Choosing Attack Resistant Doors by Project Type

Choosing Attack Resistant Doors by Project Type

Commercial design moves in response to broad societal trends, and the tragic trend of mass shootings is an example. Mass shootings have been on the rise in the U.S. since the 1970s, and have received significant public attention in recent years. 

As a result, companies and government entities look to “harden” buildings that might be targets of such an attack, and keep threats in mind during the design of a new school, office building, hospital or hotel. Even smaller organizations like churches and community centers are revisiting safety in light of shootings and hate crimes. Here, we take a look at how attack resistant door openings can contribute to the design of various types of commercial and public buildings where safety is a concern.

How Attack Resistant Doors Work

Masonite Architectural flush attack-resistant door.

Attack resistant door openings act as a central element of commercial building safety in the face of a potential mass shooting or other violent attack. An attack resistant opening — which includes the door itself, the door frame, glass, jamb and hardware — is designed to stop or delay an attacker from entering a room. Even a small delay increases the chances for survival by buying time for first responders to arrive.

Contrary to popular belief, attack resistant doors don’t have to be made of metal. In a well-designed assembly, wood doors offer a high level of protection. The key is that the parts all function as a unit.

They are tested according to the 5-aa10 test standards based on the FBI’s Active Shooter Report. The Shooter Attack Test Method used to test the product is based on two recognized test standards (UL 752 Level 7 and ASTM F476), modified and combined based on input from law enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security, and active shooter subject matter experts.

Door Security Concerns in Different Commercial Sectors 


One of the greatest concerns of the school system is how to keep students and teachers safe from adversarial- and human-caused threats. Governments are willing to invest in this pursuit, too. For example, in the state of Florida, $99 million of a $400 million school security bill signed in 2018 is designated for “hardening” the infrastructure of educational buildings.  

Attack resistant openings contribute to this hardening approach, both for new construction and retrofitting of existing education buildings. Schools may want attack resistant openings for large gathering areas like gymnasiums and cafeterias, or for every classroom. 

School classroom with veneer wood door.


Security features like card readers and biometric scanning are popular in hospitality, but one cannot overlook manual attack resistance – protection against aggressive entry into a guest room. For the hospitality industry, advanced physical security such as attack resistant door openings can be a selling point, especially for VIP guests. According to hotel security consultants, Toren Consulting, “considering security alongside architecture and interior design means that a hotel is better equipped to attract the kind of guests that the owner and brand intended for its VIP Suite.” Convention and event spaces can also benefit from attack resistant openings. 


While workplace mass shootings remain extremely rare, their high profile nature tends to raise the perception of danger. Security experts advise preparedness no matter what. In response, some office buildings are moving to a single point of entry. This could be a door or vestibule staffed by security personnel or outfitted with cameras. They will invest in making sure that entrance is as secure as possible. Therefore, even when attack resistant openings for a whole space would be cost-prohibitive, facilities may invest in them at one or two critical locations

Office hallway with stairs and offices with Masonite Architectural wood interior doors.


The rate of violence in healthcare is five times greater than the private industry on average. Healthcare construction clients keep physical security top-of-mind, due to concerns of not only violence, but theft, privacy, and disease transmission. For example, they might opt for smart locks or RFID systems on their interior doors, since these contribute to security in multiple ways. However, it may be productive to remind them that an attack resistant door opening can prevent entry by sheer brute force, whether or not other security measures are in place. In a place like a hospital or doctor’s office, where many inhabitants may be disabled or incapacitated, physical security may be the only way to protect them in the face of violence.

Masonite and Armoured One’s Attack Resistant Openings

Masonite Architectural and Armoured One offer an attack resistant door solution designed to slow an active shooter from entering a room, allowing more time for the occupants to react and for the police to respond. The assembly features Armoured One’s Eagle Defense Series Glass. The glass is tested above and beyond the force of a typical active shooter.

Masonite Architectural has long been a leader in high-impact commercial doors but is working with Armoured One because of their expertise in whole building security. The attack resistant door opening is part of our Aspiro Series doors, and includes standard door frames, metal vision kits, and reinforced hardware. When combined with the Eagle Defense Series Glass, these elements are designed to resist up to 237J of force after bullet degradation. 

The solution has been tested with a variety of surfaces and elevations to meet the design intent for multiple project types, and is available for both flush and stile and rail doors. The attack resistant door solution has been tested to the latest methods developed by active shooter experts that ensures integrity in real-life scenarios.

Learn More About Attack Resistant Openings

If you are interested in learning more about this important trend in commercial architecture, Masonite Architectural and Armoured One offer a CEU course on attack resistant door opening solutions. Learn more and enroll here.

Armoured One also offers security assessments for buildings. Armoured One Security Assessments were created by SWAT Team Operators, Homeland Security Active Shooter Experts, a former Navy SEAL Master Chief, a Delta Force Team Leader, Engineers and Architects.

Explore all of Masonite Architectural’s interior wood door products or contact your Masonite representative to get started.