Mastering Locker Security: Your Comprehensive Guide to Locker Locks

Remember school lockers? No matter how old we get, our childhood memories return to passing notes in class, pushing through crowded hallways, and shoving books into messy lockers. But there are more uses to lockers than just a place for teenagers to stick their chewing gum.


Whether it’s in a high school or college, a commercial setting like a warehouse or distribution center, an apartment complex, or a leisure center, different applications require different kinds of lockers for the best kind of security.  What is the best choice for you?


Types of Lockers


Metal lockers:

Commonly found in locker rooms, offices, schools, and athletic clubs. Metal lockers require little upkeep and can endure for decades. They vary in size, from small cubbies to large sports or equipment lockers. For sports environments, hospitals, medical offices, pharmacies, and other healthcare locations,  antimicrobial locker can help combat odors and protect the integrity of the lockers.

Wood lockers:

Offer more style and elegance and are usually employed in modern architecture, executive locker rooms, high-end health clubs, or even for wine storage in a restaurant. Due to the materials, exposure to moisture should be avoided.

Plastic lockers:

A great choice in outdoor environments or areas subject to a lot of moisture or humidity. Easy to clean and immune to wood rot or rust. Clear view doors or plastic faces can be an added security measure. Depending on tier type, clear view lockers come with either a finger pull friction hasp or recessed handle and fingertip lift. They also feature a 1-point or 3-point locking system (depending on tier type) and piano hinge. Plastic lockers are not ideal when exposed to direct sunlight or excess heat.

Steel lockers:

More secure and durable than some other metal locker, ideal for storing cell phones and other electronic equipment. Modular box locker options allow configuration to fit nearly any space.


Lockers are everywhere. Find the lockers that best fit your needs.


School Lockers


Since we’re feeling nostalgic, let’s start with the school fixture: the standard steel locker – a metal box with a locking door in front, available in various heights with single, double, or triple tiers. Features inside might include a coat hook, coat rod, and/or shelf. But these aren’t the only lockers a school might need. In an athletic locker room, standard steel lockers leave little ventilation for sweaty gym clothes and wet towels, leading to that classic gym sock aroma. For those purposes, a special gear locker or ventilated locker – available in a variety of sizes with a variety of added features – can provide for all of the security with none of the funk.


School lockers generally range in size from around 7.5 cubic feet (for a three-tiered model) to 9 cubic feet (for an extra-tall, extra-deep one-tiered model). If students have less gear to manage, half-height, two-tiered lockers could get the job done with a smaller footprint. Metal strength is measured in gauge – the higher the gauge number, the thicker and stronger the metal. You’ll generally find school lockers ranging from 12 gauge to 18 gauge – 16-gauge steel will get the job done for most common usage, but you can make your choice depending on needs and budget… and how many soccer ball kicks you need your lockers to withstand.


School lockers can be purchased with or without built-in combination locks (or even digital keypads). Lockers that come without built-in locks and require a separate padlock tend to be less expensive but less secure (and vulnerable to a pair of bolt cutters). But a high-quality, well-constructed padlock goes a long way toward improved locker security with options for closing mechanisms such as a latch hasp, a lift lock, or a recessed latch each with various levels of effectiveness depending on your needs. Add-ons such as a sloped top addition to the bank of lockers and base plates can keep areas around the locker free from debris. And don’t forget the small but crucial detail of number plates for the doors!


Corporate Office and Apartment Complex Lockers


We’re all grown up! But the good news is - lockers aren’t just for kids. In a corporate or living space, temporary lockers have their own unique set of challenges. One major factor is - what do we do about security concerns once an employee or tenant has left? Keys and combination locks can be a significant resource waster. The ability to quickly and easily reprogram locks is the biggest consideration. Keys are outdated. The time and cost to recode rather than rekey is considerably less.


Electronic keypad locks can be a great option. Available with or without high-visibility screens, easily reprogrammable key codes, and even anti-jamming features, these locks give users a high level of security. The code can be shared via text or email instantly. When the tenant or employee leaves, creating a new code can be done in seconds and there is always a unique master code in case of emergency. They can also be coupled with key fob access or RFID electronic locks i.e. “key card locks.” These locks are some of the most secure and versatile electronic locks on the market. With flexible programming for shared and permanent use, supervisor controls, and the ability to be mounted on almost any kind of material, they offer safe and secure locker access to employees, tenants, and other users. They also have the very same security levels used in banking smart cards.Available in a range of sizes and configurations to fit any space, featuring 5 knuckle hinges, 1-point or 3-point locking system (depending on tier type), and finger pull friction hasp, lift latch, or recessed handle.


Warehouse and Distribution Center Lockers.


Workers need a secure place for their belongings. As the chance of theft in this scenario is relatively low (access to the building is usually already secured), these locks don’t have to be high end and expensive - a basic combination or key lock might be enough to do the job . The one exception to that rule is law enforcement or any other instance when weapons need to be locked down or evidence needs to be strictly controlled. Here, automated electronic lockers that monitor each transaction may need to be used. While these systems add cost, they are absolutely essential in minimizing risk.


