Commercial security doors: benefits, types, and use cases

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Whether they are for a residential complex or large commercial spaces, security doors play a pivotal role in the structure of a building. In terms of design, the right door can elevate the aesthetics of a space. More importantly, doors are the initial line of defense against threats and are vital components in security, with 34% of burglars making their entrances through less-than-secure front exterior doors. In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know to choose the right security doors for business, from the benefits of having security doors and how to choose the right security doors, to the type of materials and how they work with different security systems.

Benefits of business security doors

Exterior commercial security doors like security gates for business doors, however, serve the vital purpose of safeguarding your property. When you think of your building as an asset you must protect, it is worthwhile to invest in the right commercial building security doors that can stand up against not only weather conditions and natural calamities, but also threats like break-ins, robbery, and attacks. Security doors are necessary tools of defense against burglaries, as FBI data showed that over 1 million burglaries are committed in the US every year, and by February 2022, New York City alone saw a 56% increase in robbery.

Protecting people

Security doors protect people against internal threats like robbery and extreme weather conditions.

Protecting the building

Security doors protect a building from extreme weather, heavy traffic, and other external factors that can damage a building.

Reducing expenses

Setting proper security measures, like installing a security door, can help you avoid spending repair fees caused by accidents.

Elevating the aesthetics

Having an aesthetically pleasing security door can add a surprising element to the design of your space.

Strengthen security with Openpath access control 
  • Easy integrations with third-party systems and apps

  • Streamlined management from a cloud-based interface

  • Touchless Wave to Unlock access for safety and convenience

  • Patented Triple Unlock technology for fast, reliable entry

  • Flexible Lockdown works with a wide range of security doors

  • Complete access control, video, and intercom solution

  • Award-winning hardware design that complements any door

Types of security doors for your building

Security doors come in widely different designs and constructions for all types of businesses, from commercial roll down security doors and glass security doors for business to commercial accordion security doors, double security doors, and more. When considering security doors for business, it is important to note that exterior security doors serve a greater security purpose than interior security doors and come with a specific set of requirements. Commercial interior doors don’t have to withstand extreme weather conditions and provide less insulation from temperature fluctuations. They don’t meet the same security standards as commercial exterior security doors. Which types of security doors are right for you will depend on the type of business you have. Here are some examples of security doors for businesses:

Commercial fire-rated doors
  • Ideal for: All businesses, as fire can happen anywhere. 

  • Why you need them: Over 100,000 fire incidents occur annually in the US, and damages can cost up to $2.4 billion in a year. In 2018, the US suffered $25.6 billion in property losses due to fire.

  • What to look for: The newest NFPA 80 standard requires that fire-rated doors are tested annually and that a record of the inspection is kept on file for the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).

Ballistic doors
  • Ideal for: Banks and jewelry stores.

  • Why you need them: Establishments like banks and jewelry stores commonly face threats of robbery and attacks with firearms.

  • What to look for: Choose bulletproof doors and frames rated to UL 752 and confirm that the doors have passed the ballistic tests that ensure they can resist a wide range of ammunition.

Blast doors
  • Ideal for: Military headquarters, government organizations, testing facilities.

  • Why you need them: In high-security buildings that typically perform testing, blast doors protect people and property against explosions and flying fragments.

  • What to look for: Choose blast doors that are engineered to meet the Department of Defense’s Minimum Antiterrorism Standards for Buildings for Blast Resistance for optimal protection. 

Radiofrequency shielding doors
  • Ideal for: Laboratories and data centers. 

  • Why you need them: Radiofrequency shielding doors are designed to protect test data and keep sensitive materials safe in controlled environments. 

  • What to look for: To provide an added layer of protection, select doors with a RF assembly to reduce electromagnetic radiation that can leak through doors.

Lead-lined doors
  • Ideal for: Government, military, and healthcare facilities, nuclear power plants, laboratories. 

  • Why you need them: In facilities where testing and medical procedures using devices like MRI and X-ray machines often take place, lead-lined doors protect against harmful radiation.

  • What to look for: Opt for doors constructed from layers of durable lead sheets to get the protection you need against radiation. There are fire-resistant options available for extra protection.

Hurricane doors
  • Ideal for: Businesses located in geographic areas that often experience hurricanes, like the Southern states of the US. 

  • Why you need them: Hurricane doors are designed to withstand strong wind and flying debris. They provide necessary protection for buildings in areas most commonly affected by hurricanes. 

  • What to look for: Choose hurricane doors that meet various testing standards, like Structural Performance, Static Air Pressure, Cyclic Pressure, and Missile Impact Protection standards.

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Choosing materials for security doors

Most security doors for businesses in specific fields, like hurricane and lead-lined doors, need to be constructed from more robust materials to meet the specific set of security standards required by these organizations. However, the two most commonly used materials that are versatile yet durable, and can be used by most businesses are wood and metal. Although laminated glass security doors are often utilized in residential complexes, the fragile nature of glass makes it a less than ideal solution for commercial use, especially in locations with heavy traffic and extreme weather conditions. In establishments prone to flying debris from hurricanes and other natural calamities, having a glass security door can add to, as opposed to prevent, damages and increase budget for repairs and renovation. In contrast, security doors constructed from wood and metal are robust and widely available, with some options that can provide the same level of protection as more specialized security doors like fire-rated doors. There are benefits to security doors made from each material, and choosing the right material is equally important to choosing the right type of security door. 

