Schools today are tasked with more responsibilities than ever before. Not only are they charged with creating a welcoming and inclusive learning environment for the next generation, but they are required to do so while guarding against various safety risks.
While there are many aspects to creating a safe campus, maintaining a secure school starts with top quality doors, like the ones offered by CDF Distributors. A doorway sets the tone for the entire room and can help to create a welcoming environment. Doorways are also the most commonly used point of entry for bad actors, which is why the ideal door for an educational setting must be durable, too.
What Security Options Are Available?
There are seemingly limitless options when it comes to doors for a school, but everything starts with the material that the door is made from. Commercial doors can be produced using either steel or a solid wood core frame. Wood doors come in several different finishes to closely match the design of the school, while steel doors can easily be painted after installation to match the school colors.
After the material is selected, you will be able to pick out the type of fire rating that you want the door to have. Both wood and steel doors can be fire rated, which is an essential part of a secure and safe school. Wood doors have a limited maximum fire rating of 90 minutes, while steel doors can provide up to 3 hours of protection.
In addition to offering a sturdy construction and fire rating, commercial school doors can and should be equipped with reinforced glass. Tempered glass is usually used in commercial doors, but there are other options that offer better resistance to impact damage. Wired glass -- which is glass that includes steel wiring in between the panes -- is much stronger and provides greater security. This glass is available in two different configurations and can also be fire rated.
Which Is Safer: A Light Kit or Solid Door?
Unless your local building code has particularly stringent requirements, the choice between a light kit and a solid door is a matter of preference. With that said, there are several safety benefits offered by doors with light kits. The biggest benefit is that a small viewing window can allow occupants of a classroom to see out into the hallway if an evacuation is necessary. Instead of blinding walking into a potentially dangerous situation, faculty members can quickly check to ensure that it is safe to exit the classroom.
Light kits not only offer added safety benefits, but they are also much more aesthetically pleasing. Solid doors can make students and staff members feel trapped or confined in the classroom, which can hinder a learning environment. Generally, solid doors in a school setting are best left for utility closets and equipment rooms that are not consistently occupied.
Choosing the Right Door for Your Educational Institution
After learning about the various security features available for your doors, narrowing down the search and choosing the best style for your campus becomes much easier. While both wood and metal doors are good options to effectively secure a classroom or a building, there are some unique benefits to each.
Wood doors tend to be slightly cheaper and have a completely solid core. Many customers also find the finished wood grain very appealing, making them ideal for interior doors. Wood doors can also easily be stained in a number of attractive finishes.
Steel doors require a slightly larger initial investment per door, but they also last 10 years longer than wood doors, on average. They are made with a hollow steel shell that is filled with an insulating material and reinforced at its high-stress points. They make great exterior school doors, since they are more resistant to inclement weather and vandalism, while also offering better insulation than wood doors.
Whether you are looking to upgrade the doors on an existing campus or planning construction for a new school building, CDF Distributors can help. We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service and offering the best door prices available anywhere, guaranteed.