A Checklist for Schools

Various school articles have been published recently after the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. A lot of industry specialists have provided their feedback, ideas, and thoughts on securing a school.

School Security Solutions by IDN

How do you keep children safe and secure while at school?
Many articles have been written, many are pointing fingers at guns, and some are blaming violent video games and even mental illness. Regardless where the blame falls, the shooting in and of itself is tragic.

IDN, Inc. as a whole is a distributor to the locksmiths and security professional industry. A school shooting, such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School incident, has affected a variety of people across all of America. From a security standpoint, it has affected distributors, manufacturers, locksmiths, security professionals, architects, code experts, security consultants, integrators, and so many more. As a group, it’s a large group of knowledge and expertise who can provide help to the schools.

Preliminary checklist
Main Entrance:

  • Is the main entrance restricted, or locked, during school hours?
  • Is staff at the main entrance while students are leaving or entering school at the start and end of a school day to monitor visitors?
  • During a school day, are video cameras in place to monitor the perimeter of the school?
  • Is someone monitoring the video cameras throughout the day?
  • Is a visitor viewed through an Audio Entry system, and is there communication with the front desk?
  • If a visitor is granted access to the main office, is a name tag or badge provided?
  • Is a metal detector provided to catch any weapons carried by visitors and/or students?

Other Entrances:

  • Are all teachers equipped with access to the other entrances to use during playground visits?
  • Are the other entrances equipped with access control products where key cards or other similar items are used to access the building?

Emergency Exits:

  • Are there additional doors within the building that are always locked from the outside, but available to exit in case of emergency?
  • Are these types of doors monitored by staff to see if they are closed and locked from the outside at all times, yet still open for free exit only egress?

Assembly Spaces such as Cafeterias, Library, Gymnasium, Auditorium

  • Are the doors equipped with panic hardware or fire exit hardware?
  • Are the locks on the doors functioning?
  • Are they equipped with electric latch retraction to allow for immediate lock-down?


  • Are all locks on classroom doors functioning?
  • Are any closets, bathrooms, storage rooms, etc., within the classroom equipped with a functioning lock on the door?
  • Are the locks on the classroom doors equipped with a Classroom Intruder function? These locks allow a teacher to lock the outside lever without opening the door to the corridor.
  • Are the doors equipped with access control locks that allow for immediate lock-down from a central point, such as the office?


  • Does each classroom have a means to communicate with the front office?
  • Does the school have a plan in place, and tested, to communicate immediately with parents and staff in case of emergency?

For more information, contact your local IDN Branch.

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Written by the Ask the Experts team at IDN-H. Hoffman