Commercial Shades for Schools: A Guide to the Best Options

Commercial Shades for Schools: A Guide to the Best Options

The safety of schools, medical facilities, office & government buildings, and non-profit organizations is not something to be taken lightly. Quality and excellence are not optional. Therefore, discovering the best product to protect individuals – employees or students – is necessary.

Lockdown shades are a key element to securing a building, especially schools. The Final Report of the Federal Commission on School Safety states: “Many school doors have windows that allow someone outside the door to observe the inside of the classroom. These windows should be protected or reinforced and have a removable covering that can be quickly applied that obscures visual observation from both sides.”

With the right materials for your school, you can be prepared and empowered! We want to help streamline the process. For your convenience, we explore various lockdown shade characteristics. In the end, we hope the best option for your situation is apparent – so your schools and facilities can be kept safe.

Complete Visual Coverage

When contemplating which window covering to purchase, keep in mind the necessity for complete visual coverage. The view into a classroom or office should be blocked from an intruder along the entire window.

This begins with using high-quality, blackout fabric. You will want to find a window covering that uses sturdy fabric that is opaque and will stay in place once deployed.

Easy Installation, Simple to Use

It is also vital to make sure your window coverings can be installed and used with ease. Several lockdown shades on the market are produced with Velcro strips at the top of their shades. This feature allows teachers and staff to easily install the coverings above the windows in their own classrooms or offices. The need for tools, hardware, or trained professionals to install each window covering is eliminated.

Classroom window coverings also need to be easy to use. When certain lockdown shades are activated, they deploy into place on their own while the top remains firmly stuck to the surface. This allows the window to be completely covered in an instant.

Be wary of window coverings that require multiple steps for deployment. If using typical roller shades to cover a window, the shade requires its user to pull it into place which wastes valuable time in the event of an emergency. In addition, some products require the extra step of sticking the covering to multiple Velcro tabs along the bottom hem. In fast-paced situations, all extra steps should be eliminated. These extra Velcro strips along the bottom of the coverings can also add required maintenance if they should ever need to be replaced.


Many coverings place emphasis on affordability. Schools and companies may look to order in bulk; therefore, an inexpensive product can be ideal. Affordability is a major benefit, especially when budgets are tight.

When looking into inexpensive coverings, pay attention to quality. Affordable window shades can be adequate for protective coverings, but before committing to these shades, take note of a few items:

  • Narrow Velcro Strip – A narrower Velcro strip along the top of the shade may save a bit on cost; however, the shade becomes less durable and more likely to release from its surface and fall.
  • Quality of Fabric – Thin, cheap fabric may reduce the cost of your window covering, but it may fail to be opaque and over time may begin to curl. Being able to see through the fabric and having it curl along the sides will compromise the goal of total blackout.
  • Effectiveness – Deployment speed is essential for every kind of blackout shade available. Windows need to be covered in an instant! Only certain shades can meet those standards.
  • Competence – Lockdown shades that are handmade can help curb the cost of covering the windows in your school; however, be mindful of how long it will take to receive your order. It is important to know that product turn-time greatly increases when window coverings are individually crafted in someone’s personal sewing room.


If having shades that are aesthetically pleasing is important to you, certain solutions are made like designer shades for commercial and residential spaces. For example, one vendor manufactures their product using stage curtain material. But buyer beware, these luxury shades are often expensive. With school budgets to consider, many locations will be unable to afford this possibility.

Commercial Window Shades for Schools With School Safety Solution

At School Safety Solution, our mission is to empower schools to safety. Designed by teachers, for teachers, we seek to combine efficiency, quality, and affordability in a single product. Some of our lockdown shade features include:

  • High quality, blackout fabric
  • Weighted hem-bar
  • Instant deployment
  • Fire retardant (NFPA 701 compliant)
  • Customizable
  • Easy Installation
  • Patented design
  • Made in the USA
  • One-year limited warranty

We are proud to provide a window covering that meets all your needs. The Hideaway Helper lockdown shade is incredibly easy to install, with no need for tools, hardware, or installation expertise. Using a thick, 2-inch strip of industrial-strength adhesive Velcro, the lockdown shade is firmly planted in place.

To use in the time of and emergency, responsible individuals simply pull the Velcro tab and the shade is released. Instantly the Hideaway Helper falls into place and the window is completely covered – no extraneous steps required. After the emergency is cleared, the shade can be quickly returned to its original, rolled-up position.

We have taken a few extra steps to increase the safety of our window coverings. Our shades are designed with 100% polyester, black-out fabric which is flame-coated to meet NFPA 701-1 requirements. What sets our shades apart from the rest is that the flame retardant is added during PVC production. What does this mean for you? The flame retardancy will not evaporate over time.

All these features demonstrate our goal at School Safety Solution: to empower teachers, staff, and students during any emergency.

We would love for you to learn more about our products! Please give us a call at (888) 733-0406 or email us at