Safety. Switch to Classroom Security Function Locks.

When you lay out the facts, switching to classroom security function locks is the best choice for improving classroom security in emergency situations, particularly violent ones. Classroom security function locks meet building codes, eliminate the need to step outside the classroom to lock a door and allow for students and teachers to exit at any time.

Considering the five different options mentioned above, Schlage and Von Duprin offer a wide range of options to meet the budgetary and operational needs of any school. If your school system wants to learn more about making the switch to classroom security function locks, contact us using the form below.

Let's Talk About Your Classroom Locks.

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