School entry point

Controlling Access to Schools and Classrooms for Increased Security

One of the top concerns in our nation these days is the safety of students. We can all agree that security measures in schools and on college campuses should be improved, but the major question is “how?” Administrators, staff and parents are searching for ways to achieve this which will be easy to implement and effective.

Investing in systems and hardware which can help educational facilities control access into buildings and classrooms may be the most practical solution at this point.

Access Control Systems

Educational facilities should have a limited number of entry points which can be monitored and controlled by responsible personnel. Advanced access control systems can be customized to fit the needs of virtually any school or university. Relying on access cards, key fobs or biometric data, such as fingerprints, an access system identifies each person trying to enter the building. Anyone who does not have proper authorization to enter is must wait until personnel verify their identity and remotely unlock the door. The system can be programmed to limit access to certain users, specific areas of the school or campus, or during set hours and days of the week.

With controlled access, for example, a school could program the system to block entry for students who have graduated or who have been suspended or expelled. Similarly, a college campus could restrict access to computer labs at night and during summer break. Dormitories can restrict access only to the students living there and have a real-time report identifying who entered and when. The system could be used to grant faculty and staff access to parts of the building, while denying access to students.

For a controlled access system to be an effective security measure, however, students and teachers must use it properly. This means entering the school in an orderly fashion and not holding the door open for others. Specialized automatic locks can be used to secure the less strictly controlled entry points and emergency exits. By stressing the importance of student safety, a school or university can get everyone on campus to cooperate with the set protocol for managing the access system.

Classroom Locking Devices

The other important step that educational institutions can take towards increased security is to install better locks for classroom doors. Classrooms have been the target of recent tragedies and acts of gun violence. Yet, students should feel safe everywhere on campus, and especially when they are trying to learn.

Many styles of older school hardware could only be locked from the hallway. In a lockdown situation, however, teachers need to be able to protect the students by locking from inside the classroom. Our University and School Security Guidebook included below outlines acceptable types of locks for this purpose. They can be locked in case of emergency, but they also meet educational building standards, accessibility regulations and fire safety codes. See below.

Adopting New Security Measures in an Educational Setting

Whenever new access systems, security protocol or locking devices are adopted, administrators should ensure that staff and faculty are familiar with it. Training should be provided to understand how and when to implement the new security measures. It should also be clear what each figure’s important role is. Everyone needs to know what is expected. Written protocol and lockdown drills can help assign responsibilities.

Resources for University & School Security

Great Valley locksmiths have extensive experience working with universities to increase security. We have installed keycard access systems and keyless entry systems for universities in Pennsylvania. Review our extensive content related to the subject of campus safety.

University & School Security Guidebook


Download this brief guide to the essentials for campus security. It discusses the need for increased security measures and how that can be done safely with improved locks for controlled entry systems, locks and hardware. This guidebook includes helpful information about current security measures for universities and schools, such as staff training, lockdown procedures and the role of safety committees. It also reviews current building and fire safety codes related to doors in educational facilities and classroom locks.

Related Articles

Take a look at these other informative articles about safety concerns in college and school settings.

Professional Locksmith Services for Educational Institutions

Great Valley Lockshop boasts more than 30 years of experience assisting colleges and universities in making their campuses safer for students. Schedule a consultation to discuss workable solutions for improving university security. Contact GV Lock at 610-644-5334 or request a quote here.

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