U.S. Courts Design Guide
Intrusion Detection. An intrusion-detection system covering all perimeter doors,
including roof access, must be installed in the courthouse. Ground floor or accessible
windows must be protected with glass break detectors or other sensor technology.
Intrusion detection systems are monitored by GSA and/or USMS (on- or off-site) on a
Windows. All ground floor or accessible windows must be sealed and glazed with
break-resistant (UL-972) or ballistic-resistant (UL Standard 752, Level III) materials.
Ballistic-resistant glazing (UL Standard 752, Level VIII) is required for exterior
windows in all courtrooms and judges' chambers suites located on the ground floor or
directly adjacent (within 24 feet or 7300 mm) to public parking structures and elevated
Emergency Exits. Emergency doors must be self-locking and equipped with a remote
alarm and interior CCTV camera, both monitored at the USMS Command and Control
Center. Where permissible and as per code, emergency exits should be equipped with
magnetic locks or electric strikes connected to an alarm/time delay mechanism or the
fire alarm/sprinkler system. Electric locking systems on fire doors should be connected
to battery back-up power and emergency generators. The systems must remain locked
from the outside during a power failure.
Closed Circuit Television. A CCTV camera, monitored at the USMS Command and
Control Center, must be installed inside the building at each remote exit.
Public Entrance. Only one public entrance, with a lobby large enough to hold visitors
during peak periods, must be configured and sized to allow security systems to be part
of the architectural design and circulation path from the entrance. The security station
shall be placed directly inside the building entrance with sufficient space for queuing
Employee Entry. All employees must enter the courthouse through the public entry
screening point. If a separate employee entry is required, electronic access control, a
CCTV camera, and an intercom should be installed, monitored in the USMS Command
and Control Center.
Public Entry Security Station. The public entry is controlled by a security station,
typically manned by two to three court security officers (CSOs). All persons entering
the building must pass through a metal detector; packages and briefcases must be
scanned by X-ray. Electrical service to the station must provide a 20-amp, 120-volt,
dedicated circuit connected to the emergency generator. Outlets must avoid exposed
cord connections. In addition, the lobby area must have a CCTV camera and the
security station a duress alarm device connected to the USMS Command and Control