Unlock Your Solution/Knobs and Levers/Troubleshooting

When the door is locked, I can still open the door (Emergency Exit)

Schlage Support Team
posted this on August 22, 2011 06:14 PM

Therefore locking myself out.

This is the emergency exit feature and is standard on the F51 Keyed Entry.  This feature cannot be disabled. The emergency exit or panic free exit feature is required by some building codes for fire safety.  Those same building codes will not allow double-cylinder deadbolts in some applications because they negate the emergency exit benefit of the knob/lever.   

If you are not limited in choice by the building codes, you can choose a different function of lock.  Schlage offers a keyed entry lock called the F54.  The F54 is also a Grade 2 (as is the F51) with Grade 1 features.  The inside thumb turn has to be rotated to the unlocked position before the knob will turn to open the door.  If the store does not have the specific design/finish that you want in stock, it can be special ordered, or it is also available online.

If you would like to upgrade, you can also move to the A-series and order an A53 which allows both the Emergency Exit Feature as well as the Unlock when the Door Opens feature.  This lock is a Grade 1 and is also available as a special order or online.



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Tom Lidahl

Poor design, kids have been locked out in winter. Hiding a key where footprints in the snow show the hiding location leaves a home and occupations at risk. The only option is to buy a special order product from Schlage another poor idea. 

January 19, 2012 09:12 AM
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Yep I agree with the above member. That information should have also been put on the packing! What a waist of money. We are all getting locked out daily. I don't know who could have thought of such a stupid thing. Such a poor design!

January 28, 2012 02:51 PM
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frank purta

I agree, I bought three sets of locksets with deadbolts (deadbolts are keyed on both sides). In an emergency how am  I going to get out if I need a key to open the deadbolt from the inside?  The knob will turn but you can't get out! It makes no sense! POOR  DESIGN.

The locks have been on the doors for two days now, and I have locked myself out three times already. This fact should have been on the package or at the very least somewhere in the instructions!

I went back to where I bought them (Home Depot) and checked another brand and found that their locksets won't turn from the inside when locked, it only turned when unlocked. The way it should be!

Schlage should make things right with their customers, or their customers will go somewhere else.                               UNHAPPY!

February 02, 2012 09:33 PM
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Advise the customer to return the lock and purchase a different brand.  This should be optional at best, if you are unable to operate the lock during an emergency how will you be able to operate the deadbolt as well?  Bad idea that is costing you customers.  This lock can be disabled by cutting the linkage between the two halves.

February 22, 2012 04:59 PM
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We just purchased four of these locksets.  I installed two of them before realizing this feature/flaw.  I wholeheartedly agree with all other participants in this thread.  i will be returning all four locksets in favor of a competitor that offers comparable security while not allowing the knob to turn unless unlocked.  I understand most "fire code" theories--this one is just foolish for the rest of the time when our homes are not on fire.

March 22, 2012 12:56 PM
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matt duncan

Terrible design.....i agree with everyone above.  My family and I have been locked out multiple designs by this design! 

March 27, 2012 10:51 AM
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James Holden

I agree with the above comments.  I hav had to drill out 2 of the locks when I accidentally locked myself out. At lease they are easy to break this way.  To get around this, I purchased interior closet knobs to go with the deadbolt lock


March 31, 2012 10:06 AM
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Brock Generalovich

I am very disappointed that when i purchased this lock at Lowe's, the display of the interior knob did not turn in the locked position.  I asked the employee about this due to my 7 and 5 yr old at home and he was dead wrong! imagine that ! I went to the store and the answer was that the lockset on display was missing a piece ! Great ! There was nothing written on the package as to this "safety" measure ! I am returning all of my 5 locksets as well ! The time and expense ( as i had them installed by our contractor) is ridiculous ! Our new doors were drilled to  fit your specific more elaborate locks.  Hopefully we can match finishes and the imprints that have been created can be covered.  I would think that a company of your size would at least have something written on the package !! I am very unhappy and this "squeaky wheel" is going to vent for a long time !!!

