Classroom Door Lockdown Shades: What's the Best Option

Classroom Door Lockdown Shades: What's the Best Option

Having an emergency preparedness plan in place for schools that includes staff and student drills helps prevent panic. One way to prepare your classroom is with ALICE training. The practice runs enable faculty and administrators to get familiar with first responder and law enforcement protocol. Preparedness plans provide clear instructions for responding to different types of emergencies. However, all the training and practicing alone will not ensure student or staff safety. It is essential to have safety supplies and resources available should the unthinkable happen. Think first aid kits, medical supplies, bullet-proof locks, and fire-retardant blackout lockdown window treatments.

One valuable resource for lockdown preparedness plans is the classroom door lockdown shade. This article will discuss the different types of classroom door lockdown shades, how they work, where they are installed, and the protective benefits they offer.

What is a Classroom Door Lockdown Shade?

A classroom door lockdown shade covers door windows during an emergency event to prevent people from seeing out of or into a room. Fire-retardant fabrics add a layer of protection when a fire in the hallway blocks egress is the reason for the lockdown.

An ideal shade, one that completely obstructs the view through a classroom door:

1. Is simple to install and deploy,

2. Prevents even shadows from being seen on the other side,

3. Improves fire safety for the room's occupants,

4. Accommodates normal door functions – allowing doors to open and close securely,

5. Blocks noise transfer,

5. Meets preparedness plan protocol and training session guidance,

6. And, is designed and fitted properly for the classroom door window.

How Do Classroom Door Lockdown Shades Work?

Classroom door lockdown shades are designed to be mounted directly above the door window. During a lockdown, shades are quickly released to roll down and cover the window completely. Some are manually lowered while others utilize a smart phone app or remote control for operation.

Along with blocking the view, lockdown shades minimize distractions. Fewer distractions help staff and students focus on staying calm. There are many different types of shades available today that enhance safety in the classroom. Finding the perfect solution for your classrooms means balancing the needs of your students and staff with a blackout solution that complies with preparedness protocol.

Types of Classroom Lockdown Shades

Door mounted classroom lockdown shades that deploy quickly and easily are critical during an emergency. However, it is equally important to choose shades that meet the needs of your student population. For instance, an ideal lockdown solution for a kindergarten class may differ from high school settings because the teacher may be the only one who is able to deploy window treatments when students are too short to reach the cord to lower the shade.

Here are several types of classroom shades for your consideration.

Motorized Window Treatment Solutions are best suited for classrooms where the capability to operate the shades remotely is critical. Because these shades can be pre-programmed to automatically deploy in response to an active-shooter or fire alarm, classroom occupants can focus on getting into their practiced positions quicker. And, as previously mentioned, these blackout shades can be operated by remote control or through a smartphone or other digital device. Automated deployment usually means a faster response to threats, reducing risk, and improving safety levels.

Bamboo Shades provide essential safety and security protection when deployed with a total blackout liner. One benefit of installing bamboo shades is that this type of blackout classroom window treatment provides a calming aesthetic and can be manufactured to blend in with the overall interior design. They are easy to install and operate.

Cellular Shades constructed with light blocking fabrics also offer numerous other benefits. They reduce noise transfer, which means intruders are less likely to be able to detect interior movements or conversations inside the classroom. And, they are available with a cordless option, lowering safety risks for young students. Another benefit of cellular shades is they efficiently manage heat and cold transfer, which improves classroom comfort.

Roll-up Shades provide a rapid response solution. They are mounted above the classroom door, either in the window frame or next to the frame. Manual roll-up shades are mounted with a strong adhesive directly above the door window. An ideal manual roll-up design features a Velcro closure that holds the shade rolled up in place when not in use.

Corded & Uncorded Roller Shades work with a spring mechanism that rolls fabric on a tube when not in use and allows users to pull the shade down and lock it in place during a lockdown. Options are available for both corded and cordless roller shades. One advantage to this style of classroom blackout shades is that they are budget-friendly, but can be converted to a motorized option, if desired.

Which is Best for You?

Classroom blackout lockdown shades are preferred over blinds or other window treatments because they completely block the view. Blinds have gaps between the slates that allow light to pass through. Even when installed within the window frame, it is possible to detect movement and shadows, which makes it possible for an intruder to determine where students and staff are located. And, standard curtains may obscure the view, but cannot provide maximum protection.

Choosing the appropriate lockdown shade for your classrooms starts with a thorough assessment of safety risks. Whether a permanently installed roll-down shade is preferable or your environment is better suited to a bamboo shade with a blackout liner depends on your internal lockdown compliance protocol.


From January through the beginning of May, 2022, there were almost 198 mass shootings in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive. As of May 22, 2022, Education Week reported there had been 26 school shootings reported this year. It is no longer an option of whether your school deploys classroom blackout window shades, but rather what type you install.

School Safety Solution offers high-quality school safety products, including our fire-retardant blackout lockdown window blind, the Hideaway Helper. Contact a representative to learn more today about the Hideaway Helper features and our classroom door locks that are code compliant and bullet-proof.