Why doors play a critical role in your school lockdown plan

Hogan Security Group discusses lockdown with K-12 schools and higher education partners every day, with an emphasis on doors, their hardware and access control due to the critical role they perform in every comprehensive lockdown plan.

Locked doors save lives and here’s how.

  1. Locked doors address the themes common to every study or report on how to mitigate school violence – deter, slow and detain. These are the principles guiding all physical security enhancements. Deterrence being the first principle guiding physical security, doors play a critical role in deterring assailants, and slowing down any who penetrate the facility. And proper function of perimeter doors is of paramount importance in excluding them in the first place. After all, unless your perimeter doors latch properly, it doesn’t matter what cameras, mass notification system or classroom locks you have in place.
  2. Doors can turn your facility from a soft target into a hard target. Improving classroom door hardware is one of the most cost-effective ways to mitigate against potential violence (the others being ballistic film and a vestibule in the main entrance). Source: NJSBA Report 2014 “What Makes Schools Safe?” The improvements can be made over time, starting with classrooms closest to the front entrance.
  3. Implementing an effective key control system – analyzing and auditing key control – can be a low cost or zero cost enhancement. Who gets a key, what type of key, and ensuring that all keys are returned at the end of the school year or teaching assignment is key. The same is true of access control fobs or cards, whose additional audit function adds additional security protection.
Angela Leaney