Wood security doors for commercial use

Wood security doors are often seen in residential spaces, but many businesses prefer security doors made from wood for its versatility, durability, and aesthetically pleasing appearance. Commercial wood security doors are constructed from multiple layers, with a solid wood core and layers of thinner sheets that are laid on top of the core. Although more commonly utilized as interior doors, commercial wood security doors have many benefits and are the popular choice for security doors. Here are some advantages you can get when opting for wood security doors:

  • Fire-resistant: As wood is a natural barrier against fire, commercial wood security doors can decrease the spread of the flame and smoke in a building seized with fire. The material naturally resists fire. Wood security doors are a cost-effective option to the more expensive fire-rated doors.

  • Noise-reducing: The noise-reducing quality of this material makes the security doors ideal for schools, hospitals, offices, and buildings located in quiet residential neighborhoods. Unlike other materials that can bounce noise between walls or other surfaces, wood naturally absorbs noise. These doors can make a significant difference in keeping noise levels low in an apartment building.  

  • Energy-preserving: The solid core of a wood security door provides insulation and helps regulate temperature. It helps cold air out in the winter, and keeps cool air inside the building in the summer. The doors can help save on the costs to heat or cool a building. 

  • Long-lasting: To get the most out of commercial wood security doors, choose a solid wood option that can withstand the normal wear and tear, as well as extreme temperatures and heavy traffic. As wood will age with time, the recommended care is to refinish the wood regularly to preserve its construction and aesthetics.  

  • Aesthetically pleasing: Wood security doors come in many shapes and sizes, with more design options to choose from compared to metal doors. Wood is an extremely pliable material, making it easy for the doors to be decorated and customized according to your liking. There are a wide range of options for colors, textures, and finishes for wood security doors to fit the design of your space.

Metal security doors for commercial use

Commercial steel security doors and metal security doors provide different levels of protection and can be used for a wide range of applications. In some cases, they can work in residential spaces, but are commonly used in commercial buildings that require more robust security, like hotels, retail spaces, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and office buildings. They are commonly utilized as commercial storefront security gates like retail storefront security gates, and the sturdy material makes them perfect for exterior doorways in high-security environments. Unlike wood security doors, steel security doors come in widely varied mechanisms and constructions, such as commercial automatic security doors, commercial security roll up doors, commercial grille security doors, metal roll down doors, commercial heavy duty security doors, and high security steel doors. Here are some benefits of choosing commercial steel doors:

  • Incredible durability: Metal is extremely durable and can withstand a number of environmental factors like humidity, strong wind, water, and extreme temperatures. They are ideal for all climates, weather conditions, and seasons. Metal security doors are made to last in high traffic and heavy-duty use. Their incredible durability combined with easy maintenance make metal security doors a worthy long-term investment. 

  • Designed for superior protection: The strongest metal security doors are constructed in a way where the core is hollow. Made of steel, stainless steel, or aluminum, the space between panels make the doors stronger, as the hollow core is made to absorb and dispel the force of impact like gunfire. Metal’s fire-resistant qualities make metal the material of choice for fire-rated security doors. Some metal security doors are certified to meet high fire ratings. 

  • Versatility for all types of applications: The hollow core and adjoining frame construction of metal security doors make them easy to install in any type of commercial building, from commercial storefront security doors for retail spaces to schools and industrial facilities. The easy-install quality in metal security doors make them ideal for large commercial projects, as they can be put in place quickly at numerous entry points. Although metal security doors are less aesthetically pleasing and come with less customization options compared to wood security doors, they are available in a wide selection of shapes and sizes.

  • Better insulation: The construction of metal security doors with a hollow core can help lower energy consumption and regulate temperature. The space between the outer metal panels can insulate a space, and the layered metal sheets create a strong barrier against extreme weather conditions. These doors can work for buildings like museums, that often house valuable objects sensitive to temperature changes. 

  • Safety and accessibility compliant: In spaces with emergency exits, metal security doors can be easily fitted with a panic bar to comply with fire safety regulations. The hollow metal security doors are also suitable for buildings with handicap access, as the lighter doors make them easier to open.   

  • Cost-effective: While metal and steel security doors are costly and installation fees can be high, these doors are relatively low-maintenance. Their durable material and construction cut down long-term expenses and regular servicing fees, making up for the upfront costs to purchase and install the doors.

