Frequently Asked Questions about our Lockdown Shades

How do I get a shade?

ALP® Next Generation and Traditional Fabric shades are offered for sale through Amazon Marketplace.  You can purchase all standard sizes as well as custom sizes.  Please make sure that you follow the measuring guidelines when determining the size you need.

If you would prefer to get a quote before purchasing (maybe you are uncertain about the size to order or you need a large quantity), you can request a quote for either fabric on our site.  We return all quotes the same day. Each quote details the recommended sizes as well as shipping/handling charges. To process an order, all we require is that you return the signed quote or purchase order.  We will ship within 2 weeks (often sooner) from the time we receive your confirmation to proceed.

How do I determine the size shade I need?

To accurately determine the correct size, measure the width and length of your window.  Only measure the glass pane, do not include any trim or framing that surrounds it.

Why is the finished shade larger than the window pane?

We recommend additional width to prevent any peek-through on the sides.  The extra length as indicated on our size grid compensates for the Velcro strip at the top as well as the Velcro tabs at the bottom, so it can attach securely to the door.

For standard size shades, we have an easy-to-read grid to help determine the appropriate size for your classrooms doors.  If your windows do not fit within these dimensions, we can custom manufacture any size shade to fit your needs.  Simply send us your glass measurements in the Quote Request and we will calculate the size for you.

What size of shades are available?

We stock 10 standard sizes at all times, which, based on our experience and knowledge, are the window dimensions most frequently found in classrooms.  These standard sizes should cover most interior windows in elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as universities and colleges. We can also easily manufacture custom sized shades to fit any other size window, such as sidelights, media centers, and entrance ways.  No matter whether your school needs standard sizes, custom shades, or a combination of both, we ship all orders in two weeks, and can expedite orders within one week if necessary.

Do I need to make any additional purchases?

No.  Each ALP lockdown shade comes with its own Quick-Release strap.  There are no mounting brackets, strike plates, tools or hardware required.  There are no instructions to download and no additional parts to purchase.  You can attach each shade to a classroom door in less than 90 seconds.

Can I get ALP lockdown shades in colors?

Because function and safety are critical, we offer our shades only in black. Black provides the best coverage at blocking out views. Colors--even dark colors--are ineffective because they let light through the windows and allow shadowing from inside the room.

What is the importance of the Velcro tabs at the bottom of the shade?

All educators, administrators, and police officers agree that the most important consideration during a lockdown situation is keeping everyone in the classroom safe. Any motion -- from air blowing through ventilation ducts to students moving quickly to safe locations within the class  -- can cause shades to move and expose the classroom. Additionally, all shades that have been rolled up for any period of time will be wrinkled and curled when unrolled and will not lay flat against the door. Some companies use a weight bar or weighted hem at the bottom of the shade but this is not effective. Weight alone will not prevent the shade from wrinkling.  More importantly, weights at the bottom of the shade will not keep it in place.

The most effective shade is one that can be easily and quickly secured at the top AND bottom of the window with Velcro tabs.

The Velcro tabs in our patented design are not only the most effective method of securing the shade against the bottom of the window, but require absolutely no extra time to secure in the event of an emergency situation.  Our maintenance-free Velcro tabs add no additional cost to the blackout shades and will stay secured to the door after long periods of repeated use. Not only do ALP® shades deploy quickly, but the Velcro adhesive strip at the bottom is heavier and drops the shade faster than a weighted hembar.

Our patented ALP lockdown shades are a vital component in classroom safety.

Why do we need a Velcro release strap?

During an active shooter threat, speed and efficiency matter.  The Quick-Release Velcro release strap allows our blackout shade to be quickly deployed when there is a lockdown situation.  When the emergency has passed, the shade can be easily rolled up and quickly secured.  Other companies secure their shades by tying them with ribbons or strings, or sometimes using snaps.  Everyone who has ever tried unlacing a sneaker in a hurry knows that strings can become knotted--there is absolutely no time to fumble with a knotted string during an active shooter threat.  And while snaps might be an alternative, they are often problematic and it can be difficult to unsnap the strap to release the shade.

Why is Flame Retardancy so important?

Fabric used in most public spaces (including schools) is required by law to be certified as flame retardant, according to standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In the case of draperies, curtains, and similar hanging textiles, the standard that applies is NFPA 701: Standard Methods of Fire tests for Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films. This test measures the flammability of a fabric when it is exposed to specific sources of ignition.

NFPA 701 and 701-1 (Small Scale) testing measures the ignition resistance of a fabric after it is exposed to a flame for 12 seconds. The flame, char length, and flaming residue are recorded. The fabric will pass the test if all samples meet the following criteria:

  1.  An after flame of less than 2.0 seconds
  2.  A char length of less than 6.5"
  3.  The specimen does not continue to flame after reaching the floor of the test chamber

Fabric certified as flame retardant is certified to have been tested and passed the NFPA 701 test.

In order to meet minimum FR standards, other companies may use a flame-coating process on their shades that can dissipate in a short period of time. Our standard fabric is made out of industrial strength polyester with a Flame Retardant agent that is added to the PVC and will not evaporate over time.

Are ALP Lockdown Shades patented?

Yes.  Our lockdown shades are the ONLY patented lockdown shades that attach to the top and bottom of classroom windows, AND have a Velcro release strap.  ALP Lockdown Shades are protected by U.S. Patent D860, 682.

A word about quality:

Quality matters.  All ALP lockdown shades are manufactured in our own facilities -- we do not source production to outside contractors nor other manufacturers to save money. We maintain exacting standards to control every aspect of our operations. We are experts in providing high quality work and our facilities have ample space that allows a smooth work flow for all orders from  begining to end. We maintain consistency in the thickness, denier, and density of our fabric that will not change from month to month. The fabric in our shades properly blocks out classroom views and meets all NFPA standards for fire safety.