Perimeter Entrances

Depending on the use of these openings, they have different functional needs of the door hardware used to secure them.

  • Is the door used routinely for arrival and departure?
  • Is the door used for sporting or other events?
  • Is the door used for limited staff access?
  • Is the door for exit only purposes?


Best Practices for Securing Perimeter Entrances

Use of perimeter doors

  • Access to school facilities should be kept to a limited number of controlled entrances. (Sandy Hook Rpt. page 48, FED page 122, PASS page 57)
  • Restrict visitor access during normal school hours. For entrances that must be utilized during the school day, use an electronic access control system to ensure access by only authorized personnel.(Sandy Hook page 52, FED page 122, PASS page 57)

Security Tip:

Your doors can have all the right security implements in place, but if someone doesn’t follow procedures, they will still be unsecure.

Keep perimeter entrances clear of rocks and heavy objects that can be used to prop doors open.

Securing perimeter doors

  • Exterior doors should always be closed, latched, and locked when students are in classrooms.(Robb page 71, PASS page 57)
  • All exterior doors should be equipped with hardware capable of implementing a full perimeter lockdown by manual or electronic means.(Sandy Hook page 53)
  • All exterior doors must be easy to lock and allow for quick release in the event of an emergency.(Sandy Hook page 53)
  • All exterior doors must meet fire, life safety and local building codes, as well as ADA requirements.(PASS page 60)
  • Use sensors that alert administration offices when exterior doors at primary and secondary points of entry are left open.(Sandy Hook page 53, MSD page 347, PASS page 60)
  • Provide closers on exterior doors so that they automatically return to a closed, latched, and locked position.(Sandy Hook page 53, MSD page 346)
  • Number all exterior doors that allow access to the interior of the school in sequential order in a clockwise manner starting with the main entrance.(Sandy Hook page 53)
  • Use forced entry resistant, burglar resistant, and/or shatter resistant doors, windows, framing and anchoring systems.(Sandy Hook page 54, FED 123, PASS page 58)


Sandy Hook Final Report of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, 03/2015 MSD Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School Public Safety Commission, 01/02/2019 Robb Investigative Committee on the Robb Elementary Shooting, Texas House of Representatives, Interim Report July 17, 2022 FED Final Report of the Federal Commission on School Safety, 12/18/2018 PASS Guidelines 6th Edition, 2023 Model Codes including International Building Code (IBC), 2018 and subsequent editions, International Fire Code (IFC), 2018 and subsequent editions, NFPA 101 — Life Safety Code, 2018 and subsequent editions

Working with Emergency Responders:

  • Be sure to consult with emergency responders on which doors they can use for emergency entry into the school.
  • Provide credentials to them directly or keys in a lock box for quick entry at the designated openings.
  • Include your local law enforcement and emergency responders in developing your security plan and policies.

Perimeter Door Solutions


School Security Best Practices Reference Sheet


Panic Device Infographic


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