What is lockdown and its use cases?

Any public building must have some form of access control and adequate policies toward both lockdown and lockout.

In the event of a threat occurring inside a building, you need to have a lockdown plan in place. The lockdown strategy and measures should envisage immediate actions to secure the building and all the people who are inside the building.

A lockdown strategy for a school, for instance, may stipulate measures such as locking all the doors to classrooms, turning off the lights and placing students out of sight of any windows. Students themselves should observe silence during an event of a lockdown.

School Shootings in the United States, 2013 - 2018

number of shootings
‍ A chart showing the number of shootings in U.S. schools between 2013 and February 2018.

Locking out the outside doors of a building is not mandatory in the case of a threat inside the building unless you have a very specific threat to deal with. By leaving the outside gates and exits open, you have an emergency route and can evacuate some parts of the building. This element of a lockdown strategy also enables emergency response teams to enter the indoor area.

What is lockout and its use cases?

Lockout measures and procedures aim at maintaining operations within a building as close to normal as possible. The main goal of a viable lockout strategy is to secure the outside perimeter of a building while access control at the entry points is at high alert.

In the event of a threat occurring outside of a building, the lockout response policies require return of all people to the building and eventual locking of doors and or/gates that enable access to the building. You usually need security guards who will secure the outside area in case of outdoor threats in a lockout scenario.

Lockout and Lockdown Hardware and Software

In both cases, you need practicable policies but also emergency response measures that work. Securing doors, gates, and windows requires specific hardware and software to provide efficient access control in various emergency scenarios.

For example, an advanced access control system would enable an operator to keep specific emergency routes open in case of a lockdown. You may also need functionality to open and close locks remotely, thus enabling secure evacuation of the building and preventing threats from accessing certain areas and/or rooms.

Types of organizations where these features are required

As we said, most public buildings would require adoption of lockdown and lockout strategy and measures. Selection of viable access control system depends on your specific requirements; nonetheless, you need a plan for response to threats inside and outside your building.

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