Hallway of doors

How to Lockdown a Facility

The ability to lock a facility down as quickly as possible can be important for your building’s security, and the safety of those in it. This could be needed if there is an active shooter scenario if an employee is under duress, a weather emergency, or another environmental event. “Lockdown” is a security feature or function for specific door locks in a facility and often is part of the building’s overall access control and/or security system. When implemented, it gives the ability to quickly activate lockdown for the entire building(s) or a section of a building with a push of a button or by utilizing a keycard or some other credential. A keycard or other credential, such as a key fob, can also be programmed to determine who is authorized to activate the lockdown feature.

Many times, lockdowns are implemented in buildings for unique situational reasons. Due to these reasons, lockdown features can be customized to meet specific customer and building needs. While “lockdown” means different things to everyone, it is commonly associated with locking the exterior doors to prevent entry from the outside, which is done by taking the doors off their normal access control schedule. When a lockdown is initiated, those inside the facility can still exit the building, ensuring safe egress, however, they are not able to re-enter.

Lockdown Methods

There are two common ways lockdown can be activated in the case of an emergency.

1. Pushing a “Panic Button”

A button or lever can be installed in an area of the facility or someone can have a wireless handheld transmitter (example: a button on a lanyard). In the case of an emergency, a person can push a button or pull the lever to lock the entire facility or specific area, which then restricts access.


A special credential (such as a keycard) can be given to authorized individuals. When the credential is presented to an access control point lock or a reader in a specified location, it can lockdown a facility or specific area, which then restricts access. The credential option can limit who has access to initializing a lockdown for a facility or the specific area.

Depending on the system the customer has in their facility, along with locking down doors and preventing access, it’s also possible to send out alerts via text and/or email. 

Restoring Normal Function

When the situation that caused the lockdown has passed, it is time to restore the facility’s access control to its normal function, which means resetting the lockdown. There are a few different ways to restore normal function:

  1. Action Button – push to release the lockdown and restore normal functionality.
  2. Credential – present a specific restore card or pin code to a reader to restore normal functionality.
  3. Log into the System – manually log into the access control system on a computer and select the restore option.

Why a Lockdown Feature is Important

Implementing the lockdown feature in a facility’s security system brings the building’s safety and security to the next level. It can be easy to use and can go a long way when it comes to keeping a facility and those inside safe.

The Electronic Security Systems powered by LaForce team can help when it comes to building safety and installing a lockdown solution. Our team of experts are trained and knowledgeable about what security services will work best in your facility and can train facility staff about the products and services installed. Fill out our easy-to-use contact form and get started on securing your facility today!