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Choosing the right security doors for your business

Having the right security door for your business is an investment that pays off over time. The right security door for one business might not be right for another, and how you choose a security door for your business will add extra layers of security and allow you to get the most out of your investment. Your budget is something that will play a big part in your decision and should be set in place before considering other factors, such as the ones listed below:

  1. The type of business you have and where it is located: As previously covered, the nature of a business can determine what type of security doors can meet its unique security needs. For example, a commercial wood security door will not provide adequate protection for military headquarters and testing facilities prone to explosions. A more robust door specifically engineered to resist flying debris would be more suitable for these facilities, while the same wood security door could very well work for a retail space that prioritizes a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. If you live in an area that often experiences flooding, hurricanes, or other natural disasters, security doors constructed to withstand these elements will better preserve your building and save on renovations costs. 

  2. The type of materials that meet your budget and security needs: Most businesses fall in the gray zone between requiring security doors engineered to meet a distinctive set of security requirements and needing security doors that meet just the basic security regulations. In this case, the meeting point between staying within your budget and meeting your distinctive set of security needs will determine what type of security doors are right for you. For example, if you want to provide protection from fire, wood security doors are naturally fire-resistant but are costly, and you may want to go for more budget-conscious fire-rated options made of metal. When it comes to installing security doors, It is important that your security door installer has the right tools and the proper commercial door security hardware, like the commercial door security bar, for a smooth installation process. Check for reputable installers and get a quote before choosing a particular contractor. 

  3. The level of security you want to provide: Once you have an idea of which security door will meet the safety requirements of your business, there are features in security doors you can add that allow you to provide extra protection. For instance, government facilities and military headquarters often use lead-lined doors. These security doors can be fitted to be fire-resistant for an added layer of protection against unexpected fire outbreaks. 

  4. Testings, safety regulations, and certifications: Security doors constructed for specific purposes, like fire-rated, bulletproof, and hurricane doors are required to meet respective testing requirements to ensure they are able to provide different levels of security and protection. Before purchasing a security door, confirm that they have passed the necessary tests and come with the required certifications. Missing this crucial step means that not only are your employees and customers placed at risk, but some businesses are not able to operate if they do not meet federal security standards. 

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Security systems to complement security doors

Choosing the right security doors is the first step to providing the necessary protection to keep people safe within your building. However, there are additional steps you can take to provide an extra layer of protection. Keeping harmful elements and external threats out is the main purpose of security doors, but it is equally important to consider access and who walks in and out of your building. Buildings that do not have security systems are 300% more likely to be burglarized, and implementing a robust commercial building security system can prevent security breaches and ensure that only authorized individuals are able to access your building. Openpath offers a range of security devices for doors that meet all types of security needs. The system is versatile and can be applied for various uses, from commercial and enterprise to residential. The devices also have built-in features and can work as a complete access control solution, so the hassle of extra wiring and purchasing separate hardware is eliminated. Here are some security elements you can add to your doors to enhance security:

Commercial door entry systems

For secure commercial access control, consider installing a door entry system that supports a wide range of access options. Openpath’s multi-technology Smart Readers support mobile credentials, as well as physical credentials such as low- and high-frequency key cards and fobs.It is important to consider what type of lock mechanisms, such as magnetic locks versus electric strikes, you’d like to install for your doorsas a less-than-secure lock can render your investment in a security door ineffectual. For fast and reliable access, Openpath’s patented Triple Unlock technology is rated at 99.9% reliability, and races Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular signals simultaneously. Access is always granted to authorized users, even when power is out or the internet is down. Plus, the Smart Readers come in compact devices, making it effortless to find a space to mount the readers. With a snap-in mechanism, installation is quick and easy.    

Video surveillance and intercom systems

In some cases, businesses want gate entry systems for an added layer of security. Business video camera systems can provide strengthened security through visual verification. This technology allows you to see exactly who is attempting access to your building and the entry activities that take place at your door. A high-definition camera in your video surveillance system can provide the clearest identification, and a wide viewing angle ensures that every corner where access events take place is clearly displayed without any obstructions.

Openpath’s Video Intercom Reader Pro features a super high-definition 5MP camera with 136-degree viewing angle for the clearest visual verification. The all-in-one device not only provides visuals, but also serves as a doorbell, smart intercom, and multi-technology reader that supports a wide range of access options. The Video Intercom Reader Pro also features innovative voice AI call routing, a technology that streamlines security procedures and visitors access. It is a particularly useful tool for commercial buildings with heavy traffic. 

Keyless entry for convenience and safety

Hands-free access and keyless door entry methods have become a must in access procedures, especially in recent years, when a tactile form of access can be unsafe. This access method is also convenient and allows for a more frictionless access experience. Openpath’s Wave to Unlock feature provides a touchless experience that complements your security doors. With a simple wave of the hand or smartphone to an Openpath reader, access is immediately granted. There is no need to take out your phone and open an app, or even have the phone in active mode. 

Finding the right security door for your business takes a lot of research, and there are many factors to weigh in before making a purchase. When you have made ample investments to find the right security door, think of adding security components like video surveillance, commercial intercom system, and multi-technology readers as a way to protect your investment and add an extra layer of security. If you would like more information on which security systems will best suit the unique needs of your business and work with your security doors, contact Openpath to arrange a free consultation. 

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