Gym, Leisure Center, Hotel, Resort, Casino, Hospital, and Airport Lockers.


For this kind of security, we need to consider the usage: multiple users per week or even day.  Airports, hotels, resorts, casinos, and hospitals are high traffic areas with minimal security - a much more significant risk of theft. You need reliable, solid locks that are both trustworthy and yet easy to recode or lock/unlock for the next user. With gyms and leisure centers, a membership card is usually required to get to the locker area, and here you can give the option to let members supply their own lock or give them the chance to program their own 4-digit code or combination into the locker.


In some situations, a simple mechanical combination lock with key controls might be your best option. One of the most affordable kinds of locker locks on the market, this kind of lock comes with either a simple grip-and-pull dial or a series of dials, and a key override for supervisor access. Some come with a set of preset combinations, others allow the user to set and reset their own combination. This low-cost solution is often available in bulk for even more savings.


Locker Locks: Choose Your Level Of Security.


Every locker lock available is ideal for one kind of application. In addition to the types we mentioned, there are several other lock options from “old school” to the cutting edge:


Coin Locks


Available in two different kinds of locks - coin return and coin deposit - these locker locks give the users a key when a coin is placed into the slot. The latter is an interesting proposition for the owner as it can generate income, but the downside is it may discourage users from using the lock altogether. The best application for this kind of lock is in correctional facilities or high-traffic areas like theme parks and stadiums.


Key Locks


Whether as a built-in locker lock or as a padlock, a key lock is perhaps the most traditional of all locks available on the market. A low budget option, it does have the advantage of being the simplest to deploy. Simply fit, hand out a key, and you’re done. However, key locks do have a series of disadvantages. As we mentioned, a pair of bolt cutters will quickly take care of most padlocks in seconds, and you also have to deal with replacement keys and rekeying locks when the users change.


Hidden Shackle Padlocks


As the name suggests, the lock body conceals the shackle making any attempts to pry and cut the lock impossible. These locks are also virtually impossible to pick, and come with reinforced bodies for added security. The drawback is that the design makes them useful only for certain applications, such as trailers, vans, business gates and storefronts. You would need to do some after-market modifications on your lockers to utilize this kind of lock.


Fingerprint Access Locks (AKA Biometric)


State-of-the-art technology has arrived in the form of programmable fingerprint locks. Whether on a padlock or permanently-mounted lock, these are useful on a wide variety of applications including job sites, shared lockers, IT server rooms, and much more. With the ability to easily add and remove users, and monitor access history of every use, they offer some of the most advanced locker security around. You can also use them with the latest smartphone apps, and hand out one time use codes that expire.


Bluetooth Access Locks


One of the rising stars of the locker lock world is the Bluetooth access lock. Eliminating the need for keys and codes, a Bluetooth lock requires the use of a smartphone to open the lock. Bluetooth locks and padlocks can be monitored by an app or on a computer, and keep a record of who is gaining access and when. The pricing of these locks makes them an expensive option, but as the technology develops the prices will drop sharply. These locks are ideal for real estate (home showings) and facilities management.


Check out the Five Most Popular Global Industrial Lockers




Ventilated lockers are made using heavy 16 gauge steel with diamond shaped perforations for improved airflow. Locker doors feature rubber bumpers on framing to ensure quiet operation. Continuous piano hinges provide maximum security. Includes padlock hasp & built in lock latch. Available with recessed cup pull handle. Simplest design with a single point locking system.



Engineered for years of heavy-duty service, these lockers feature 16 gauge steel doors, 5-knuckle security hinges, quiet operation latch mechanism, and welded, reinforced frame-and-door assemblies for maximum security. Generously sized louvers promote ventilation. Durable, attractive powder coat finish. Features a 3-point locking system, padlock hasp and built-in lock latch with a lift latch handle.



Engineered to provide long lasting heavy-duty service for schools, gyms, and more, the Infinity lockers feature a 3-point locking system with padlock hasp and built in lock latch but with a recessed door handle that provides a smooth face profile and reduces catch risk in busy and/or confined space.



Featuring easy-to-use keypads, these digital lockers can be opened with custom combinations and codes. They are available in a range of sizes and configurations to fit any space. Perfect for commercial use in schools, gyms, and more.

Clear View

Clear View:

View contents through transparent, scratch resistant and highly rugged polycarbonate windows. These lockers feature polycarbonate doors with a padlockable friction latch. Antimicrobial box door finger pull is made of a tough black nylon material, which offers protection against molds, bacteria and some viruses without compromising functionality, strength or durability.


No matter your needs, don’t get locked out! It is wise to think ahead about your security needs and set yourself up with the best locker locks to protect you and your students or guests or employees. If you need any assistance choosing the best locker lock, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our experts here at Global Industrial.


The information contained in this article is for informational, educational, and promotional purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. It is the reader’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, codes and regulations. If there is any question or doubt in regard to any element contained in this article, please consult a licensed professional.  Under no circumstances will Global Industrial® be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on this article.


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