May 20, 2012 07:13 AM
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I too have been locked out on several occasions.  I would love to take these back to the store, but have already discarded all the boxes, ect. they came it. I can't believe that this feature is standard on all residential products because the handles I replaced did not have that feature!!  I can't imagine that it's safe to have keys planted outside your home just because you, as the home owner, may lock yourself out!  I agree there should be some notation on the outside packaging that states that these doorknobs open from the inside even when in the locked position.  In my opinion they can be a real danger if there are young children in the home.  This feature should be "optional" -- allowing the consumer to flip a switch to turn this feature on or off before installation.  My suggestion is to buy a different brand.

July 08, 2012 03:44 PM
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Chris Kirkpatrick

I'll be another to express my maddening incredulity that Schlage would refuse to announce this functionality on the packaging; it's so illogical.  At least give us the homeowners the option to disable this "feature".  It's really a poor approach Schlage, very disappointing - a total waste of money and time installing your lock set.

July 23, 2012 09:03 PM
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Panic Free? okay so you have a door knob that turns, but a dead bolt that needs a key to open from the inside.  Really? That is not "panic free"  you need to tell customers not to install these door handles with keyed dead bolts other wise the Panic Free feature is not effective.  I like your products, but..... the advice to leave a key outside defeats the whole purpose of having locks in the first place. Why not just advise to leave doors unlocked?

August 31, 2012 12:51 PM
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Gary Vander Heide

Thanks to the internet I could at least find out that the Schlage lock my wife bought wasn't broke. I spent too much time trying to figure out why the inside knob turned when the door was locked. Really? If competitor's sell door knobs where the inside knob won't turn when locked then why won't Schlage. I agree with everybody here about putting a 'warning' on the package. It could go something like this..."don't buy this Schlage door knob unless you want to waste time, bring it back and, in the end, buy a different brand".

September 06, 2012 04:54 PM
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Brent Boswell

I agree. If you have the door locked and you have to open it in an emergency then the lock should disengage and allow re-entry. Chances are if it were an emergency you have already forgotten your keys. Just need to find which brand of locks dont have this feature. Went with Schlage because of the name is well known but I keep getting locked out and thats not good. Need to find one that if the door is locked then the knob won't turn or will at least disengage the lock when the knob is turned, not just bypass it.

October 10, 2012 09:51 PM
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Sherri Ingraham

Awful product feature!!  We just installed 5 sets on a rental property with doors leading onto a third floor balcony and someone was locked out! Does anyone know if what Jake said in an earlier post, "This lock can be disabled by cutting the linkage between the two halves" is to disable this feature or the entire locking mechanism?

October 13, 2012 01:38 PM
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Phillip Ridings

I can't believe all of the comments about getting locked out.  Schlage has had a good reputation in the past, but after installing an F51 series keyed lock and getting locked out, I am extremely dissapointed.  This could be a real safety issue if you need to get inside your home quickly and have been locked out.  I have spent over a half day trying to resolve and have had no favorable results.  The store where I bought it could not help.  I purchased this lock and a front door handle and dead bolt in the beginning and had them keyed alike.  I took our sliding door lock to a lock smith and had it rekeyed to match the Schlage locks.  This was prior to installing the Schlage products.  I wanted all of the exterior locks to use the same key.  In addition to the $30 spent on the keyed lock, I'm now out $50 more for a non-keyed door knob set and another dead bolt.  This will solve my problem, but the solution is so ridiculous.  What is Schlage doing about this?  They evidently don't care about consumer expectations, their time, or their expense.

October 13, 2012 11:40 PM
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Richard Eder

I understand the building code issue but it should be noted on the product package that you have to be vigilant about checking the lock status before you exit. I can't see how having to briefly turn the lock button traps you inside for any significant time.  The chances of being locked out and trapped are infinitely more dangerous.

Tech support's post about exchanging a Grade 1 for a Grade 3 lock are off base.  I bought a grade 1 lockset for a reason. 

October 24, 2012 08:50 AM
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Gary Schoep

How about labeling the package "DOES NOT UNLOCK WHEN OPENED!"


I too will be returning my locks.

October 30, 2012 08:13 PM
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